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gr8teful's avatar

What is the best and worst attribute of being a human being?

Asked by gr8teful (510points) October 18th, 2011

What is the best and worst attribute of being a human being and is it possible through science or religious faith to change either of these?

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8 Answers

smilingheart1's avatar

The best attribute is the power to choose, the worst attribute is that many things happen to us and around us that we have zero control over!

mazingerz88's avatar

Best attribute is compassion. Worst is apathy. And yes, science and religion could influence both and strongly.

wonderingwhy's avatar

I think our potential is our best and greed our worst because of what is so often shapes our potential into.

KidCurtis's avatar

The best attribute in my opinion is the power to change who we are (albeit this can be painful and drawn out process) and the worst attribute is our innate malice.

judochop's avatar

Humans are the most innovative of any species. I think that creation is our strongest ability. Human beings worst attribute is surely our lack of respect for ourselves.
As far as I know, we are the only animal that will create something to improve our life knowing that the waste it causes or gases released while using it will slowly kill not only us but destroy the Earth and everything else on it accept bugs.

thorninmud's avatar

Humans have the capacity to transcend the self. We call that transcendence by different names, according to circumstances: love, compassion, generosity, heroism, courage, enlightenment…these are all instances of breaking out of the confines of self. We can do it in little ways, as when we’re spontaneously moved to give a hand to someone in need; and we can do it utterly, as when one manages to completely dispel the self-illusion.

Here, a word directed at you, @gr8teful, lest you misunderstand what I’ve said: to deliberately harm oneself with the misguided notion that it will help pay down one’s karmic burden is, at root, a selfish act, not a selfless one. Selfless acts come out of an unclouded realization of the oneness of all beings. Plotting to destroy yourself is evidence that you do not have that realization. Even though such an act may seem like something a selfless person would do, in fact it is corrupted through and through with self-delusion. Please reflect on this.

On the other hand, humans are just as liable to get trapped in self. That entrapment, too, has many names: greed, anger, hate, envy, cruelty, tribalism, thoughtlessness…all these are instances of being fooled by the illusion of self. We’re at our worst when acting under the spell of self.

thesparrow's avatar

Love is the best thing about human beings.

King_Pariah's avatar

For both, the paradox of emotion, its dizzying highs and its abysmal lows.

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