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We are animals but it causes us a great deal of dissonance to think of ourselves as such, probably due to the conditions we treat animals.

Most people will do all that they can to separate themselves from being perceived as an animal. Shaving hair off, covering yourself in scents to hide your own, wearing fancy 'skins', etc.

Civilization was the point that we chose to be distinct from animals. It can be really comforting to be condescending.

Most of life is about trying to make ourselves more or less comfortable.

This is an awesome topic that is so wide ranging and so complex but so amazingly in your face. We are swimming in elephants.

edit: the point you bring up about nature is also poignant.

If a lion hunts a gazelle that it nature and it is natural. If a man stabs another man to steal his phone that is nature and it is natural.

In the end it all boils down to definitions, the ability to make creation more complex.

Edited by Distracted
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To be fair to the teachers it is a good philosophical argument to get the students talking.

yes .

Everybody has a right and is right in this discussion -unless ofcourse you see the reasoning as a zealot.

Now zealot's they really get my goat up. Ascribing controls to petty biased arguments and demeaning others according to your viewpoint is narrow minded. I'd bet 400 pieces of gold dags that the teachers were trying to rise temperatures and get people out of their level of comfort.

The reality is that our education system is dysfunctional. Lucky we have SAB.

The term democracy comes to mind.

For good or worse, the animals here in SAB have a kind of utopian reality -that is -if you want to grasp it.....you can forge an alliance. In here, people get a rest when they become unruly. I know what that's like. I copped a warnie point and 30 days in the kooler out of one of my first posts here.

I decided to stay because otherwise i realised it would be a failure on my behalf to just take my ball and bat and go home.




Hah, these weren't my bogettes eth, other ones doing like me with their own brand of originality.. But they made my blood boil claiming we are a higher species, without any real back up.
I'm glad to hear you say we are animals.. Of some sort.
What would you say are our ancestors then? Warriors from where? Did they look like we do now?

Our ancestors are all around us. Trees let off oxygene for a reason. we let off co2 for the exact and same opposite but it still binds us. The symbiosis that we exist in is what teachers should be exploring with their students not stupid stories in old books pushing an agenda of segregation and agitation.

Our ancestors ofcourse has been scientifically proved to be our monkey brothers. When i said what i said, i thought this fact would just be assumed as a progression from my point stated.

Where i was heading was that all things being relative - it's not enough to think"ah yes monkeys"......there's more to it than that.

Warriors literally.

I can only provide information that is dated and substantiated.

My ancestors were protectors of the Byzantine era.

The pumperos(or overseers) in each village had local shamans and protectors who were from that culture. Remember, the turks didn't impose their religion upon the hordes they conquered. They let them be - it was enough they rolled in

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I'd really like to clarify that the context in which this line of thinking arose (in a class) was only the starting point for these thoughts. The tutor certainly wasn't making claims either way, the point of the exersize was to describe the nature of the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms.. Sure something is implied by the fact of there being a human kingdom, but they certainly weren't trying to tell us we are not animals. This consensus arose amoung the class who were discussing it, and it wasn't so much stated as "we AREN'T animals", but rather "we are definitely different from animals because..."

And to give fully deserved credit to the tutor he acknowledged the value of my continual rebuttal of the points others were making regarding animals as being inferior to us, and also the fallibility of having two such classifications, but for the point of the discussion, these lines were there.

That was the context which spurred off my thoughts, and the recognition that in general, a lot of people do really like to think we are not animals.

I have to say I have ultimate respect for this tutor, and while I found the responses of my classmates perturbing, it was a particularly enjoyable and thought provoking time to be had.

Just had to clear that up okay.

The original context was just the starting point, and I was not in an environment which had enough time available to explore this further.

Hence why I bring it here.

Thank you all for your thought provoking responses. I have more pondering to do before I can appropriately respond other than this.

Edited by bogfrog

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I want the goose that shits the golden dags!

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i'm not eager to weigh in here, i just agree so much with what distracted said.

you open this topic right up and it leads down all kinds of paths

personally i find the mistreatment of animals to be horrific, but i confess that i've had my moments. i don't want to sound like some buddhist who won't tread on grass, there is always "collateral damage" no matter how much compassion you think you have. i also don't want to sound like i'm pressing my views, i'm merely sharing them. utilising our surroundings including our fellow animals in a self-serving and careless way is a facet of our success as a species and if not for that we'd be shivering in a lice-ridden ditch cramming bugs in our hole waiting for a cat to eat our family. in my personal view, the ignorant aren't truly culpable, it's those who know that have something to answer for. we are animals but unusually capable of looking back on that domain from a detached perspective and contemplating how we fit into the scheme and how we can consciously renovate the scheme of nature and our place in it. if we choose not to treat animals like our bros but like slaves, we fall short of ourselves. we choose ignorance, and anyone choosing ignorance, consciously, again and again, is culpable in my eyes, they are failures unto themselves. is that were we want to be collectively?

animals are our siblings. only the cute ones though just kidding!

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look at this guy in my avatar.

humans can only dream of being that awesome, don't get me started or i'll be raining down facts all night. the question is do mantid shrimp include us among their bros are are we inferior?

and octopi? do they consider us bros or inferior?

how can anybody look at the human animal in wonder, and not have the same wonder for the other animals. same applies in reverse, we are amazing animals too.

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Mmm. That's a common perception I think, when I was growing up the religious context was certainly that humans were above animals, and that animals and plants were there for us to use. There was no guidance as to how. I think that, unless you know a bit about living systems that kind of thinking will prevail "we are more intelligent" just feeds into that. Many animals do exhibit higher forms of intelligence, and the fact that people do not perceive that is a failing on our part, not theirs.

Animals can have a deleterious affect on the environment, think of the feral cat in Australia, or the cane toad. Ecosystems tend to achieve a kind of balance over time, an intact and stable ecosystem is called something specific I can't remember the name of. Usually when it's out of place. This leads me to believe the possibility that humans may not be entirely natural, they may have been genetically manipulated. It seems strange to me that humans were around for at least 200,000 years and (apparently) did not develop the ability to do the damage we have. What happened since the last ice age that made us different? What happened to allow a massive expansion of agriculture and technology so fast - especially since it apparently emerged from a hostile, resource poor environment like the desert, yet didn't occur before despite the conditions being hostile and resource poor? Did we have this ability and time has erased the evidence?

I digress. Our "higher forms of intelligence" are defined by us and relate entirely to us. Other forms of intelligence are mocked or ignored. Our respect for that which sustains us is minimal, because we don't know enough about it. Advanced tool use without knowledge is highly dangerous, and without respect for our environment will kill us. We are an anomaly of sorts, not a "higher being" and our arrogance will bring us down, unless we learn humility fast.

Even if we are manipulated, genetically, we are still closely related to other primates which makes us animals, nothing more. The fact that genuine intelligence seems so sporadic and isolated makes me think that we are a poorly evolved species, with intelligence not just being learned but also inherent. Some people cannot be educated. Some are genuinely smart, without formal education. They learn it themselves. Realistically, we are all over the shop. Art, engineering, breeding, building, numbers, autism, empathy. Some with, some without. Most are just drones

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Hey Thunder two of your point set me off thinking:

utilising our surroundings including our fellow animals in a self-serving and careless way is a facet of our success as a species and if not for that we'd be shivering in a lice-ridden ditch cramming bugs in our hole waiting for a cat to eat our family.

Yes. Indeed. But haven't we all heard those stories from indigenous cultures regarding respectful and sustainable use of animals, honouring the spirit of the animal as it is killed, prayer for its safe passage to the spirit realm, clever and creative use of every part of the carcass to make various items as well as using it for food. I think this was the case for a long time, until greed and abundance got the better of us, and we stopped truly valuing what we had been gifted by life and instead considered it entitlement.

I don't know, maybe those stories are just fairy tales we like to repeat so we feel better about ourselves.

Often I hear stories of Maori ancestors living in harmony with the land, only taking what was needed and always giving back, but its painfully clear this wasn't always the case when you consider the simple fact of the way they over hunted the moa to extinction.

The moa population was supposedly 58,000 when ancestors of Maori arrived. They were completely wiped out in just over 140 years. Moa burial pits have been discovered which show that usually the only meat taken was the legs. The rest of the carcasses were often entirely untouched, why? Because the meat from the legs was the tastiest.

So theres clearly some kind of insidious sense of entitlement which predisposes us to dominate other animals, yet something tells me there are ways of utilising the available power of other lifeforms without abusing and disrespecting them.

Which brings me to the other point.

if we choose not to treat animals like our bros but like slaves, we fall short of ourselves. we choose ignorance, and anyone choosing ignorance, consciously, again and again, is culpable in my eyes, they are failures unto themselves. is that were we want to be collectively?

No. But if I speak honestly, its where I find myself. Who I am I to be high and mighty, I rarely eat meat but I ate butter chicken for dinner tonight and I can safely assume that the chicken was factory farmed, which is slavery of animals, which I am against, yet I support it by giving my money vicariously to the industry, so that makes me a hypocrite.

Is it worth any penance that I love the chickens at my own house very dearly and take great pleasure in tending them, feeding them, telling them I love them and remarking on how cute they are, how shiny and beautiful their feathers are?

I would probably eat one of them if it was killed and prepared because I know it had a happy life, but I am a squeamish wimp and certainly couldn't kill one myself, let alone dismember it.

Where do we want to be collectively???

If we accept that we are animals too, then what right do we have to abuse and enslave other species?

Does our use need to be abuse?

What about plants? I know this is already a very broad conversation, but use may come of comparison made.

I see monoculture and especially genetic engineering of plants as abuse. But growing a diverse vege garden with love and care and harvesting those plants for food is not abusive in my mind, especially if we have the good sense to collect seeds and ensure the continuation of the species.

I'm baffled by the expansiveness here. I will just stop.

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Animals can have a deleterious affect on the environment, think of the feral cat in Australia, or the cane toad. Ecosystems tend to achieve a kind of balance over time, an intact and stable ecosystem is called something specific I can't remember the name of. Usually when it's out of place. This leads me to believe the possibility that humans may not be entirely natural, they may have been genetically manipulated. It seems strange to me that humans were around for at least 200,000 years and (apparently) did not develop the ability to do the damage we have. What happened since the last ice age that made us different? What happened to allow a massive expansion of agriculture and technology so fast - especially since it apparently emerged from a hostile, resource poor environment like the desert, yet didn't occur before despite the conditions being hostile and resource poor? Did we have this ability and time has erased the evidence?

I digress.

You say 'I digress', I say please continue. Who cares where this goes. I am fascinated by it all.

Likes are insufficient for thanking you each for your thoughts. I won't reply to everything but I'm riveted.

Fuck you guys are awesome. I'm glad I have Internet friends to learn from. Life would be much smaller otherwise.

Edited by bogfrog
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i wasnt offering vegetarianism as the answer. we can still be a vegetarian society that disregards animals, vegetarians aren't automatically in the clear, far from it, i'll bet that countless meat eaters have better karma than many vegetarians. i may have gotten on a bit of a high horse in the (to me) distant past but i'm not so judgmental as to prescribe lifestyle. i'm glad you went to the effort of thinking some about aspects of your lifestyle but if it was a defensive maneouver it was unnecessary, and i'm not about to discuss the pros and cons of eating animals.

my point was we should be cultivating the deepest possible respect for nature. we can continue treading on grass, sustaining our bodies and swatting mozzies while we do this. don't ask me where buddhists figured out how to clap with one hand; i do it all the time, when one hand is occupied and i get an opportunity to end a mosquito (between the last segment of the fingers and the palm).

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Nah nah nah...totally didn't mean it like that! I was just thinking aloud, or rather in text. Not a defensive, just an aloud query of 'well do this and I know it's not entirely ideal'. Thinking about these things is one thing, making alterations to behaviour and future choice processes is a good next step right?

Was more just using your thoughts as a diving board as they stuck out to me in the context of my evenings activities.

This topic is deep water. Swimming in elephants indeed...

Edited by bogfrog

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We are lifeforms, no different than other lifeforms :)

I don't eat meat and try to help other human animals, and all other animals.

But in the end it doesn't matter. We don't control the world as much as we think we do.

Maybe that's the only thing that makes us a bit different than other animals - we worry too much.

Edited by dajindo
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This leads me to believe the possibility that humans may not be entirely natural, they may have been genetically manipulated.

By whom ? shapeshifting reptilians ?

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I'm a shapeshifting reptilian and I find this post offensive.

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By whom ? shapeshifting reptilians ?

Lol. That is one posited theory. Not very well backed up by mythology. I'm going more with the gods as aliens with super tech theory, there are serious hints in the creation myths* that sounds like primitives trying to describe genetic manipulation technology that they don't understand. See those ancient texts as a kind of twitter, simple sentences from people who don't understand what they are talking about.

Try it yourself. You have 30 sentences of no more than 30 words to describe the scientific point of view of the following sequence of events.**

1. The creation of the universe

2. The formation of the solar system

3. The formation of the Earth's crust, and oceans

4. The evolution of plants

5. The evolution of animals

6. The evolution of humans

Then go and compare your results to Genesis chapter 1.

*creation myths of human origins

** note that creation myths can be divided into two main events, the creation of the universe, and the creation of humans.

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Note that the sequence of events as explained in genesis runs in exactly the same way that the sequence of events occurred as we understand it. That's the crucial point here. If you take out a creator being from the story, it makes sense. But, without scientific knowledge of astronomy, physics, geology and biology, how would you come up with that sequence by accident?

The timescale is out, of course, and the "creator being" of the universe is somewhat negotiable, but I noticed in one of the texts I read there were two different words used for the creator "god" of the first 5 events and the "lord" mentioned in the more personal stories of interaction with human beings. So "God" is the superbeing that created the universe, but the "lord" is the somewhat flawed being (or group of beings overseen by a great one) who is there in the very early days while humans started civilisation, where initially they were created, first male, then female, but unable to breed without the intervention of the "lord". Later on the humans negotiated marriage and parenthood and began to choose their own partners.

It is there in Genesis, which comes from even older Sumerian and Phoenecian texts.

Edited by whitewind

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Low blow ^

Really!? I mean somebody says they think human genetics have been manipulated, and somebody asks how and makes a simple suggestion, and it's not allowed? Or seen to be wackin him in the nuts? I'm confused, isn't this a forum?

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Maybe you're right but I saw in change's post the same mocking tone of any tinfoil hat call. I don't think he was asking how. Somebody mentioned aliens and he jumped straight to arguably the most deserving-of-ridicule alien story going.

Meh wotevz

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Mythology should never be used as backing for any kind of statement or idea.

Why?
Well let's break it down :)

Mythology
1. a collection of myths, especially one belonging to a particular religious or cultural tradition.
2. the study of myths

So mytholgoy can reference to a specific set of cultures or whatever ie christian mythology, pagan mythology, wiccan mythology, buddhist mythology, native culture mythologies included.

And if you study myths you are a mythologist.

So the next point of interest here. What exactly is a myth?

Myth
1. a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
2. a widely held but false belief or idea


I think before explaining this part we should probably define supernatural, traditional and phenomenon. Always good to make sure we are on the same footing and following the actual definition of words.
So...

Supernatural
1. (adjective = descriptive word) (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.
2. (noun = objective word) manifestations or events considered to be of supernatural origin, such as ghosts.

Traditional
1. existing in or as part of a tradition; long-established.
2. produced, done, or used in accordance with tradition.
3. habitually done, used, or found.

Tradition
1. the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
2. a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another.
3. an artistic or literary method or style established by an artist, writer, or movement, and subsequently followed by others.

Or in the context of theology (study of religion, relating to religion)

4. a doctrine believed to have divine authority though not in the scriptures, in particular:
  • (in Christianity) doctrine not explicit in the Bible but held to derive from the oral teaching of Christ and the Apostles.
  • (in Judaism) an ordinance of the oral law not in the Torah but held to have been given by God to Moses.
  • (in Islam) a saying or act ascribed to the Prophet but not recorded in the Koran.

Ok. So effectively the breakdown is that mythology is a set of traditional stories ie a story that is told because people have just always done that. Particularly mythology relates to funamentally false or unverifiable beliefs centred around subjects of conversation that are beyond the comprehension of the individuals making the mythology in question. And a tradition is only a tradition because it has been done consistently for generations and can be passed from one individual to another, if they so choose.

So by believing in tradtion, the supernatural or mythology you are effectively basing your existence on nothing at all. You are living your life according to stories written by people who are uneducated and/or ignorant (either through their own fault or due to the time they lived in). Stories written about topics of discussion far beyond their own comprehension at the time.

If that is what you want to live your life by then go for it. But I will leave with you a very cool little study showing "traditional" behaviour being picked up by a group of monkeys. Effectively the "naive" monkeys picked up the "tradition" of not touching the object in question in the study because the other monkey they were with wouldn't do it. You could probably say that the "naive" monkeys "believed" that the older monkeys knew better. Even when put back alone they were far more hesitant in checking out the object in question.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/106891948/Stephenson-G-R-1967-Cultural-Acquisition-of-a-Specific-Learned-Response-Among-Rhesus-Monkeys-in-Starek-D-Schneider-R-And-Kuhn-H-J-Eds

And as a wise wise cartoon once said
"Scientifically traditions are an idiot thing".




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Talking about shape shifting reptilians, here's proof they walk amongst us.

428961-ad170ffe-d280-11e2-b860-d5a4f7ec6

55-2011395-scn211212dinoa_fct1024x768_t6

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Sorry Ace, I was aiming for a bit of comic relief there.

I didn't realise you'd posted a serious reply.

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We are all animals.

M8KQJZo.gif

ps. There are a good proportion of muppets amongst us, too.

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Talking about shape shifting reptilians, here's proof they walk amongst us.

428961-ad170ffe-d280-11e2-b860-d5a4f7ec6

55-2011395-scn211212dinoa_fct1024x768_t6

All good sally

Up there with some of the most concrete evidence in this whole thread :P

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