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Thread: What does it mean and take to be a human being?

  1. #1 What does it mean and take to be a human being? 
    Lover of Ideas jacate's Avatar
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    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?


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    To be superior?
    I certainly hope not...the bacteria on our bodies outnumber our cells--they seem to be winning.

    To be greatness itself?
    A bat snatching a flying insect out the air in pitch darkness is greatness. Not so sure about human endeavors.



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    Lover of Ideas jacate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    To be superior?
    I certainly hope not...the bacteria on our bodies outnumber our cells--they seem to be winning.

    To be greatness itself?
    A bat snatching a flying insect out the air in pitch darkness is greatness. Not so sure about human endeavors.

    So what is it mean to be a human being to you Lynx? To appreciate nature for its every large complexities?
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    I think that the question "What does it mean to be a human?" is possibly best answered with "Having an overblown, arrogant and egocentric opinion of ourselves".

    Compare it to the question "What does it mean to be a sparrow?".
    Firstly, few people (if any) ask that question as no-one is particularly interested in the answer.
    And, if someone did ask the question, any answer would be quite prosaic, quite mundane.

    But, due to how self-centred we are (as a species), the question "What does it mean to be a human?" inexplicably has some 'deeper' meaning.

    I once read the diary of an adult mayfly "Monday, 15th May: Born. Eat. Shag. Die."
    I think this pretty much sums up what it means to be any animal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    I think that the question "What does it mean to be a human?" is possibly best answered with "Having an overblown, arrogant and egocentric opinion of ourselves".

    Compare it to the question "What does it mean to be a sparrow?".
    Firstly, few people (if any) ask that question as no-one is particularly interested in the answer.
    And, if someone did ask the question, any answer would be quite prosaic, quite mundane.

    But, due to how self-centred we are (as a species), the question "What does it mean to be a human?" inexplicably has some 'deeper' meaning.

    I once read the diary of an adult mayfly "Monday, 15th May: Born. Eat. Shag. Die."
    I think this pretty much sums up what it means to be any animal.
    I see. So it is like treating ourselves as a something more meaningful than others. Then how about animals as symbols? Like an eagle or lions? Tigers leopards, elephants? Does this show a sign of arrgogance that some of the people even try to incorporate the symbols related to animals into themselves?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    I see. So it is like treating ourselves as a something more meaningful than others.
    Yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    Then how about animals as symbols? Like an eagle or lions? Tigers leopards, elephants? Does this show a sign of arrgogance that some of the people even try to incorporate the symbols related to animals into themselves?
    What do you mean by "try to incorporate the symbols related to animals into themselves"?
    If you mean when people say "I am as strong as a bear!" then yes - that would be arrogant.
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    Lover of Ideas jacate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    I see. So it is like treating ourselves as a something more meaningful than others.
    Yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    Then how about animals as symbols? Like an eagle or lions? Tigers leopards, elephants? Does this show a sign of arrgogance that some of the people even try to incorporate the symbols related to animals into themselves?
    What do you mean by "try to incorporate the symbols related to animals into themselves"?
    If you mean when people say "I am as strong as a bear!" then yes - that would be arrogant (and wrong).
    Also wouldn't one saying that they are strong as a bear acknowledge that a bear is strong by nature, and given that most humans don't claim to be stronger than the bear whom would say they wouldn't be able to wrestle a strong bear, how would that be arrogance?

    However what i intended to say was like eagle is majestic and free or lions are fierce and independent and the society and its people works to achieving such traits. Thus by acknowledging that certain animals represent specific symbols of personified qualities that are deemed worthy, wouldn't that be like looking up to animals too? That they are meaningful in that manner and thus they assert to be better individuals themselves, they must learn to possess such qualities thereby providing animals with more meaning than theirselves.
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    you mean which ideal should we follow... as humans right??
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    However what i intended to say was like eagle is majestic and free or lions are fierce and independent and the society and its people works to achieving such traits. Thus by acknowledging that certain animals represent specific symbols of personified qualities that are deemed worthy, wouldn't that be like looking up to animals too? That they are meaningful in that manner and thus they assert to be better individuals themselves, they must learn to possess such qualities thereby providing animals with more meaning than theirselves.
    Yes, we are sometimes envious of other creatures' abilities - it doesn't mean that we (in general) automatically consider them to be equals.
    And it has nothing to do with us arrogantly claiming that we are 'special' and that being human has some deeper meaning than simply "born. eat. shag. die.".

    Maybe it would help clarify things if you would answer this question for me: What does it mean to be a sparrow?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    However what i intended to say was like eagle is majestic and free or lions are fierce and independent and the society and its people works to achieving such traits. Thus by acknowledging that certain animals represent specific symbols of personified qualities that are deemed worthy, wouldn't that be like looking up to animals too? That they are meaningful in that manner and thus they assert to be better individuals themselves, they must learn to possess such qualities thereby providing animals with more meaning than theirselves.
    Yes, we are sometimes envious of other creatures' abilities - it doesn't mean that we (in general) automatically consider them to be equals.
    And it has nothing to do with us arrogantly claiming that we are 'special' and that being human has some deeper meaning than simply "born. eat. shag. die.".

    Maybe it would help clarify things if you would answer this question for me: What does it mean to be a sparrow?
    To be a sparrow, that is quite a tough question. To be a sparrow is to live through the struggle of life as a sparrow to ensure the continuity of its species. If i were to use this definition and replace sparrows with humans, it would become my form of reason as to what it means to be a human being. Sometimes sparrows are pest due to grain eating species who disrupt our lives in an effort to survive. So to be a sparrow in conclusion is to ensure the survival of its species no matter the odds. However this would be my understanding of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    you mean which ideal should we follow... as humans right??
    Ideal would be a broad but concise term to it, but does actual standards even exist in the first place?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be a sparrow, that is quite a tough question. To be a sparrow is to live through the struggle of life as a sparrow to ensure the continuity of its species. If i were to use this definition and replace sparrows with humans, it would become my form of reason as to what it means to be a human being. Sometimes sparrows are pest due to grain eating species who disrupt our lives in an effort to survive. So to be a sparrow in conclusion is to ensure the survival of its species no matter the odds. However this would be my understanding of it.
    But isn't that (i.e. "to ensure the continuity of its species") just an interpretation that we humans have added?
    The individual sparrows know nothing about their own species continuity. They are born. They eat. They shag. They die.

    It seems to me that to ask what the meaning is, is to assume there is some over-arching purpose - a plan.
    We look at sparrows breeding and we say that they are trying to continue their species.
    But, couldn't reproduction simply be an emergent property of life?

    The main problem I think I have, is that people's descriptions of (existential) meaning are subjective.

    And I might be too practical minded to delve any deeper in to philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    Ideal would be a broad but concise term to it, but does actual standards even exist in the first place?
    I would say that human rights were created by humans.
    But that subject really needs its own thread.
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    What does it mean and take to be a human being?
    Being born to human parents.

    Although, that simple answer might get more complicated in future as genetic engineering develops....
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be a sparrow, that is quite a tough question. To be a sparrow is to live through the struggle of life as a sparrow to ensure the continuity of its species. If i were to use this definition and replace sparrows with humans, it would become my form of reason as to what it means to be a human being. Sometimes sparrows are pest due to grain eating species who disrupt our lives in an effort to survive. So to be a sparrow in conclusion is to ensure the survival of its species no matter the odds. However this would be my understanding of it.
    But isn't that (i.e. "to ensure the continuity of its species") just an interpretation that we humans have added?
    The individual sparrows know nothing about their own species continuity. They are born. They eat. They shag. They die.

    It seems to me that to ask what the meaning is, is to assume there is some over-arching purpose - a plan.
    We look at sparrows breeding and we say that they are trying to continue their species.
    But, couldn't reproduction simply be an emergent property of life?

    The main problem I think I have, is that people's descriptions of (existential) meaning are subjective.

    And I might be too practical minded to delve any deeper in to philosophy.

    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    Ideal would be a broad but concise term to it, but does actual standards even exist in the first place?
    I would say that human rights were created by humans.
    But that subject really needs its own thread.
    Well it is fine if you can't delve any deeper because personal insight is quite important to any discussion. Since right now there is no standard to serve as the basis of how accurate the answer is, it would just mean the more answers, the more in depth the meaning can be. I agree, this may be quite a subjective topic that be raised for debates of what should be accepted. As for reproduction is a emergent property of life, where pretty much all life embraces it, it is like an over-arching property of all life, which is quite a meaning itself.

    Also on the second part, i was referring to blackscorp, who incidentally forgot to insert a coma between his human and right. Given how english isn't his/her strong point, i figured the expression was faulty based on this fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    What does it mean and take to be a human being?
    Being born to human parents.

    Although, that simple answer might get more complicated in future as genetic engineering develops....
    How so, care to elaborate? Although based on your statement, i gather that the action of reproduction (birth/being born) is the underlying purpose of what it means to be human, and that the subjects (human parents) is interchangeable to any species with reference to that can give birth.
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    It means what you make it mean.

    It takes having human genes. No effort is required on your part for this aspect.

    God is reported to take an interest in the fall of every sparrow. The texts say nothing about his view on prokaryotes, though to paraphrase Haldane's remark on beetles, he must be inordinately fond of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    It means what you make it mean.

    It takes having human genes. No effort is required on your part for this aspect.

    God is reported to take an interest in the fall of every sparrow. The texts say nothing about his view on prokaryotes, though to paraphrase Haldane's remark on beetles, he must be inordinately fond of them.
    So to be human, is to be one's self, or the meaning they place themselves?
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    If you wish. I don't actually find it to be an important question. If this makes you think less of me I must confess that I rarely think of the second toenail from my thumb on my left foot. C'est la vie, c'est la mort.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    If you wish. I don't actually find it to be an important question. If this makes you think less of me I must confess that I rarely think of the second toenail from my thumb on my left foot. C'est la vie, c'est la mort.
    Why would anyone think less of you. Stop demeaning yourself, you are a very valued poster =D
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    i think its the free will which differentiate us from other organisms.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    i think its the free will which differentiate us from other organisms.
    Do you mean more free will?

    All sentient animals express free will so some degree. We probably tend to underestimate it for other animals, and overestimate for ourselves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    i think its the free will which differentiate us from other organisms.
    Do you mean more free will?

    All sentient animals express free will so some degree. We probably tend to underestimate it for other animals, and overestimate for ourselves.
    no sir, other animals are coded for what they do. they just dont think what is right or wrong.
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    I'm surprised no one has said this yet but what makes us human is consciousness and specifically the level of confidence that we have.

    Most animals show some degree of emotion, concern, and free-will. What separates us from them then is our conscience which leads to our intellectual development.

    I also believe we have souls given to us by God which is unique among us and only us.



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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    no sir, other animals are coded for what they do. they just don't think what is right or wrong.
    Not true at all. Animals express free will all the time, and many advanced species have partially coded morals or have learned some. An example of each:

    A non-breeding member of a wolf pack (what used to be called the omega) is partially coded for the order of the pack where only the breeding pair (formerly alpha) get to mate and bare offspring. Given the opportunity though non-breeding males will attempt to breed with the breeding female and occasionally be allowed to do so--both require making a decision and are examples of free will.

    A house cat sees a bug land on the kitchen table. It has learned not to jump on the table from its owner who used to yell and shoot a squirt gun at them--the learned behavior is a form of morality. The cat chatters, makes a decision and jumps up on the table. If the owner had been in the room, the cat might well have decided not to jump on the table. The cat has moral and expressed free will when it made its decisions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    no sir, other animals are coded for what they do. they just don't think what is right or wrong.
    Not true at all. Animals express free will all the time, and many advanced species have partially coded morals or have learned some. An example of each:

    A non-breeding member of a wolf pack (what used to be called the omega) is partially coded for the order of the pack where only the breeding pair (formerly alpha) get to mate and bare offspring. Given the opportunity though non-breeding males will attempt to breed with the breeding female and occasionally be allowed to do so--both require making a decision and are examples of free will.

    A house cat sees a bug land on the kitchen table. It has learned not to jump on the table from its owner who used to yell and shoot a squirt gun at them--the learned behavior is a form of morality. The cat chatters, makes a decision and jumps up on the table. If the owner had been in the room, the cat might well have decided not to jump on the table. The cat has moral and expressed free will when it made its decisions.
    If parrot talks to anybody does it show any free will. it is , we can say, learned / closed will. we have choices in our life, in a way, which are not available to animals.
    If I see in large canvas , I find human beings as masters of this whole known universe. Everything other is FOR THEM. it is upto their will what they do! This makes them superior species.
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    If parrot talks to anybody does it show any free will. it is , we can say, learned / closed will.
    The song is learned, much as I know the words to a few sea shanties. My choice to sing them is free will. I am no different than the parrot.

    And generally there is no such thing as "superior species," unless you mean to compare a particular characteristic. Bats are far superior to humans in their ability to measure the speed of flying insects in the dark. Humans are far superior at figuring out a device that can mimic the bat's capability. Both species came from a common ancestors and evolved for their long list of environmental ever since.

    --
    I regard most claims of human superiority as nothing more than hangovers from a narrow minded traditions before the advent of science.

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    human beings as masters of this whole known universe" sort of funny. It's quite unlikely humans will even get out of our local star cluster. The laws of physics pretty much rule out the rest of the vastness.
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    @LYNX_FOX
    We are superior becaue we copy nature . we want to fly, swim, sing like sparrows, travel in space, doing IMPOSSIBLE.
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to talk. have you seen a parrot in trees talking?
    Last edited by sir ir r aj; October 20th, 2013 at 03:55 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I'm surprised no one has said this yet but what makes us human is consciousness and specifically the level of confidence that we have.

    Most animals show some degree of emotion, concern, and free-will. What separates us from them then is our conscience which leads to our intellectual development.

    I also believe we have souls given to us by God which is unique among us and only us.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Eighty88 View Post
    I also believe we have souls given to us by God which is unique among us and only us.
    Evidence?

    You know you're on a science​ forum, yes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    @LYNX_FOX
    We are superior becaue we copy nature . we want to fly, swim, sing like sparrows, travel in space, doing IMPOSSIBLE.
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to sing. have you seen a parrot in trees singing?
    I don't live around parrots, the one parrot native to North America was hunted to extinction by a "superior" (and idiotic) invasive two legged species some 80 years ago.

    And you prefer, in a rather biased way, to define "superior" by choosing the one characteristic our species happen to be better at...thus my point.

    Do you sing the sounds of chainsaws, camera shutters and other primates in the forest such as this lyre bird?
    Amazing! Bird sounds from the lyre bird - David Attenborough - BBC wildlife - YouTube
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to sing. have you seen a parrot in trees singing?
    Yes, I have seen parrots in trees singing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to sing. have you seen a parrot in trees singing?
    Yes, I have seen parrots in trees singing.
    i meant talking. sorry for typo
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    I often eat parrots for breakfast
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    [QUOTE=sir ir r aj;474599]
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to sing. have you seen a parrot in trees singing?
    Yes, I have seen parrots in trees singing.
    tbh, I have so much trouble understanding what you are saying, I think I will just put you on ignore, rather than accidentally get into a discussion with you again.
    Else I will spend all my the time repeatedly asking you to clarify what it is you are trying to say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    I find human beings as masters of this whole known universe.
    ^^^That's an exaggeration. Albeit humans do have intelligence which is at much higher level than any other known living creature. Different living creatures have their own expertise and different abilities, but I think that the intellect of the human being not only distincts them from other living beings but makes him/her the best among all living beings. But again using term "superior" I think is a bit of an exaggeration.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    I don't live around parrots, the one parrot native to North America was hunted to extinction by a "superior" (and idiotic) invasive two legged species some 80 years ago.
    I am sorry for this loss. see . no animal can apologize. if lion eat somebody he will never say sorry. such a mule. Are we not civilized?

    And you prefer, in a rather biased way, to define "superior" by choosing the one characteristic our species happen to be better at...thus my point.
    i got the point.
    it was my free will to think as superior. But we human beings are not so superior in face of calamities. we are breakable in face of nature. earthquakes, floods etc. feeling superiority for ourself was my choice
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    [QUOTE=RedPanda;474609]
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to sing. have you seen a parrot in trees singing?
    Yes, I have seen parrots in trees singing.
    tbh, I have so much trouble understanding what you are saying, I think I will just put you on ignore, rather than accidentally get into a discussion with you again.
    Else I will spend all my the time repeatedly asking you to clarify what it is you are trying to say.
    Have you seen parrots talking in trees? which they usually do in cages.
    Last edited by sir ir r aj; October 20th, 2013 at 03:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?
    You just have to be born.

    Or as Woody Allen once said: 90% of life is just showing up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?
    You just have to be born.

    Or as Woody Allen once said: 90% of life is just showing up.
    what's the 10% then? Not showing up? If i have to just be born, then(warning sensitive topic) how about aborted foetuses?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to talk. have you seen a parrot in trees talking?
    Equally, I have not seen humans conducting high energy physics experiments in shopping malls.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Have you seen parrots talking in trees? which they usually do in cages.
    So are you saying that they have the ability to choose, freely, when to talk and when not to?
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    I often eat parrots for breakfast
    Toucan Sam is not a parrot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    You sing because you want to. For parrot it is unnatural to talk. have you seen a parrot in trees talking?
    Equally, I have not seen humans conducting high energy physics experiments in shopping malls.
    Sir, point was that, animals other than us have no free will. we are on the top of this list. its your choice whether you do exprement or not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Have you seen parrots talking in trees? which they usually do in cages.
    So are you saying that they have the ability to choose, freely, when to talk and when not to?
    They are forced to talk inside cage by method of rote learning. If any animal does anything similiar , it is not any level of free will. we can say that as learned thing. they dont know whether doing/not doing any action is good/bad or right/wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Sir, point was that, animals other than us have no free will.
    Now THAT requires supporting evidence.
    It sounds very much like an argument from religion.

    it is not any level of free will

    Citation needed.

    they dont know whether doing/not doing any action is good/bad or right/wrong.
    Why do think knowing "right" from "wrong" is directly linked to free will?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Sir, point was that, animals other than us have no free will.
    Evidence is required for this claim.

    They are forced to talk inside cage
    How do you know that. I have seen parrots who don't say anything at all (despite being offered treats, etc). Then another time they will talk a lot. It is almost as if they can decide whether to talk or not.

    If any animal does anything similiar , it is not any level of free will.
    And how do you know that?
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    Good/Bad and Right/Wrong are relative.

    You might as well segregate "animals" and humans because animals aren't beautiful or interesting. It's relative.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by blackscorp View Post
    I often eat parrots for breakfast
    Toucan Sam is not a parrot.
    The Old Foodie: An excellent parrot soup.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Sir, point was that, animals other than us have no free will.
    Now THAT requires supporting evidence.
    It sounds very much like an argument from religion.
    I have not taken any inspiration from religion while quoting my personal subjective opinion here. I need time to study and collect some data to generate evidence. This stuff is bit philosophical and it is very difficult to satisfy any serious science follower like you.

    Why do think knowing "right" from "wrong" is directly linked to free will?
    No simple answer. we are different from animals because of free will. power to differentiate between wrong and right. there is no any other criteria suitable to manifest free will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Sir, point was that, animals other than us have no free will.
    Evidence is required for this claim.
    what sort of evidence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    They are forced to talk inside cage
    How do you know that. I have seen parrots who don't say anything at all (despite being offered treats, etc). Then another time they will talk a lot. It is almost as if they can decide whether to talk or not.
    Right. At first new lions in circus are very adamant to obey master. Then what? They learn and perform duties in circus smoothly afterwards.

    Do you think birds poop on people consciously?
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    If any animal does anything similiar , it is not any level of free will.
    And how do you know that?
    my subjective and philosophical opinion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    what sort of evidence?
    Anything at all.

    Do you think birds poop on people consciously?
    Squirrels do.

    my subjective and philosophical opinion.
    And why should we believe your opinion over anyone else's?
    Oh, yes, I remember, this is a science site: when you present evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post

    And why should we believe your opinion over anyone else's?
    Oh, yes, I remember, this is a science site: when you present evidence.
    Sir , you are in philosophy section.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post

    Do you think birds poop on people consciously?
    Squirrels do.
    Where this crime is commited?
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Sir , you are in philosophy section.
    Oh great! Does that mean I can say anything at all and you have to believe me? I don't have to give any reason: everything anyone says in this forum is automatically true?

    No. I didn't think so. Just repeatedly saying "only humans have free will" does not make it true. And it doesn't make it any more convincing. If you have no support for the idea, then there is no reason for anyone to take it seriously.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Where this crime is commited?
    Around here they are famous for following people (up in the trees) and then peeing on them - presumably to protect their territory.

    There was also a fascinating program on chimpanzee language the other day. People used to think that they made "food" noises just because they were excited about finding food - pure instinct. But it turns out to be more complicated. If there are other chimps around that they want to share food with, then they will announce it. If there are no chimps, or chimps they don't like, then they will keep quiet.

    The complex social behaviours of the primates (and many other animals) cannot be explained by a simplistic view of "mechanical behaviour".
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    @strange
    I meant it is easy to deal with philosophy as compared to making formulas, balancing equations, and all that rocket science stuff. I am a bit confused to provide you evidence. Can anybody here give me hint how to provide any evidence about my idea "Only human beings possess free will" ,after reading above discusion.?
    And Guys, Sorry for so long discusion without evidence.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Right. At first new lions in circus are very adamant to obey master. Then what? They learn and perform duties in circus smoothly afterwards.
    Did slaves have no free will? After all, some stopped trying to run and fight when they were beaten or starved. I fail to see how breaking an animal removes free will. In the wild, that animal would simply kill you and eat you. Altering its behavior does not imply that it lacked free will in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    @strangeI meant it is easy to deal with philosophy as compared to making formulas, balancing equations, and all that rocket science stuff. I am a bit confused to provide you evidence. Can anybody here give me hint how to provide any evidence about my idea "Only human beings possess free will" ,after reading above discusion.?And Guys, Sorry for so long discusion without evidence.
    I don't think it's even known if humans have Free will either. It's a hot potato in philosophy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    What does it mean and take to be a human being?
    Being born to human parents.

    Although, that simple answer might get more complicated in future as genetic engineering develops....
    Very funny and true at the same time.
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    I think it takes everything to be a human being, what you are, and what you are not. What it means, only you can tell. for me, it means everything and nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    I meant it is easy to deal with philosophy as compared to making formulas, balancing equations, and all that rocket science stuff.
    Having studied it a little, I would say philosophy is at least as difficult as the "hard sciences". This is partly because you don't always have objective evidence to support an idea, you can't do formal proofs as in mathematics, etc. It requires a level of thought and analysis that is often sadly lacking in threads posted in the philosophy section of the forum.

    I am a bit confused to provide you evidence. Can anybody here give me hint how to provide any evidence about my idea "Only human beings possess free will" ,after reading above discusion.?
    Don't ask me because I am certain there isn't any. There is far too much evidence that most higher animals are capable of thinking creatively about problems and working out solutions, deliberately deceiving other animals, indulging in game playing and laughter, etc.

    Of course, part of the problem is that you haven't defined what you mean by "free will". Presumably, you don't mean a strict deterministic definition of free will as it is pretty much impossible to argue that humans have that.

    On the other hand, at the level of "free choice", clearly many other animals share it with humans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    This stuff is bit philosophical and it is very difficult to satisfy any serious science follower like you.
    my subjective and philosophical opinion.
    Sir , you are in philosophy section.
    Correct.
    Philosophy: is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument

    Making sh*t up and failing to provide any support other than "because I think so" is NOT philosophy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Do you think birds poop on people consciously?
    Squirrels do.
    Hey - and don't forget monkeys!
    They have a mischievous and malicious attitude to poo.

    {abe}
    I see from a later post that you haven't forgotten the 'playful' monkeys.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Making sh*t up and failing to provide any support other than "because I think so" is NOT philosophy.
    who says so?..... what is the evidence?..... wiki?

    unsupported claim
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    Another one for the ignore list.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Do you think birds poop on people consciously?
    Squirrels do.
    Hey - and don't forget monkeys!
    They have a mischievous and malicious attitude to poo.

    {abe}
    I see from a later post that you haven't forgotten the 'playful' monkeys.
    As do Seagulls...


    Where I live, seagulls nest next to chimney and get very defensive when their chicks hatch. They’re tense with us humans, but as soon as a cat or a dog wonders along all hell breaks loose. They scream, swoop and dive bomb poo all over the poor animals. Dogs don't seem to notice what's going on but the cats hate it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Another one for the ignore list.
    Is there a competition who as the largest ignor list? Or did I miss something?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Another one for the ignore list.
    Is there a competition who as the largest ignor list? Or did I miss something?

    Members can opt to put other members on ignore if they feel that the selected individuals do not offer (and are not going to) e.g. something substantial to the Science Forum. Other reasons might include the recurring use of arguments by assertion and other fallacies, the promotion of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories and crank ideas or the refusal to accept solid scientific evidence in general.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Making sh*t up and failing to provide any support other than "because I think so" is NOT philosophy.
    who says so?..... what is the evidence?..... wiki?
    You've clearly never taken a philosophy class, nor read a philosophy book (nor, on the face of it, bothered to look in a dictionary).

    Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.

    The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.



    Philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge)

    I hadn't realised until now how clueless you are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post

    Making sh*t up and failing to provide any support other than "because I think so" is NOT philosophy.
    who says so?..... what is the evidence?..... wiki?

    unsupported claim
    You've clearly never taken a philosophy class, nor read a philosophy book (nor, on the face of it, bothered to look in a dictionary).

    Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.

    The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.



    Philosophy is rationally critical thinking, of a more or less systematic kind about the general nature of the world (metaphysics or theory of existence), the justification of belief (epistemology or theory of knowledge)

    I hadn't realised until now how clueless you are.
    (not directly supporting the op here since critical, rational thinking is obviously an important part of philosophy and simply saying 'it's my opinion' is just avoiding any form of debate)

    but the philosophy of philosophy is itself considered a problem and a distinct branch known as metaphilosophy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trivium View Post
    but the philosophy of philosophy is itself considered a problem and a distinct branch known as metaphilosophy.
    While metaphilosophy is "problem-ridden" (to an extent) it's still doesn't consist of, or incorporate, unsupported made-up-on-the-spot sh*t.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Can anybody here give me hint how to provide any evidence about my idea "Only human beings possess free will" ,after reading above discusion.?
    And Guys, Sorry for so long discusion without evidence.
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts, for example, a really timid cat stands against a threat to its kittens like a tiger. When a cat is timid, its obvious that it is so because of its nature and not because it chooses to be timid. And when it becomes so fearless while protecting its kittens, its only because its instincts to protect its kittens overpowers its fearful nature. So in either case, the cat does not choose, but its nature and instincts are at work. The same cat, whose nature is so caring towards it kittens, becomes so "insensitive" when it finds an injured mouse. Instead of simply killing it to eat, it starts playing with it while the poor mice is getting more injured and suffering. Again it does not mean the cat suddenly became cruel, but only its instincts are at work. If the cat had a sense to differentiate between right and wrong in a manner which is similar to humans (most humans at least), it would not make that poor mice suffer to only to have some fun with it. This is just one example to show that animals do not have a sense of right and wrong but they only act according to their instincts and nature.

    About your Idea, "only human being possess free will", its really hard to come to that conclusion given the fact that even if humans have a free-will or not has always been a subject of debate. It all depends on what you mean by free-will. In my opinion not having a sense of right and wrong does at least limit their free will, while humans on the other hand with this sense of right and wrong gets to make a choice, hence their extent of free will is greater.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts, for example, a really timid cat stands against a threat to its kittens like a tiger. When a cat is timid, its obvious that it is so because of its nature and not because it chooses to be timid.
    So you're of the opinion that timid people choose to be so?

    If the cat had a sense to differentiate between right and wrong in a manner which is similar to humans (most humans at least), it would not make that poor mice suffer to only to have some fun with it. This is just one example to show that animals do not have a sense of right and wrong but they only act according to their instincts and nature.
    Imputing human values of "right and wrong" to animals (or requiring that they adhere to our values of same) is fundamentally flawed.
    And you're wrong about why a cat "plays" with its victims:
    It turns out that, while cats may seem cruel, capricious or malicious as they toy with a catch, their behavior isn't indicative of an evil mind lurking within the cute, furry exterior. Cats, rather, wear down prey to avoid sustaining injuries. They're motivated by self-preservation, just like most other animals, and they know what could happen if they aren't careful. Mice and rats, for example, can deliver nasty bites that can cause injury or spread disease.

    In my opinion not having a sense of right and wrong does at least limit their free will, while humans on the other hand with this sense of right and wrong gets to make a choice, hence their extent of free will is greater.
    Alternatively having a "sense of right and wrong" actually limits, not extends, your free will: by reducing your options (since you'd be not at all bothered about "rightness" or "wrongness" without that "sense").
    So you got that wrong too.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 21st, 2013 at 04:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts ...
    Would they? What do you base that on?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    In my opinion not having a sense of right and wrong does at least limit their free will, while humans on the other hand with this sense of right and wrong gets to make a choice, hence their extent of free will is greater.
    I'm not going to ask for citation because it's getting old. What I would like to ask is what you consider right and wrong.

    If someone threatens my family and I kill them, is that right or wrong? Is it wrong because an unnamed religion says "Thou shalt not kill"? Is it right because a community would stand behind me? Is it based purely upon the country in which I live? Is it my choice whether it is right or wrong or the choice of my peers?

    I still have yet to see anything that suggests animals don't have a sense of right and wrong.

    A troupe of monkeys don't kill one another randomly and without provocation because that would damage the community. They WILL kill rival troupe's monkeys. How is that different than us?

    I'm sick and tired of this notion that we're somehow above animals or not animals. We're just advanced​ animals. There is very little difference from my standpoint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts ...
    Would they? What do you base that on?
    Last three words in the link provided in post # 72 says "instinct in action" as a reason for the cat's behavior towards the little mice. If you do not think its actions is due to its instincts, then what is your take on this matter? Do you honestly not think that animals actions are based on their instincts? Well, I certainly think so and most people I have met in person seem to be of same opinion. I do not claim that they totally lack intellect, but I sure think their instincts are dominant; even upon their nature as demonstrated in the above post where a cat which is timid by nature acts like a tiger to protect its kittens.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    I'm sick and tired of this notion that we're somehow above animals or not animals. We're just advanced​ animals. There is very little difference from my standpoint.
    I understand your point. Where I differ from you is, I think we as humans have a choice to be just like wild animals to the extent our physical limits allows us or to be civilised humans. Wild animal do not have that choice. Just like a post somewhere above said "lion would not feel sorry for its deeds" it just acts according to its instincts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Last three words in the link provided in post # 72 says "instinct in action" as a reason for the cat's behavior towards the little mice.
    Which doesn't support YOUR claim.
    It has been shown that a cat isn't playing or being cruel.
    The use of the word "instinct" in that particular case doesn't negate the idea of them having some form of free will in general - if you'd bothered to read and comprehend what the article actually said you'd have found that the "instinct" mentioned is that of self-preservation. Or maybe you don't think humans have one? Or that they do have one but always choose to over-ride it?

    even upon their nature as demonstrated in the above post where a cat which is timid by nature acts like a tiger to protect its kittens.
    One more time: are you of the opinion that timid people choose to be so?
    Or that, if really pushed, a timid person "chooses" to fight back?
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 21st, 2013 at 05:35 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Where I differ from you is, I think we as humans have a choice to be just like wild animals to the extent our physical limits allows us or to be civilised humans. Wild animal do not have that choice.
    Really?
    Animals can't choose to be civilised humans?
    Who knew?
    And that means they don't have free will?
    What about animals that choose to not act according the mores of the pack/ tribe/ clan?
    Is that instinct or choice?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Another one for the ignore list.
    Is there a competition who as the largest ignor list? Or did I miss something?

    Members can opt to put other members on ignore if they feel that the selected individuals do not offer (and are not going to) e.g. something substantial to the Science Forum. Other reasons might include the recurring use of arguments by assertion and other fallacies, the promotion of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories and crank ideas or the refusal to accept solid scientific evidence in general.
    Thanks for the info man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts, for example, a really timid cat stands against a threat to its kittens like a tiger.
    How about when the cat comes running when it hears a can opener? Instinct?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?
    You just have to be born.

    Or as Woody Allen once said: 90% of life is just showing up.
    what's the 10% then? Not showing up? If i have to just be born, then(warning sensitive topic) how about aborted foetuses?
    The humanity of a fetus is a matter of law and philosophy. Is a five-minute old fertilized egg a human being? We're not going to solve that one here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?
    Jacate... you disappoint me. *snaps pencil in half* But being the eternal optimist I'd like to share a revelation which I heard from a very close friend of mine...a Mr Smith...while spending some time on this fetid planet. It came to him when he tried to classify our species and realized that we're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but humans do not. We move to an area and multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way we can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet...../TIC :-))


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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts ...
    Would they? What do you base that on?
    Last three words in the link provided in post # 72 says "instinct in action" as a reason for the cat's behavior towards the little mice. If you do not think its actions is due to its instincts, then what is your take on this matter?
    My question was actually about "Most people would agree ..."

    I'm sure you can find examples of instinctive behaviour in animals. Just as there are many examples of behaviour which are not instinctive; for example, planned or based on their opinion of the other animals around them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by someguy1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?
    You just have to be born.

    Or as Woody Allen once said: 90% of life is just showing up.
    what's the 10% then? Not showing up? If i have to just be born, then(warning sensitive topic) how about aborted foetuses?
    The humanity of a fetus is a matter of law and philosophy. Is a five-minute old fertilized egg a human being? We're not going to solve that one here.
    Isn't this the philosophy forum? If you can't answer whether a fetus is a human being, that means a fetus doesn't have what it takes to be a human being? That is outright denying the question in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jacate View Post
    To be superior? To be greatness itself? To be an achieved individual? To raise civilizations? To love one another? To commune in complexities? To find truth?
    To take in knowledge? To live? To be aware of our existence? To work to meaningfully spend our short lives before death? etc etc.

    What is it? What does it mean to a human being and what does it take to be one?

    Is there even a definite answer or is this a subjective/relativistic answer?
    Jacate... you disappoint me. *snaps pencil in half* But being the eternal optimist I'd like to share a revelation which I heard from a very close friend of mine...a Mr Smith...while spending some time on this fetid planet. It came to him when he tried to classify our species and realized that we're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but humans do not. We move to an area and multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way we can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet...../TIC :-))


    What sounds like something from a movie....... well wouldn't it be easier to just say we spread to ensure survive and consume to multiply? So our only purpose in life is greed for our own species or is there something more? Because i don't see how sustainability can be placed into this picture when it is a hot topic in economics.
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    @strange: Sir, you lost a student. I shall manage. Goo luck
    @duck and Demon: you are too agressive and assertive. Good luck

    @This thread readers: i have already tenered my apology for being so imature.
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    And Guys, Sorry for so long discusion without evidence.
    Thank you all
    Last edited by sir ir r aj; October 24th, 2013 at 01:50 PM. Reason: correction
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    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    @duck and Demon: you are too agressive and assertive. You might end up in a psyciatrist ward. Good luck
    Because we stick to what can be supported, rather than wild unsupported speculation?
    And vague insults don't help your case.
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    I think it takes a human birth. You can't be a human being if you aren't born. So my answer would be BIRTH!

    You can't be a cat if your aren't cat birthed....or.....go down the line....in order to be a guppy you have to be born!
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I think it takes a human birth. You can't be a human being if you aren't born. So my answer would be BIRTH!

    You can't be a cat if your aren't cat birthed....or.....go down the line....in order to be a guppy you have to be born!
    That i can agree too. So that makes a fetus..... or anything unborn not what it is(e.g a unborn cat/cat fetus is not a cat)
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I think it takes a human birth. You can't be a human being if you aren't born. So my answer would be BIRTH!
    Like my definition, that may be inadequate in future. We already have in-vitro fertilization. One day it may be possible to have a "test tube baby" that goes through the entire 9 month development process outside of a human womb.

    (And does C-section count as "birth"? )
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    Compassion, integrity, and humility.

    These three virtues are what it takes to be a Human Being. (There may be other virtues that have slipped my mind, but these three are the first ones I thought of.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I think it takes a human birth. You can't be a human being if you aren't born. So my answer would be BIRTH!
    Like my definition, that may be inadequate in future. We already have in-vitro fertilization. One day it may be possible to have a "test tube baby" that goes through the entire 9 month development process outside of a human womb.

    (And does C-section count as "birth"? )
    Finally i understood your point. Also a good question posed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    I think it takes a human birth. You can't be a human being if you aren't born. So my answer would be BIRTH!
    Like my definition, that may be inadequate in future. We already have in-vitro fertilization. One day it may be possible to have a "test tube baby" that goes through the entire 9 month development process outside of a human womb.

    (And does C-section count as "birth"? )
    KICKING YA TO THE CURB, BUDDY! *L* Yes C-section is birth......brat! Not the way you'd like it..and thank goodness though came close I was as stubborn in birthing as I am in life! *laughing* I willed that child out!

    But be it a petri dish or whatever...it has to be "born" so to speak, so....though I understand your point. I stand by mine in the current world.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Compassion, integrity, and humility.

    These three virtues are what it takes to be a Human Being. (There may be other virtues that have slipped my mind, but these three are the first ones I thought of.)
    That is true but in a different sense!
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    Well if you're talking about what it takes to be a human being in a strictly biological sense, then I'd say simply having a genome that's at least derived from human DNA (for all future genetically engineered people out there) is enough to qualify you as a human being.

    But from a philosophical (and dare I say spiritual) sense, I'd say compassion, integrity and humility is what you need to be human, (not even *a* human, but just "human" in general) even if you're a sentient AI with a robot body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Well if you're talking about what it takes to be a human being in a strictly biological sense, then I'd say simply having a genome that's at least derived from human DNA (for all future genetically engineered people out there) is enough to qualify you as a human being.

    But from a philosophical (and dare I say spiritual) sense, I'd say compassion, integrity and humility is what you need to be human, (not even *a* human, but just "human" in general) even if you're a sentient AI with a robot body.
    Dang it man! I need oil!! OIL I SAY!! I am rusting!! HELP!! ....and yes....I agree *L*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Well if you're talking about what it takes to be a human being in a strictly biological sense, then I'd say simply having a genome that's at least derived from human DNA (for all future genetically engineered people out there) is enough to qualify you as a human being.

    But from a philosophical (and dare I say spiritual) sense, I'd say compassion, integrity and humility is what you need to be human, (not even *a* human, but just "human" in general) even if you're a sentient AI with a robot body.
    the problem accours when robots get compassion integrity and humility
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    But from a philosophical (and dare I say spiritual) sense, I'd say compassion, integrity and humility is what you need to be human, (not even *a* human, but just "human" in general) even if you're a sentient AI with a robot body.
    I contend that even in the absence of one or all of the three attributes you've mentioned, a person will still be considered a human being. We have a wide range of behaviours and emotions even if they are very often indifferent, untrustworthy, and arrogant (seems a decent polar approximation of the attributes you have listed).

    Leaving the biological factor aside, I suppose people may prefer to disassociate themselves from those who exhibit behavioral traits that they do not agree with, thus leading to categorical words such as inhuman(e). To be human means to possess the capacity for, but not necessarily capability and/or willingness.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    Most people would agree that the "deeds"(?) of animals are simply based on their instincts, for example, a really timid cat stands against a threat to its kittens like a tiger.
    How about when the cat comes running when it hears a can opener? Instinct?
    I apologize for the late response, got tied up doing something.

    I realise that my statement above does appear as a general statement for all animal behaviour, but it was not meant to be so. In fact in one of my posts above I also said something along the line "human's intellect is at a higher level than that of animals", hence acknowledging animals does not totally lack intellect. With the use of its limited intellect, it can easily connect the sound of opening of a can to its food. But this does not tell us that it has a human like sense of right and wrong which is universal in many matters for all humans. I had once seen on discovery channel how a cheetah once kept playing with a baby deer, while it was struggling for its life. The same cheetah would have quickly killed an adult deer without any torture by going straight for its throat. How often do we see this behaviour for torturing the weak in humans? And, when there are some exceptions and a person does something like that, what do we call such a person? The point is, when animals act that way, they cannot be rebuked for the fact that they do not have sense of right and wrong like humans, so they simply act according to their instincts, and humans on the other hand with this sense gets to choose, hence their free will extends to greater limit than that of animals.
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    Could not a higher lifeform (should one exist) say the same of us in their shadow? Does that negate free will? Is free will relative? Why does our observational perspective determine free will when it seems such a thing should be an absolute?

    I feel like I'm missing a piece of the puzzle here.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faithfulbeliever View Post
    But this does not tell us that it has a human like sense of right and wrong which is universal in many matters for all humans.
    I have previously pointed out (twice I think) that requiring animals to subscribe to human values of right and wrong is, at best, a fallacy.
    Oh, and for your information "right and wrong" is neither A) universal (with regard to what falls into which category) nor B) common to all humans 9unless you're going to claim that, for example, sociopaths aren't human).

    I had once seen on discovery channel how a cheetah once kept playing with a baby deer, while it was struggling for its life. The same cheetah would have quickly killed an adult deer without any torture by going straight for its throat.
    Why do you suppose it's "torture"?

    How often do we see this behaviour for torturing the weak in humans?
    To some extent in ANY infant/ junior school playground.
    How about Guantanamo Bay prison cells?
    Picking on the weak is NOT purely restricted to the non-human portions of the animal kingdom.
    Or perhaps you're under the impression that hedgehogs invented these:



    and humans on the other hand with this sense gets to choose, hence their free will extends to greater limit than that of animals.
    And I have previously pointed out that having a sense of "right and wrong" is a restriction of free will, not a extension.

    Please stop repeating fallacious and, frankly, stupid, claims.
    Last edited by Dywyddyr; October 23rd, 2013 at 11:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    But from a philosophical (and dare I say spiritual) sense, I'd say compassion, integrity and humility is what you need to be human, (not even *a* human, but just "human" in general) even if you're a sentient AI with a robot body.
    I contend that even in the absence of one or all of the three attributes you've mentioned, a person will still be considered a human being. We have a wide range of behaviours and emotions even if they are very often indifferent, untrustworthy, and arrogant (seems a decent polar approximation of the attributes you have listed).

    Leaving the biological factor aside, I suppose people may prefer to disassociate themselves from those who exhibit behavioral traits that they do not agree with, thus leading to categorical words such as inhuman(e). To be human means to possess the capacity for, but not necessarily capability and/or willingness.
    What does the word human really means as opposed to man, or mankind?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargate View Post
    What does the word human really means as opposed to man, or mankind?
    It means the same "thing" to ask what the word butterfly means opposed to the subspecies of rhopalocera. It might be better to ask why the word "meaning" holds such a significance to people in general.
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