human condition

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human condition

  1. (usually preceded by the) What it means to be human; the experiences, characteristics, and limitations of life shared by all humans, as opposed to other lifeforms.
    • 1894, Thomas Hardy, An Imaginative Woman:
      Neither symboliste nor decadent, he was a pessimist in so far as that character applies to a man who looks at the worst contingencies as well as the best in the human condition.
    • 1970 May 18, “Alive and Well”, in Time:
      Youth dies. Life hurts. Love warms. Understanding heals. The wounds and balms of the human condition are so commonplace that men eventually experience them without noticing.
    • 2006, S. Mark Heim, Saved from Sacrifice[1], →ISBN, page 8:
      Christian theology traditionally sees three elements of the human condition that are in need of transformation: sin (estrangement from God), evil (estrangement among humans), and death (mortality, and our estrangement from nature).
    • 2023 June 13, Dwight Garner, “Cormac McCarthy, Novelist of a Darker America, Is Dead at 89”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      Mr. McCarthy’s fiction took a dark view of the human condition and was often macabre. He decorated his novels with scalpings, beheadings, arson, rape, incest, necrophilia and cannibalism.