What measure is a non-human?


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Guardian of the Description Thread
A miserable pile of secrets!

Wait, no. That's not right.
"My father told me this would happen."
A worthless protoplasm.
The TM is for Totally Magical.
Perhaps you approach this from the wrong angle. What measure a human? If we ask a scientist, we will learn the following:

A human has certain features that defines it. It has two eyes with which to see, positioned in the middle of the face so that its center of sight balances its overall equilibrium. It has two ears at the sides of his head so that it may hear approaching predators. It has a mouth at the lower part of its face so that it may take sustenance and communicate distress.

It has legs with which it may flee. It has hands and a nose to keep it from running into walls. These features are mandatory in the design of the human, for these are the features that stimulate intelligence.

Yet by this measure, every vertebrate animal on Earth would qualify as a human, and if you ask a scientist, that is as it should be. The reason:

On an alien world there will be different features that define intellect. Eyes will not number the same, or sight will be generated by something else entirely. Hands need not be the only thing that can manipulate the world to a fine degree. Tentacles or some other unimagined appendage would more than suffice. Sustenance need not be taken through a mouth, nor does a living thing need a mouth to communicate.

Where on other planets we may see these differences, just as we are similar to the animals of our world, so should we expect aliens to be similar to the animals of their world. Therefore, it is proper to define the other animals of this planet as human, for this defines the things we have in common.
Well if its a centipede it could measure up to 12 inches! ... But I guess a non-human wouldn't use inches. What would it use? Perhaps that is the real question!

pianotm, you might want to reconsider your wording, because it could be very easily twisted into "deformed people aren't human". Also, how the hell do noses prevent you from running into walls? By the time your nose touches the wall its probably already broken!
The TM is for Totally Magical.

It's not actually my definition, and I thought the same thing when I saw noses. Now, I was reciting from memory, so this wasn't word for word. The more I thought about, the more I thought, "Maybe the scientist was saying the nose is there to keep you from breaking the rest of your face..."

As for deformed humans, not necessarily. You see, a deformed still has all of the underlying necessary traits in his or her overall structure, however they may be deleted by loss of limb or other feature. Furthermore, deformed humans would, while not necessarily possessing these features, would inherit the birthright of intelligence from those that do.
As a klutz extraordinaire I can tell you from extensive personal experience scientific testing that noses prevent jack shit from happening to the rest of your face. Of course, some claim that there may be some personal bias in my studies, and that I lacked a control group, but do you have any idea how hard it is to find noseless people willing to suffer repeated facial injury in the pursuit of science!?
IMO, it depends on your attachment to said non-human. Some place all their love and care in pets and consider them equal to or above the worth of humans. Others care nothing for anything that is non-human and still others see other humans as equal to non-humans but on a lower level to themselves.

There's really no set definition or measurement of worth, just as there is not set measurement of worth between different people - how do you choose to save a friend over a stranger? To you the friend has more worth than the random person. But then at what point does your friend not equal as much as someone else? It's entirely subjective. Some would choose their friends over the world, some would sacrifice a friend when a certain amount of lives equal the balance they put their friends on and still some would give up a friend for their own life. It's very, very subjective.
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