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Ski

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Candy Cane
30th January, 2011 at 16:52:30 -

You've clearly never had a dog, then.

 
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Flava



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30th January, 2011 at 17:16:05 -

I think animals can love and feel sadness - dogs are one example, as Adam pointed out. A lot of animals in the wild also care for their children, to an extent were they would risk their lives for them. Love, sadness, anger etc. are all natural emotions which many animals experience - you don't have to understand the concept of emotion in order to feel it.

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30th January, 2011 at 17:24:16 -

It's a tricky subject and I'm not sure which of you is right.

Adam, one shouldn't be so quick to interpret a dog's self-preservation feeling of worry at doing something wrong in the pack as having a conscience. What we interpret/translate in animals as human-specific emotions (like guilt) are commonly something else entirely - like knowing they're going to be in trouble with their owner. It's a bit more complicated than that - nothing's definite and unless a human actually become a dog there's little to suggest we currently have the capacity to understand their minds.

Of course we can (and do) project our own emotions onto our pets in a bid to understand them (we do this to the other people that we meet in our day to day life, too), but it is a fact that animals, whether wild or domesticated, have an emotional makeup that is fundamentally differently from a human's. We at least appear to be unique animals in that our level of intelligence gives us easily provable Secondary Emotions (some examples being guilt and shame). Not so with cats and dogs.

I expect the truth is somewhere between the position that Boothman and Adam would argue, with the scientific community more supporting Boothman's post. But we don't really know and it's never a good idea to assume.

 
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30th January, 2011 at 17:25:30 -

The only religion I would ever join is one where cats are the highest of species. That and human sacrifice.

 
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Rob Rule

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30th January, 2011 at 17:28:08 -

(To clarify: I'd personally agree with Adam that dogs feel elation and sorrow, but not that they feel more complex human emotions like guilt and shame.)

 
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30th January, 2011 at 17:33:13 -

Eh. Of course animals don't have those kinds of feelings, EVERYBODY knows that. All they ever think of is eat, sleep and, well, humping. The rest is all in your imagination. Humans are obviously vastly superior and would therefore be the chosen race.

 
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Ski

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Candy Cane
30th January, 2011 at 17:41:56 -

I can confidently say, having had pet dogs since I was born, Ive seen anger, embarassment, sulking behaviours, jealousy, and happiness in them. Not just by how they look, but by how they interact with a human. The one emotion that isnt so obvious is sadness.

Having said that, it also takes a certain type of dog. Not all dogs are the same, facially. For example, an angry dog with dark eyes isn't so obvious, unless its growling (Schnauzer etc). A dog with whites to the eye, or amber eyes becomes more apparent when it is angry.

 
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HorrendousGames

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30th January, 2011 at 19:59:12 -


Originally Posted by Roncho
Eh. Of course animals don't have those kinds of feelings, EVERYBODY knows that. All they ever think of is eat, sleep and, well, humping. The rest is all in your imagination. Humans are obviously vastly superior and would therefore be the chosen race.



That is a huge oversimplification. For instance, there is a vast difference between a wild animal and a domesticated one. If that's all they think about, then why do animals bother protecting their young?

Chimps are a great example of animals with feeling and intelligence. For instance, Chimps do not need to eat meat in order to survive, yet they they hunt as often as they can, including other primates. They even divide up the kill based on the social status of their group, and most chimps will give meat to their mate as a gift.

In terms of animals not being able to feel sad or guilty, you must not be paying much attention to your pets. My god father's dog would always get smacked with a newspaper every time he took a dump on the floor. Eventually, if he did and he saw my God father, he would run away into his cage, but only if he had taken a dump on the floor first. There is also a vast difference between getting an animal as a baby, than getting an animal from a shelter. To top if off, before I was in a wheel chair and before I lost my job, I got a beagle named tish. Beagles tend to be very active and love to follow their nose. Before the chair, and even when we picked her up from the shelter, she got out a lot and was able to run around and explore, but once I went into the chair, she wasn't able to run around as much, and was always laying around with a very sad look on her face, there was more but I'm not going to go into it too much.

Granted, my observations aren't as in depth as they could be but, trust me, there are people that study this, and they would probably know a lot better than most people here.

 
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30th January, 2011 at 20:03:24 -

You know I the biggest diffrence between us and animals is the fact that we can question our existence.

And I think God put that in us so that we would search for him.

The argument that claims that humans are just better animals is just an excuse for people to give when they do something wrong.

"I'm just following my animal desires" is a common quote I hear.

But like Matt said, we as humans can overide these feelings and follow our concience instead, something an animal cannot.

 
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HorrendousGames

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30th January, 2011 at 20:19:02 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
You know I the biggest diffrence between us and animals is the fact that we can question our existence.

And I think God put that in us so that we would search for him.

The argument that claims that humans are just better animals is just an excuse for people to give when they do something wrong.

"I'm just following my animal desires" is a common quote I hear.

But like Matt said, we as humans can overide these feelings and follow our concience instead, something an animal cannot.



That doesn't come from god, that comes from society. You do realize people used to say the same thing about black people, right? Check that, there are still people that think that. Most of what you're speaking about comes from how we are raised into our society. For instance, many tribes outside of society act similar (yet are still a bit more advance) to the chimp society I mentioned. Are they less human? In terms of animals questioning their existence, how the hell would you know? At least with most feelings you can look at their behavior and facial expressions, but in terms of religion, you can't exactly ask an animal what they are thinking. Ever see an animal get scared of something, like a dog getting scared of a vacuum cleaner or thunder? We know the dog is scared, but how do you know that the dog isn't attributing that to a creator? How do you know that the dog doesn't think of it's owner as a creator? We all know that's a load of hooey, since you and thunder aren't gods, but with decreased intelligence and understanding of the world around you, the more likely you are to attribute something you don't understand to magic or gods, which is not to say intelligent people don't believe in gods.

 
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Ski

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Candy Cane
30th January, 2011 at 20:32:55 -


Originally Posted by HorrendousGames

Originally Posted by Roncho
Eh. Of course animals don't have those kinds of feelings, EVERYBODY knows that. All they ever think of is eat, sleep and, well, humping. The rest is all in your imagination. Humans are obviously vastly superior and would therefore be the chosen race.



That is a huge oversimplification. For instance, there is a vast difference between a wild animal and a domesticated one. If that's all they think about, then why do animals bother protecting their young?

Chimps are a great example of animals with feeling and intelligence. For instance, Chimps do not need to eat meat in order to survive, yet they they hunt as often as they can, including other primates. They even divide up the kill based on the social status of their group, and most chimps will give meat to their mate as a gift.

In terms of animals not being able to feel sad or guilty, you must not be paying much attention to your pets. My god father's dog would always get smacked with a newspaper every time he took a dump on the floor. Eventually, if he did and he saw my God father, he would run away into his cage, but only if he had taken a dump on the floor first. There is also a vast difference between getting an animal as a baby, than getting an animal from a shelter. To top if off, before I was in a wheel chair and before I lost my job, I got a beagle named tish. Beagles tend to be very active and love to follow their nose. Before the chair, and even when we picked her up from the shelter, she got out a lot and was able to run around and explore, but once I went into the chair, she wasn't able to run around as much, and was always laying around with a very sad look on her face, there was more but I'm not going to go into it too much.

Granted, my observations aren't as in depth as they could be but, trust me, there are people that study this, and they would probably know a lot better than most people here.



Of course Beagles follow their noses, they belong to the hound family Bassets are also notorious for it.

 
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30th January, 2011 at 20:36:19 -

Dogs just do whatever they want. They learn that doing certain things bring pain, which makes then not want to do that thing, but that's all due to self preservation. Self preservation is something that's in every animal and even humans. The will to live. Running from a vaccum can't be attributed to emotions.

And people in tribes have conscience while the pack of chimps do not.

If you told the tribe about God they would listen, while the chimps would never be able to grasp the concept.

I know this because I personnally met a missionary who talks to these tribes. I seen videos of tribal people praying and crying. Youll never in your lifetime see a gorilla trying to seek God. These people didn't see an example of this. The missionaries didn't tell them to cry or tell them that they were supposed to feel anything. They just did, because God is real and that's what they were feeling.

 
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Hayo

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30th January, 2011 at 20:54:13 -

Did he try talking to the chimps as well? Somewhere in the middle ages, some monks picked up the idea of converting birds, they preached to the birds.

The other day one of my cats got scared by something and jumped up. He then realised it was nothing, looked around if anyone had seen him do that, saw that we did, and then performed some odd little jumps and went back to sleep. True story.

 
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30th January, 2011 at 21:04:45 -

Eternal Man:
I did interpret you post well (I think), but perhaps I wasn't clear enough.
What I meant was that for me, if scientifically it can't be proved then it can't be proved at all, so in my mind what you said couldn't be true, at least not entirely though I understood what you meant.

To be more exact, I believe in what's real, in what I can see, hear, smell and feel. The other side of things you were talking about is something that, in my mind, simply doesn't exist. Feeling protected by god, feeling you are talking with him, interpreting random things as signs from god, from me that's all psychological, something your mind makes up because you want to believe. It feels good to believe there's something out there watching for me, that when I die it's not the end and so on. Of course these things come to a price, which usually involves behaving well but that's beside the point.

I remember feeling like I had those "god moments" more than once, I even convinced myself once I was possessed by some demon because I grew paranoid with that thanks of some horror movie I watched. Then time went by I even forgot about it. Anyway, for a while those "god moments" is what made me still believe, even though I kept asking me more and more questions. Then I started to question if those moments really existed and since then I never felt them again, and that's simply because I stopped believing altogether. The "other side" of things simply disappeared and I started interpreting things simply for what they were, not what they could be and associate them with god, jesus or anything. I felt like I've just been freed from my mental prison. Not saying religion is a prison, but I think you get the point.

I think it's hard to really be an atheist without first going through this, and I think that's why a lot of them just look retarded because they talk about things they don't know anything about. You have to see things from both sides before knowing which one is right.

Like you said it's a bit hard to explain all this without debating this face to face, I tried my best.

Matt: You don't believe animals have conscience and emotions but they do. You need to be used to them to understand their body language. Fear, guilt, happiness, excitement, sadness and other emotions are very easy to see in a dog for example.
And yes they do feel guilty if they know they did something wrong, I can't see how you find this ridiculous if you've had pets yourself. As an example, if my dog(now dead) crapped in the floor or something like that, I'd yell at him and hit him softly in the back to show I was mad at him. Usually, the first reaction he would have was to follow me and try to cheer me up, but in a really human way as if he was sorry for what he did and wanted to make up for that by showing affection. That's an example among many others, things like these are rather common in pets.

I don't know why you're even saying that animals are not intelligent enough to feel love or hate when these feelings can be recognized easily, specially in apes whose body language isn't that different from ours. They even go as far as create rivalries between themselves because of some female they both are fond of. The example of flava with animals risking their lives to save their children is also a rather obvious example.
Their emotions are similar to ours, what change is how they express them.

As for suicide among animals, you can't expect animals to grab a gun and shoot themselves or take a cyanide pill, but there are many reports of animals killing themselves on purpose, including whales mass suicides.
Of course not all animals have enough intelligence to do something like that, but when most of them fight every day for their survival, the last thought they would have would be to just kill themselves. The same can be said for a lot of people in countries plagued by wars, famine and disease.

But all this is beside the point, the reason animals don't feel some more complex emotions while we do why is simply because they aren't as intelligent as we are. That's what set us apart from other animals. I don't think god has anything to do with that, we simply had the luck to be born human and not a bird or an dog. If you want to interpret that has a gift given to you by god that's up to you, for me that's not even up for discussion.

By the way, the example you gave on the conscience part has nothing to do with conscience or the notion of "sin" you spoke about. That's only suppositions, but I'm pretty sure if he was raised by a wolf for example and didn't realize he is human, I'm pretty sure it would be ok for him to kill another human if he felt threatened without feeling guilty. Society is what make us feel that killing another human being is wrong, I can't imagine someone being raised outside an environment without a single human being knowing that stealing, killing and so on is wrong.


 
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HorrendousGames

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30th January, 2011 at 21:09:57 -


Originally Posted by UrbanMonk
Dogs just do whatever they want. They learn that doing certain things bring pain, which makes then not want to do that thing, but that's all due to self preservation. Self preservation is something that's in every animal and even humans. The will to live. Running from a vaccum can't be attributed to emotions.

And people in tribes have conscience while the pack of chimps do not.

If you told the tribe about God they would listen, while the chimps would never be able to grasp the concept.

I know this because I personnally met a missionary who talks to these tribes. I seen videos of tribal people praying and crying. Youll never in your lifetime see a gorilla trying to seek God. These people didn't see an example of this. The missionaries didn't tell them to cry or tell them that they were supposed to feel anything. They just did, because God is real and that's what they were feeling.



THATS BECAUSE CHIMPS DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH, LOL!

 
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