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What differentiates humans from other species ?

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posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 04:48 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
But other animals have a memory, and they react to present events based on their previous experiences, so in one way they also live in the past, and they also can imagine a better future, they do want to go to other places in the future. Like my cat for example when he wants to go out, or monkeys when they look for water to bathe in it.


When do you get up and walk to the toilet? Why does walking to the toilet happen? Is it because you want a better future?
Cats don't think about what they are going to do today or tomorrow and how it will make their life easier or better.

Life is happening right here and right now but only the human mind (thoughts) speaks about other than what actually is.
The mind (words) cannot speak about what is happening and split it into before and after (time) - those dualistic words provide an illusory place (time and space) that does not exist and that is where the never really existing separate person lives - but it is not the one true life.




posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 05:34 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

If you see reality as a succession of present moments like I do, or if you see reality as the more common way with a past, a present and a future, it doesn't change the fact that there is experience accumulated somewhere in the brain, whether it's a human brain or a non-human brain. Tell me how does experience and memory integrate into the way you see things ?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 05:40 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
a reply to: Itisnowagain

If you see reality as a succession of present moments like I do, or if you see reality as the more common way with a past, a present and a future, it doesn't change the fact that there is experience accumulated somewhere in the brain, whether it's a human brain or a non-human brain. Tell me how does experience and memory integrate into the way you see things ?

There is no succession of now moments. Now does not have a beginning and it does not have an end.
Now is what is happening.
When does experiencing happen?

The experience might arise as a thought or memory or anticipation but it happens as now.
edit on 12-6-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 05:51 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Well yes, when I recall a memory or an experience, it is happening now, when I recall it, but when or where did this memory or experience has been formed in your opinion, where does it come from ?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 05:53 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Well yes, when I recall a memory or an experience, it is happening now, when I recall it, but when or where did this memory or experience has been formed in your opinion, where does it come from ?

Now.
Now is the source and sum of all that is and is not.
edit on 12-6-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 06:00 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: gosseyn
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Well yes, when I recall a memory or an experience, it is happening now, when I recall it, but when or where did this memory or experience has been formed in your opinion, where does it come from ?

Now.
Now is the source and sum of all that is and is not.


So if for example I say "alea jacta est" I am saying it at the exact same moment as Julius Caesar did ?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 06:09 AM
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originally posted by: gosseyn

originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: gosseyn
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Well yes, when I recall a memory or an experience, it is happening now, when I recall it, but when or where did this memory or experience has been formed in your opinion, where does it come from ?

Now.
Now is the source and sum of all that is and is not.


So if for example I say "alea jacta est" I am saying it at the exact same moment as Julius Caesar did ?

Where did that thought or idea come from? Where was it seen and where does it go when it is no more? Now is constantly appearing different - you are the context of now and things come and go in that aware 'space'.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 06:37 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: gosseyn

originally posted by: Itisnowagain

originally posted by: gosseyn
a reply to: Itisnowagain

Well yes, when I recall a memory or an experience, it is happening now, when I recall it, but when or where did this memory or experience has been formed in your opinion, where does it come from ?

Now.
Now is the source and sum of all that is and is not.


So if for example I say "alea jacta est" I am saying it at the exact same moment as Julius Caesar did ?

Where did that thought or idea come from? Where was it seen and where does it go when it is no more? Now is constantly appearing different - you are the context of now and things come and go in that aware 'space'.


It comes from written language, from a present moment in another place on the timeline, a place in time where I was not.

I think what you are trying to describe is only one part of what happens, namely our perception, how the brain copes with what happens, how it deals with external stimulus, the nature of consciousness, but it's like you choose to ignore what is external to the brain, to consciousness, you chose to ignore the source of the stimulus like if there was only consciousness and nothing else.

You say that language is what permits us to talk about things that don't exist, and I agree with that, but I think you are doing that exact same mistake when you talk of consciousness like if it was the only thing existing.

The universe is one big process, yes, but just like my body, I can talk of my brain, or my heart, or my lungs, and what I say is not fundamentally wrong if I take care of also speaking about the relations that this organ has with that organ.

I feel you are seeking a theory that encompasses and simplifies everything and in doing so there is a certain intellectual laziness in what you say, or should I say you have found a comfortable intellectual spot that satisfies you, like a pure wholeness from which you don't want to move. I know this because I have myself made the same mistake here and there.

That being said, I enjoy talking with you.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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originally posted by: LesMisanthrope
a reply to: gosseyn

Language as a system of communication is a very narrow definition. Communicating is a part of it, yes, but not the whole story. With language, humans have the ability of infinite possibility from finite means. Animals have systems of communication, but not the ability to generate infinite possibilities from them. For instance, from an alphabet and a limited grammar, there are an infinite amount of configurations of words, sentences and paragraphs one human can make, that outside of direct copying, it would be a miracle to see the the same configuration twice.

Humans are also unique in that they have human bodies, which is the source of all human behavior and action.


The difference I would say is that as a human I can say things that relate to nothing, I can say and write words and sentences that have no meaning. For example "cold car eat yesterday to be television not careful" or even "gdudf rfko dbbiioe dogokd ro", or even "God watches me because he loves me". Do you think animals can do that ? Do you think they can freely express things that relate to nothing ?



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 07:52 AM
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One difference that jumps out at me is hinted at by us even asking the question. That is to say that humans are unaware of their meaning or significance in the global/universal sense. Other life, operating from inherited genetics as well as possibly both epigenetic and morphogenetic (see Rupert Sheldrake) triggers, is most likely equally unaware of its place in the global system but operates within its ecosystem quite well nonetheless. Using this judgement I see humans as lost in the most generic meaning of the word. With a simplicity bordering on insulting I could argue that all life on earth could be viewed as energy and material transmitters, alchemists truly, and most life has more or less, settled into its material transfer job/niche being temporarily locked in at the current stage on its slow evolutionary path. Not humans though...at the present moment (at least the last 10,000 years), I see us in some painful transitional stage, and the uncertainty of our time could be the factors of our environment encouraging us through the chaos of systems that are in decline, to think on a higher level. So niche occupation, or the lack thereof, is one main difference I would judge of humanity vs the rest of nature.

The second observation could be highly related to the first but I don't know who would prove the different hypotheses that follow. The observation is the rate at which humanity is able to order, or disorder, life and materials. This goes into what Christians would call "stewardship", just not in the typical tithe/money sense. For example, using our pattern-recognition and our ability to understand what is occurring within systems, we can be the fastest vehicle for the transmission of material & energy (or even ideas for that matter), that the earth has every created. Comfrey is a dynamic accumulator, it has a deep taproot and is really good at seeking deeper into the earth and then depositing the minerals it finds onto the surface through leaf fall. Think about how long that takes vs the ability of humans to extract and then deposit the same minerals. To plants we probably look like a blur. I've seen this ability be used for good and for evil. Now if you take this observation and then ask the question from the first paragraph: what niche were we evolved/designed/imagined to occupy, you might view them as related. We are the most complex, efficient and capable material, energy and idea movers the Earth has generated. What are we supposed to do with that? I think this thread is pretty important when viewed this way.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:34 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

I don't know too much about animal communication, but I do know humans are the only animals that communicate about things that do not exist. I suppose that is along the same lines. I doubt any animal has a grammatical structure, and thus unable to deviate from any set of grammatical rules like we are, but certain sounds mean certain things, for instance some monkey (green monkey?) have certain sounds indicating ground based predators and sounds for air-based predators, but these sounds are always about reality, and not about the past, the future, gods, fictions, money, ideas, probabilities etc.

When a dog marks his territory, is he not conveying a message by writing?
edit on 12-6-2015 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 09:49 AM
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So, in summation of what we've contributed so far, the creation of things for creation's sake seems to be the logical inference of what separates us from animals?

By creation, I mean artistic creation in art, literature, performance art, etc.

Animals tend to create things to use, such as tools or weapons or mating aids and so on, and these all have a constructive and physical purpose. We create things to amuse and entertain ourselves.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 10:26 AM
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No natural defense mechanism, where we have to rely on inventions and problem solving.

Most animals are born defenseless, but for Human babies, it will take years before a human can fend for its self, and that depending on the social and learning structure of that humans origins. Also the physical limits we have, even though we are quite adaptable and can relocate at almost any part of the world, we are generally quite fragile. Most animals can easily lift there own body weight with ease, and if not maybe more for certain species.

A general average for being physically fit in today's standard is being able to lift your own body weight at least and that can many months of training.

Also the complex civilizations, where sure you may get clans of gorillas and ants having social system of their own, but none rely on the combination of engineering of different practices working to together to make the civilization. Let alone being co-operative with other neighboring civilizations.

Ants may have elaborate tunnels, but they are...Naturally selected to move dirt, and even survive being down there for extended periods of time. Where we build machines to do this, and use concrete to support the structure.

Not to mention the social structures in that civilization heavily differs, sure no tiger has the same stripes as another tiger, but they don't modify themselves to be completely different. A tiger still a tiger, unlike a thug, a rocker, a punk, or the sweet old ladies club.

Our fragility maybe our greatest weakness, but its possibly our most destructive trait,and is most likely the cause of such fears.
edit on 12-6-2015 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 12-6-2015 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 10:26 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn


I feel you are seeking a theory that encompasses and simplifies everything and in doing so there is a certain intellectual laziness in what you say, or should I say you have found a comfortable intellectual spot that satisfies you, like a pure wholeness from which you don't want to move. I know this because I have myself made the same mistake here and there.

There is no 'me' to move. I stay exactly where I am and the environment is constantly changing.
I am what is seeing what is appearing. That which appears changes but what I am does not.

The illusion is that there is a 'me' that moves through time but that 'me' is imagined now and so is time.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 10:49 AM
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I see a lot of assumptions about what animals think and feel about things. How the hell do a single one of you know what a dolphin pod communicates about to his brethren? How do you KNOW they don't think about/discuss the dolphin God ect?

How do you know our dog doesn't just love us, but might see us as some godlike entity worthy of worship? How do any of you know any of these things you assume.

Like an animal doesn't know it's going to die. BS, there's been tons of examples where it's quite clear an animal not only knows it's going to die, but says good bye to it's loved ones first.

Not a one of us is animal mind reader, so any of us saying FOR A FACT that an animal does not think about various concepts in some form, or understand some basic things is a logical absurdity.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: Puppylove
Maybe that is what makes humans different- the ability to assume.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:06 AM
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originally posted by: Itisnowagain
a reply to: Puppylove
Maybe that is what makes humans different- the ability to assume.




I think we assume because we're afraid of the unknown. We're afraid of the unknown perhaps because not too long ago our worldview was simpler and we didn't feel the need to ask bigger questions and our fear was directed at more immediate and practical threats. I sometimes wonder if it's possible that the force that drives someone to self-destruct with drugs, relationships, etc is an archaic and latent internal mechanism working to create a substantial environmental threat. Perhaps our biological fear and endocrine mechanisms have not caught up with our modern abilities to alleviate hunger and near-dominate nature, therefore we subconsciously create the conditions for which our biology is most suited.

The goal of Buddhism, as I understand it, is to eliminate suffering and it sees the battleground for this elimination not in external stimuli but in the mind. Or as the bible would put it in Romans 12:2: "be transformed by the renewing of your mind", a new mind, which we could assume "renewing" is referring to, is the mind of a baby. A baby does not have the same fears that us silly adults have, in many instances, orchestrated our lives to have.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:07 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Naw every predator knows how to do that... sometimes they assume wrong though, and then, no food for them.

The whole hunt chase, is assumptions, predictions, and executions ending in either success or failure for the hunter or prey.

When animals play, they are practicing/learning, is basic animal 101, anyone who still thinks most hunters rely on instinct to catch their prey is just not paying attention.



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: SlickMcFavorite
Humans have a fear of the unknown but the unknown threats are imagined.
The threats appear in mind as thoughts of 'things that could happen in time'. What is happening now is not threatening - in most cases. Thinking about other times and trying to prevent it from being bad is what makes it feel bad now - so if you are always now but full of tomorrow or yesterday then you will be feeling pretty bad most of the time.
Only when now is free of time will there be rest (end of suffering).


edit on 12-6-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 12 2015 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: gosseyn

The biggest different between humans and other animals: humans have the ability to ignore instinct.




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