What is to be civilized? According to the dictionary : to civilize is to lead out of a state of barbarity to a more advanced stage of social development (Harrap's Chambers, 2005). Quite interesting, but it talk about a nation and not to an individual level.
Few dictionary on internet qualify civilized as being morale, ethical, courteous, well mannered, having good taste and being cultured.
I would also add to have a certain sens of responsibility, and being truthful and respectful to ourself and others.
Are we truly civilized as we claim to be? Well to have an answer is to see what would happen if suddenly the law and those who enforce it would disappear.
Two thing among many others could result (the two extremes).
1) Nothing happens. We just carry on our daily life and still are respectful to one another. If (unlikely) so, then, what was the usefulness of law and police then?
2) We collapse in total anarchy. There is war ans murder everywhere and we all go back to the stone age. Does that mean, that we were not truly civilized, but jut pretended to be, like a bunch of hypocrites?
Well, I think it is quite impossible to be completely civilized, as we all have an intrinsic cruel nature that we share with our kindness.
We would probably begin to let our rage out and slaughter each other, but in the end, the survivor, would tend to regroup and start a new peaceful society all over again.
I think to be civilized is to be able to find the right balance between our bestiality and our humanity.