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What Makes Us Human?

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by rojse, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    What is it about humanity that separates us from all other animal species?

    BONUS QUESTION: If your response uses the word soul, spirit, Fnord, or so forth, what are the effects of having this thing, which an individual without this thing would not be able to achieve?
     
  2. JMorris

    JMorris Democratic Socialist

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    pants:yes:

    *edit* i defer to Pearl Jam on the issue

    "Woo..
    I'm ahead, I'm a man
    I'm the first mammal to wear pants, yeah
    I'm at peace with my lust
    I can kill 'cause in God I trust, yeah
    It's evolution, baby"
     
    #2 JMorris, Jun 15, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  3. sandandfoam

    sandandfoam Veteran Member

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    Our notion that we're separate for one.
     
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  4. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Our capacity to imagine and build a different world.
     
  5. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    What sort of world? A fantasy world, an industrialised world, or both?
     
  6. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Pretty much whatever sort we want, the industrialized being a prime example.
     
  7. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    How is that any different from the termite, for example?
     
  8. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    The termite does not have the power to change the world. No offense, hon, but I honestly can't comprehend why you would ask such a question.
     
  9. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    Our pursuit and necessity for money is one thing that separates us from animals.
     
  10. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    Level of intellect.
     
  11. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    another thing is dessire, animals do not have a dessire for anything.
     
  12. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    Animals desire food. They desire affection. They form bonds not unlike marriage in humans.
     
  13. rojse

    rojse RF Addict

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    On the grand scheme of things, we are really not that much larger than termites. Certainly, we have the power to change the world, but all we've really managed to do so far is degrade the quality of large tracts of land, put some holes in the ozone layer, burn down a lot of forests, kill quite a few species, and put up lots of buildings. If we all died tomorrow, our only long-lasting contribution to this planet, and the only long-term evidence we will have for existing, will be a small strata within the geological formation of the Earth that carries traces of burnt particulates.

    Back to the original question, you mentioned that the industrialised world is something that separates humans from everything else. Now, how do you believe our industrial society is meaningfully different to the industrial society created by colony creatures, such as ants, termites, or bees?
     
  14. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    you kind of got me but then again you haven't, i was relating it to another post in the first page bout animals not having a dissire for money, so i should have been more clear about what sort of dessires.
     
  15. Storm

    Storm ThrUU the Looking Glass

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    Yes our power to change the world can be used for good or ill. We've damaged it, but we can also set it right. But my point isn't limited to the environment.

    No, actually, it was an example of how we have utilized our capacity, no more. I only used it because you mentioned it. Another example would be our utilization of morality.

    Sheer scale and its attendant impact, on both the environment and our lifestyles.
     
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  16. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    Still disagree. Many humans have no desire for money, does that make them less human? I don't see how what you may or may not desire has to do with the definition of humanity.
     
  17. Gharib

    Gharib I want Khilafah back

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    still didn't get it huh.

    again i am not limiting dessire only to money or food or cake. i am saying that humans have a different dessire level than animals. us for example will try to get anything that we want, meaning we will have a dessire greater than animals.

    i don't think i can really express my thoughts on this any better but plese try to understand what i am saying. if you don't bad luck. :eek:
     
  18. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Language and abundant mirror neurons.
     
  19. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    I understand, I just don't agree. An animals level of desire is not any greater, only its ability to act on that desire which is due to the level of intelect.
     
  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    If we're looking at the impact of species on the planet, I'd rank the impact of humans well, well below that of the earthworm.

    And if we're talking about the impact of classifications larger than species, we can't hold a candle to the environment-altering impact of plants.
     
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