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Thread: About animals

  1. #151
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    If things go on as they do, what with inventing and using new methods for killing people, we all need to become tardigrades to survive. I remember the to do when the American astronauts arrived at the moon and I never had a special reason to doubt it, but if you do, who live nearer NASA one would have to look better into it.
    I think skepticism is sound where it helps us to examine better dubious statements(wheter they are news, propaganda or cientific truths). It is not sound if it goes so far that it disturbs our every day reability on our senses.
    I think one of the major chalenges to our thinking systems will happen, if we discover or are discovered by developed creatures of other planets, which have different thinking systems.
    It is a pity that there are no posts on the "astronomy thread" any more.
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  2. #152
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    I still follow Universe Today, learn quite a lot about recent developments.

  3. #153
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    Thatīs nice Dreamwoven!
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  4. #154
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    I didn't doubt that human beings landed on the Moon until I read about it right here on Lit Net and then checked the sources. I am no expert, but the fact that we do not have bases on the Moon today but we are able to have space stations within the Earth's magnetosphere suggests to me that we did not go to the Moon in the early 1970s. We may also need the magnetosphere not only to protect us from radiation, but also to keep us sane. I may bring up that idea in the astronomy thread.

    Skepticism breaks down when it becomes solipsism, a view that our individual existences is all that we know and all that we know can be gained only through physical senses. However, if one gets rid of that individualism, which is a form of reductionism, and includes other form of empirical evidence such as psi, skepticism becomes the only way that a spiritual view of reality is possible.

    If we were able to download our subjectivity into individual propositions that can be logically manipulated then our subjectivity, our consciousness, is an epiphenomenon arising from unconscious matter. Skepticism, at least as I understand it, says this is impossible to achieve. The reason to attack skepticism is to find a way to justify materialism.

    This gets a little far away from animals, so let me bring it back to them. If we view animals as machines without subjectivity, or subjectivity that can be reduced to an epiphenomenon on their machine bodies, we are part of a culture of materialism. The Cartesian view of reality turns animals into machines, but leaves us intact with something special. Then we observe that we also are animals. This is not a problem except that animals have been reduced to machines. Seeing ourselves as animals is then the same as seeing ourselves as machines. To complete the dehumanization our culture dreams of making machines to simulate us and demonstrate that our consciousness is insignificant, a mere epiphenomenon on top of the AI machine.

    This is why animals are important. They are a way to correct this cultural change that has lead to our own dehumanization. At least that is how I see it at the moment.

  5. #155
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I have to think more about that.Iīll come back to it tomorrow. Anyway Iīm glad we got back to animals.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  6. #156
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    I do drift away in threads. Basically I say whatever comes to my mind. Isn't it amazing that there are so many different kinds of animals around us? We don't have to go to another planet to find strange life forms.

  7. #157
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I donīt know about the Moon landing, but today everything seems possible and the fake news werenīt invented in 2017.
    I am not sure that I quite follow your argument on skepticism. I am a skeptical person, but in my country skepticism is self defense, apearances count much more than essences and specialy in political matters you have to be on the allert. But I also believe that those people who have a religious faith are happier than those that donīt.
    I think the teory of behaviorism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behaviorism fits the idea that animals and humans are a kind of natural machine that acts by using its reflexes. They donīt believe in the existence of a soul. But I think every more developed creature can prove this theory wrong, although in therapy form it may be sucessful in some situations.
    I think there are different forms of dehumanization. The idea of humans=machines would be one of them. Another one would be this massive loss of feelings and the growing indiference towards the fellow humans and the present and the future of humanity.
    Although animals restore in me the belief in a better nature, I donīt think they are here necessarily to correct anything, least of all the deviations of humanity. They are here for themselves, because they were created, like the plants and the other wonders of nature.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  8. #158
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    I agree with all of that.

    I am looking at skepticism differently from the way it is normally presented here in the US. A "skeptic" here is usually someone who likes to disparage the beliefs of other people, but thinks he (and occasionally she) is rational in some mysterious way and above belief. They look for a knowledge that is superior to belief. My skepticism hopefully mirrors this back questioning the validity of such alleged knowledge.

    To change the subject, there is a story about mice who refuse to accept food if they realize that by accepting it by pressing some button it will cause another mouse to receive pain. This shows empathy. I am looking for some video describing that experiment, but here is one about rats helping each other which also shows empathy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofpZoqD1_X0

  9. #159
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Interesting video. It shows that the rats help other rats or similar animals if they are familiar with tem they have good sense.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 03-22-2017 at 11:40 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  10. #160
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    This video is a very interesting lecture about animal morality including experiments.
    Itīs a bit long (about 16 minutes)

    My link doesnīt work, please use the one Yes/No posted below.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 03-23-2017 at 04:24 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    This video is a very interesting lecture about animal morality including experiments.
    Itīs a bit long (about 16 minutes)

    https://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_w...ls_have_morals
    That was a great talk. I couldn't get to it from your link. Here it is again. https://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_w...ls_have_morals

    The last experiment with the grapes and cucumbers was especially enjoyable.

    Both of these links show that animals have empathy. That moves animals away from being machines and suggests that neither are we machines. Underlying these experiments, however, there is still an old belief that empathy is deterministically caused by the brain rather than the brain making it possible for us (and animals) to choose empathy in specific ways peculiar to each species.

    Although the word "choice" is used, I wonder to what extent researchers believe that animals make choices. The next cultural breakthrough would be to recognize that these animals are making real choices, that is, their expressions of empathy are not completely explained by nature or by some assumed reduction of their behavior to either genes or neurons. Now that they have empathy, they need minimal free will to exercise the empathetic possibility their bodies permit.

  12. #162
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks for correcting the link, I took it out as it doesnīt work.
    The experiments are a curious combination of the standard behaviorist method (positive reinforcement of certain types of behavior by offering rewards) while testing empathy, cooperation, fairness, etc
    "Underlying these experiments, however, there is still an old belief that empathy is deterministically caused by the brain rather than the brain making it possible for us (and animals) to choose empathy in specific ways peculiar to each species." I quite agree there, I think this is a result of the materialistic orientation which generated the behaviorist theory.
    Later in the evening Iīll have a look in I can find experiments which follow other orientations.
    One canīt forget also the dark side of these experiments become more evident with the advent of internet ans social media, which is to promote the cientists, whether they are real or fake, and their books.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 03-23-2017 at 04:44 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  13. #163
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    A TED talk with a different aproach:

    https://www.ted.com/talks/carl_safin...ng_and_feeling
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

  14. #164
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    The Carl Safina talk was very good. It is a different approach. The part where the whales knew that someone had died in the research boat made me think of the dog who knew his master was coming home.

    Although we can use the similarity of neurons (coming from jellyfish) in all of these species to show that the individuals must experience something similar to what we do, focusing on neurons focuses on individuals with an assumption that that is all that exists. Neurons provide evidence that can be measured, but there is something that doesn't isolate us into individuals allowing the whales to know about that human death on the research boat.

    Safina talked about consciousness and awareness as if they were the same thing. Many people do. This makes consciousness something an individual has (whether individual human or an individual in another species). It might be better to talk about awareness as something an individual has and consciousness something more global. As individuals we are aware of consciousness. What we are not aware of is not "unconscious", but just something we are not currently aware of. This would put our minds outside our bodies and our bodies being means to be aware of our minds.

    It is hard to say what is real or fake science without being willing to question the speculations that one hears. Errors arise even in that questioning. One of the reasons I like to question whether we put human beings on the Moon is just to be willing to question what "scientists" tell me. I don't personally care if we put a human on the Moon. I also question medical doctors especially if they offer a prescribed drug which I could become addicted to or cause side-effects. After finding out recently that there exists relativistic gravitational theories (for example, Moffatt's) that don't need black holes or dark stuff, I stopped believing in that dark stuff. Am I following real or fake speculations? I don't know.

  15. #165
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    The avoidance of the boats by the whales may have had a natural cause-or not (the skeptic again). Maybe they could smell the dead or another of their senses was more developed than our.

    On the matter of the neurons and even the form of the brains I agree with you. Although there are similarities you canīt reduce an animal or a human to brain format or circunvolutions I think. But materialistic scientists need very concrete references. I suppose I am somewhere between behaviorism which doesnīt allow any soul at all and paranormality, which tends to look for paranormal explanations for everything that canīt easily explained. Which doesnīt mean that paranormal experiments donīt exist. You yourself have an open chanel there.

    Some more about Carl Safina:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Safina I looked him up to see if he was a native. In Portuguese "conscięncia" can mean both consciousness and awareness. For me awareness would be more related to perception while conscious would be the contrary of unconscious in a Freudian and also in a moral sense.

    It has really become more difficult to distinguish real science from rumours, but I believe real science will somehow be integrated in the existent scientific corpus while the rumours will disappear sooner or later.
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 03-24-2017 at 10:50 PM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
    Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, The Bremen Town Musicians

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