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Passions in Poetry

Are Humans Animals?

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Essorant
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50 posted 02-24-2008 03:19 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Saying that a human is an animal is the same in principle as saying a man is a human.  Just as the specific being (a man) is part of a larger family (humans), the specific family (humans) is also part of a larger family (animals).  
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51 posted 02-24-2008 03:33 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

quote:
Saying that a human is an animal is the same in principle as saying a man is a human

human/animal and man/human I don't see the similarity.
Tell me, sir Essorant, where does the word "animal" originate?
Essorant
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52 posted 02-24-2008 04:07 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Animal comes from Latin animal "a living being".  

I think the noun came from a substantive usage of the adjective animalis "of air, of life, animate" formed from the word anima "breath", and the suffix -al meaning "of or of the nature of".


Our English word deer has similar origins, implying "breath"

From Etymonline.com:

Deer

"O.E. deor "animal, beast," from P.Gmc. *deuzan, the general Gmc. word for "animal" (as opposed to man), but often restricted to "wild animal" (cf. O.N. dyr, O.H.G. tior, Ger. Tier, Goth. dius), from PIE *dheusom "creature that breathes," from *dheus- (cf. Lith. dusti "gasp," dvesti "gasp, perish;" O.C.S. dychati "breathe;" cf. L. animal from anima "breath"), from base *dheu-. Sense specialization to a specific animal began in O.E. (usual O.E. for what we now call a deer was heorot), common by 15c., now complete. Probably via hunting, deer being the favorite animal of the chase (cf. Skt. mrga- "wild animal," used especially for "deer"). Deer-lick is first attested 1778, in an American context; deerskin is from 1396.


TomMark
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53 posted 02-24-2008 04:28 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Do you think that the "living being" including plants or stars which also have a life?  
Essorant
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54 posted 02-24-2008 10:19 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What word would you use then specially for those creatures that share important features such as brains, eyes, ears, nose, voice, etc., distinct from living things that don't have such features?  

Would there be a debate if we used a narrower word such as "mammals"?  The only problem with that word is that it excludes many animals that share in common having the kind of features mentioned above.  

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55 posted 02-24-2008 11:57 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

All living beings can be divided into groups based on different features, or scientifically, or anything.  
I choose the category: human/animal.

Essorant
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56 posted 02-25-2008 12:01 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

What about a group based on similar features, such as all having brains, noses, eyes, ears etc?  Don't you think that kind of group is important?  

Humans and other animals are already named for their differences: they are called "humans", "dogs", "cats" "crocodiles" etc.  But what name would you give them as a group of beings that share many similar features?

TomMark
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57 posted 02-25-2008 01:00 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

quote:
What about a group based on similar features, such as all having brains, noses, eyes, ears etc?  Don't you think that kind of group is important?

Do you mean to group them based on anatomic features? esp the head?  But the most distinguished difference between human and animals is on the brain function.  You may call all CPU+screen a computer but you wouldn't call a primary circuit a computer. Even a calculator is not called a computer.

quote:
Humans and other animals are already named for their differences: they are called "humans", "dogs", "cats" "crocodiles" etc.  But what name would you give them as a group of beings that share many similar features?

Dear Sir Essorant, I can understand your thought that human belongs to animals based on their similarity in physical structure, esp head. (do we look like a fish? ) But I see that the similarity does not bring out a similar level intelligence....very different. So, I say human does not belong to animal group.
Grinch
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58 posted 02-25-2008 02:29 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Tom,

Why stop there?

If you’re categorising animals by intelligence each type could have it’s own group but then of course none would be animals the whole category of animal would be redundant.

You’d also run the risk of some odd classifications - is a dumb snail a clever worm based on intelligence alone?

A more serious quandary is apparent if someone uses your classification technique and focuses it onto the group you’ve designated as human beings. There’s a danger they could be drawn to labels like normal or elite to segregate differing levels of intelligence which opens the door to the use of the label sub-human for those with the lowest intelligence -  or perhaps they might re-use the vacant classification and simply call those of a lower intelligence “animals“.

TomMark
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59 posted 02-25-2008 02:54 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

quote:
Why stop there?

Because I reached to the end of my wisdom.

quote:
If you’re categorising animals by intelligence each type could have it’s own group but then of course none would be animals the whole category of animal would be redundant.
You’d also run the risk of some odd classifications - is a dumb snail a clever worm based on intelligence alone?

It is always the way that humans are studying animals with all kind of tools but not animals to human.

quote:
There’s a danger they could be drawn to labels like normal or elite to segregate differing levels of intelligence which opens the door to the use of the label sub-human for those with the lowest intelligence -  or perhaps they might re-use the vacant classification and simply call those of a lower intelligence “animals“.

You, Grinch, are trying to label me as Hitler .

I say that human is not animal not because their intelligence (only I try to reason with Sir Essorant). It is based on the origin...human beings are created for manage  animals.     
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60 posted 02-25-2008 03:17 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I say that human is not animal not because their intelligence (only I try to reason with Sir Essorant). It is based on the origin...human beings are created for manage animals.


Ah, I see so which order were they created in? Was man created first then the animals or the other way around? Were all the animals created at once or was there an order to their creation? Were worms created before or after tigers? How long did it take? When did this creation occur?
TomMark
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61 posted 02-25-2008 03:30 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

then you tell me, why humans were animals? Grinch?
Grinch
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62 posted 02-25-2008 03:39 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Are my questions too difficult? Tom?

TomMark
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63 posted 02-25-2008 03:46 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

see how smart a human being can be??!!!! yes sir. They are way tooo difficult to answer. I have no answers.
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64 posted 02-25-2008 03:47 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

But failing to answer your question does not change my thought Ha!
Grinch
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65 posted 02-25-2008 04:03 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
But failing to answer your question does not change my thought . Ha!


It doesn’t explain or validate it either.

You don‘t need to answer my questions Tom and I don‘t need to continue asking them, I simply believed you wanted a discussion.

I guess I was wrong.

Have a nice thread.

TomMark
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66 posted 02-25-2008 06:50 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

I do, I asked you why you think humans are animals? is you opinion same as Sir Essorant? Anatomic similarity? You did not answer me.

Dog has eyes but what please that sense is when it sees bones, right? so still different.
Stephanos
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67 posted 02-25-2008 07:41 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
All this is to say, even though you argue that different living things are seperate, I will argue even beyond that and say that even the living and unliving are not seperate.


Essorant, I see that this discussion again bogs down upon your tendency toward monism.  If you cannot think that living things and non-living things are "separate" in a striking and absolute way, then it probably won't be profitable for us to discuss any absolute and momentous differences between animals and humans.  For you all things are one, including absurdities, and I cannot accept this.  Although if you are going to be totally consistent, you need to stop suggesting that someone else may be wrong or mistaken, for wrong and right in your world has to be essentially the same.


quote:
It may be true that humans do some better things than animals.  But it is true also that certain humans do better things than certain other humans.  Do you think those humans are then superior as beings because they do better things?


No, it is the opposite, I think humans do better things because they are superior, because of their nature.  I have been told that humans are uniquely made in the image of God, and what I see confirms that amazing statement.  I am not just observing behaviors, and by a process of induction concluding that man must be totally unique (in a totally unique way).  Though one may reasonably do so, as Chesterton pointed out that man is most divine when considered as a mere animal.

quote:
Chaucer is a better human because he wrote better poems?  The Pope is a better human because he follows his religion better?  The president is a better human being than all of us because he is better at running the country?


The very complex question of what makes a human a better human is not the thrust of this thread.  But suffice it to say that it is not so obvious to me that all humans are equal (the most beneficent attitudes toward others, still bears this out in practice).  Though all humans should be treated with dignity simply because they are human, and made in the image of God.  

quote:
Because our instincts generally urge us to preserve ourselves foremost, and therefore our civilization does too. Our instincts and civilization together establish an organization that tries its hardest to preserve and protect ourselves foremost.  We try to preserve humans most because we are humans and therefore we are more important to ourselves than any other animal.  We also try to preserve other animals to a great extent, but still a lesser extent, only because they are less important to us.


You repeat only what is obvious.  You've described what I've asked you to defend.  My question to you was:  If there is nothing of momentous import dividing humans from animals, then why is this radical difference in treatment justified.  And your answer is essentially that "we are selfish".  Upholding "civilization" as a justification does very little to answer this, since it is just another way of saying "what humans do".  


Again, why would killing humans to eat them be morally atrocious?  The answer can't be simply that it wouldn't be conducive to civilization.  First of all, civilization is a concept that is far less important than individual people.  Secondly, it would only raise the question of why there should be any moral obligation to uphold civilization.  You might reply that the virtues of civilization are self evident.  But my answer to you is that they are not ... unless humanity is distinguished in some radical way that is not merely subjective, or imagined, or just another form of biological self preservation.


quote:
But it doesn't make sense to say humans are most important to the animal kingdom or to the world.  Especially when if the humans were erased, the rest of the animalkingdom and the world would not only continue well enough, but in many ways be healthier and saved from many hazards that come with the civilizations of humans.


"Most important" by whose standards?  Who is determining the importance (or unimportance) of humans in your scenario?


Stephen              
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68 posted 02-26-2008 05:16 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
Again, why would killing humans to eat them be morally atrocious?


For the same reason that tigers don’t normally kill and eat other tigers - because it’s not a long term evolutionary stable strategy.

Cannibalism is just a bad idea and it doesn’t take a genius (feline or hominid) to work out why.

TomMark
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69 posted 02-26-2008 07:06 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

quote:
Cannibalism is just a bad idea and it doesn’t take a genius (feline or hominid) to work out why.


Animal killing is for food and the killing process in general is very quick.

Human, quite different. We ate ourselves. We torture ourselves. We kill millions of human fellows  for nothing and we kill millions for our religious belief. And we kill for fun.  we judge and we wrongfully judge and we send out human fellows to jail, to capital punishment and to lynch and of course to cross or even more brutal killing ways. We hold animal in zoos and circus for entertain. And we make animal our labor like elephant, cattle, monkeys and  some water bird for fish. We raise them for food and clothes and we raise them for fun and we keep them for pet such as dog and we want them to worship us.
those shows that human and animal are absolutely different.  
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70 posted 02-27-2008 12:46 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
For the same reason that tigers don’t normally kill and eat other tigers - because it’s not a long term evolutionary stable strategy.


I didn't ask why it isn't a good business charter, eugenics program, or superior game pattern.  I asked why it is it a moral atrocity, not why it isn't a "good idea".


Stephen  
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71 posted 02-27-2008 01:25 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
I didn't ask why it isn't a good business charter, eugenics program, or superior game pattern. I asked why it is it a moral atrocity, not why it isn't a "good idea".


Why is cannibalism a moral atrocity?

It isn’t.

TomMark
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72 posted 02-27-2008 02:37 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

Again, why would killing humans to eat them be morally atrocious? by Stephen

Why is cannibalism a moral atrocity? It isn’t. by Grinch

Grinch, if you don't think that there is one universal moral code, then will you please tell me your moral code? which in any case could justify human eating human/human killing human.
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73 posted 02-27-2008 03:33 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     The debate rages on finer and finer points further and further away from the question of whether or not humans are animals.  The fierceness of the debate remains unchanged.  Everybody has their position; so, what would each of us require to consider changing the positions that we hold?  What beliefs would we have to consider changing for the positions of somebody who disagrees with us to seem reasonable to us?


     God or no God, human life is not essential to life on earth, and we keep pretending that it is and acting that way.  By doing so, we are destroying the system that supports human life here.  Whether we are more than animals or not, we depend for our daily existence on keeping the animal part of ourselves maintained in at least a minimal fashion.  If we damage the earth the way we've been doing it, the animal part of ourselves is not going to survive, nor will life here as we know it.  

     Kaput.

     Essorant, you're good with languages; is that related to caput mortuum?  Residue?  Like Czar and Kaiser both coming from Caesar?  Take the animal parts of us away, and we won't be here to finish the conversation with each other; and it's not as sure as the sun rising tomorrow for everybody that the discussion will continue elsewhere, either.

     Just thought I'd limber up a little, raise a few questions and see what people are thinking.  Love to all, BobK.

TomMark
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74 posted 02-27-2008 04:06 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

quote:
so, what would each of us require to consider changing the positions that we hold?

why?
quote:
  What beliefs would we have to consider changing for the positions of somebody who disagrees with us to seem reasonable to us?

Beliefs or not, there is a standpoint for everyone. To change it, one has to get convinced by other's saying, right? I can stop arguing  but I don't change my mind before I am convinced (in my very limited knowledge) that I am not right.  

quote:
God or no God, human life is not essential to life on earth,

We are made by God so we certainly could not claim how important we are but God thinks that we are important beings.
quote:
and we keep pretending that it is and acting that way.

Another difference between human and animal.

quote:
Whether we are more than animals or not, we depend for our daily existence on keeping the animal part of ourselves maintained in at least a minimal fashion.

Do you want to list our animal part?
quote:
Take the animal parts of us away, and we won't be here to finish the conversation with each other;

This discussion is esp in human characters. Ever seen any animal do this?  


    
 
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