What is it that makes us humans? Most people would say it’s that we’re the most intelligence species out there. Now while that may be debatable in practice (see: the history of the world) it does hold some merit. Sort of.
This won’t be a very long post but I disagree with intelligence being the definer of humanity. Intelligence alone is pretty much useless – it is an amplifying quality, absolutely, that only holds esteem if paired with something else. Intelligence without passion and curiosity is null and void; intelligence and selfishness is a recipe for disaster; and intelligence plus compassion is what makes all the difference in the world. No matter what you pair it with, however, the number one definer of humanity – as far as I’m concerned – is drive and discourse.
Our ability – no, our desire – to engage in debates, conversations, to draw up complete manifestos or works of art is what defines us. If we weren’t inclined towards wanting to share ideas, or towards discussing them, all our intelligence would have no point.
Only then does intelligence guide the course of discussion – but even then, it’s not alone. Then come your values, beliefs, optimism, pessimism, conflict verses consensus, theism verses humanism, idealism verses pragmatism etc. Perhaps your understanding/interpretation of these concepts is intertwined with your own inherent intelligence, but the two are not mutually exclusive either. Intelligence is not monolithic – hence, it cannot be considered the base of humanity either, in my opinion. And it can never be taken alone.
This idea probably opens up a whole other can of worms in terms of education, society, culture, religion etc and I’d love to hear differing ideas on this! There’s so many questions that could follow too and I’m open to forming new ideas and opinions or evolving my own. I’d love to engage people in a friendly discussion on this topic so don’t be shy!