Nier Automata spoiler alert!
What makes us human? The ultimate question that changes with the human race's evolvement. Everything is in constant change.
Let's dive directly into the topic and start with Emil. For those who don't know about Emil, he was once a human boy transferred to be a weapon and his human body form no longer exists. His personality and mind however stayed the same.
In the Nier franchise, androids are a replica of the human body and eventually start to evolve emotions, logic, and care for each other and the surroundings. Their bodies are made of some sort of metal but if you pierce them they will bleed red liquid similar to the blood of a human and eventually die.
Without searching the internet for the information to piece together what others defined as human it becomes interesting trying to philosophy around this topic with only the experience I have got. The features humans possess can also be found in other living beings such as animals. They are also constructed with cells and have intelligence. Also, what makes us humans like some animals more than others? If we look at the features of these animals that can melt our hearts. What are these features? Maybe those traits are those we can associate with ourselves? Traits we humans can recognize. Or it is traits that humans identify having the capability of being sociable. Is it so that we have a personal desire to be understood and to be unconditionally loved that we seek any kind of lifeform that can accept us the way we are.
Let's take the dog as an example. We humans somewhat think we can communicate with a dog, which we can with body language and sound. But at the end of the day, we do not speak entirely the same language. Even so, we love dogs as if they were our own children. Why? Maybe because they are submissive and sometimes we feel they can understand us even if there are struggles and barriers. Or is it just as simple as, because we raised them?
It sometimes seems like we humans have an inner battle where we want to be unique and be one of a kind but at the same time not since we are drawn to people (or other things) that are similar to us where we can identify ourselves in. Imagine that if you could be understood 100% that means there is an exact copy of you. Is it a dream come true or is it just a scary thought since it is an unknown situation no one has encountered?
In conclusion, it seems like a human is a complex combination of what is physical and emotional. Maybe I am confusing myself between the concept of a human and a human being. When do you stop being a human if you switch your body part with time? Another concept covered in the post, Ship of Theseus.