Is it difficult/possible to live without "humanity"?

Well, Phrenological said that their definition of human is strictly DNA, not culture or technology.

That’s pretty much what I said, too. I don’t see how that conflicts with the above; a task done by multiple humans is not transhuman, and a task done by a human holding a hammer is not transhuman, in exactly the same way that a crow using bread crumbs as fishing bait is not transcrow.

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Why by any definition? Anima refers to breath, and I am certain that most things don’t breathe. It seems extremely reductionist to say that modelling all things as being really processes implies that they are animated, in the sense of organisms. Any “thing” is merely a static snapshot of a process, or network of processes. This has been the norm in sciences for well more than a century, even if common-sense reasoning has apparently yet to integrate this.

Is there any “thing” which we would know more about by modelling it in terms of static identity rather than processes?

I’m very surprised you’ve never heard of it, it’s not a particularly esoteric concept.


How would I have not heard of it when we were just discussing it?

Incidentally, this definition is inaccurate. It is attribution of spirit. The words spirit and anima are synonyms, both meaning “breath”. Many people in common usage use spirit and soul interchangeably, but this is a cogent example of why not to. Animistic models do often employ a more esoteric, metaphysically-laden concept of breath, as with the Sanskrit term prana. It is why organisms are often referred to as animals, those who breathe.

Perhaps the science of phenomena as process is reminiscent of animism, but I am not going to make any guesses as to how “alive” the non-biological aspects of the world may be.

Anyway, as I was explaining before, I am not personally invested in defining what “human” might mean. I started this topic more to tease out other people’s definitions, and what they find significant about it. I try to think of interesting things to do, and I get confronted by others about how those choices are illegitimate, or insulting to them, based upon some appeals to a concept of humanity. So transhuman is a bit problematic, as it implies a definition of human, but it also demonstrates human-as-process, that humanity changes over time as well as acknowledging the possibility of self-directed change.

Ok, you are arguing with well-understood dictionary definitions based on traditional usage and I’m out.


Apparently they were neither as well-understood nor traditional as one might suppose. I tried to be polite and clear, but maybe it’s my fault that I am not a dictionary. I am sorry that a difference in terminology bothers you so.

That’s for instance why I can take the annoying position that there isn’t anything essentially “supernatural” about spirituality. Because I don’t have the same semantic baggage about what breath might signify. Taken literally, that people have spirits is not very controversial - unless one makes the leap that spirit is the same as a soul. One can be inspired, respire, and finally expire with no soul required. Which connotation is intended completely changes the meaning and position.

In some cultures, it is thought that animals are animated because a special agency blew this anima into them, imbuing them with life. In others this anima is more pervasive and has an agency of its own. In yet others, they simply recognize that one is alive so long as one breathes, and dies once they stop. The yogis of India have an amazingly baroque system of the physics and metaphysics of breath.

Can anyone ever say anything that causes you to learn something new, or change your understanding in any way?

Or is every human wrong in how they think and communicate?


“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” – Lewis Carroll

‘Humanity’ is a word whose connotations depend on context. It’s in the nature of humanity to be compassionate, but also in the nature of humanity to firebomb cities just because [insert random reason]. So it doesn’t have a distinctive character because it means whatever the person saying it chooses for it to mean.

Transhumanism is by nature forward-thinking, so earlier hominids need not apply. For later humans, sure. Transhumanism needn’t assume a single instantaneous and consistent transition. There may be many different transitions by different groups of humans at different times.

Both. We have a global international society and all kinds of criss-crossing and overlapping layers upon layers of societies within it - from national to state to local to neighborhood, religious, corporate, family, clubs, BBSes, or people that just share common interests. A person can have many different loyalties and conflicts due to them. That it is both singular and plural is the core of drama.

Sure. If we augment the senses and brain functions, we’ll perceive and conceptualize things differently. People who’ve transitioned from one culture to another, and/or multilinguals have multiple ways of conceptualizing things. Even external technology changes the way we conceptualize things. We already internalize basic expectations of near-instantaneous communication and geolocation that would have been alien a generation ago and that affects how we live and think about things.

Not likely. A significant part of thinking is ‘thinking fast’ - pattern recognition, hunches, snap judgements, and prejudices - fast because they take shortcuts. We’re also capable of deliberation and consideration, of course, but it doesn’t negate the fast-thinking capabilities. Even so, it has its own biases. Algorithms can provide a third input, possibly fast enough to keep up with most of our fast-thinking and provide an alternative interpretation. But not likely to totally overwhelm it. The fastest algorithms would of course use shortcuts resulting in biases. So it’s biases all the way down.

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There are certainly relationships between what others say and what I learn and understand, although these communications are not a direct linear cause. What I know and understand always changes, and my interactions with others are a significant part of that process.

People are how they are, a person cannot be wrong. Although the models they communicate will probably seem more or less accurate or applicable to any another. I do not know if it works to strongly identify the person with what they say. I would not judge what essential value there might be to what anybody says simply upon the basis of how I could interpret or utilize it.


I thank you for responding to my questions.

I’ll leave it to others to determine whether or not my questions were actually answered.



I created the topic mostly so Phrenological could expound upon their theories of “human nature”, however I suppose a squirrel parade might be more apposite.

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