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Why do people say that we're separate from animals?





Afaceinthematrix
Why do people say that we're separate from animals? For instance people will say what separates us from animals or when people act immaturely, someone will say they're acting like an animal. But we're in the animalia kingdom biologically, so I think that makes us animals technically, so how come everyone likes to separate us?
jwellsy
Because, we are stewards of the animals on this planet.
It is our responsibility to prevent extinction and overpopulation of animals.
akshar
Every human being thinks he is intelligent then all other human being,So nimals come behind that.
People always consider animals as something like inefficient human being.In efficient in the sense lacking of some features.So its bit natural to think like taht,people give respect to animals only if they do some useful work for them.Else neglect
Afaceinthematrix
jwellsy wrote:
Because, we are stewards of the animals on this planet.
It is our responsibility to prevent extinction and overpopulation of animals.


Well I understand that, but it almost seems like human beings are arrogant in a way, thinking that we're above animals. But technically we are animals and I don't understand why people seem to think we're so much above animals. We may be the most advanced animals, but does that make us non-animals?
Rico
Human beings have the ability to project their consciousness to an imaginary vantage point (for example: you can imagine that you see yourself sitting in front of your PC) and examine their thoughts and actions from an objective or subjective view and make a decision to take a different approach to how they do or see things. Very Happy
maejaeos
To me all life is equally sacred. The life of a human is no more important than that of any other concious being. I think collectively we are behind until we realize this, but thats just me.
miacps
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
jwellsy wrote:
Because, we are stewards of the animals on this planet.
It is our responsibility to prevent extinction and overpopulation of animals.


Well I understand that, but it almost seems like human beings are arrogant in a way, thinking that we're above animals. But technically we are animals and I don't understand why people seem to think we're so much above animals. We may be the most advanced animals, but does that make us non-animals?

Thats how it is in all animals that form groups for survival, including humans.

People that think humans are much mightier than other animals probably do so for good reason. We're the first earth species to reach outter space and have a huge understanding and knowledge of science.

Doesn't mean we still aren't animals though. Infact animalistic instincts often get the best of people.
MeddlingMonk
I think there is a major distinction between humans and the animals. To my knowledge, only human beings actually worship a god and believe in a supreme being.
ocalhoun
jwellsy wrote:
Because, we are stewards of the animals on this planet.
It is our responsibility to prevent extinction and overpopulation of animals.


We're not doing a very good job of it...


The only distinction between humans and anamals is simple arrogance. It would be interesting to see how this philosophy would be different if there happened to be two species of highly inteligent animals on the planet.
dlseven777
As a Christian you probably already know my response. Although I'm sure I could get more theological, but I'll just give my answer.

I think we are separated from animals because of our soul.

Specifically defining what exactly is a soul brings up a whole different subject.
ocalhoun
^And finding any evidence whatsoever to determine whether or not animals have souls is yet another discussion unto itself...

An argument I've heard on that particular subject before:

If you can say, "Humans are better than and have more rights than animals because only humans have souls"
I can say, "Men are better than and have more rights than women, because only men have scmouls"


And why not take this a step further? Are animals actually above and separate from plants? Bacteria?
Rico
dlseven777 wrote:
As a Christian you probably already know my response. Although I'm sure I could get more theological, but I'll just give my answer.

I think we are separated from animals because of our soul.

Specifically defining what exactly is a soul brings up a whole different subject.


Your soul is your will, emotion and intellect – do you say animals don’t have any of these? Very Happy
miacps
MeddlingMonk wrote:
I think there is a major distinction between humans and the animals. To my knowledge, only human beings actually worship a god and believe in a supreme being.

Thats a really good point.

I guess humans are probably more imaginative than animals.
brucedes
It's the opposable thumbs, this is what separates us biologically from most animals on the planet, it's something very few animals have, quite a handy evolutionary trait, you must admit.

However, I do agree that we are still animals, and shouldn't think of ourselves reigning supreme over all the animals, and having some inherent claim to them or their land.
hack_man_
jwellsy wrote:
Because, we are stewards of the animals on this planet.
It is our responsibility to prevent extinction and overpopulation of animals.

I don't think that, it is not our responsibility, we just do it because it is our fault that some species are dying out, or simply because we are nice guys!

Many people think that we are above animals. But we aren't really. If we are above them, why do we seek them out for company and friendship, and then why are they loving and loyal in return?
loryl
From religion's point of view, our separation from animals validates the belief (in this example, Christian) that God (or whichever supreme being you prefer) designed us in the image of himself (since other animals aren't designed in his image, we must be unique!).

From the survival point of view, it's much easier to say that we're not like animals. Else, we'd have to resort to never eating meat because eating the meat of other animals would be almost like cannibalism.

From the scientific point of view, at least until recently, it was much easier to say that we were different from animals because we don't behave, look, or talk like them. Observations show that we're not the same, therefore, logically, we must not be. New evidence suggests, however, that we're all descended from the same ancestors, and no matter *how* different we are, we're also very similar to animals. This is why research that is thought to be unethical to be performed on humans, is done on animals first.

Thus, depending on who you talk to, you'll get different reasons.

Ask a vegetarian, however, and you may find equivocal answers.
hack_man_
loryl wrote:
From religion's point of view, our separation from animals validates the belief (in this example, Christian) that God (or whichever supreme being you prefer) designed us in the image of himself (since other animals aren't designed in his image, we must be unique!).

From the survival point of view, it's much easier to say that we're not like animals. Else, we'd have to resort to never eating meat because eating the meat of other animals would be almost like cannibalism.

From the scientific point of view, at least until recently, it was much easier to say that we were different from animals because we don't behave, look, or talk like them. Observations show that we're not the same, therefore, logically, we must not be. New evidence suggests, however, that we're all descended from the same ancestors, and no matter *how* different we are, we're also very similar to animals. This is why research that is thought to be unethical to be performed on humans, is done on animals first.

Thus, depending on who you talk to, you'll get different reasons.

Ask a vegetarian, however, and you may find equivocal answers.

Um, sorry... When we say that we are above animals, we mean as in discrimination... Like it is OK go out shooting game. Of course we are different from them, but it doesn't mean that we are better than them...

Par example: Humans are the only species that goes out and kills each other regularly...
LeatherRose
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Why do people say that we're separate from animals? For instance people will say what separates us from animals or when people act immaturely, someone will say they're acting like an animal. But we're in the animalia kingdom biologically, so I think that makes us animals technically, so how come everyone likes to separate us?


yes technicly we are animals.. but humans are king of the jungle baby Smile
....sadly enough though we keep slowly killing our jungle Sad
ocalhoun
hack_man_ wrote:

Par example: Humans are the only species that goes out and kills each other regularly...


Not quite true, unfortunately, though no other animal kills off it's own species quite as much or as efficiently as we do.
*Chimps often engage in inter- and intra-tribe (I wonder if anybody will object to me calling them tribes?) warfare and fighting. A leading cause of death among chimps is other chimps. (Though this may happen more than it should naturally, because human habitat encroachment may be forcing different tribes closer together, causing more fighting.)
*When a lion ousts the old leader of the pride and takes over, often he will kill all the babies in the pride in order to make all the lionesses go into heat.
*Many kinds of sharks will gladly eat a smaller shark, even one of the same species.

No other animal, however, has ALL (or even as many of) the negative aspects humans do.
Also, I think humans are unique in using torture.
eggg
I'm sure a dog or a gorilla would think they're separate from and superior to all other animals as well.
ocalhoun
^Odd that dogs seem to look up to their owners so much then...
ktak1
Truly the separation between man and animals is a thin one, but it exists nonetheless. I have no arguments with the fact that man is biologically an animal. But this world is only ruled by biology at its most basic and primitive level. The flesh that creates and unifies all animals is the same. No question. But the separation between man and animals does not lie there. It lies in the consciousness of man. Man has created many different levels of distinction apart from the most basic, primitive, biological one. We've expanded our consciousness to include, reason, intelligence, science, and religion.

Christianity states that God created man in his own image and gave him authority over all animals in the world. He gave us free will to choose between right and wrong. I don't believe animals are governed by those same realizations.

When a consciousness realizes that it can choose actions that determine better or worse consequences on a moral level, you've now transcended the primitive realm of animals. Animals are designed by God to act and live on a certain plateau of existence. They eat, breed and die. That's pretty much it. They don't think and rationalize to become more than they are. They are as God created them. That's not to say that they're less intelligent or duller than man. But animals are only very good at what they do and that's it. Look at sharks, lions, gophers, and penguins. They all do what they do extremely well, but I don't see them creating nuclear fusion any time soon.
TBSC
dlseven777 wrote:
As a Christian you probably already know my response. Although I'm sure I could get more theological, but I'll just give my answer.

I think we are separated from animals because of our soul.

Specifically defining what exactly is a soul brings up a whole different subject.


I believe you are right. Biologically we can share many traits with animals, but at the same time we differ in many traits also.

In other some other religions it has been stated that animals have an astral body but not a soul in the same sense that humans have.
cornga56
Mentally most of us have evolved beyond what it means to be an animal. Physically/biologically we are still animals, otherwise we wouldn't be human. That much is obvious. I think this intimate connection that we have between our higher selves and our primal selves is beautiful, and in cases where someone lets it or wills it harmonious. I personally love being a human, and think that our long lineage of arboreal dwellers is something to be admired. We came out on top, when it could have possibly been lizards, felines, dogs, or squid. Of course that all depends on what the environmental variables are. But we are the evolutionary proprietors of this world, and we should realize that our combination of our higher selves and primal selves is something we should try to keep in balance.
Satori
MeddlingMonk wrote:
I think there is a major distinction between humans and the animals. To my knowledge, only human beings actually worship a god and believe in a supreme being.



I think that this distinction is little more than the existence of language. Because they don't have spoken language like we do, they cannot convey their knowledge of "god" to anyone. This doesn't mean that they don't know "god." Animals live completely in the moment. There is no past or future to them, only NOW. In living so, they are worshiping "god" in the best way possible. What is the point of meditation? To focus your awareness not on thoughts and beliefs, but on the present moment. Whenever we humans bring our awareness into the present, we come closer to "god." We as humans must work hard to do this because we are trained to be otherwise...but animals naturally embrace their connection to "god" by living entirely in the NOW. Animals don't have beliefs. A belief is an idea that requires defending. It is not knowledge, it is not fact. It merely is an idea. We humans create all kinds of beliefs that are not necessarily true...though we will defend them to the death as if they are indisputable. We even go so far as to create the belief that we are all separate, and that there is no interconnection between all life. Animals KNOW they are all connected. This is evident in the fact that they all naturally live in harmony with their environment and surroundings. In doing so, they give praise to "god" through their actions. They don't have to believe in "god." They don't believe in anything. They KNOW "god" through life. In fact, I will even go so far as to say that we as humans could learn a LOT from animals about how to truly live life to the fullest.


dlseven777 wrote:
As a Christian you probably already know my response. Although I'm sure I could get more theological, but I'll just give my answer.

I think we are separated from animals because of our soul.

Specifically defining what exactly is a soul brings up a whole different subject.



To say that animals have no soul is to deny your connection to all of life on this planet. I choose to loosely define a soul as the essence of life. A soul is what gives life to our physical body. We can explain and categorize every last cell in the human body...how it works, what it contributes, etc. But what we can't do is explain WHY it is alive. Why we are able to breath, why our heart pumps life through us, why we perceive what we perceive. The answer is that we are alive because our soul gives us life. It is the driving life force that turns a lump of matter into a conscious being.

All life on this planet is alive because of ONE force. Many call it god. The label you apply is irrelevant. It's all life. It's all one big pool of energy, from which come all forms of life. We all come from the same source. We are all connected by the energy of life. From the tiniest single celled organisms to the largest forms of life, we all live because "god" exists and flows through us. Consciousness is merely our label for our experience as life flows through us. But this life flows through everything, and graces everything. To say animals have no soul is to deny that life flows through them as it does us. Their experience may be different from ours...they may not be able to describe it in words...but that doesn't mean they don't think and feel and breath.
TBSC
Satori wrote:
MeddlingMonk wrote:
I think there is a major distinction between humans and the animals. To my knowledge, only human beings actually worship a god and believe in a supreme being.



I think that this distinction is little more than the existence of language. Because they don't have spoken language like we do, they cannot convey their knowledge of "god" to anyone. This doesn't mean that they don't know "god." Animals live completely in the moment. There is no past or future to them, only NOW. In living so, they are worshiping "god" in the best way possible. What is the point of meditation? To focus your awareness not on thoughts and beliefs, but on the present moment. Whenever we humans bring our awareness into the present, we come closer to "god." We as humans must work hard to do this because we are trained to be otherwise...but animals naturally embrace their connection to "god" by living entirely in the NOW. Animals don't have beliefs. A belief is an idea that requires defending. It is not knowledge, it is not fact. It merely is an idea. We humans create all kinds of beliefs that are not necessarily true...though we will defend them to the death as if they are indisputable. We even go so far as to create the belief that we are all separate, and that there is no interconnection between all life. Animals KNOW they are all connected. This is evident in the fact that they all naturally live in harmony with their environment and surroundings. In doing so, they give praise to "god" through their actions. They don't have to believe in "god." They don't believe in anything. They KNOW "god" through life. In fact, I will even go so far as to say that we as humans could learn a LOT from animals about how to truly live life to the fullest.


dlseven777 wrote:
As a Christian you probably already know my response. Although I'm sure I could get more theological, but I'll just give my answer.

I think we are separated from animals because of our soul.

Specifically defining what exactly is a soul brings up a whole different subject.



To say that animals have no soul is to deny your connection to all of life on this planet. I choose to loosely define a soul as the essence of life. A soul is what gives life to our physical body. We can explain and categorize every last cell in the human body...how it works, what it contributes, etc. But what we can't do is explain WHY it is alive. Why we are able to breath, why our heart pumps life through us, why we perceive what we perceive. The answer is that we are alive because our soul gives us life. It is the driving life force that turns a lump of matter into a conscious being.

All life on this planet is alive because of ONE force. Many call it god. The label you apply is irrelevant. It's all life. It's all one big pool of energy, from which come all forms of life. We all come from the same source. We are all connected by the energy of life. From the tiniest single celled organisms to the largest forms of life, we all live because "god" exists and flows through us. Consciousness is merely our label for our experience as life flows through us. But this life flows through everything, and graces everything. To say animals have no soul is to deny that life flows through them as it does us. Their experience may be different from ours...they may not be able to describe it in words...but that doesn't mean they don't think and feel and breath.


That is one of the best explanations for that I have ever heard. Good job! Very Happy
amicalindia
jwellsy wrote:
Because, we are stewards of the animals on this planet.
It is our responsibility to prevent extinction and overpopulation of animals.


Nature is taking care of that.

Democracy is not where two wolfs and a goat vote to decide on todays meal.
amicalindia
maejaeos wrote:
To me all life is equally sacred. The life of a human is no more important than that of any other concious being. I think collectively we are behind until we realize this, but thats just me.


Yes, you are right....If you eat animals just because they have lower level of consciousness than human beings. tomorrow you may justify eating mentally retarded people.
akshar
I dont think we are different from animals these days Smile
raine dragon
In the words of The Dragon from the book Grendel by john gardner:

"Man," he said after a long pause, letting scorn build up in the cave like the venom in his breath. "I can see you understand them. Counters, measures, theory-makers."

Of course he is insulting human-kind... but the gist of it is sound. "Counters, measures, theory-makers". What animal scientifically measures events? what animal consciously predicts and formulates theories and communicates them to another animal for the sheer purpose of further understanding?

there is often no biologic reason for many of the actions of man kind, where as animals follow instincts.

A dog eats because he is hungry, licks your hand because you are kind to him and he knows that in doing so he will be better treated.

humans do things for much more complex reasons.
SkinnyV
People usualy like to think they are smarter and more clever than anything else. The fact is, dog and human don't think in the same way, but I know plenty of dog far less stupid than their human counterpart...
TBSC
Humans use their intellect.
Satori
TBSC wrote:
Humans use their intellect.


What do animals use then?
PatTheGreat42
We say we're different than animals because in a lot of ways we act different; we have clothes and literature and watch movies and think that buying a stairmaster will automatically make you get into shape. In a lot of ways we're similar to animals, but that's mostly because, I would say, that we, like animals, are living things, and do the things living things do, such as compete for a mate and search for food.
thinkfacility
Because we have the ability to have sentient thought. "I think therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

Essentially, we have the ability to influence any other life on the planet through sheer whim with the knowledge that we are doing so. Most of the time animals in nature influence another population of animals by accident or by nature. We can decide to do something and then go do it.
ocalhoun
PatTheGreat42 wrote:
and do the things living things do, such as compete for a mate and search for food.

Not all living things do these things: Only Animals do these things! (For the most part, that is. There may be a few exceptions among the more active plants.)
zjosie729
I don't think we are different from animals. We, too, are animals. Often others say that we're smarter, we use technology and such, but other animals have their smarts that we might not recognize. Perhaps all animals think they're different from other ones and are more special?
HealingHands5
Biologically, man is of the animal kingdom, more specifically the mammal category. WHich translates to mean that man (more so woman) gives suck to its' youngs, and is warm blooded. Humans are separated from the animal kingdom, due to a higher intellectual ability than all other animals; because of man's divine nature. Man was created in the image of God, and hence we are intellegent beings; even capable of loving other animals, not just our specie.

We are separate also; because we were created to worship the only true God, who made us for that sole purpose. Through the ages, man was separate; and will remain separate from the rest of the animal kingdom, because man has a soul, and a conscience. We choose to do or not to do, whatsoever we may, from times past and even now.

Often times, when one uses the expression " you're acting like an animal"; it's used to indicate to the person in question, that he or she is behaving as one without a conscience or brotherly affection.
ocalhoun
HealingHands5 wrote:
even capable of loving other animals, not just our specie.

Humans are not the only animals capable of interspecies love.

Quote:


Often times, when one uses the expression " you're acting like an animal"; it's used to indicate to the person in question, that he or she is behaving as one without a conscience or brotherly affection.

Interesting that most of the things we refer to as 'inhumane' are things only humans do...

Does a (slightly) larger capability for complex thought, a 'soul' (which I believe animals, and even plants, have too), and the tendency to do things so horrible make man as different from animals as animals are different from fungi or plants?
Homoergaster
Humans think they are superior to other animals. This is mainly because of two things. One religion, and two our need to feel like we belong and are important. The fact of the matter is that we are not truly important, and that we are no more special than any other animal. Homo Sapiens have the innate desire to feel as if they are the center of everything. If you look back through history this proves true. We have to be the center of the galaxy, we have to be the center of the solar system, everything had to revolve around us, we had to be gods favored creation, we have to be SPECIAL!!!! Sadly my friends we are not, you are no more special than a fly in the grand scheme of things. Looking at it from and evolutionary perspective we see that we have simply evolved a more complex brain allowing us to think logically and question the world around us.
Radar
We're the exception to so many statements made about animals, I think it's fair to think about us as being different from them.

Even if your definition of animal would technically include humans, I don't think we talk or think about ourselves that way.
Ankhanu
Radar wrote:
We're the exception to so many statements made about animals, I think it's fair to think about us as being different from them.

Even if your definition of animal would technically include humans, I don't think we talk or think about ourselves that way.


What is a single point at which we are distinct from animals? What are the exceptions? I know of none.

I think of humans as animals every day... I don't see why I wouldn't. I can't see how I can honestly talk or think about humans as different from animals.
inuyasha
We are animals biologically.
But philosophers consider people a different species because we can "think". We have self-consciousness.
Ankhanu
inuyasha wrote:
We are animals biologically.
But philosophers consider people a different species because we can "think". We have self-consciousness.

Then philosophers don't understand what a species is Razz The fact that, yes, we are a different animal species than all others, is not based on whether or not we think, nor whether or not other animals can... Fact is, other animals have been demonstrated to think and have self-awareness. We're not unique in this capability... it could be argued that we are better at it than others, but that's not to say that it is unique.

Simply, each species is distinct. Saying that what makes them distinct therefore makes them a completely separate from their history is somewhat fallacious. A sub-set is not separate from the superset to which it belongs.
therimalaya
High degree of consciousness...
Ankhanu
therimalaya wrote:
High degree of consciousness...

But why does this negate our status as an animal?
jmraker
Perhaps the reason why we separate ourselves from animals is because for the most part we try not to act or live like animals. If someone exhibited animal behavior like growling over food, it would be unusual.
Hello_World
I do not think we are better than animals. We are, of course, a type of animal, as far as definitions go. But we are different to other animals in very important ways. Because we have the ability to destroy animals and the ability to ponder this destruction, we also have a responsibility to the animals.

In terms of religiousity, funny enough, I was watching a debate between Dawkins and Cardinal George Pell today and noticed that he said himself that animals have souls. Therefore the Catholic position is that animals have souls, although people here are arguing otherwise. I guess the Anglican position, or other religions positions, must be different.

I don't think either have souls.
enilsoncba
Quote:
Several features distinguish us from animals, such as gait. Of all the species of the animal kingdom, we are the only one whose standard form of displacement is bipedalism, walking on two legs. This trait, which has manifested itself in ancestors shaped the knack of being human.

But not everything that is thought to be unique to Homo sapiens is really our thing. For example, the ability to recognize the mirror. "Experiments have shown that chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants have that capability," says Cesar Ades, a student of animal behavior at the University of Sγo Paulo (USP).

In addition, some species use tools for certain activities and even think! "Studies with primates, dogs, dolphins and elephants, among others, show that thinking is not exclusive to humans," says Ades.
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