The Philosophy Of Human Nature

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The Philosophy of Human Nature
For centuries, the world’s most brilliant philosophers, anthropologists, and theologians have curiously pondered the origins of humanity, and posed the tantalizing question: What does it mean to be human? In 1758, Carl Linnaeus, father of taxonomy, biologically classified human beings as Homo sapiens, the last surviving species of the Homo genus. Linnaeus’ distinction was based primarily on physical similarities in the bodily structures of humans and primates, but would quickly incite a great deal of both skepticism and inquisitiveness regarding the evolutionary history of human beings, even 100 years before Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species would suggest that human characteristics were a product of
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French philosopher, Rene Descartes expanded on Plato’s ideas by construing people as “thinking spirits”, while German philosopher, Karl Marx, implied that human nature was all about social relations, and could be best observed via the progression of history.
Religion also played a major role in these many diverse perspectives. Judeo-Christians believed that humankind originated from God, bore his divine image, and was instructed to “rule over all creation.” Adversely, Buddhists and Hindus considered consciousness and desire to be the genuine marks of humanness. These many conflicting interpretations leave the true spirit of human nature ambiguously unclear, but do reveal certain indisputable human qualities. One of which, is man’s age-old fascination with morality.
Morality, or ethics, concerns the distinction between what is right and wrong or good and bad behavior. One’s definition of moral conduct may have various influences including, but not limited to, his/her religious beliefs, cultural norms, and personal experiences. Religious individuals traditionally believe that morality comes from God. Throughout sacred religious texts from different parts of the world, notably the Christian Bible, the Jewish Torah, and the Holy Quran of Islam, the virtuous commandments of each belief system’s Supreme Being are professed. Religion sets a rigid framework for morality, and gives people a candid motive to obey its principles. However, morals, as well the notion of God
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