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Human condition
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Human condition

The human condition is a term used in literature to describe the joys and terrors of being human, and generally refers to biologically determined events which are common to most human lives.

These include:

Unlike what is believed of animals, humans can have some degree of sentient self-awareness of these events. Different cultures treat these events in different ways. Many religions and philosophies attempt to give meaning to the human condition. The human condition is the central subject of much literature, drama and art.

The human condition is the subject of fields of study like sociology and anthropology. In some of the poorest parts of the world, the human condition has changed little over the centuries.

In most developed countries, improvements in medicine, education, and public health have brought about marked changes in the human condition over the last few hundred years, with increases in life expectancy and the demographic profile (see demographic transition). Probably one of the largest changes has been the availability of contraception, which has changed the lives of women and attitudes to sexuality. Even then, these changes only alter the details of the human condition.

Some movements like transhumanism aim to radically change the human condition.

Related articles: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Man's search for meaning, Existentialism

See also: Seven deadly sins, rite of passage, Seven ages of man, Erik H. Erikson