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Are Humans Animals?

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posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:23 PM
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A simple answer would be yes, inasmuch as like other animals - and all things in the universe which are live - we are movers i.e. "animated".

But is that what is meant by the use of the term "animals"? No.

Language can devolve into "la langue" when the speaker means something different from the way the interpreter would interpret. For instance, Donald Trumps tweets are now being interpreted by his various apologists as "symbolic" - for instance, when he talks about improving the nuclear arsenal, for instance, its being said that he is being "symbolic".

Of course, this makes absolutely no sense - it is incoherent, because it is literally not "cohering" or "correlating" to anything else. There is no reference, and no way to make meaning of this word, besides the raw expressive quality of his speech: the strength it contains and the way it makes listeners feel within their self-experience.

The phrase "were animals" is not generally meant to mean 'we are animated beings", but rather, to have a specific moral connotation: we do not need to behave ourselves because other animals do not do that.

To a philosopher or seasoned academic, this way of thinking seems lazy and deliberately self-deceiving. Humans are natural - which is to say, we arose out of nature in the same way and manner that other animals did. Thus, there is hidden within this statement - this moral position - an implicit alienation of self from the most intrinsically Human dimensions of our being: our capacity to reflect and make more subtle our reasoning - to divide and perceive more subtly still, all with reference to justifying the morality of our action - which is to say, to maintaining the positive feeling with Other Humans.

Humans have been so heavily reified and objectified, particularly by the greco-roman world, that we have come to think of ourselves in essentialized terms. Fortunately, science has completely disqualified any metaphysics that does acknowledge basic scientific realities - the laws of physics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, and evolution - all of which speak to the quality of uncertainty, change, and transformation.

It cannot be avoided: the normal human nature is a nature that uses the flow of consciousness to support those emotions which support a robust biodynamical functioning: love, care, awe, play, joy.

The sensualist - however - has this naive idea that you can just act "from the now", without reference to the past or future, as Charles Dickens so beautifully described in his classic A Christmas Carol. It's logically necessary - to avoid future scuffles and thus, maintain a particular robust biodynamical functioning - i.e. to feel happy and alive - to constrain feeling in the present - an inherently stochastic, reflexive and automatic impulsivity that merely responds like clockwork to self-salient cues - so that we can maintain a future hospitality and a healthy relationship with others.

It ultimately comes down to you - and how honest you are with yourself. Some post modernist and nihilistic writers insist that its impossible for humans to know what they feel - but this is deluded and clearly untrue. While more nuanced senses of knowing can be hard (especially considering the inherently functional nature of brain structure i.e. difficulty knowing feeling may have everything to do with developmental history than with some innate human constitution) we all have a general sense of what we like and what we don't. We all have have the capacity to deduce the nature of our "metabolism" - or how we feel related to external signs we focus upon - and thus, to make sense of the "what" exists in us, in relation to the "what" exists out there. And the feelings we feel, would themselves constitute the "how" - of "this is what is needed to make sense of this world".

Feeling is a defense strategy as well as the source of being. This is what Abraham Maslow meant when he divided the Human mind into "deficiecy cognition" and "being cognition": Humans functioning within the former mode have everything referred to a state of deficiency, to which their unconscious habits are activated and become processed within them - as the way they "metabolize" - make meaningful, and affectively tolerable - the associations they have with the external world.

This can be very hard to know, but yes, is it not the most honest way to think about being Human? That is, that just like other animals, we pursue whats good for us, and seek to avoid whats bad for us? But the argument often shifts, so that good and bad are dubbed equals, when they are anything but. Good is an anthropomorphism for "coherent" - and is registered by our feelings. So feelings determine whats good, yet, of course, we all have different feelings, right? This is what the anarchist would retort.

The answer to this puzzle is easy, though difficult for the minority group to digest: if you have been traumatized in your development, when you suffer - and when your only outlet is the behavioral organizations of the people you exist around - your brain comes to absorb and replicate within its own self-object functioning (feeling relations, and so, its way of being) the patterns acted out by others.

The logic is obvious: humans are patterns of self-other relations. We are symmetrical in our structure - no sane person could argue otherwise, when the very capacity to argue and make yourself meaningful - as a human - proves the point: we are wired to process energy in exactly the same ways, yet because of trauma, we can come to depend on entirely different behavioral strategies to bring about our enlivenment, and so, some of us can feel good simply by honoring others needs while pursuing our lifes ambitions (a balanced approach to living), while others have been afforded a way of dealing with the world in terms of an indestructible division of self from other, strong from weak, elite from commoners, and the rich from the poor. Where else does this division arise but from their own division within themselves, itself a function of the division imposed upon them in their development into a Human?

However much we can hate - or despise, those who have come to embrace a doctrinal evil - it is actually quite sad how socially dependent we are - we each confuse and bamboozle one another, playing our games as we gain social or cultural "success" over our competitors, and in our thinking, we replay our conversations - those dimensions of us "packed" with social value, which we enact as a way to bring about our enlivenment - really and very much speaking within ourselves, in a very quiet voice, saying ,"i need this to feel coherently to myself".

Humans are animals - but an animal very dependent on an inter-subjective lattice-work of shared knowledge for it to use its brain in the way that evolution used to create it.

A breakdown in social infrastructure - in the way we live in our relations - can generate a very long process of restructuring. Things are known within us when they are spoken between us: we all know it, intuitively: things are more "metabolizable" when they are spoken about openly, and in their openness, we feel more relaxed to it.

Humans are animals, but animals which have learned - simply because we have maintained this neurological structure for over 250,000 years - to value and celebrate our limitations.
edit on 31-12-2016 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:30 PM
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Virus or parasite can also describe humans with a degree of accuracy.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:32 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte


Very thoughtful and hopeful essay , thanks .


Here's how animals work ... I wonder if we are similar :

Put 3 rats in a barrel.

In one week , there are 2 rats and a skeleton .

In 2 weeks, there are 2 skeletons and a rat .

In 3 weeks , there are 2 skeletons and a mummy .

Sadly, the first to go was wise and generous . The second was beautiful and brave ... and that leaves us .

Don't mean to seem pessimistic at all . I just hope we can put ' evolution ' behind us and be human .



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

It's a conjecture that goes both ways. In reality imo, Animals and Humans are two different species altogether. It's possible that by being told you are an animal, will push you down to the level that those running the show would rather have you believing you are less than you are.

Then people begin acting like it, as they're told they're animals their entire lives.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:39 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

To many thoughts,

We believe we are humans and we act as humans, but are nothing more than a bipedal animal.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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Sentient animals which puts us at the top of the earthly food chain. We are more even though other life forms (at times) can show a flash of understanding or awareness, yet, it is but a fleeting moment in time for them. We are generalist and can rationalize, remember, pass on experiences, and think our way out of all kinds of things when others would just go extinct.. We may be animals but we are special on this planet.
edit on 727stk16 by 727Sky because: ..



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 05:46 PM
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originally posted by: 727Sky
Sentient animals which puts us at the top of the earthly food chain. We are more even though other life forms (at times) can show a flash of understanding or awareness, yet, it is but a fleeting moment in time for them. We are generalist and can rationalize, remember, pass on experiences, and think our way out of all kinds of things when others would just go extinct.. We may be Sentient animals but we are special on this planet.


I could disapprove the whole statement, its fine balance between being conscious and believing one is.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I think this is where Hobbes, Locke, Roseau, and Spinoza can come in handy.

Society/Social cotract

Vs

State of Nature

Once back in a state of nature all rules are off if it is a scarce season and there are mouths to feed.
edit on 31-12-2016 by luthier because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:13 PM
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originally posted by: Slakecontagia
a reply to: Astrocyte


Very thoughtful and hopeful essay , thanks .


Here's how animals work ... I wonder if we are similar :

Put 3 rats in a barrel.

In one week , there are 2 rats and a skeleton .

In 2 weeks, there are 2 skeletons and a rat .

In 3 weeks , there are 2 skeletons and a mummy .

Sadly, the first to go was wise and generous . The second was beautiful and brave ... and that leaves us .

Don't mean to seem pessimistic at all . I just hope we can put ' evolution ' behind us and be human .


Three rats in a barrel scenario is like three men in a lifeboat. The courts won't find the survivor guilty of anything but staying alive. Cant judge noble behavior by the laws of survival. Two different things. Humans are a higher order, they know the difference between killing and murder.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:18 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

If a lion kills a mother wildebeest in the middle of giving birth and consumes the baby first because its more tender, this isn't considered a crime, we call that 'natural'. Conservation of energy for a predator made the lion choose to attack the weakest, sickest, oldest, most vulnerable prey because it was easier.

If a person were to kill a pregnant woman and consume her baby, we'd execute this person for being insane. This is not 'natural' behavior for human beings.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:19 PM
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originally posted by: intrptr

originally posted by: Slakecontagia
a reply to: Astrocyte


Very thoughtful and hopeful essay , thanks .


Here's how animals work ... I wonder if we are similar :

Put 3 rats in a barrel.

In one week , there are 2 rats and a skeleton .

In 2 weeks, there are 2 skeletons and a rat .

In 3 weeks , there are 2 skeletons and a mummy .

Sadly, the first to go was wise and generous . The second was beautiful and brave ... and that leaves us .

Don't mean to seem pessimistic at all . I just hope we can put ' evolution ' behind us and be human .


Three rats in a barrel scenario is like three men in a lifeboat. The courts won't find the survivor guilty of anything but staying alive. Cant judge noble behavior by the laws of survival. Two different things. Humans are a higher order, they know the difference between killing and murder.



Depending on the power of authority.

I think we bring the poor man to the gallows before the wealthy plenty as well.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:23 PM
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originally posted by: luthier

originally posted by: intrptr

originally posted by: Slakecontagia
a reply to: Astrocyte


Very thoughtful and hopeful essay , thanks .


Here's how animals work ... I wonder if we are similar :

Put 3 rats in a barrel.

In one week , there are 2 rats and a skeleton .

In 2 weeks, there are 2 skeletons and a rat .

In 3 weeks , there are 2 skeletons and a mummy .

Sadly, the first to go was wise and generous . The second was beautiful and brave ... and that leaves us .

Don't mean to seem pessimistic at all . I just hope we can put ' evolution ' behind us and be human .


Three rats in a barrel scenario is like three men in a lifeboat. The courts won't find the survivor guilty of anything but staying alive. Cant judge noble behavior by the laws of survival. Two different things. Humans are a higher order, they know the difference between killing and murder.



Depending on the power of authority.

I think we bring the poor man to the gallows before the wealthy plenty as well.

Actually there are cases for shipwreck and survival, lost at sea scenarios.

They look at the legal aspects differently because they are, like your three rats in a barrel, victims of circumstance.

Custom of the sea sea



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Humans are most def animals in the sense that we belong in the classification animalia. You then go on to use a seperate definition of the world animal, one that would describe a human who is uncivilized. Some words have two meanings. I know it's tricky but thats the way it is.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Humans are most def animals in the sense that we belong in the classification animalia. You then go on to use a seperate definition of the world animal, one that would describe a human who is uncivilized. Some words have two meanings. I know it's tricky but thats the way it is.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:28 PM
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Some of them are.
edit on 31-12-2016 by iTruthSeeker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:28 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

I understand.

At some point though its the same as being poor and hungry and being jailed for crime, or executed.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:29 PM
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There's no doubt that Homo sapiens has grown to dominate the planet and is at the top of the food chain, but I'm not sure that qualifies as being somehow separate from animals. Everyone from anthropologists to philosophers has been attempting to define us as different for thousands of years. One after another their points of logic to prove such have fallen by the wayside. Just a couple of examples out of many:

1. "Only we use language." False. Dolphins and Killer whales use language and have dialect differences between "tribes." They recognize each other as individuals. They cooperate with language to protect and feed themselves and care for their young. There is no debate over this. They do it.

2. "Only we use tools." This was very big for a long time, but we now know chimpanzees are tool makers. They even fish with fishing poles of their own construction. This myth was first dispelled by Jane Goodall in the fifties and sixties and been corroborated many times since. When you modify something in your environment to manipulate it further, that's the definition of a tool.

3. After each of these definitions has been shown to include species other than Homo sapiens the philosophers have become even more desperate to define our special uniqueness. One of my favorites is that, "Well, other species may use tools, and other species may have language, but only Homo sapiens are aware of their own demise." But even this is unlikely Elephants recognize the skulls of their dead and chimpanzees have been known to pine away after the death of a relative. Many species of animals are not at all oblivious to death.

Of course philosophy often turns religious, so you have those so-inclined claiming only Homo sapiens "has a soul." From a purely rationalistic standpoint there is no evidence humans do either, but you have to acknowledge that this is a sentiment of many. I don't happen to believe that and I even believe my dog has a soul, but that is inherently unprovable from a scientific point of view.

So when you scrutinize everything that supposedly makes Homo sapiens unique, one definition after another falls away. It's quite obvious we are the only species that writes "E=MC^2" on a chalkboard or launches rockets into space. That's not in dispute, but it begs the question: Why are we so desperate to define ourselves as different from the animal kingdom? In fact, isn't an insistence that we are at the pinnacle of the Great Chain of Being more or less a Victorian-era concept that has fostered a sense of us being divorced from the rest of the Earth, to both our and the Earth's detriment? The idea that we are so special has not boded well for our fellow species because it has led to us exploiting the "dumb animals" for our benefit. I'm not suggesting we grant chimpanzees or dolphins citizenship (as some have), but this attitude that we are special has historically been a failure.

The fact is that taxonomically we are the end result of a long line of many species of hominim that have lived over the last couple million years. Technically, we are one of several species of Great Apes still alive and the others aren't doing so well and face extinction--because of us. Very likely we either killed off or assimilated our close competitors such as Neanderthal and Denisovans because we were effectively more lethal than the others. I don't think we need to condemn ourselves, which may very well be a solely human trait, because nature is "red in tooth and claw" (William Blake) and was long before we came along to dominate.

But the idea that we are so very special in the scheme of things is an antiquated 19th century concept that deserves to be in the dustbin of history.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Agree..

It's society that is the difference. Any species could evolve to understand group learning, like killer whales have.

You can judge a species by its society in its psychological evolution sense.

Humans don't hold the concept of society it exists like gravity does.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 06:44 PM
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We have the best both worlds. Animal can be sooo nice sometimes.
A depressingly small percentage seem to attain something higher. The desire itself seems to be the key.



posted on Dec, 31 2016 @ 07:12 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
A simple answer would be yes, inasmuch as like other animals - and all things in the universe which are live - we are movers i.e. "animated".

But is that what is meant by the use of the term "animals"? No.

Language can devolve into "la langue" when the speaker means something different from the way the interpreter would interpret. For instance, Donald Trumps tweets are now being interpreted by his various apologists...


I stopped reading right there as I'm pretty confident there won't be any earth shattering epiphanies to follow. Perhaps you should work on your approach?


edit on 31-12-2016 by Bone75 because: (no reason given)




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