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For other uses, see Humanity (disambiguation).
I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity… ~ William Wordsworth
Love, hope, fear, faith — these make humanity;
These are its sign and note and character. ~ Robert Browning
There is no such thing as man in the world. In my lifetime I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; thanks to Montesquieu, I even know that one can be Persian. But as for man, I declare that I have never in my life met him; if he exists, he is unknown to me. ~ Joseph de Maistre
Our precious quality of humanity had been turned off, but in Emma's tears was the instruction for an awakening; and it spread like wildflowers... ~ The Last Mimzy
The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness... To recognize one’s own insanity, is of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Humanity is a term which commonly refers to the human species, mankind as a whole, or sets of qualities which are used to define human nature, the human condition, or to refer to any of the academic disciplines known as the humanities which study human culture.

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  • [AI] gets at the essence of what intelligence is, what humanity is, Anybody who has worked with AI for a while…realize[s] this is something so different and so deep that, we would need societal regulations to think about how to adapt... the most profound technology humanity is working on. More profound than fire or electricity or anything that we've done in the past.
    • [1] Sindair Pinchai
  • It is clear that so far human beings are not managing their world very well.... They... [are on a] planet which continues to roll unerringly upon its appointed path. The seasons follow each other with faithful regularity. Upon this revolving home they can find everything calculated to give them their hearts’ desires. Infinite beauties and infinite delights are theirs for the taking... There is sufficient space, sufficient nourishment and sufficient occupation for all.... Human beings have... amazing bodies, whose natural state is that of joyful health and energy. They have... mental powers whose possibilities are immeasurable, and creative ability which is allowing them to master all the substances and forces of nature one by one. They have been provided throughout their history with a succession of leaders and teachers who have bequeathed to them doctrines and laws which, although quite simple, would ensure an ideal social life... The picture before us of human quality and human achievement is kaleidoscopic, showing closely intermingling facets of beauty, of worth, of genius, of bestiality, of idiocy and of crime. ...Capable of creating beauty, he yet seems content to dwell mostly in conditions of hopeless ugliness. Of his magnificent body he makes on the whole a travesty. His mind, as an actual potent instrument, he usually ignores altogether. He sets self-preservation as his goal, yet bends all his efforts and his wits to the production of conditions which result in wars, disease, and other methods of self-destruction.
  • He sets self-preservation as his goal, yet bends all his efforts and his wits to the production of conditions which result in wars, disease, and other methods of self-destruction. His mental life must habituate itself to a code of contradictions, misfits, conflictions and inadequacies which inhibit coherent thought. In many ways the present life of humanity presents a quite mad spectacle to the unbiased eye. Yet withal, the average human being desires supremely to live happily and safely, to enjoy beauty and comfort and good-fellowship, and the stimulation of achievement. Where, then, is the missing link between man and his desires? What is the hidden error which dislocates his life? IT MUST BE FOUND. Until it is discovered arid recognized humanity will continue to wallow in the quagmire of confusion and destruction into which it has plunged. When powerful nations treat other nations without apology to anarchy, robbery, slaughter and persecution and the only remedy which can be found is further slaughter by those who would keep the peace (!), it is indeed no longer a world in which anyone can shirk the urgent responsibility for putting things straight, and for establishing a new and a better order.... It is the mentality of the public—made up of the mentalities of you and of myself—which rules the issue. We, and only we, are in the last analysis responsible.


  • The peoples of the world... are divided into four groups... This is of course a wide generalization... First, the ignorant masses... They can be easily... swept into a collective activity by leaders of any school of thought which is clever enough, and emotional enough, to appeal to material desires, to love of country... They can be controlled by fear, and thus aroused to action by emotional appeal... Their conditions must be bettered, but not through bloodshed and exploitation. Secondly, the middle classes... the bulk of the nations, the bourgeoisie - intelligent, diligent, enquiring, narrow-minded... They are...without exception, the most powerful element in any nation... the most fruitful field from which the new leaders and organizers are being drawn... they are the determining factor in world affairs... Because of their intelligence... they provide the most powerful group in the world in each nation... Thirdly, the thinkers...the intelligent and highly educated men and women, who sense ideas and formulate them into ideals. These people speak the words, write the articles and books, and utilise all the known methods to reach and educate the general public... sometimes for good, and sometimes for selfish ends. They play upon the human mind, as a musician plays upon his instrument... Some few, more perhaps than might appear, are working selflessly under the inspiration of the new era... dedicated to the amelioration of human conditions, and the betterment of world affairs along certain lines... They are found in every government, party, society, and organization... p.174-175
  • It is essential that all thinking people should give time and thought to the consideration of the major world problems with which we are now faced... It must be recognized that the cause of all world unrest, of the world wars which have wrecked humanity, and the widespread misery upon our planet, can largely be attributed to a selfish group with materialistic purposes, who have for centuries exploited the masses and used the labour of mankind for their selfish ends... This group of capitalists has cornered and exploited the world's resources and the staples required for civilised living; they have been able to do this because they have owned and controlled the world's wealth through their interlocking directorates, and have retained it in their hands. They have made possible the vast differences existing between the very rich and the very poor; they love money and the power which money gives; they have stood behind governments and politicians; they have controlled the electorate; they have made possible the narrow nationalistic aims of selfish politics; they have financed the world businesses and controlled oil, coal, power, light and transportation; they control publicly or sub rosa the world's banking accounts.
    The responsibility for the widespread misery to be found today in every country in the world, lies predominantly at the door of certain major interrelated groups of businessmen, bankers, executives of international cartels, monopolies, trusts and organisations, and directors of huge corporations, who work for corporate or personal gain. p. 70/1
  • To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves—these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himself.


  • A poor Irish Widow, her husband having died in one of the Lanes of Edinburgh, went forth with her three children, bare of all resource, to solicit help from the Charitable Establishments of that City. At this Charitable Establishment and then at that she was refused; referred from one to the other, helped by none;— till she had exhausted them all; till her strength and heart failed her: she sank down in typhus-fever; died, and infected her Lane with fever, so that 'seventeen other persons' died of fever there in consequence. The humane Physician asks thereupon, as with a heart too full for speaking, Would it not have been economy to help this poor Widow? She took typhus-fever, and killed seventeen of you!—Very curious. The forlorn Irish Widow applies to her fellow-creatures, as if saying, "Behold I am sinking, bare of help: ye must help me! I am your sister, bone of your bone; one God made us: ye must help me!" They answer, "No; impossible: thou art no sister of ours." But she proves her sisterhood; her typhus-fever kills them: they actually were her brothers, though denying it! Had man ever to go lower for a proof?

    For, as indeed was very natural in such case, all government of the Poor by the Rich has long ago been given over to Supply-and-demand, Laissez-faire and such like, and universally declared to be 'impossible.' "You are no sister of ours; what shadow of proof is there? Here are our parchments, our padlocks, proving indisputably our money-safes to be ours, and you to have no business with them. Depart! It is impossible!"

  • An inadvertent step may crush the snail
    That crawls at evening in the public path.
    But he that has humanity, forewarned,
    Will turn aside and let the reptile live.


Our school systems are all nonsynergetic. We take the whole child and fractionate the scope of his or her comprehending... to become preoccupied with elements or isolated facts only... We may well ask how it happened that the entire scheme of advanced education is devoted exclusively to ever narrower specialization. We find that the historical beginnings of schools and tutoring were established, and economically supported by illiterate and vastly ambitious warlords who required a wide variety of brain slaves with which to logistically and ballistically overwhelm those who opposed their expansion of physical conquest... The warlord made all those about him differentiators and reserved the function of integration to himself. ~ Buckminster Fuller
  • We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. . . . In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding... It has also resulted in the individual's leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which, in turn, leads to war.
  • Lack of knowledge concerning all the factors and the failure to include them in our integral imposes false conclusions.
  • The youth of humanity all around our planet are intuitively revolting from all sovereignties and political ideologies. The youth of Earth are moving intuitively toward an utterly classless, raceless, omnicooperative, omniworld humanity. Children freed of the ignorantly founded educational traditions and exposed only to their spontaneously summoned, computer-stored and -distributed outflow of reliable-opinion-purged, experimentally verified data, shall indeed lead society to its happy egress from all misinformedly conceived, fearfully and legally imposed, and physically enforced customs of yesterday. They can lead all humanity into omnisuccessful survival as well as entrance into an utterly new era of human experience in an as-yet and ever-will-be fundamentally mysterious Universe.


  • You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World (1954), by Louis Fischer, p. 177


  • In all respects, we are one humanity, one human family. Limitations arise from political beliefs and world leaders who hold thinking to time, place and culture, thereby creating differences and separateness. The birthright of all mankind is to love and follow God. Limitations arise from erroneous human beliefs.
  • One can follow any religion, one can follow any practice or path, but one must be humane.
  • The world now is in a state of turmoil. It is suffering from three kinds of pain – physical, mental, spiritual – and there is only one way of being cured from these. We have to root out inhumanity and replace it with humanity. (…) There are people in this world who, when they see someone else’s house burning, are happy. There are people who want to live in comfort at the expense of the labor of others. There is only one God, who created all men in His image. This is why we have to re-establish humanity.
  • The third assumption, and by far the most pernicious, is a behavioral model that describes human beings as something called "homo economicus," which basically means that we are all perfectly selfish, perfectly rational and relentlessly self-maximizing. But just ask yourselves, is it plausible that every single time for your entire life, when you did something nice for somebody else, all you were doing was maximizing your own utility? Is it plausible that when a soldier jumps on a grenade to defend fellow soldiers, they're just promoting their narrow self-interest? If you think that's nuts, contrary to any reasonable moral intuition, that's because it is and, according to the latest science, not true. But it is this behavioral model which is at the cold, cruel heart of neoliberal economics, and it is as morally corrosive as it is scientifically wrong because, if we accept at face value that humans are fundamentally selfish, and then we look around the world at all of the unambiguous prosperity in it, then it follows logically, then it must be true by definition, that billions of individual acts of selfishness magically transubstantiate into prosperity and the common good.
  • But, if... we accept the latest empirical research, real science, which correctly describes human beings as highly cooperative, reciprocal and intuitively moral creatures, then it follows logically that it must be cooperation and not selfishness that is the cause of our prosperity, and it isn't our self-interest but rather our inherent reciprocity that is humanity's economic superpower.
  • Now, the old economics is correct, of course, that competition plays a crucial role in how markets work, but what it fails to see is that it is largely a competition between highly cooperative groups -- competition between firms, competition between networks of firms, competition between nations -- and anyone who has ever run a successful business knows that building a cooperative team by including the talents of everyone is almost always a better strategy than just a bunch of selfish jerks.
  • the plea of humanity is lost by going through the process of law, the firm and manly tone of principle is exchanged for the wavering and pitiful cant of policy, the living bursts of passion are reduced to a defunct common-place, and all true imagination is buried under the dust and rubbish of learned models and imposing authorities.
  • The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. They want to turn the world into a sickroom. And once they get humanity strapped to the operating table, they operate on it with an ax.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955), Section 124.
  • It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. … Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. In a Communist state love of neighbor may be classed as counter-revolutionary.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 11: Brotherhood.
  • The impulse of power is to turn every variable into a constant, and give to commands the inexorableness and relentlessness of laws of nature. Hence absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 15 : The Unnaturalness Of Human Nature.
  • A man discovers what he is actually worth in this world when he faces society as a man, without money, name, or powerful connections, stripped of all but his native potentialities. He soon finds that nothing has less weight than his human qualities. They are prized so low that the market does not even list them. Strict science, which acknowledges man only as a biological concept, reflects man’s lot in the actual world; in himself, man is nothing more than a member of a species. In the eyes of the world, the quality of humanity confers no title to existence, nay, not even a right of sojourn. Such title must be certified by special social circumstances stipulated in documents to be presented on demand.
    • Max Horkheimer, “The latest attack on metaphysics,” Critical Theory: Selected Essays (1982), p. 137
  • I have written for all, with a profound love for my own country, but without being engrossed by France more than by any other nation. In proportion as I advance in life, I grow more simple, and I become more and more patriotic for humanity.


  • The ... sentiment of the equality before God of all his creatures ... tends to nullify man's usual acquisitiveness. Those who have it spurn dignities and honors, privileges and advantages, preferring ... to grovel on the common level before the face of God. It is not exactly the sentiment of humility, though it comes so close to it in practice. It is humanity, rather, refusing to enjoy anything that others do not share.


  • Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
    • Immanuel Kant, Idea for a General History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784), Proposition 6.
  • For it is humanity which is the great Orphan, the only disinherited one upon this earth, my friend. And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse to do something, however little, for its welfare. Poor, poor humanity! it reminds me of the old fable of the war between the Body and its members: here, too, each limb of this huge "orphan"—fatherless and motherless—selfishly cares but for itself. The body uncared for suffers internally, whether the limbs are at war or at rest. Its suffering and agony never ceases. . . . And who can blame it — as your materialistic philosophers do— if, in this everlasting isolation and neglect it has evolved gods, unto whom "it ever cries for help but is not heard!"
    • Koot Hoomi, The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, Letter No. VIII, p. 32-33, (1923)
  • Man isn't a noble savage, he's an ignoble savage. He is irrational, brutal, weak, silly, unable to be objective about anything where his own interests are involved—that about sums it up. I'm interested in the brutal and violent nature of man because it's a true picture of him. And any attempt to create social institutions on a false view of the nature of man is probably doomed to failure.


  • There is no such thing as man in the world. In my lifetime I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; thanks to Montesquieu, I even know that one can be Persian. But as for man, I declare that I have never in my life met him; if he exists, he is unknown to me.


  • I dread to think of a society devoid of love, compassion and humanity.
    • Suman Pokhrel, I dread to think of a society devoid of love, compassion and humanity, (An interview with Romain Molina)


  • To us who regard [Jesus]as the unique revelation of God, the unfolding of the divine life under human forms, he is the ultimate standard of moral and spiritual life, the perfect expression of the will of God for humanity, the categorical imperative with a human heart. But very many who do not hold this belief in a formulated way or who feel compelled to deny it, including an increasing portion of our Jewish fellow-citizens, will still consent that in Jesus our race has reached one of its highest points, if not its crowning summit thus far, so that Jesus Christ is a prophecy of the future glory of humanity, the type of Man as he is to be. Christianizing means humanizing in the highest sense.
  • Its Humanity develops fully only in the Fourth—our Fourth—our present Round. Up to this fourth Life-Cycle, it is referred to as 'humanity' only for lack of a more appropriate term. Like the grub which becomes chrysalis and butterfly, Man, or rather that which becomes man, passes through all the forms and kingdoms during the first Round and through all the human shapes during the two following Rounds... During the three Rounds to come, Humanity, like the globe [planet] on which it lives, will be ever tending to reassume its primeval form, that of a Dhyan-Chohanic Host. Man tends to become a God and then—GOD, like every other atom in the Universe...
  • Mimzy returned to her own time, as if time had stopped. It was what the scientist had hoped for — to find a soul in the past not contaminated by the pollutants that filled our bodies and minds. Our precious quality of humanity had been turned off, but in Emma's tears was the instruction for an awakening; and it spread like wildflowers. People shed their protective suits. And over time humanity blossomed again. Our world was saved by a child, very much like you. Emma was our mother, the mother of us all.


  • There are no "human" oppressors. Oppressors have lost their humanity.
    • Bernie Sanders, "Man – and Woman" in Vermont Freeman (Mid-February 1972)
  • How could we be were it not for this planet that provided our very shape? Two conditions—gravity and livable temperature range between freezing and boiling—have given us fluids and flesh. The trees we climb and the ground we walk on have given us five fingers and toes. The "place"... gave us far-seeing eyes, the streams and breezes gave us versatile tongues and whorly ears. The land gave us a stride, and the lake a dive. The amazement gave us our kind of mind.


  • When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole?
  • The greatest achievement of humanity is not its works of art, science, or technology, but the recognition of its own dysfunction, its own madness. In the distant past, this recognition already came to a few individuals. A man called Gautama Siddhartha, who lived 2,600 years ago in India, was perhaps the first who saw it with absolute clarity. Later the title Buddha was conferred upon him. Buddha means “the awakened one.” At about the same time, another of humanity’s early awakened teachers emerged in China. His name was Lao Tzu. He left a record of his teaching in the form of one of the most profound spiritual books ever written, the Tao Te Ching. To recognize one’s own insanity, is of course, the arising of sanity, the beginning of healing and transcendence.
  • Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don't get off, you will go down with it. The collective egoic mind is the most dangerously insane and destructive entity ever to inhabit this planet.
    • Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth:Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, p. 67, (2005)
  • If the balance between male and female energies had not been destroyed on our planet, the ego's growth would have been greatly curtailed. We would not have declared war on nature, and we would not be so completely alienated from our Being.
  • Nobody knows the exact figure because records were not kept, but it sees certain that during a three hundred year period between three and five million women were tortured and killed by the “Holy Inquisition, “ an institution founded by the Roman Catholic Church to suppress heresy. This sure ranks together with the Holocaust as one of the darkest chapters in human history. It was enough for a woman to show a love for animals, walk alone in the fields or woods, or gather medicinal plants to be branded a witch, then tortured and burned at the stake. The sacred feminine was declared demonic, and an entire dimension largely disappeared form human experience. Other cultures and religions, such as Judaism, Islam, and even Buddhism, also suppressed the female dimension, although in a less violent way. Women's status was reduced to being child bearers and men's property. Males who denied the feminine even within themselves where now running the world, a world that was totally out of balance. The rest is history or rather a case history of insanity.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.Most humans are still in the grip of the egoic mode of consciousness: identified with their mind and run by their mind. If they do not free themselves from their mind in time, they will be destroyed by it. They will experience increasing confusion, conflict, violence, illness, despair, madness. Egoic mind has become like a sinking ship. If you don't get off, you will go down with it.


  • America’s most important ally should be humanity itself. Our species will not survive another 100 years if we don’t move from a competitive to a cooperative mode of existence. “Me first” is an obsolete, unsustainable perspective.
  • For the interesting and inspiring thing about America, gentlemen, is that she asks nothing for herself except what she has a right to ask for humanity itself.
    • Woodrow Wilson, speech at the luncheon of the Mayor of New York (17 May 1915).


  • I can see no hope for humanity so long as one's right to live depends upon one's ability to pay the cost of living imposed by those who exploit our daily needs.


Jean-Luc Picard: Oh, I know "Hamlet". And what he might say with irony I say with conviction. "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty. In form, in moving, how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a god."
Q: Surely you don't see your species like that, do you?
Jean-Luc Picard: I see us becoming that, Q. Is it that which concerns you?

See also

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