Humans VS Animals
The question of the difference between humans and animals can be addressed in several different ways depending upon one’s perspective. For instance, from a biological point of view, humans are a lot different from other animals because we are the only species in the world who are conscious of the presence and therefore can think more creatively. This is why we are able to control other animals being intelligent species (Amiot et al., 2016). But if we look at our different social and biological needs, we are much similar to other animals.
For archeologists and historians, humans are an advanced species that is capable of complex reasoning and problem solving but they still consider us “rational animals”. Similarly, the very intense feeling of social relationships and their comprehension, as well as development, is another factor that makes humans different from other animals. Consider, for example, we are the only creation that is able to speak thousands of languages and transform natural resources into more useful and innovative products to sustain our mega societies reaching all corners of the world. So, in the light of these facts, we can conclude that humans are different from other animals but we first must specify the scope of our discussion.
Humans VS Machines
The fundamental difference between humans and machines is the biological life that humans possess. Machines, on the other hand, have a mechanical life that is limited in various ways. For example, our biological functions enable us to produce our next generation which means giving birth to life but machines by no means can produce new machines within themselves. Similarly, our emotions and cognitive abilities make a huge difference when comparing machines with ourselves. We have our own social reality, mutual relationships, adaptability, and level of comprehension of the natural phenomenon but machines are limited in their operations based on their specifications.
However, artificial intelligence is one such development in machine technology that can blur this cognitive difference between humans and robots (Guzman & Lewis, 2019). But still, if we compare the relative efficiencies and diverse functionalities of humans and artificially intelligent machines, humans are a lot more advanced than machines in terms of memory usage, learning processes, and decision making. Thus, we can argue that humans are different from machines depending upon the relevant aspects of life and intelligence. However, the definite differences between humans and machines include free will, empathy but conscience. But on the same hand, we can say for sure how future development in the field of technology will impact our today’s perception of machines.
Purpose of Life
It is as difficult to answer the question about the purpose of life as it to answer what was before the big bang. And therefore, several interpretations of life are available in the religious, sociological, philosophical, and biological context. However, there are some undeniable characteristics of humans that mainly shape our thinking and actions throughout life. Among which the most important is our social behavior, like other animals, that provides an inner sense of ourselves and make our life purposeful in some way. But this explanation is not enough to define our course of life.
Therefore, two very different explanations of life often become debatable. One is the scientific perspective that considers humans as an evolutionary product and the other is the religious perspective that portrays life as a test for humans prepared by God. Therefore, as we explore the questions of “who we are” and “where we are going”, we can never find their most satisfying answers without considering their context.
Amiot, C., Bastian, B., & Martens, P. (2016). People and Companion Animals: It Takes Two to Tango. BioScience, 66(7), 552–560. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biw051
Guzman, A. L., & Lewis, S. C. (2019). Artificial intelligence and communication: A Human–Machine Communication research agenda. New Media & Society, 146144481985869. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444819858691