Post-justifying Anthropocentrism

  • #51
Originally posted by Zero
We get your point, I think. We are having a trouble getting our point across, though. We are saying that it is a difference of degree, rather than a difference of kind.
Humm, I suspect that I have 'seen that' just that I have this notion that it's impact upon us, and therefore all of what we can, and do, do, is enourmous, and that that differentiates us from the rest of the animals in a manner that appears (simply) subtle but works out over time to be HUGE, sort of like that "little degree of difference" expanding in orders of magnitude what we can accomplish.
Hence (perhaps) just a little (bit) more then is being admitted to...?
 
  • #52
selfAdjoint
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We are saying that it is a difference of degree, rather than a difference of kind.

Which is just where I get off the train. Language alone would constitute a difference in kind, and human self awareness is so much more than feelings + thinking + language.
 
  • #53
Put it this way, if it's a difference of degree, how much/high do you rate that degree of 'difference' to be worth?
 
  • #54
Zero
Originally posted by Mr. Robin Parsons
Put it this way, if it's a difference of degree, how much/high do you rate that degree of 'difference' to be worth?
Not enough to say that humans aren't animals, which we clearly are.
 
  • #55
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Not only that humans are animals also but are a part of nature and of the natural order of life on earth. We are not seperate from, apart from or different from nature and the rest of life on earth. We are of nature and nature is part of us. We are all one life form on one planet. In this way we are no different from the rest of the animals nor of life itself. The difference is of degree. A vast degree I agree but any more vast than the difference between an amoeba and a mammal?
 
  • #56
Zero
Originally posted by Royce
Not only that humans are animals also but are a part of nature and of the natural order of life on earth. We are not seperate from, apart from or different from nature and the rest of life on earth. We are of nature and nature is part of us. We are all one life form on one planet. In this way we are no different from the rest of the animals nor of life itself. The difference is of degree. A vast degree I agree but any more vast than the difference between an amoeba and a mammal?
And, also, we choose what criteria to judge the differences...the difference in strength between a gorilla and human is tremendous, but we are both primates.
 
  • #57
It is agreed that we are animals, but we are the most different animal on the planet, and the most adapted/adaptable.

All of what any of you knows is waaaaaay past anything any other animal will ever learn, in it's entire life!

The rest of the animals learn only from the situational circumstances, they learn from the immediacy (sp?) of where they are!
 
  • #58
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Okay we're different, even waaaaaaay different than any other single species; but; you are saying this because of one or two criteria. It it those two things, language and ability to learn outside of the immediate circumstances? I don't agree with the latter by the way. Is it correct to say that both are so interrelated that they are actually one characteristic, language; that language is what makes us human and different from the rest of the animals?
 
  • #59
Zero
Originally posted by selfAdjoint
Which is just where I get off the train. Language alone would constitute a difference in kind, and human self awareness is so much more than feelings + thinking + language.
Do you have vidence? We act just like monkeys, boss.
 
  • #60
Originally posted by selfAdjoint
Which is just where I get off the train. Language alone would constitute a difference in kind, and human self awareness is so much more than feelings + thinking + language.

Our linguistic abilities are a function of our superior intelligence combined with our capable vocal chords. Other animals have intelligence, too. Therefore, it is a difference of degree. All language really is is using symbols. Even a dog can recognize a correlation between a symbol and what it's related to or supposed to represent. We give them oral commands, don't we? How is that not a simple version of linguistic abilities?

Even more obvious, as I have already pointed out, gorillas have been taught to use sign language to form sentences. If this is not language, then I'm bewildered as to what language is.

It is a difference of degree.
----------------------------

Also, all the debate about what "separates" us from other animals centers on our abilities that give us tremendous power. If our great power is what justifies calling us superior and doing what we want with others, then the 3rd reich was for a time superior and justified in killing all those millions.
 
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  • #61
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Let me use the dictionary to straighting things out.

Animal: 1. A multicellular organism of the kingdom Animalia, differing from plants in certain typical characteristics such as capacity for locomotion, nonphotosynthetic metabolism, pronounced response to stimuli, restricted growth, and fixed bodily structure.
2. An animal organism other than a human, especially a mammal.

Mammal: Any of various warm-blooded vertebrate animals of the class Mammalia, including humans, characterized by a covering of hair on the skin and, in the female, milk-producing mammary glands for nourishing the young.

Human: A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens.

Homo sapiens: The modern species of humans, the only extant species of the primate family Hominidae.

Extant: Still in existence; not destroyed, lost, or extinct.

Primate: A mammal of the order Primates, which includes the anthropoids and prosimians, characterized by refined development of the hands and feet, a shortened snout, and a large brain.
A bishop of highest rank in a province or country.

Hominidae: modern man and extinct immediate ancestors of man.

Anthropoids: Resembling a human, especially in shape or outward appearance.

Prosimians: Of or belonging to the Prosimii, a suborder of primates that includes the lemurs, lorises, and tarsiers.

Prosimii: not used in all classifications; in some classifications considered coextensive with the Lemuroidea; in others includes both Lemuroidea and Tarsioidea.

Lemurs: Any of several small arboreal, mostly nocturnal primates chiefly of the family Lemuridae of Madagascar and adjacent islands, having large eyes, a long slim muzzle, and a long tail.

Lorises: Any of several small, slow-moving, nocturnal prosimian primates of the genera Loris and Nycticebus of tropical Asia, having dense woolly fur, large eyes, and a vestigial tail.

Tarsiers: Any of several small nocturnal arboreal primates of the genus Tarsius, of the East Indies and the Philippines, having large round eyes, a long tail, and long fingers and toes tipped with soft disklike pads.

I'm sure humans end up being linked with animals here don't they???
 
  • #62
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I looked up ape and found the meaning also contained Mimic in there. mimic also means: To copy or imitate closely, especially in speech, expression, and gesture; ape.
Now that i think of it. We are close to the meaning of ape. Considering that our technology is based on imitating our surroundings. We can fly because we thought of wings and imitated a bird. We learned speech only by imitating each other. Ben Franklin learned that lighting was electicity and invented the lighting rod. Thomas Alva Edison thought of electricity as a novelty. And lit up the streets by the time he died. I guess we humans are the master of imitating.
 
  • #63
Lets try it this way, a group of monkeys a videoed by a film crew. They experiance what humans are, how a filem crew goes around filming them over time, all of us humans, who get to see that video, know of those monkeys, and how they behave, and know that they do not know of us and the rest of the "outside world" (outside of there world)

The monkeys are then left alone in the forest, they go about their activities, and in a mating produce, a baby. When this baby is five years old, the same age of it's parents when they had experianced "The film crew", that baby will still have no idea what a "film crew" is, and it never will if it is never in the presence of one, as there is no input/output for abstractions such as language.

That given, I can hold against any one of you everything you personally know, your entire learning record is on my side for proving that you are special, in comparision to all of the rest of the animals.
 
  • #64
Originally posted by Mr. Robin Parsons
Lets try it this way, a group of monkeys a videoed by a film crew. They experiance what humans are, how a filem crew goes around filming them over time, all of us humans, who get to see that video, know of those monkeys, and how they behave, and know that they do not know of us and the rest of the "outside world" (outside of there world)

The monkeys are then left alone in the forest, they go about their activities, and in a mating produce, a baby. When this baby is five years old, the same age of it's parents when they had experianced "The film crew", that baby will still have no idea what a "film crew" is, and it never will if it is never in the presence of one, as there is no input/output for abstractions such as language.

That given, I can hold against any one of you everything you personally know, your entire learning record is on my side for proving that you are special, in comparision to all of the rest of the animals.

I don't understand what you are trying to point out here. How would you expect a the young monkey to know what a film crew is if it never experienced one? The same would be true of a human...

Anyway, I don't think that anyone is doubting that humans are more intelligent, on average, than other animals. But that does not make some magical barrier between humans and other animals.
 
  • #65
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
I don't understand what you are trying to point out here. How would you expect a the young monkey to know what a film crew is if it never experienced one? The same would be true of a human... Funny, I could just show the human child, a film of it, and they would be able to gain an understanding of it, unlike the "child chimp"

Anyway, I don't think that anyone is doubting that humans are more intelligent, on average, than other animals. But that does not make some magical barrier between humans and other animals. Hummm, your opinion, you seem to miss the "orders of magnitude" of addition to human history (what the monkeys cannot share amongst themselves is their history) that is what arises as "you", and all of what you know from all of what has been collectively learned in humanities history, and how that shapes you, enourmously different from any other animal.
 
  • #66
Zero
Hmmm...lawn mowers and automobiles?? Certainly different, but not a giant gap between them. It is the same principle involved in both. A giant difference would be if cars hovered on anti-gravity fields.
 
  • #67
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Years ago I watched a show, Nature, I think, about monkeys or maybe apes in northern Japan. They were being fed and studied. One mother monkey learned I suppose by accident to seperate grains of rice from the sand that it was laying in by throwing it in the water. /The rice floated and the sand of course sank. She then scooped up the cleaned rice and ate it. She taught her daughter how to do this. A few years later when the Japanese again visited the island to study the monkeys they found that most of that group had learned to do the same thing. Isn't this learning and passing along from generation to generation and monkey to monkey a new learned skill? How does this differ from mankind before writing was developed?
We are different from animals by degree only and then only in one or two criteria are we superior. Agreed that these differences have pushed us over the top and we are vastly more technologially developed than any other animals. Never the less is is by degree only and we are animals ourselves. We are not as large as some. we are not as strong as some. we can not see as well as some. we cannot smell as well as some. we cannot hear as well as some. we can not make the sounds that some can. We do not have as big a brain as some.
So how is it that we are superior and seperate and different and have the right to use and rule the world as we see fit at the moments?
 
  • #68
Originally posted by Royce
Years ago I watched a show, Nature, I think, about monkeys or maybe apes in northern Japan. They were being fed and studied. One mother monkey learned I suppose by accident to seperate grains of rice from the sand that it was laying in by throwing it in the water. /The rice floated and the sand of course sank. She then scooped up the cleaned rice and ate it. She taught her daughter how to do this. A few years later when the Japanese again visited the island to study the monkeys they found that most of that group had learned to do the same thing. Isn't this learning and passing along from generation to generation and monkey to monkey a new learned skill? How does this differ from mankind before writing was developed? As I tried to explain it is a demonstrable teaching, unlike me telling you about M 31 and you knowing that that is real, is there. (can be seen and confirmed in a manner of speaking)
We are different from animals by degree only and then only in one or two criteria are we superior. Agreed that these differences have pushed us over the top and we are vastly more technologially developed than any other animals. Never the less is is by degree only and we are animals ourselves. We are not as large as some. we are not as strong as some. we can not see as well as some. we cannot smell as well as some. we cannot hear as well as some. we can not make the sounds that some can. We do not have as big a brain as some.
So how is it that we are superior and seperate and different and have the right to use and rule the world as we see fit at the moments? The very fact that you can "write" that out, I can "read" it, "respond", that is what is so enourmously different about us humans, our collective ability to deal with these abstractions we call language/typiconography/sybolisms. The rest of the animals have no access to the recioprocity of inner imagination that we have, the ability to correlate the outer with the inner, the ability to lie about either of those, and on and on and on, keep writing....................you prove my point
 
  • #69
Originally posted by Zero
Hmmm...lawn mowers and automobiles?? Certainly different, but not a giant gap between them. It is the same principle involved in both. A giant difference would be if cars hovered on anti-gravity fields.
And the difference between an oxen driven cart, and a car, and a space shuttle, and a motorcycle, and a horse, and "an artificial horse" (AKA Bicycle) and what is it that the rest of the animals use, "X" driven whatchamacallits?????
 
  • #70
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We all agree that humans are different from "lower" animals. We are saying that we are different in degree by limited criteria. Inects, birds, mammals all build or make homes and modify their environment to better suit their need.
Man is not unigue in this or any other life activity with the exception of writing. I know of no other animal that "writes" although many communicate and leave signs and records of their passing by or their territorial boundaries. This can be loosely concidered a form of nonverbal communication as is writing because it is done with the conscious effort of communicating with another of it's species without the other being present at that time. So even writing can be concidered just a matter of degree. It is just an adaptation of a trait that has existed in the animal kingdom for millions of years. This is an oversimplification and an extreme viewpoint but could still be valid.
So Mr. Parsons, what is your point?
 
  • #71
jammieg
What I don't understand is how did humans get this far, I mean what is it that has given them such an edge to go from fire to the moon in so short a time span, a chimp wouldn't have a prayer at such a feat not in a billion billion years in it's present state.
 
  • #72
Zero
Originally posted by jammieg
What I don't understand is how did humans get this far, I mean what is it that has given them such an edge to go from fire to the moon in so short a time span, a chimp wouldn't have a prayer at such a feat not in a billion billion years in it's present state.
Well, in billions and billions of years, they might...just not in their present state.

I think what it comes down to is evolutionary pressure...as populations grow, competition becomes greater, and each species has to have its own 'trick' to survive. Brain-power is the path humans took, but it is no more or less impressive than some of the other incredible adaptations that animals and plants have arrived at.
 
  • #73
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What I don't understand is how did humans get this far, I mean what is it that has given them such an edge to go from fire to the moon in so short a time span, a chimp wouldn't have a prayer at such a feat not in a billion billion years in it's present state.

heh. Well a probaly 500 years ago we humans didn't seem like we will ever go in space and land on a moon. Hell even then is when our world was flat. All it takes is one simple idea that will make life easier for your species. Like tools.
 
  • #74
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I think Zero is right as far as he goes (I can't tell you how hard this is for both of us to actually agree so much on any subject). Our brains developed as a survival tactic under environmental pressure. We had little else to rely on. We as a species are physically rather ill equiped for survival. The more brains we had, the smarter and more adaptable and clever that we were, the better we were at surviving.
I think we were pushed beyond a threshold. Our intelligence, adaptability, tool making and language all fed and supported one another causing our brains to develope these talents even further unit we went over the top and became Homo sapiens.
From there through trade and communication, by passing along and passing down information our knowledge grew and continued to grow at a nonlinear if not expotentional rate.
The smarter we became the more able were we at surviving. The more knowledge we gathered the more we were able to gather more. It soon went way beyound survival.
One idea or piece of knowledge builds on another and poses even more problems to be solved. There was a PBS series a number of years ago with David Attenburough (sp?) named "Connections." In it he showed how one technilogical and/or scientific breakthrough or developement lead to others that lead to even more advancement.
In many ways its surprising that we are not further along than we are. We are continously stepping through new thresholds and entering new eras. We cannot keep up with the advances and developements we are making now. We do not even know yet how to best apply the scientific data and technology that we have available now. Our only limits are energy, money and time. Which direction do we take? What new world will that lead to? I used to wonder what my grandmother thought of the world and how it had changed from 1900 to the 1980's. Now I think back from when I was born in 1942 to what has happened in my lifetime. Try to imagine what the world will be like for you people in your twenties forty years from now at the rate of growth and advancement increasing every generation.
Yet we are still animals and all of the same life form that is interdependent and mutually supporting.
 
  • #75
Forgive me, Me, quoting myself
. Hummm, your opinion, you seem to miss the "orders of magnitude" of addition to human history (what the monkeys cannot share amongst themselves is their history) that is what arises as "you", and all of what you know from all of what has been collectively learned in humanities history, and how that shapes you, enourmously different from any other animal.
You are proving my point, all of the words, letters, paragraphs, accumulations of knowledge~expressed!
 

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