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Should we refer to humanity as man?

It's common in theological discussion to refer to all of humanity using the term "man". However, some people find this offensive, and think that people who use the term think less of women. Instead, they want us to use gender neutral terms, such as "humanity".

What's your opinion on this?

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It's a long-standing literary tradition, and the word "man" according to the dictionary can refer to mankind/humanity. It really has nothing to do with gender in that usage. I don't think people who use it are automatically sexist, although I'm sure some are and some aren't. I occasionally use it myself, and I am certainly not sexist by any stretch. :P

So, I don't see a problem with it. Although, I do like to see more usage of "her" in generic writing where "he" is often used.

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Here's another important note: Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image..."

Either God is saying that only man is created in God's image, or he is defining the word man as all of humanity. (Also, just to note, that literally translates to the word "man")

On a side note, when "he" is used in generic writing, it often refers to either gender. If the knowledge of the gender is unknown or irrelevant, the masculine term should be used. I guess it'd still be fine to say "her", but the word "he" isn't just limited to males in that usage.

Drew1200 wrote: Here's another important note: Genesis 1:27 "So God created man in his own image..."

Either God is saying that only man is created in God's image, or he is defining the word man as all of humanity. (Also, just to note, that literally translates to the word "man")

On a side note, when "he" is used in generic writing, it often refers to either gender. If the knowledge of the gender is unknown or irrelevant, the masculine term should be used. I guess it'd still be fine to say "her", but the word "he" isn't just limited to males in that usage.

The word used in Hebrew can mean a man or mankind, and it is interpreted to mean mankind in that verse. I don't know of any theologians who would say it applies only to male humans.

Obi the LEGO Fan wrote: It's a long-standing literary tradition, and the word "man" according to the dictionary can refer to mankind/humanity. It really has nothing to do with gender in that usage. I don't think people who use it are automatically sexist, although I'm sure some are and some aren't. I occasionally use it myself, and I am certainly not sexist by any stretch. :P

So, I don't see a problem with it. Although, I do like to see more usage of "her" in generic writing where "he" is often used.

*Grammar nazi mode initiate*

You should be using either "'he' and 'she'" or "'him' and 'her.'" TS

*exit thread*

LEGOSuperDKong wrote:

Obi the LEGO Fan wrote: It's a long-standing literary tradition, and the word "man" according to the dictionary can refer to mankind/humanity. It really has nothing to do with gender in that usage. I don't think people who use it are automatically sexist, although I'm sure some are and some aren't. I occasionally use it myself, and I am certainly not sexist by any stretch. :P

So, I don't see a problem with it. Although, I do like to see more usage of "her" in generic writing where "he" is often used.

*Grammar nazi mode initiate*

You should be using either "'he' and 'she'" or "'him' and 'her.'" TS

*exit thread*

I know. xD

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