I too tend to be a hermit at times, and it's good to have alone time. Then I wake up and branch out and state my opinion on the internet and then go back in my cave....
I know my personality and accept it and know we are all different. I'm an INFP, but proud of it!
Knowing yourself helps understanding others even if you disagree on a topic. We're all brothers and sisters.
nesgirl wrote:If you understood them, then you'd realize animals really do communicate back with you. And they do listen.
I already realise that there are certain communicative interactions between humans and animals. I don't dispute that and never denied that there is communication. In fact, communication isn't circumscribed to speech only (as you are undoubtedly aware, I'm sure, seen as you rattle on about multimedia quite often).
But the fact remains: animals don't talk back. There is a distinction made at schools between humans and animals. The former are rational (or capable of being so), the latter aren't. Therefore, animals are incapable of providing moral support to troubled human beings. A human being can talk another out of suicide, even if it takes a long-winded conversation. A cat is incapable of such. In certain situations, it takes a complex organ such as the human brain to help a fellow human being. On this note, I'd also like to mention that human beings should not be held accountable for how they have evolved regarding their complex brains and oft conflicting minds.
As for animals listening: many may perceive the sound waves that we produce, but the evidence that they are incapable of deciphering human language is quite solid and substantial. (Thus, they are not really "listening.") There is also a tendency for the human mind to find pattern and familiarity in everything. After you feed your cat, this one may rub itself against you. What does this mean, you may ask yourself. You may arrive at the conclusion that that is your cat's way of saying "thank you" when the feline is in fact marking its territory and identifies you as its property. (An evolutionary trait.)
nesgirl wrote:Personally I believe that animals are much easier to befriend because they will be friends with you no matter what you do (unless you are mean to them), and will always be there for you at your side.
Really? What animals are we talking about? Try making friends with a crocodile on the loose and see what happens. I will also point out an oxymoron in your statement which exposes it as a non sequitur: "no matter what you do" (suggesting the pernicious unconditional love) against "unless you are mean to them" (conditional).
Isn't it funny that this mentality about animals being good no matter what still prevails in this day and age. A crocodile bites a man's arm off in a zoo and nothing happens to the animal (and it shouldn't because it is in its nature to attack). The victim might even live to tell the tale and laugh about it later with his friends whilst feeding the very same croc at the zoo! If a psychotic human maims an unfortunate soul, the corollary of the situation is quite different. Despite being a victim of his brain physiology, the deranged individual is ostracised. (And often punished in order to give the rest of the community a false sense of justice.)
Not too long ago there was a guy called Charles (I forget his second name) who went on a killing spree in America. He had murdered his wife, kids, and parents. He was out of control and the media surely labelled him a monster. Eventually, the police executed him. But here is a profound twist: a suicide letter was found on him. (He knew he was going to be killed.) The letter explained that he could not account for his behaviour and that he loved his family very much. He felt that there was something wrong with him and requested for an autopsy to be performed on his cadaver, stressing that his brain should be studied. When they finally opened his brain, a tumour was found to be pushing against his amygdala (the centre of our emotions). The minute you learn that the killer was a victim of his physiology is when you realise that he is not truly culpable and the massacre should be viewed as nothing but a terrible accident where many perished. Just something to ponder over...
nesgirl wrote:Dishonesty isn't going to land me a higher paying job in the future so I am not risking it. However, there is a such thing as keeping things you don't want others to know about a secret, and attempting to pull alternate subjects out of the hat to attempt to keep your secret safe. I have probably over a hundred that I keep hidden myself, and never tell anyone about.
Have you tried being honest with yourself and telling the truth in difficult situations even when you think they couldn't possibly bring the best outcome? If you have a record of telling lies (even the "white" ones) you will eventually find it difficult to keep track of them overtime within the same social circles. You might find that an acquaintance becomes aware of your inconsistencies and either confronts you or maintains distance.
Even the revelation of a white lie suffices for someone to doubt your veracity in other matters where you have actually been honest. With lies, you run the risk of losing credit and trustworthiness. With the truth, however painful, at least people can count on you to always tell it. With honesty, your reliability to accurately describe events remains intact and you won't even feel a need to keep track of your previous statements. Life with honesty becomes easier (as counterintuitive as this may sound to many as regards difficult situations). You may also consummate your life of honesty by preventing your current enemies from blackmailing you. Wouldn't it be advantageous if you had nothing to hide?
At the same time, if you wish to maintain privacy about certain matters (because you really don't see the need for others to know), you can be honest about this and simply tell the inquisitor: "it's private" or "none of your business."
nesgirl wrote:I do have plenty of enemies.
I wonder why.
This couldn't be more relevant to the topic!
(Why we humans evolved to make friends)
(Why we evolved to care for animals, and have befriended them too).
Summerlander wrote:Therefore, animals are incapable of providing moral support to troubled human beings.
Although an animal can't talk you out of suicide (don't discredit all human friendship), animals do provide moral support, but not directly. Caring for, and talking to an animal releases dopamine, a rewarding drug that we humans crave. Sometimes it's better than talking to a human if all you want to do is get feelings off your chest without a conversation or worrying about revealing deep secret feelings. Then your difficult decision, dilemma, (whatever it is you needed moral support for), can be seen clearly with a new, positive perspective, and solved in your own head. So talking to animals can certainly provide an uplifting boost to a troubled human who just needed a little help finding the answers they had all along. And it doesn't even matter which animal (if you happen to have a pet crocodile you have befriended it would work, but don't try cuddling it ). Your 'friends' don't even have to be alive. A doll or teddy bear would have the same affect on children. (And some adults!) "Friend" is a concept we have made and can place it into anything.
Although I can logically say it is an illusion, and our pets don't have as strong a bond toward us as we do toward them, we humans aren't rational and I don't claim to be. Sometimes I feel like my dog is my companion and my equal, but mostly pets are treated like children and satisfy our maternal instincts. That's why we favor pets with big eyes and cute faces that give us the illusion of innocence. But it works!
Humans are animals too, and perhaps the 'monster's in our society are just predators. Let's compare Humans to Bears. Both break and enter houses at times. The bear raids the fridge, but never goes upstairs to commit rape. Sadly, I can't say that for the most dangerous animal of all, The Human. However, if my car breaks down in the woods, I'll take my chances asking a human for help at the closest house, than asking a bear from the nearest cave. Humans are certainly the most dangerous predator to us humans, killing more than any other animal, but they are also the only ones capable of being helpful and kind.
HAGART wrote:Although an animal can't talk you out of suicide (don't discredit all human friendship), animals do provide moral support, but not directly. Caring for, and talking to an animal releases dopamine, a rewarding drug that we humans crave. Sometimes it's better than talking to a human if all you want to do is get feelings off your chest without a conversation or worrying about revealing deep secret feelings.
Not exactly the "moral support" that one desperately needs whilst standing on the ledge and ready to jump, though, is it, Hagart? Your indirect moral support from animals also exclude those who are not much for pets or don't enjoy animal company. What happens to these people then? Should they have imaginary friends or have a word with God in order to get their reward juices going? Or perhaps chocolate will do the job in providing "moral support." It seems to me that individuals who save themselves from depression and suicide without human aid are doing all the work in their heads - in which case they already had it in them to save themselves regardless.
And I would contend that, in situations where animal company appears to psychologically help a human being, it is not the animal that is saving the person (the animal couldn't care less so why should it receive the credit) - it is the person's own mind with all it's imagination and fanciful delusions. Telling yourself that the hungry lion is your friend isn't the same as the lion really being your friend.
The reasons why a dog guards the house and protects its owner are also questionable. It may appear that the animal altruistically cares about your well being when in actual fact it is protecting its own interests and fears losing its productive property (you, the very thing vital for its survival).
Here's a scenario with a question that I am now posing to you: Johnny is about to jump out the window. His wife Devi just stands there in silence, thinking about her lover, and secretly wishing johnny to jump. Johnny looks at Devi and interprets her visage to mean that she is in a state of shock because she loves him and imagines that the wife's thought of losing him is unbearable for her. Did the wife provide moral support?
HAGART wrote:Then your difficult decision, dilemma, (whatever it is you needed moral support for), can be seen clearly with a new, positive perspective, and solved in your own head.
Exactly! They can do it alone by "believing" their illusions to be true. In which case they did not really need real objective help in the first place. Unfortunately, not everyone is on this boat and some need professional help from human beings, which, needless to say, has a better record and at its best is way superior than what any other creature on the planet can provide. I'm sorry to break it to you but the distinction between humans and animals in terms of rationality has to be emphasised. It isn't in vain.
There is a huge difference between a chimp and a human being. A human being has the potential to produce the works of Shakespeare countless times, including inspired coherent works, within a lifetime. A chimp needs infinity and randomness to stumble upon something like it as you have probably heard...
HAGART wrote:So talking to animals can certainly provide an uplifting boost to a troubled human who just needed a little help finding the answers they had all along.
Yeah..."the answers they had all along." What about those who did not have the answers and needed to learn something extra which could only come from their human peers?
HAGART wrote: And it doesn't even matter which animal (if you happen to have a pet crocodile you have befriended it would work, but don't try cuddling it ). Your 'friends' don't even have to be alive. A doll or teddy bear would have the same affect on children. (And some adults!) "Friend" is a concept we have made and can place it into anything.
I could even draw a smilie on a ball and call it "Wilson." And then the object would provide me with moral support... And by the way, balls are incapable of rape, too.
HAGART wrote:Sometimes I feel like my dog is my companion and my equal
You may feel like your dog is your equal but that isn't necessarily the reality. We're talking about humans and canines here. They are not the same even if they have things in common such as both being living beings and sharing a distant common ancestor. You may imagine a dog as an equal but it still belongs to a different evolutionary branch. If you are humanising an animal in your head, because your imagination permits you to, then credit ultimately belongs to the human mind - an amazing and puzzling phenomenon begotten by the human brain in all its glory.
HAGART wrote:Humans are animals too,
Yeah. And at school we learn that we are rational animals as opposed to irrational animals.
HAGART wrote:The bear raids the fridge, but never goes upstairs to commit rape. Sadly, I can't say that for the most dangerous animal of all, The Human.
Bears rape their own kind, dolphins are known to attack one another, and apes can behave tribally and kill their own. These are a few examples. You still want to compare humanity with animalism?
HAGART wrote:However, if my car breaks down in the woods, I'll take my chances asking a human for help at the closest house, than asking a bear from the nearest cave. Humans are certainly the most dangerous predator to us humans, killing more than any other animal, but they are also the only ones capable of being helpful and kind.
Of course you would ask a human because chances are that the human will behave rationally, feel empathy, and lend a helping hand. And humans only kill more because they are simply able to do so. Imagine what a lion would do if it understood that pressing a button could result in the decimation of entire zebra populations...
NesGirl just posted right now when I was writing, so I'll read that first.
But right off the bat, your Wilson (face on volleyball) analogy is exactly what I'm talking about. Maybe it's our definition of 'moral support' that you disagree on, because I believe all morals are innate from birth and all in our heads already. (And I already said a dog can't talk you off a ledge... I admitted that!) You can find companionship with a brick wall and bounce ideas off it if you had nothing else. (solitary confinement). It would fill that need, that ineffable thing, we are over-simplifying as 'friend'.
The truth is patent to see: humans are superior to animals. Also, nesgirl, you have misconstrued what I said again: I did not deny communication, I denied that animals are capable of communicating via speech or deciphering human language. It also seems to me that humans are the only ones who painstakingly make the effort to understand the way in which animals interact. The same cannot be said the other way around.
Another thing: recognising and stating that humans are superior to animals does not equate with human cruelty towards other species. That is an absurd and unfair statement to make. An adult is superior to a child in many ways and yet most of us feel morally obliged to nurture and protect them. One can still acknowledge that it is cruel to make any conscious creature suffer whilst realising that they are inferior.
I would also argue that nobody can truly be held accountable for anything because there is no such thing as free will. (But this is another topic.) Even the psychos who are tumour-free are victims of their own brain chemistry which they did not pick. So, control is illusory.
As for babies, Hagart, I can assure you that they pretty much start from zero. The only thing that is innate is their inherited genome. If all morals were innate from birth, children would not need guidance on right and wrong. As a father, I can tell you they need discipline. They are born selfish and empathy seems to develop slowly (only to decline again in their teens when their brains prune)!
Am I mistaken or do I detect some fierce animal rights activists here of the kind that find their own kind contemptible? Humans do slaughter pigs for their consumption. Whether you like it or not, there is an industry and that is the way many pigs end up dying. Humans also go to war knowing they could die. Lions also kill zebras. Also, cats do not say thank you in any way shape or form - to assume so is absurd and entirely from wishful thinking. Gratitude is a human quality. Furthermore, why should one species be held accountable for their actions over others. Are you prepared to admit that humans are superior to animals and because of that they have more responsibility?
By the way, it usually takes a long time to train animals to do the tricks they do. A 5 year old human learns way faster than a circus dog (no comparison should be required here!) And animals end up learning because they want something in return (and there is no thought for the morrow or intelligent planning on their part either, it is all memory of results they experienced overtime plus lots of repetition).
I look forward to refutations. B-)
[ Post made via Android ]
I can sum it all up in one word: Empathy. Although logically I know the cat purring on my stomach as I lay in bed is self absorbed, and doesn't care for me, I feel good that it feels good. It's irrational, but who is? At least I admit it. I'm an animal lover too and find solace in the presence of my 'teddy bears' and 'brick walls', and my, 'Wilsons'.
You're naive to think they can help you fix a flat tire though!
(I'm against animal cruelty too, but let's keep it on track. Need another topic for that, but I'm with you.)
Just had a response from Summerlander as I was trying to submit this... I'll be back.
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