Define What Human and Humanity Mean

Paper Type: 
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1397 Words
Date:  2021-03-10

People often question themselves whether they humane or not. What is humanity and what traits should a person have in order to be considered humane? How humanity manifests and many other related questions. Dictionaries offer a wide range of definitions what humanity means. For example, it can be defined as Humanity is the human race, which includes everyone on Earth. Its also a word for the qualities that make us human, such as the ability to love and have compassion, be creative, and not be a robot or alien. The word humanity derives from the Latin word humanitas that stands for human nature and kindness. Humanity may include all the human beings, but it also refers to the feelings of care and compassion that people express to each other. When it comes to humanity, it can mean the whole mankind. Nevertheless, there is a sense of humanity when people donate money to cure seriously ill people or to feed children who suffer from starvation. It is a caring, kind and sympathetic attitude towards living creatures, especially, when they are in difficult situations or suffer from any sort of life ordeals ("Humanity").

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Another dictionary gives the following definition of humanity: The quality of being human; the peculiar nature of man, by which he is distinguished from other beings.

The quality of being humane: the kind feelings, dispositions, and sympathies of man, especially, a disposition to relieve people or animals in distress, and to treat all creatures with kindness and tenderness ("Humanity").

Both these definitions are closely interwoven and restate the idea that humanity is a humans quality that manifests in positive actions and rather caring attitude to living creatures. These traits and qualities distinguish people from other beings that live on Earth. Humanity means taking care of others when there is a possibility to do this. Moreover, it is important to help others at times when this aid is mostly needed. An individual who manifests the sense of humanity should forget about selfish interests and focus his attention on those who need assistance. Being human means to show a tremendous sense of love to others and do not wait for reward or appreciation. A humane person is able not to mention insults and to overcome obstacles and losses with his head high. When a human expresses his altruistic nature and forgets about self-interests in order to concentrate on deeds that are of benefit to others. The main character traits that a humane person possesses are compassion, sympathy, kindness and altruism.

After reading and analyzing the characters of the novel written by Philip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? it is possible to select a character that stands out against a background of others displaying his kind and altruistic nature. His name is John R. Isidore. He is one of the protagonists of this novel who represents a congenital sense of altruism towards living creatures. John is a special person because he possesses so-called distorted genes and after failing the minimum mental faculties test, he was named a chickenhead. Nevertheless, he is glad that he was able to survive and furthermore, he has a job. He works as a pickup and delivery truck driver for the firm that repairs electric animals. The fact that he appreciates in his job mostly is that people accept him as human and John Isidore is even grateful for such an attitude to him. His loving and caring nature developed in his nice childhood. He loved and still loves all living creatures that live on Earth, especially the animals and from time to time he was even able to revive them. Being captured and arrested by killers, Isidore did not lose his caring attitude to living species. His firm belief in Mercerism makes him think that sufferings will lead him to the sense of collective empathy. John is a character who lives for others sake. Loneliness kills him, therefore, he is extremely glad to meet a person who will live near him. He is ready to give everything that he has whether it is a cube of margarine or a bottle of champagne to gladden others and to look after somebody. He does not care about his status and money. The only thing that he desires to do is to give somebody every attention and care. When Pris Stratton appears in the house, John starts taking care of her. He prepares dinner for her and dreams of teaching Pris how to cook. The only question that he keeps in his mind is how can he help her? Isidore has a wish to be helpful and tries to give his care to Pris. When androids begin living with Isidore, they take advantage of him, but he does not take notice of it. He has an idea in his mind: You have to be with other people in order to live at all. I'm dependent on them. Thank god they stayed (ch. 18). This statement underlines his wish not to be lonely and the fact that he has somebody to take care of stimulates him to be generous and altruistic.

Another manifestation of Johns kind and caring nature is the incident with a cat. Isidore was not able to tell the difference between a real cat and an electric one because they are all alive for him and he takes care of them in the same way. Both real and mechanic animals arouse positive emotions in his soul and he tries to do his best to help them. John has an overwhelming feeling of happiness when he looks after living creature. So, when he discovers a real spider, he wants to share his joy with others. John is stunned when he sees how androids torture a little spider. He feels as he has the same sufferings as this harmless creature. When Mercer returns him a repaired spider, John restates his principals that life continues in community and empathy. So, in order to protect this spider from androids, John releases it to the drooping weeds.

Isidore displays his kind and thoughtful nature when he does not tell Rick Deckard the number of the apartment where androids live because he still tries to protect them and due to the fact that he thinks that he is in responsible for them.

To sum up, John R. Isidore is the character who mostly displays the qualities of a humane person. According to the definition of the word humanity, these qualities are: kindness, empathy, compassion, altruism and care for living creatures who surround an individual. John takes care of animals and androids. It does not matter for him if these animals are real or electric or whether it is andy or human being. Isidore shows these traits when he acts in a certain way. Firstly, he always searches for a person to take care of. His dream is to be helpful. He displays his excessive sense of care when he meets Pris. He prepares a dinner for her, invites her to share with him a bottle of champagne and tries to be extremely pleasant and caring. Secondly, he shows the sense of altruism when he does not care the fact that androids take advantage of him. Thirdly, he remains to be thoughtful even when androids torture his spider. So, this character can be considered to be humane because he does not think about himself and manifest selfish interests. He lives for the sake of other people and desires to take care of them. He wants to show empathy and live in a community in order to avoid loneliness and to be helpful. Supporting his desires with ideas of Mercerism, he believes that people should be compassionate and kind.

Being ugly and having a nickname a chickenhead, John possesses a pretty and kind soul that stimulates him to manifest his innate altruism, empathy, and love to others. So, the author wanted to show the reader that a humane person is not an individual who is beautiful. His inner world and actions are more important than his appearance. A humane person will always think about others and then about himself. Humanity means kindness, care, and generosity. Thus, John R. Isidore acting in an altruistic way and taking care of all living creatures fulfills the definition of a humane person.

Work Cited

"Humanity". Web. 3 Mar. 2016.

"Humanity. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.

Cite this page

Define What Human and Humanity Mean. (2021, Mar 10). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism