Humanity (virtue)  

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"[There has been no] carry-over from civilization to civility, from humanism to the humane."-- In Bluebeard's Castle (1971), p. 79 by George Steiner

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Humanity is a virtue associated with basic ethics of altruism derived from the human condition.

Humanity differs from mere justice in that there is a level of altruism towards individuals included in humanity more so than the fairness found in justice. That is, humanity, and the acts of love, altruism, and social intelligence are typically individual strengths while fairness is generally expanded to all. Peterson & Seligman in Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification (2004) class humanity as one of six virtues that are consistent across all cultures.

The concept goes back to the development of "humane" or "humanist" philosophy during the Renaissance (with predecessors in 13th-century scholasticism stressing a concept of basic human dignity inspired by Aristotelianism) and the concept of humanitarianism in the early modern period, and resulted in modern notions such as "human rights".



Humane in early use meant civil, courteous or obliging towards humans and animals. In modern times it is characterized by sympathy with or consideration, compassion and benevolence for others, especially for the suffering or distressed.


Some synonyms to help understand the term humane are: benignant, charitable, gentle, kind, merciful, sympathetic and tender.


Some antonyms to help understand the terms inhuman and inhumane are: appalling, atrocious, brutal, callous, cruel, heartless, merciless and sadistic.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Humanity (virtue)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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