When does a person stop being human?

Philosophy What does being human mean?

By Uwe Golz

DNA strands (imago / Science Photo Library)

Scientifically, being human is more or less easily explained: egg cell, sperm, DNA. But what do scientists understand about feelings and empathy? Only then does being human begin, the art of becoming human, as Novalis put it.

"Two souls live, alas! In my breast, one wants to separate from the other; one clings to the world with clinging organs; the other forcibly lifts herself from the dust; to the realms of high ancestors" , lets Goethe say his Faust and that is exactly what reveals the dilemma of "being human".

Man and his humanity contradict each other. The search for one's own advantage so often suppresses empathy for the other. Fear of the unknown, of the stranger, often leads to inhuman emotions that are also so human. With his vision of the homo superior, the superman, Friedrich Nietzsche took up and continued the thoughts of the French materialist philosopher Helvétius. But the idea of ​​a superior person is a dream that dates back to the first century BC. Was dreamed of.

Friedrich Schlegel once wrote: "The flat person judges all other people like people, but treats them like things and does not understand at all that they are other people than him." Albert Camus said: "Man is the only creature that is reluctant to be what it is." But let us leave William Shakespeare's closing words, or rather his Hamlet:

"What a masterpiece man is! How noble through reason! How unlimited in abilities! In form and movement how important and wonderful! In action like an angel! In understanding how like a god! The adornment of the world! The model of the living." ! And yet, what is this quintessence of dust to me? I have no pleasure in men and women. "

Musical histories

In Mike Howlett's formation "Strontium 90" on May 28, 1977 Messrs. Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, better known as Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland played together for the first time. After Howlett broke up his band, the three stayed together and started a world career as The Police. The trio was characterized by the amalgamation of different styles and became one of the most successful bands of the post-punk movement in the 70s and 80s. In 2008 they separated and the musicians went their own musical ways. Hits like "Every Breath You Take" or "Message in a Bottle" have remained.

The band "The Police" with singer Sting (left) performing in the early 80s. (imago / United Archives)

Who wrote the words for this song?

Denouement: Erich Mühsam


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Resolution: Augsburger Puppenkiste

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