How can I say the following sentence in other words?

"Ascending from humanity is difficult descending from humanity is so easy."

I mean we are close to the death of humanity. I could say we as human beings are no more social animals because we are becoming more and more selfish. We sometimes behave worse than animals. If this is continued, there will be end of humanity soon. As a conclusion, I wanted to say while it is easy to descend from our human essence and become inferior to animals and act like other people, it is really difficult to stay "human" and not get affected to a certain extent.

  • Do you have any specific requirements for how you want to say it? – Nathan Tuggy Mar 21 '16 at 2:46
  • Do you mean "ascending from humanity" or "humanity ascending"? – Peter Mar 21 '16 at 2:47
  • I think you need to clarify your intended meaning. Are you referring to moral behavior, evolutionary theory, or ... what? – Jay Mar 21 '16 at 3:32
  • I am referring to moral behavior. – Mia Mar 21 '16 at 5:45

The most common phrase I can think of in English that corresponds to 'descending from humanity' is 'descending into savagery". It's used quite a bit when talking about the book Lord of the Flies which has some of the same themes as what I believe you're trying to express. The opposite of savagery is usually civilization.

I will have to think a bit longer about a good phrase for "ascending to humanity". I might say "being civilized is harder than descending into savagery", but I'm not completely happy with that phrasing.

Humanity in English has a connotation of being kind or compassionate. Being savage has a connotation of being like an animal. Civilization isn't always a positive thing though, while having humanity is positive in every context I can think of. In some writing, civilization has actually corrupted humanity by moving us further away from what is natural and being savage in the sense of "untamed" is not always a negative thing depending on the context and the point of view of the author.

  • You ascend both "from" and "to". You ascend from where you are to where you're going (e.g. "I ascended from the first floor to the fifth"). That said, to ascend from humanity would be to rise above humanity, which I think is the opposite of what the OP is trying to say. – Ken Bellows Mar 21 '16 at 16:51
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    @KenB You make a good point. Whether it's ascend from or ascend to is context dependent. It's not really relevant to the question, so I've removed it. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 21 '16 at 16:55

This probably isn't a question with a "right" answer. This is rhetoric, and it depends a lot on personal style and preference. Also, these types of ideas are difficult to put into words in general; native speakers often have just as tough of a time expressing thoughts like these, because they are difficult by nature.

To maybe set you on the right path, is this something you know how to express in your own first language? Maybe start by writing it out as clearly and simply as you can your most comfortable language first, then try to translate it.

  • This doesn't really answer the question - maybe it should be a comment? I don't understand why your advice is to "try to translate it". It seems to me like they've already tried to translate what they want to say into English by asking this question. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 21 '16 at 16:13
  • the answer is 'this probably isn't a question with a "right" answer'. Nothing more I can do there; I posted as an answer because this is in fact an answer to the question, even if it isn't the sort the OP would have liked. I didn't ask them to try to translate the same thing they've already tried to translate, I asked them to try and figure out exactly what they want to say in their native language first (which it appears they haven't done) and try to translate that. – Ken Bellows Mar 21 '16 at 16:32
  • What makes you think that what they've written isn't how they've translated their native language? You don't even know what their first language is. It's good discussion, which is why I haven't down voted, but it's not an answer. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 21 '16 at 16:41
  • Also, just because there isn't one 'right' answer to a question, doesn't mean that there aren't several good answers to a question. – ColleenV parted ways Mar 21 '16 at 16:52
  • What they've written is a long paragraph; I imagine they want a single punchy phrase. They did give a phrase, but it appears to me that the comments on the question have maybe changed what they want to say a bit, based on the paragraph that moved from a comment into the question in an edit. – Ken Bellows Mar 21 '16 at 16:53

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