What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

How does science work? And what's all this about quantum mechanics?

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Wyman
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Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Wyman » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:43 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:As a note, my best threads are in science so you'll see a bunch of those.

Is it being able to decide from more than two choices? Our ability to think abstractly? The way our hands are structured to better handle tools? The ability to talk? Is it our ability to love?

What have you to say about all of this (and more)?

PhilX
Natural selection, a bigger and more complex brain, ability to speak.

Blaggard
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Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Blaggard » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:22 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:Blaggard said:

"One only has to look at human history to see how much of an animal we are, or in fact how that would give animals a bad name. We have our heirs and our graces, but we are little more than apes and probably less. Matter of perspective, other species have out evolved us. Even the bacteria are more fecund than us, and probably more useful...."

If so, then why don't we find humans in cages?

PhilX
What a weird question given what I just said?

I have no idea how to answer such a pointless question, so I wont. Animals in cages are what we are, we just make them ourselves for ourselves these days.

Gee
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Location: Michigan, US

Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Gee » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:52 pm

Our arrogance.

Nice post, Skip.

Gee

Wyman
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Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Wyman » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:01 pm

Gee wrote:Our arrogance.

Nice post, Skip.

Gee
Why all the self-loathing (or species loathing), Gee, Skip, Blaggard? Without swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction (of hubris), don't you think that we are more intelligent, at least, than other species?

Gee
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Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Gee » Wed Sep 24, 2014 11:05 pm

Wyman wrote:
Gee wrote:Our arrogance.

Nice post, Skip.

Gee
Why all the self-loathing (or species loathing), Gee, Skip, Blaggard? Without swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction (of hubris), don't you think that we are more intelligent, at least, than other species?
I don't have self-loathing. I just don't see the separateness. Do we have to be separate to be important?

We may well be the most intelligent. So what? Our intelligence is very self serving. It would be like some species of fish saying that they are the best swimmers, or some bird saying that they are the best flyers.

Of course, there are some people who believe that our intelligence benefits the world. Right, like weapons of mass destruction and world pollution. (chuckle) Our intelligence benefits only us as far as I can see. Like I said, arrogant.

Gee

Wyman
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:21 pm

Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Wyman » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:58 pm

Gee wrote:
Wyman wrote:
Gee wrote:Our arrogance.

Nice post, Skip.

Gee
Why all the self-loathing (or species loathing), Gee, Skip, Blaggard? Without swinging the pendulum too far in the opposite direction (of hubris), don't you think that we are more intelligent, at least, than other species?
I don't have self-loathing. I just don't see the separateness. Do we have to be separate to be important?

We may well be the most intelligent. So what? Our intelligence is very self serving. It would be like some species of fish saying that they are the best swimmers, or some bird saying that they are the best flyers.

Of course, there are some people who believe that our intelligence benefits the world. Right, like weapons of mass destruction and world pollution. (chuckle) Our intelligence benefits only us as far as I can see. Like I said, arrogant.

Gee
Well, the OP didn't ask whether what separates us is good or bad. It seems a bit over the top to claim that we are not much more intelligent than even the most intelligent animals. Having said that, I think intelligence is a good thing. Why does something's being 'self serving' make it bad?

And I would definitely say that being very good swimmers separates fish from humans, among other things.

We could go with Plato's idea that what distinguishes us is that we are the only featherless bipeds. I guess that is not too self serving, as I think it was Epicurus who pointed out that that makes us no better than plucked chickens.

Blaggard
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Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by Blaggard » Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:54 am

What distinguishes us is neither our dominance or our aptitude, only our morals and hence an ethical compass, and we have the only advantage over animals in having them, seems we don't have any of that though. So at least the animals other than us have an excuse. When the world grows up learns to act like an adult then we have differentiated from animals, atm we are no more than idiots on a globe, hairless apes with a penchant to boast about our legacy but no will to change it, going around in ever decreasing circles.

I don't loathe the human race, I accept it for what it is. I weep for it. Progress is being made with all the alacrity of an iceberg. One day, one has to hope, or weep.

tbieter
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Re: What separates us (Homo Sapiens) from the animals?

Post by tbieter » Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:42 pm

Philosophy Explorer wrote:As a note, my best threads are in science so you'll see a bunch of those.

Is it being able to decide from more than two choices? Our ability to think abstractly? The way our hands are structured to better handle tools? The ability to talk? Is it our ability to love?

What have you to say about all of this (and more)?

PhilX
I have almost completed my reading of a Guide for the Perplexed.
http://www.amazon.com/Guide-Perplexed-E ... schumacher

Schumacher"s answer to what distinguishes humans from other animals are consciousness and self-awareness.
PhilX, you will love this book.

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