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Old 05-03-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,915 posts, read 18,034,542 times
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Human beings have one single characteristic that distinguishes us from every species that have ever existed on this planet and that is our highly evolved intellectual abilities. We are so much more intelligent than any other animal that we're in a separate category. Have you ever considered how incredibly stupid farm animals are that not a single cow, pig or chicken has ever come to the realization that the farmer is just feeding them so he can kill them and sell them to supermarkets and that maybe they should alert the other cows, pigs and chickens so they can try to escape? I've actually read that pigs are relatively intelligent although chickens have about the same level of intelligence before you chop their heads off and they do when their heads are gone. Dolphins and dogs are quite intelligent and can relate to human beings and communicate in very real ways (June and her dog Misha can attest to this fact) but human beings have intellectual abilities that are orders of magnitude beyond them. Here's where I'm going with this point, man is the only animal that is religious, beliefs in an afterlife, or has some sort of spiritual belief system. Religious people will often say that mankind was given dominion over the earth and has a special status and are the only creatures with souls. I'm of the opinion that our intellect has evolved into self awareness and the realization that we exist that other animals do not possess. This has allowed us to ask questions about our existence and the very meaning of our lives. Those questions, particularly when there is no clear answer, have led to the origins of religion. Any thoughts?
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Wu Dang Mountain
12,941 posts, read 20,862,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
Human beings have one single characteristic that distinguishes us from every species that have ever existed on this planet and that is our highly evolved intellectual abilities. We are so much more intelligent than any other animal that we're in a separate category. Have you ever considered how incredibly stupid farm animals are that not a single cow, pig or chicken has ever come to the realization that the farmer is just feeding them so he can kill them and sell them to supermarkets and that maybe they should alert the other cows, pigs and chickens so they can try to escape?
There's an old Greek proverb you might do well to consider...

Quem deus vult perdere, prius dementat

Although the literal translation is:
Those whom the gods would destroy
, they first make mad...

I prefer the alternate version for this occasion:
Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud.


Quote:
Here's where I'm going with this point, man is the only animal that is religious, beliefs in an afterlife, or has some sort of spiritual belief system.
And you know this for a fact because...? Did you have a conversation with some of those slightly smarter critters?

Isn't it an act of supreme hubris to assume you know what animals are capable of?

Quote:
Religious people will often say that mankind was given dominion over the earth and has a special status and are the only creatures with souls. I'm of the opinion that our intellect has evolved into self awareness and the realization that we exist that other animals do not possess. This has allowed us to ask questions about our existence and the very meaning of our lives. Those questions, particularly when there is no clear answer, have led to the origins of religion. Any thoughts?
In my view, if this is indeed correct, then the animals are MUCH better off in their stations of life...
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Midessa, Texas Home Yangzhou, Jiangsu temporarily
1,505 posts, read 4,120,447 times
Reputation: 981
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
Human beings have one single characteristic that distinguishes us from every species that have ever existed on this planet and that is our highly evolved intellectual abilities. We are so much more intelligent than any other animal that we're in a separate category. Have you ever considered how incredibly stupid farm animals are that not a single cow, pig or chicken has ever come to the realization that the farmer is just feeding them so he can kill them and sell them to supermarkets and that maybe they should alert the other cows, pigs and chickens so they can try to escape? I've actually read that pigs are relatively intelligent although chickens have about the same level of intelligence before you chop their heads off and they do when their heads are gone. Dolphins and dogs are quite intelligent and can relate to human beings and communicate in very real ways (June and her dog Misha can attest to this fact) but human beings have intellectual abilities that are orders of magnitude beyond them. Here's where I'm going with this point, man is the only animal that is religious, beliefs in an afterlife, or has some sort of spiritual belief system. Religious people will often say that mankind was given dominion over the earth and has a special status and are the only creatures with souls. I'm of the opinion that our intellect has evolved into self awareness and the realization that we exist that other animals do not possess. This has allowed us to ask questions about our existence and the very meaning of our lives. Those questions, particularly when there is no clear answer, have led to the origins of religion. Any thoughts?
I agree, except with the part about souls. We are clearly orders of magnitude more intelligent than any other organisms that we have encountered so far. I think it may be this fact that drives our search for other high intelligence, whether its a religious search for deities or a scientific search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. It seems that as intelligent self-aware beings we do not want to be alone. And we may not be for long. If computers keep improving we may eventually be able to create machines that surpass our own intelligence. That, I think will open a whole new realm of philosophical questions.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,568 posts, read 15,692,915 times
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Originally Posted by SifuPhil
Quote:
I prefer the alternate version for this occasion:
Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make proud.
I agree with SifuPhil.
Every creature is as intelligent as it needed to be, because if it wasn't it would have been extinct a long time ago.
Who cares that a shark probably hasn't evolved that much since he came to be. It only proves that the shark design was nearly flawless at the beginning and did not need that much correction (change).
So you could say that man was terribly flawed and thinks that he now is perfect because he had to 'improve' a lot.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:20 AM
 
13,640 posts, read 23,469,742 times
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MG, I agree with you that mans intellect has evolved through the milleniums..Seems somewhere in my youth that I read that although our brains and heads have not grown larger, that the amount of brain cells we have always had evolved as wwe gained more knowledge and our quest for more and more grew ..The brain and the amount of storage can probably be compared one huge computer with unlimited storage space..The amount of "software" we download in our quest for more knowledge, more inventive ways to make life easier, etc, the more storage space we use.
Now the God part..Are we the only ones with souls?..I believe that God put a soul in each of us(humans) from the beginning of creation..we can choose to leave it empty or we can choose to accept that there is a creator and ask Him to fill our souls with faith..I believe in a personal evolution of faith in order to fill the soul..
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: among the chaos
2,136 posts, read 4,641,392 times
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ahhhh....

I think that you would enjoy the cartoons, Barnyard and Chicken Run.

<>< weather...
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
7,915 posts, read 18,034,542 times
Reputation: 5518
SifuPhil wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Here's where I'm going with this point, man is the only animal that is religious, beliefs in an afterlife, or has some sort of spiritual belief system.

And you know this for a fact because...? Did you have a conversation with some of those slightly smarter critters?
Maybe it's the fact that I've never encountered a group of dogs gathering on Sunday morning for a little prayer and fellowship or observed any religious artifacts made by dolphins.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:24 AM
 
Location: among the chaos
2,136 posts, read 4,641,392 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue62 View Post
we can choose to leave it empty or we can choose to accept that there is a creator and ask Him to fill our souls with faith..I believe in a personal evolution of faith in order to fill the soul..
I always love blue quotes.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Wu Dang Mountain
12,941 posts, read 20,862,966 times
Reputation: 8677
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
SifuPhil wrote:

Maybe it's the fact that I've never encountered a group of dogs gathering on Sunday morning for a little prayer and fellowship or observed any religious artifacts made by dolphins.


So, you'd judge a species' intelligence by externals?

Maybe the dogs have their own version of prayer that we aren't smart enough to decipher.

And dolphins? Have you swept the entire floor of the ocean recently? They might be hiding those artifacts. Tricky little critters, those Delphinidae...
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Victoria, BC.
33,323 posts, read 35,468,565 times
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The arrogance of man knows no bounds. How do we know how intelligent other species are? Man has never learned to communicate with them in their language, although a couple have learned to communicate with us in ours.
We are a technically evolved species because man has always needed tools for survival...Other species do not. They have all the intelligence needed for survival.
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