What should we treat as a person?

If you think of thinking ability as language ability, then logic is grammar, concept is vocabulary, and both are indispensable. The concept is the basic unit of our thinking. Every time we master a concept, we have one more vocabulary and a higher thinking ability.

Today I want to introduce you to two relative concepts, all of which are very important, but not very easy to understand. To help you better understand these two concepts, this article will be written in a way that is less informative.

These two concepts are, Personalization Personalization

Personalization: treating something as a person

What is “to be treated as a person”? Let me first explain what is not treated as a person.

Suppose I’m not tall enough to reach the heights, so I moved to a ladder and stood on the ladder to get something high. I treat this ladder as a person who is not treated as a person. I will carry the ladder simply and rudely, and I will not say “hard work, thank you” to the ladder. Even if I use this ladder very carefully, I will prevent the ladder from being damaged. This is also because I hope to use this ladder well in the future. I don’t care about this ladder in essence, at least not like I care about a person.

I also assume that I am not tall enough. This time I chose to find someone who is taller than me to help me get things high. Whether this person is a friend I have known for a long time, or a clerk who has never met, I can’t pick these people up and put them in a specific place, and then step on them to get something high. I will speak to them and make a request. I will worry about their refusal. If they do reject my request, I will also think they have the right to refuse. I will also express my gratitude after they have helped me. I will help you when the other party needs me to help. In short, I am concerned about these people, I will not use them as a tool like a ladder.

If human beings always treat people as human beings and non-human objects as human beings, then I don’t have to write this article today. It is precisely because human beings treat people who are not human beings as human beings, and treat things that should be treated as human beings as people, so the two concepts of personification and depersonalization are worth emphasizing.

Then, What human beings treat non-human objects as people?

Raised pet People can probably appreciate their attitude towards pets, whether it is a cute cat or a naughty puppy, or a fat hamster. As long as we have a lot of effort to raise pets, we all put in a sense They are treated as people. We will give these pets a name. After going out, they will worry about how they are doing well at home. If they are sick, we will rush to send them to the pet hospital. Some people who love dogs are even more important to see their own dogs. One of my friends joked that she went to the fridge to get a popsicle, and her mother would stop her, saying that the popsicles were specially bought for dogs.

In addition to pets, we will also put some natural phenomenon Treat as a person. When thundering, we may think that this is Ray’s anger, and we will even kneel down to Lei Gong’s head and offer some chicken or other food, hoping that the thunder will be angry. This is actually the personalization of a natural phenomenon, and then we begin to treat natural phenomena like a person. We use food to pray for rain or pray for rain. This is to regard “rain god” as a powerful person, which can be touched or bought by our gifts and our sincere attitude.

Sometimes we will also put some Property Treat as a person. a piece of time that a sculptor took a long time to make sculpture He/she may have a special feeling for this work. He will not regard it as a tool for exhibition, but treat it as his own child. I hope it will be recognized by others and will be taken care of by everyone. . A little girl may like some of her Plush toy She will treat this plush toy as a real friend. Sometimes we will also Fictional object Treat as a person, such as a character in a novel. A man may fall in love with the heroine in a novel, and he even decided not to look at other novels because he decided to remain specific to the fictional heroine.

There are some Abstract social organization It will also be treated as a person. This is the case in the class. Many teachers will ask students to have a sense of collective honor, to love their class, and not to harm the interests of the class. But the class does not exist, it is an abstract social structure. The teacher asked us to treat it as a person and ask us to love this person and protect it. The same is true of companies, countries and other concepts. The founder of a company may really love the company he founded and treat the company as his/her child. He/she will even ask his staff to love the company as much as they do. Nationals of many countries are also required to be patriotic, and they must love the country as a mother.

Treating non-human objects as people is not right or wrong. As long as we limit this tendency to ourselves, we will not personalize others and personalize what you personalize. You can treat your plush toys as people, but you can’t force others to treat your plush toys as human beings. You can treat a big tree as a personified tree, but you can’t force others to treat it as a tree god. You can treat your pet as a person, but you can’t force others to treat your pet as a person. You can treat your country as someone, but you can’t force others to treat your country as someone else. This sounds easy and hard to do. People always mistakenly think that their words and deeds are the only correct template in the world, and everyone should learn as themselves.

Personalization: Treating something that can be treated as a person is not treated as a person

If personification is only personal interest most of the time, it does not hinder the public, then Personalization is a life-threatening thing.

Everyone has a sympathy. When we see that others are hurt, we will not be physically hurt, but we will feel sad. This can be called a mirroring reaction. Mencius said that everyone has a heart of concealment. When a child is about to fall into the well, we can’t help but push our hand to reach out to the child, lest he fall into the well. Whether this child is a close relative or a stranger who does not know at all. Even the children of the enemy, we also need to use the willpower to suppress the urge to save people, in order to let the child fall into the well.

In other words, once we personalize an object, we can’t bear to hurt this object. We care about the immediate interests of this object, just as we care about our immediate interests. To depersonalize, it is precisely for us to treat this object as a person, not to care about the immediate interests of this object. As a result, people are more likely to hurt this object.

The first thing that is easy to be thought of is to personalize the object, that is, on the battlefield. enemy . If the soldiers on the battlefield treat the other person as a person, how can they bear to kill the other person? Therefore, we will personalize the enemies on the battlefield more or less, let our soldiers think that the human beings who belong to us as a species are actually demons, monsters, evil spirits, and let our soldiers not sympathize with the enemy. Heart, can kill each other cruelly and efficiently.

There are some patient For example, patients with leprosy have been extensively personified, and we will forcibly isolate these facial deformities caused by leprosy to somewhere so that they do not transmit leprosy to others. Severe mental patients will also be forced to go to a mental hospital for treatment. Everyone hates being exploited. This actually shows that we have personalized the people we use. These ones The people we use It is actually treated as a ladder-like tool. We pretend to care about these people and pretend to personalize these people. In fact, we want to use these people and want to personalize them. And the reason why we want to personalize these people is because if we don’t do this, we can’t bear to use them.

Even a person can put Own Also go to personification. For example, a person who intends to commit suicide may use himself as a tool to achieve a certain purpose (such as defrauding a family member for insurance money). However, it is a very controversial and complicated situation to personalize yourself. There is not much to talk about here.

Children, the elderly, women, blacks, Indians, rural people The crowd, etc., has also been more or less personalized. Children are considered to be immature people and cannot make decisions on their own and cannot access specific information. The elderly are considered to be the burden of society, and their temper is eccentric and difficult to serve. Women have no right to vote for a long time, and until modern times, women’s status gradually approached men. Blacks and Indians don’t say much, and urban people’s discrimination against rural people is also common in China.

I think everyone has already understood that to personalize a certain object is to treat the object as a person. It is a fact that people often depersonalize certain objects. but What we care most about is not the facts, but the norms.

In other words, what we care most about is not whether a person has personalized a thing. What we care most about is whether a person should personalize a thing.

This problem is very complicated. In ancient times, people would think that it is natural to depersonalize women, and today everyone will think that this is not good. In the period of the existence of slavery, it was taken for granted that the slaves were depersonalized, and today everyone is opposed to slavery. Today, some people think that not only human beings should be personalized, but also primates such as chimpanzees should be personalized, and even smarter animals such as dolphins should be included.

I don’t have a standard answer for everyone. There is no standard answer to this question. I tend to think that all human beings, regardless of gender, skin color, age, etc., need to be personalized. Special populations such as vegetatives and fetuses (people with intellectual disabilities and Alzheimer’s disease do not belong to this special group) can be depersonalized. All non-human objects (animals, natural phenomena, social organizations, objects, fictional objects, etc.) should not be personalized.

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