Yod the human
In my opinion Marge Piercy’s character Yod should be considered human. To be human I think that a being must be partly biological, capable of higher intelligence, and have a range of human emotions. Yod demonstrates on multiple occasions that he does react like a human to impulses from his brain, that could be considered emotions. One example is when he is talking to Shira and mentions that he feels things no differently than she does. He explains that both humans and cyborgs have basically been programmed to like or dislike things (Piercy 106). This idea that humans are programmed like Yod shows how he can be considered human.
However, programming is only one piece of what is required to be human, I think. Yod proves how intelligent he is multiple times in the book. One example is when he has to come up with solutions around Y-S’s defenses (Piercy 266-275). This ability to access a situation and come to a working solution shows that Yod is capable of higher intelligence.
Another reason why Yod should count as human is because he is a biological being. As Shira points out that the human race has had to modify itself to its surroundings and she says in the book. “We are all cyborgs, Yod” (Piercy 150). Shira also goes on to tell Yod that basically he is where humanity is headed in evolution. An example that seems to prove Shira right is Nili’s adaptaions to living in the nuclear waste land that was Israel. Nili describes how the children are basically genetically engineered, and then they become further modified after birth (Piercy 198). Also, earlier she admitted that she herself as a modified being was just as illegal as Yod (Piercy 197). These technological modifications seem to be the only way that people can survive out in the Raw.
In my opinion since humans like Nili are still considered humans cyborgs like Yod should also be considered human. They both share all the basic qualities that make people human.
On a side note this discussion made me think of a White Zombie song entitled “More Human than the Human”. The reason why the song reminded me of the discussion is because of the idea that cyborgs could have been or could be created to help humanity regain elements of their own nature that they had lost.
Marge Piercy, He, She, and It (New York: Ballantine Books, 1991)