Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

0

zorblax wrote

They have all five senses.

Most don't, actually.

I'm certain they can see and hear, taste, smell, and eat, the same as humans.

Even if they measure the same things, doesn't mean they see the same things. They might see in different spectra, they might have taste and smell adapted to different chemicals, and above all the qualia produced by those sensory organs might be completely different.

They know the land where they live and they know the creatures they share the land with.

No reason to believe this is true, except for predatory animals that need to know the land to hunt and territorial animals that need to know the land so they can know what part they own.

3

Emeryael wrote

Even if they measure the same things, doesn't mean they see the same things. They might see in different spectra, they might have taste and smell adapted to different chemicals, and above all the qualia produced by those sensory organs might be completely different.

So if anything or anyone thinks or perceives things different from you, you see them as slaves who exist solely for you and if you can't see any perceived benefit, they deserve to die? Good to know.

No reason to believe this is true, except for predatory animals that need to know the land to hunt and territorial animals that need to know the land so they can know what part they own.

So prey or herbivores don't need to know where to find water or where to find the plants they like to eat or need to eat to survive. They don't need to know the best place/materials to build a den. They also don't need to know how to spot a predator and how to outwit a predator and stay alive. So how exactly has any of them managed to stay alive? You'll probably say something idiotic like "Strength in numbers," but strength in numbers doesn't help you much if not a single member of your species has any basic level of intelligence whatsoever.

So it's safe to say that in your vision of the world, all prey animals are dead, which begs the question: so what are the predators eating? I suppose they could feast on each other, but there's an obvious flaw in that strategy.

0

zorblax wrote (edited )

So if anything or anyone thinks or perceives things different from you, you see them as slaves who exist solely for you and if you can't see any perceived benefit, they deserve to die?

Nope. I was just correcting some factual inaccuracies.

don't need to know where to find water or where to find the plants they like to eat or need to eat to survive. They don't need to know the best place/materials to build a den.

You're mistaking knowledge of how to survive in an area with knowledge of an area. When I go someplace unfamiliar, sure I can find food and water and shelter, but I could still be utterly lost.

Or another example: suppose you move to a new city, and being a skittish type of person you only do what's necessary, not really bothering to explore or learn the streets or meet people. You've got your apartment, which you know well, and maybe the immediate area around. You know where a grocery store is, and the location of a few other sources of daily necessities. Would you say you know the area? I sure would not. I think that sort of basic knowledge of how to survive, rather than the actual intimate knowledge of their environment, is how most animals live. But, we can't really know, since the mind of an animal would be completely alien to a human, except well-domesticated ones like dogs.

Oh, and when I say "most animals" I'm including reptiles and insects and spiders and birds. Limiting the playing field to just large mammals is a little narrow-minded.

They also don't need to know how to spot a predator and how to outwit a predator and stay alive.

'outwit' is a strong word for the way most animals avoid being eaten.

You'll probably say something idiotic like "Strength in numbers," but strength in numbers doesn't help you much if not a single member of your species has any basic level of intelligence whatsoever.

It does though! Swarming insects are a prime example of that exact principle at work.

3

Emeryael wrote (edited )

Ugh...I could point out that monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico every year for the winter and are able to reach their destination, even though it's their first trip, proving that they aren't rock-stupid. Whereas I, a human, still struggle to navigate Tulsa, OK without a GPS, no matter how many times I've been there. So by that logic, the monarch butterflies are smarter than me.

I suppose I could keep up the argument--point out that you likely don't have much intimate knowledge of your environment, cannot name any of the plants, birds, trees, or animals living there--but it feels like a futile effort. No point in arguing if you're going to just keep moving the goalposts.

It feels reminiscent of the kind of logic seen in a Supreme Court decision made by Chief Justice John Marshall in 1823 where he said that the Cherokees had certain rights to their land by dint of occupancy, but the Europeans had greater rights owing to their discovery of the land. And of course, Marshall never bothered to explain how the Indians could occupy their land without discovering it.

No matter how many examples I point out, attesting to the intelligence of living beings, you'll change the rules and explain how that's not really intelligent, because you believe that human beings are the only ones who have any kind of interior life at all. I could talk about how many different animals like corvids, have demonstrated the ability to use tools, and Elephants have been shown burying their dead, but again, you'll find some way of weaseling out of it. Though "weaseling" is probably the wrong word; even weasels have some limits, just like most predators.

It is true that life isn't like a Disney cartoon where all the animals hold hands and sing, but at the same time, even the biggest, fiercest predator has its natural limits. If a tiger has recently eaten, you could parade the most succulent and juicy game right in front of him/her and the tiger will just ignore it. Like many predators, tigers may kill each other in territorial and mating battles, but they don't prowl around trying to kill every tiger in existence.

But unfortunately, a good chunk of humanity doesn't understand the basic idea that they are a part of the ecosystem and that anything that affects one part of the ecosystem, will eventually affect them. We are not outside the natural world and its creatures; we are emeshed in the great cycle of life and death with them. To believe otherwise, leads to a toxic mess that endangers everyone, human, plant, and animal life alike.

1

zorblax wrote (edited )

I could point out that monarch butterflies migrate to Mexico every year for the winter and are able to reach their destination, even though it's their first trip, proving that they aren't rock-stupid.

Proving they have built-in instincts that tell them how to get there, yes.

point out that you likely don't have much intimate knowledge of your environment, cannot name any of the plants, birds, trees, or animals living there

Actually I know my local environment pretty well. It's an object of great interest for me and I try to spend a lot of time outdoors.

because you believe that human beings are the only ones who have any kind of interior life at all

Wrong. I think that humans are obviously more intelligent than any other earthly life, and I think that the thought processes and conscious experiences of one animal(assuming it has a nervous system complex enough to support consciousness) would be alien to another dissimilar animal, to the point where ideas such as morality or desire or even basic facts about reality do not easily map from one to the other. But I don't think that no animals have conscious experience.

If a tiger has recently eaten, you could parade the most succulent and juicy game right in front of him/her and the tiger will just ignore it.

Yes, but on the other hand, many animals kill for straight fun, such as orcas or honey badgers.

I agree with your point. I just disagree with some of your evidence.