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Nothing much humane about humanity

Sultan Ahmed

Issue date: 11/20/09 Section: Opinion
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I knew a student who had been injured during his service in the military. He walked with a limp and smoked cigarettes almost religiously. He may still; I can't be sure as I have lost contact with him. I spoke to this person one day about a human's experience of taking another life. He was clearly still affected by his experiences in the field. He said that he didn't know what to tell me; he did not know whether or not it is natural instinct for a human being to kill. He did tell me, however, that killing, for him at least, was "fun as hell."

Reminiscing about this palaver led me to my topic for this week, yet another broad philosophical consideration. The question I will address here is defining the term humanity and why it matters to war policy. I hear this term casually thrown around every day in conversation. Although, when I invite people to tell me what humanity is, they are hard pressed to find an adequate definition. There are people who will tell you that good governments should not torture because it damages our "humanity," because it brings us down to the immoral level of the same people we are torturing. There are those who will tell you that we should impose restrictions on war conduct because people may commit "inhumane" acts. There are those who will tell you we cannot invade another country just to take their resources. I contend that, until anybody provides me with a concrete definition of humanity, I cannot reasonably believe such claims.

When I look at situations such as those occurring in DRC Congo, Sri Lanka, Darfur, Pakistan, and Palestine, I tend to think that the connotation we assign the word "humanity" is a gross misinterpretation. Even in the United States, when I see that people are willing to bomb abortion clinics or burn homosexuals alive, I cannot bring myself to think that our natural human state is noble and just. No, it cannot be such.

I see humans as self-interested, insecure animals that violently attempt to climb the ladder of power and step on those that are different from them. It is a curious case then, that we should disallow torture in war time or disallow blanket fire bomb attacks. Why do we not allow the use of poison gas or child soldiers? Why do we cower away from what some would say is our naturally violent human self?
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    book report writers

    posted 11/23/09 @ 10:03 AM EST

    W? ALL are self-interested, insecure animals that violently attempt to climb the ladder of power and step on those that are different from us!

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    In This Issue


    • Can you name this place?
    • Class inspires students to start CSEC
    • CWRU's Eco-Party
    • Eyewitness: Editor-in-chief for a day
    • Have you heard about Grupo de Capoeira?
    • Spectrum's sixth annual Drag Ball takes place Saturday
    • The college student's guide to credit cards - Part 3
    • USG creates transparency committee to improve communication
    • USG Brief


    • Colts and Saints are NFL's teams to beat
    • Five thoughts on the '09 season
    • Football's success is built on this senior class
    • Men win Veale Classic
    • Spartan Spotlight: Erin Hollinger
    • Spartans cap perfect 10-0 regular season
    • Spartans get first-ever win against B-W
    • Women's basketball drops lidlifter

    Fun Page

    • Combo Scramble Solution
    • Crossword Solution
    • Sudoku Solutions


    • Discriminating against smokers again
    • Editorial: CWRU athletics' accomplishments praiseworthy
    • It takes two to have unsafe sex
    • Nothing much humane about humanity
    • SEC referendum deserves impartial consideration
    • The gap year: volunteering
    • Where is your favorite campus spot to chill, nap or relax?


    • American Music Masters Series wraps up week with Janis Joplin tribute
    • CIM graduate returns to Cleveland with jazz, cabaret aspirations
    • Delta Gamma swims for sight
    • Green is the new black: eco-friendly fashion
    • Hitting the spot: Atlas Sound
    • Holiday season with a cranberry craze
    • Latest installment in popular Call of Duty series improves on already high quality franchise
    • Sigma Psi hosts Mr. CWRU competition to benefit local communities
    • Starving Student: simple grub
    • The Buzz

    Cross Country

    • Women finish third in region, qualify for nationals


    • Bracket Breakdown
    • Football Gameday: Case vs. Trine

    Sex and Dating

    • Passive pregnancy prevention plan


    • Crooks UAA's Coach of the Year
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