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What are human beings Are they animals What does it mean to be rational Well, first of all, human beings are classified as having the characteristics of man as opposed to animals, divine creature and machines. Second of all, human beings are classified as social animals so truly, they are animals. Lastly, to be rational is to be reasonable or logical. So we come down to the ultimate question: Are human beings rational animals
In order to simply begin answering this question we need to consider both human and animal characteristics and where they are intertwined with each other. Generally speaking, human beings have highly developed brains capable of intangible logic, language, and critical thinking. They possess the desire to understand and influence the environment around them. They seek knowledge through philosophy, science or mythology which then leads to the development of advanced tools and abilities. Also, humans create complex social organizations which form the basis of the diverse human society. In order to do so, they have uniquely developed systems of communication for expression of thoughts and ideas. So I think we can agree that humans are exceptional. Despite all of these characteristics unique to only humans, there are others which are known to both humans and animals. Both species eat, breathe, drink, sleep, adapt to surroundings, reproduce, and evolve through time. These characteristics are the main ones that are commonly shared between the two groups. Also, according to science, they are both categorized into the Animal Kingdom. So, scientifically speaking, human beings are animals which merely possess some more complex characteristics than the animals we have come to know.
So, if we were to take science out of the picture, would humans still be considered animals I think that the answer to this question is quite debatable because sure, they share some common characteristics but doesn??™t rationality play quite a major role in the picture Notice that all of the common characteristics between humans and animals have to do with survival. They are knowledge that we are born with because it??™s instinctual. Humans didn??™t learn to breathe or eat or sleep, it just came naturally to them ever since they were babies, as it does for animals. In truth, the only characteristic humans share with animals is the instinct of survival. According to dictionary.com, an instinct is an inborn pattern of activity or tendency to an action common to a given biological species. So basically, the instinct they share has to do with their biological make-up and need for survival. Other than that characteristic, humans and animals share nothing in common so if it weren??™t for the instinct of survival, humans would not be considered animals. This is because in order to place two things in the same category, they must have something in common and the more they have in common, the more they are subcategorized together. So if we took out science, they would not be grouped together at all, but we can??™t simply ignore this general characteristic between the two species so they are both placed in the Animal Kingdom. However, because humans and animals share only one characteristic together, they are categorized together but only as the general term animals and nothing more. This is important to know because if they are not together in any subcategories, but only in the overall one, we can safely conclude that they only have few characteristics in common. This is because other than that one common thing, they each flow into different subcategories or divisions because of their variations.
Now, let??™s take a deeper look into the human characteristics. First of all, they possess the ability to communicate with one another to express their thoughts and feelings. How does someone know if they are happy or sad They simply communicate it either through their facial expressions or speech. An animal cannot go up to any other animals and simply tell them how they feel or what they think. True, they have simple forms of communication which can express hunger, love, or anger but they cannot express specific thoughts or ideas. I think that this difference plays a major role as to why humans are more advanced than animals. Another major role is the difference between their physical features. Humans have a balance between the physical characteristics of action, strength, flexibility, etc. Animals, however, possess only some of these traits depending on the animal and sometimes, in an imbalanced approach. For example, an elephant has excessive strength but does not have the quality of flexibility. His strength is too much and his flexibility is too little leaving these characteristics imbalanced. Another example can be shown in lions. They are very strong but they lack the ability to use their hands for grasp. Instead, they are forced to hold onto something with their teeth unlike humans, which are free to grasp onto anything they wish. These characteristics make humans superior over animals because of the balance in them. The ability of abstract reasoning is another important characteristic exceptional to human beings. They can creatively expand their imagination and apply it to their daily lives. For example, how did humans come to use numbers in our daily lives They weren??™t just there in plain sight; humans had to come up with them. It was their sense of abstract reasoning that showed humans the great importance of numbers. Also, human beings came to know numbers because they have the desire for knowledge. They actually sat there and thought about what they could be used for. Up to this day, we still used numbers in our daily lives. We tell the time and date with numbers; they are the basis of mathematics; and without them, we would not be able to count anything. Throughout time, human beings have been able to adapt to the environment for their convenience by developing technology and culture. An example to this could be the calculator. Instead of attempting to solve exceedingly difficult questions using our brain, we simply use this invention called the calculator. This piece of technology has simplified our mathematics by saving us much time and making math a more convenient subject to us. We can agree that humans are superior among all animals in that they possess characteristics which are exceedingly unique and exceptional causing them to rise to the top of the pyramid in the Animal Kingdom because of their advancement.
Considering all of these qualities possessed by humans, is being rational one of them Like I said before, to be rational is to be logical or reasonable. For example, human beings were logical in developing the number system. They used their complex brains to think about it and comprehend what it meant to create it. Back in the day, their only means of communication was to actually send a message through people, which proved to take days sometimes even months. Now, humans have the sophisticated technologies such as the iPhone or Blackberry which can be used to send a message halfway across the world in a mere second. So to say, human beings have the ability to be rational whenever they please which is proved by their great advancement through time. However, there are many instances when they demonstrate some setbacks in decision making which advocates to us that they are quite irrational. Sometimes, our daily lives are enough to prove our mistakes and irrationality. Human beings have become occupied in smoking, drinking, violence, drug abuse and many other unhealthy activities. They have come so far in this day and age, yet they still engage in these irrational activities, why Human beings go to war as a way to solve problems consequently killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. They know it??™s wrong yet they still do it. When someone is very violent or aggressive they call him an animal yet going to war doesn??™t make all these soldiers animals When we decide to ignore our rationality and logic, we can become as irrational and unreasonable as any other animal. It has been proven that human beings are uniquely rational when they choose to be and irrational when they choose to ignore their rationality.
So, are human beings rational animals There cannot be an exact answer to such a crucial question. Human beings are classified in the same group as animals as they are both in the Animal Kingdom according to scientists. They only share the common characteristic of the instinct for survival. However, when human beings decide to ignore rationality, they also share the common trait of irrationality. Human beings are rational animals when they want to be and this is proven in the excessive advancement they have made throughout history. They have though logically and reasonably in many situations thus discovering and developing many thoughts and ideas which bring us to the development of this greatly technological day and age. Unfortunately, human beings have demonstrated extreme irrationality when they suddenly decided to ignore their rationality. This is confirmed by the fact that they have purposely engaged in actions knowing that there is harm emanating from them. To conclude this question, we can say that human beings are rational animals but they just have to take notice of it instead of ignoring it, which will then cause them to behave just like animals by being irrational.

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