Humans are incredibly complex and advanced creatures. All though human beings appear quite intelligible, no human has perfect knowledge. Humans vary in their potential to gain knowledge, and have different intellectual abilities. Based on their specific background, an individual will have different religious, cultural, or political beliefs according to their outside influences. Therefore, even when they are speaking the same language, two people can never understand each other completely. Our ability to communicate with other human beings is affected by our background and the amount of intelligence we possess.
The Area of Knowledge also affects our ability to communicate with others. This essay will discuss to what extent our knowledge of ethics, history, and human sciences affects our ability to communicate. One of the Areas of Knowledge is ethics; ethics dictate how we should live our lives, and distinguish what is right from what is wrong. However, different people have different views on ethics because people have different opinions on the difference between right and wrong. Someone’s ethical judgments depend on many factors, including their intellectual abilities and their background.
Because of the differences among a population of people, different ethical opinions emerge. Perhaps one of the most controversial ethical dilemmas of today’s society is the right for a woman to receive an abortion. It is impossible to ever judge whether this issue is ethical or not because there are so many passionate and strong arguments both for and against abortion; neither side of the issue will ever rest. One must first take into account the root of the issue: when does a fetus become a person?
It is argued that a fetus is a “potential person” because it will potentially become what it is “meant to be” once it is born. But does a “potential person” have rights even before they are born? David C. Reardon, Ph. D. , explains that about seventy percent of American women believe that having an abortion is immoral, however, most women are pro-choice, and believe that the decision to have an abortion is purely the choice of each individual woman. Consider the story of an 11 year-old Romanian rape victim, who was impregnated by a 19 year-old man against her will.
In her native home of Romania, this child was refused an abortion. In order to solve the situation, she was flown to the UK for her abortion after 21 weeks. It is appalling to me that someone would be permitted to have an abortion, especially under these circumstances. It is beyond me how someone could disagree. John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin argues that even if her own daughter were raped, “[she] would choose life”. It is outrageous to me personally that she would consider the sperm of a rapist to be superior to the well being of her own daughter.
Our opposing view points is an excellent representation of how our ability to communicate as humans is affected by the Area of Knowledge, or ethics, to be more precise. Because of our different backgrounds and influences, our ethical judgments are also completely different. Even though I speak the same language as Sarah Palin, I will never fully understand her. A conversation with Sarah Palin for many people would be a debate or an argument, therefore communicating with someone with an opposite opinion on a subject, such as abortion, would be very difficult.
Clearly, ethics, as apart of the Area of Knowledge, greatly affects our ability to communicate. History is a major aspect of the Area of Knowledge. History is essential in understanding our past, and our future. With our knowledge of history, we can understand the world to a greater extent. However, history is interpreted differently depending on a variety of factors, including generational differences, background differences, political differences, etc. For example, someone who grew up in the south of the United States of America during the Civil War would most likely support slavery.
A better example would be Nazi “brainwashing”; the minds of millions of Germans during the 1930’s and early 1940’s had been indoctrinated with Nazi political beliefs. Hitler influenced these people, and convinced them of all sorts of terrible things. He convinced millions that Jews were responsible for World War One and that all Jews were involved in a secret conspiracy where they plotted to destroy the German economy. Surely, there are Nazi supporters who still live today, who have always supported the Nazi party since the party first came into power.
Consider members of the Hitler Youth movement, who still live today. As children, their brains were molded to believe Nazi indoctrinations, and indoctrination can last a lifetime. In history, we learn about the values of previous generations, and come to understand that these values greatly oppose to most modern values; we learn that these ideas are morally unjust. With this said, even after nearly sixty years since the end of the Nazi regime, some people choose to follow the Nazi attitude towards life, based off what they have learned in history.
Neo-Nazism obviously originates from the original Nazi party, and much of this modern Nazism is based upon anti-Semitism. An example of this is the support of neo-Nazis in America who support early 2008 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, who is notorious for his dislike of Jews. It would be very difficult for most people to understand these people today, even though they speak the same language. We both possess the same Area of Knowledge in history; the only difference is that neo-Nazis of today have clearly interpreted history differently from the majority of people.
Communication with such people would be difficult, mostly due to opposing viewpoints on the same Area of Knowledge. Therefore it is well argued that history overall can affect our ability to communicate to a great extent, based off of how we interpret our historical teachings. Another part of the Area of Knowledge is human science. Human science includes the field of psychology and the study of economics. Human science has an enormous impact on our ability to understand one another. For example, psychologists believe that most human communication is non-verbal.
How we sit, how we make eye contact and our facial expressions usually say a lot more than our words. This is why email, text messaging, etc. is such a confusing means of communication. As social creatures, we constantly send and receive non-verbal signs to one another that help us understand social situations better. However, as individuals, we do not fully understand or are even aware of these non-verbal signals, many of which are recognized at a subconscious level. For example, author Malcolm Gladwell writes on this topic in his highly renowned book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.
Gladwell uses scientifically valid examples to support his argument that decisions and perceptions made on the basis of “thin slices” (i. e. , very small amounts of information) are often more valid than decisions and perceptions based on much more information and research. As a result, Gladwell argues that we can make better judgments by trusting our “gut feeling” because these instincts are based on an amazing amount of information that we are subconsciously aware of from our environment.
This is clearly an example of how human science helps us understand how to communicate and understand each other to a greater extent. Also, this shows how unaware we are of our own minds and of our actions, which further suggests that if we have trouble understanding ourselves, it is even more difficult to understand others, and therefore difficult to communicate with others. Clearly, this shows that human science affects our ability to communicate to a great extent. In conclusion, humans will never be able to fully understand each other.
Two people will never understand each other; every person is an individual, and has their own set of beliefs will differ to the beliefs of others. Also, people are still exploring themselves individually, and have a hard time fully grasping themselves, let alone others. Humans are indeed, amazing in their ability to communicate, but many factors, including the Area of Knowledge, affects this ability. Through this essay it has been proved that human communication is affected ethically, historically, and by human sciences to a great extent.