Humanity the Virtuous
Today (11/10/2016) in class, we brought up the definition of humanity. What is it? What does it encompass? Well, for starters, I shall define humanity as a virtue. Virtues are defined as traits that are deemed “morally good”. Morals are bound by the perspective of good and bad, so my definition will be a bit vague as a result. Humanity is a virtue based on Altruistic beliefs. Altruism focus on the belief of selflessness, such as concern for others. This is all based on the idea of the “human condition”. The human condition is an exceptionally board topic basically encompassing the traits of human existence, such as emotions, growth (in terms of learning), morality, etc. In class we brought up education (growth in broader terms) when we were talking about this. Riva in He, She and It, acts on the belief that “Information shouldn’t be a commodity” (Piercy 193). It is noted that he stole information to save lives, which illegal by law but, justified morally. It is also mentioned later that “The knowledge of the book can’t be hoarded by the children of the rich” indicated that everyone should be able to read (Piercy 203).
Now this is where morals enter a grey area. Earlier I stated that Riva stole information to save lives, which he did illegally, but it was defined as morally good. Now I present this Star Trek Voyager scene:
“Ethics are arbitrary”, and “It’s convenient to draw a line between higher and lower species…” are just a few grey areas due to perspective differences here. These grey areas make answering the question of what is humanity difficult. Are we able to do “bad/evil” things in the name of the greater good? Or does everything go on a case by case basis skipping long term benefits? One thing is for certain, it is all a matter of perspective.
Piercy, Marge. He, She And It. New York, The Random House Publishing Group. 1991.