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Thread: Humans as Non-Animal: Can any inferences be drawn?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    But the problem is that our biosphere is a closed system. And the truth is none of us really know what the world is going to look like in 1000 years, but what we do know is that we're already doing pretty serious damage to pretty much every global ecosystem.
    Most people on the planet don't give a rat's ass about environmental damage or pollution so long as they have life's basic necessities. How many other species are exterminated is of no concern, never has been and never will be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    But the problem is that our biosphere is a closed system. And the truth is none of us really know what the world is going to look like in 1000 years, but what we do know is that we're already doing pretty serious damage to pretty much every global ecosystem.
    Most people on the planet don't give a rat's ass about environmental damage or pollution so long as they have life's basic necessities. How many other species are exterminated is of no concern, never has been and never will be.
    Which is why we have a serious case of overshoot with this species. We don't concern ourselves enough with our dependence and interrelation with the rest of earth's life. However much we're evolved to be a self-involved animal, I can't help but keep hoping we also evolved the ability to overcome that.

    ----

    And a little more about humans being self-involved... Once in IIDB, I offered that it'd be unfortunate if humans left earth for other planets after killing off most of its nonhuman life. A posthumanist sort responded that technology could solve that by recreating the extinct species, so "animal lovers" like me could revisit extinct life-forms in a Star Trekkian "holodeck". That POV views nonhuman lives as existing FOR humans. I know of no non-religious justification for thinking that way. The technophilic faith that fellow subscribed to is just a revisioning of Christianity.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    But the problem is that our biosphere is a closed system. And the truth is none of us really know what the world is going to look like in 1000 years, but what we do know is that we're already doing pretty serious damage to pretty much every global ecosystem.
    Most people on the planet don't give a rat's ass about environmental damage or pollution so long as they have life's basic necessities. How many other species are exterminated is of no concern, never has been and never will be.
    Doesn't that pretty much indicate that there is no difference between humans and other animals?

    That is kinda the subject of this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    But the problem is that our biosphere is a closed system. And the truth is none of us really know what the world is going to look like in 1000 years, but what we do know is that we're already doing pretty serious damage to pretty much every global ecosystem.
    Most people on the planet don't give a rat's ass about environmental damage or pollution so long as they have life's basic necessities. How many other species are exterminated is of no concern, never has been and never will be.
    Doesn't that pretty much indicate that there is no difference between humans and other animals?

    That is kinda the subject of this thread.
    Well, I didn't want to get too pedantic.

    The wife and I used to volunteer at the local library by taking folks on a short hike at a local county park. It's not a big park and has 18 miles of formally blazed trail. Some of the group had never been to the park, despite being locals. Some were visibly distressed and worried when we got out of sight of their cars and the parking area.

    That told me there's a fear factor operating in a lot of people. As backpackers my wife and I realize that we can't call 911 and expect an ambulance when we're in the backcountry. I think many folks are very uncomfortable with that condition and so avoid it.

    I also met one gentleman who told me he doesn't go "camping" because it means he'd have to take a crap or a pee in the woods. Everyone knows that the only civilized place for that is in a proper toilet.

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    Staff Notice
    X . The "Overpopulation" discussion has been moved to its own thread
    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...n-animals-quot

    Please go there for discussions of overpopulation

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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    But the problem is that our biosphere is a closed system. And the truth is none of us really know what the world is going to look like in 1000 years, but what we do know is that we're already doing pretty serious damage to pretty much every global ecosystem.
    Most people on the planet don't give a rat's ass about environmental damage or pollution so long as they have life's basic necessities. How many other species are exterminated is of no concern, never has been and never will be.
    Doesn't that pretty much indicate that there is no difference between humans and other animals?

    That is kinda the subject of this thread.
    This is an important point, I think for one's own mental well-being, something I've promoted for some time now. It's easy to get angsty about our impact on the environment, but on some level what else would you expect? Is it reasonable to believe that, being animals, we can direct our future in any meaningful way?

    It makes sense to try, but when I hear so much pessimism over human nature I feel like there's something missing. It maybe implies a should that doesn't, and can't exist. It's great to be idealistic, but not to the extent that you let the state of the world ruin your life. At some point we need to accept that this is the world we live in, not to justify inaction, but to realize that it's unhelpful to think of the world as wrong.

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Doesn't that pretty much indicate that there is no difference between humans and other animals?

    That is kinda the subject of this thread.
    Well, I didn't want to get too pedantic.

    The wife and I used to volunteer at the local library by taking folks on a short hike at a local county park. It's not a big park and has 18 miles of formally blazed trail. Some of the group had never been to the park, despite being locals. Some were visibly distressed and worried when we got out of sight of their cars and the parking area.

    That told me there's a fear factor operating in a lot of people. As backpackers my wife and I realize that we can't call 911 and expect an ambulance when we're in the backcountry. I think many folks are very uncomfortable with that condition and so avoid it.
    Yes, animals (of course including humans) are uncomfortable in unfamiliar environments. I saw a video about a "retirement" center someone had set up for chimps that had lived as lab animals. In the center they would have freedom to roam around the grounds that was forested. The chimps had never seen the outside of the lab. It took several days for one old chimp to build up the courage to step off the paved walkway onto the grass. Even then it was very tentative... but he did eventually, over time, adapt to his new environment.
    I also met one gentleman who told me he doesn't go "camping" because it means he'd have to take a crap or a pee in the woods. Everyone knows that the only civilized place for that is in a proper toilet.
    I have always loved camping and do a lot of it. I have to confess that I would much rather shit in a toilet than in the woods. On a toilet, there is no leg strain from squatting, no struggle to balance, no care required to insure the shit doesn't get on my heels, etc. OTOH, I much prefer pissing in the woods - there is just something liberating about it.

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    I've been thinking about this thread some more. One needs to wonder if many of our belief systems, as well as technologies, are built to stand in contrast to as well as control nature. The world we lived in when many of our ideas were developed was likely quite terrifying in a lot of ways, so there'd be a huge psychological benefit in the idea that a) someone is watching out for us / we're special, and b) we'll be relieved of our struggle when our life is over.

    It's comfortable to think of ourselves as distinct from nature, and also build things that protect us from nature.

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    Senior Member OLDMAN's Avatar
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    Evolution isn't trying to pick a winner, advantages determine the pathway evolution will follow. If having a longer neck is an advantage, then what would stop the process from becoming extreme? That's why giraffes have such structures. It is the same for humans...once intelligence is the advantage then more is better and down the path we go. But no species is superior to another, just advantaged differently. It's like which animal is the superior flyer? Well, birds...but so what. Evolution leads to successful species and if that success doesn't need to adapt then the species remains much the same for millions of years. Such as sharks, who as all fish are superior at swimming.

  10. Top | #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I've been thinking about this thread some more. One needs to wonder if many of our belief systems, as well as technologies, are built to stand in contrast to as well as control nature. The world we lived in when many of our ideas were developed was likely quite terrifying in a lot of ways, so there'd be a huge psychological benefit in the idea that a) someone is watching out for us / we're special, and b) we'll be relieved of our struggle when our life is over.

    It's comfortable to think of ourselves as distinct from nature, and also build things that protect us from nature.
    Comfortable it may be, but from an evolutionary perspective, our structures, technology and civilisation are no less part of nature than is a beaver dam or a termite mound.

    Life shapes its environment, and environments shape life.

    Even having oxygen in the atmosphere is an unnatural phenomenon, resulting from the exploitation of carbon dioxide and sunlight by living organisms.

    There's no coherent schema wherein automobiles and skyscrapers are artificial, but an atmosphere containing ~20% oxygen is not.

    If we say that humans are separate from the natural world because of the changes made to the world by humans, then that's just question begging. Microbes have made vastly greater changes in the world than humans ever will.

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