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Why do humans consider animals "Unintelligent"?

Discussion in 'Philosophical Forum' started by Tenacious D, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. Tenacious D Banned

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    Humans consider animals unintelligent because they cant speak like a human nor are they capable of building a civilization. Why do humans think they could judge other creatures as "Stupid'?
     
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  2. The Space Cowboy Unfair, Unjust, Human

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    Being omnivorous requires us to label them unperceiving and unfeeling. Otherwise we would have a serious moral dilemma every time we ate beef, wore wool, or used animal products in any way. All animals are intelligent, but to a different degree. My dogs are intelligent to a different degree then say...an insect.

    Perhaps the ability to communicate between the species could be considered a standard measure of intelligence?
     
  3. Tenacious D Banned

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    That is true, however since we think Humans are smart, we think anyone below us is inferior
     
  4. The Space Cowboy Unfair, Unjust, Human

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    Well technically...they are inferior. Mankind is the Apex Predator on the earth. We can alter our environment, even create environments that will suit us. Heck, we can even warm up the planet (or so some say).

    I think it's safe to say that mankind is superior to any species yet discovered, thus we have the right to dub species intelligent and unintelligent as we so please.
     
  5. SasuNaru Only Begotten Nephew

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    Humans think of animals as unintellegent because, by and large, they are. In order to be intellegent (or rather to be "an intellegence," but close enough) you need four things:

    1. Memory
    2. Will
    3. Intellect
    4. Imagination

    Some animals don't have the brain capacity for memory: they live only by instinct, they have no capacity to learn from their experiences. Most of these are lower order animals, though. Most animals have a memory.

    Most animals, arguably, also have a will, since they express capacity for desire, and make choices. It is questionable, though, whether you could call instinct a will, and I am playing fast and loose with the definiton by doing so...

    Intellect. The vast majority of animals do not have a real intellect. If they had a real intellect then they could, in theory, solve any problem that could be solved. Humans posses a universal intellect: if it can be solved, we can solve it (just like a computer, we share the same problem-space). Animals do not appear to have this capacity for a universal intellect. Thus, on the basis of this it appears fair to say they are not intellegent.

    However, if you want to hold out on the intellect part (and say, for example that a universal intellect is not necessary for intellegence, or that some animals DO have a universal intellect) you still have to show that animals have an imagination. This, I feel, you will find quite difficult.

    Thus, on the basis of the lack of part 3 and part 4, I say that animals are not intellegent.
     
  6. Geji Mayu "Nice Guy" Pose SPAMMER!

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    Read "The Most Dangerous Game". I believe what seperates men from animals is reason. An animal will never be able to compete with man because all they really on is instinct, and instinct cannot compete with reason. If animals had reason, humans would not be the dominant species.

    I pretty much think that sums it up.
     
  7. Rurouni Mushishi

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    Yeah, I agree. Humans think animals are unintelligent because they rely on their instincts, most animals really having intellect.

    (The Most Dangerous Game was a very good piece of writing too :D)
     
  8. Obscura Dea di oscurita'

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    Theres a big difference between wild animals and domesticated animals.

    Wild animals are more intelligent as they need to be in order to live and thrive in the wild. Take lions for example.. they have a strong family and teamwork structure. The way they are built.. if they didn't work together they would starve to death. They are short sprinters and have low stamina.. so they need to set up an ambush for their prey.

    Domesticated animals don't need to rely on intelligence to survive because humans provide their food, shelter and protection. So little effort is needed when it comes to survival since they depend on us for that.
     
  9. Inactive Uzumaki New Member

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    Basically agree with everything said above.

    What's unfortunate is, humans are only intelligent enough to make their own lives more difficult and destroy precious things, and not make things easier and let all things prosper. :neutral
     
  10. General Shino Member

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    What makes us different from other animals is our ability to imagine. Not to problem solve or work teams and the such. Other animals can also do that but I dont see them doing half the stuff we do. If we could not imagine we could not be great. Mabey we are considering animals unintelligent because they can not imagine like us.
     
  11. Deathinstinct Member

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    Imagine - form a mental picture of something, think of something.
    Actually animals can do that. My dog has had bad dreams, running like mad and wimpering. She also cries when her loved one's are gone. Which sucks cause I'm always at college. These are both actions that show thought and emotion.
    Humans think of other animals as stupid only because they haven't created great structure, machines, etc. But the truth is that humans like to see themselves as better than we really are. Thus we say we have intelligence 'unlike animals', while in fact we aren't as intelligent as some animals.
     
  12. General Shino Member

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    Have you talked to your dog, has he said "Hey, I had a nightmere", didnt think so... and to cry for a loved one is an emotion. Other animals have emotions. you dont understand the sheer complexity of imagination. Read Micheal Chrichton's Sphere
     
  13. Squirrel King Squirrel King

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    Because they.. are?
    First of all - most of their 'intelligence' is born into them instinctively. They just do it. They live, and that's about it.

    Second - They lack the advanced language we do. We can communicate on a far more advanced level.

    Third - We have a far greater capicity and ease at learning

    .. and I could go on. Sure animals SHOW intelligence, doesn't mean they ARE intelligent. Humans > other animals.
     
  14. General Shino Member

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    Those are all small advantages, if we could not imagine wed be dumb, face facts... we wouldnt have had ideas for things because you wouldnt think of it....wed be.... primitive
     
  15. Deathinstinct Member

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    There's more forms of communication than talking. The name is Michael Crichton not Chrichton. And how exactly does Sphere demonstrate the 'complexity' of imagination? A story about a sunkin ship giving people the ability to make what they think reality. Tell me what's going on inside the mind of a brutal animal?
     
  16. General Shino Member

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    "On your planet you have an animal called a bear. It is alarge animal, sometimes larger than you, and it is clever and has ingenuity, and it has a brain as large as yours. But the bear differs from you in one important way. It cannot perform the activity you call imagining. It cannot make mental images of how reality might be. It cannot envision what you call the past and what you call the future. This special ability of imagination is what has made your specis as great as it is. Nothing else. It is not your ape-nature, not your tool-using nature, not language or your violence or your caring for young or your social groupings. it is none of these things, which are all found in other animals. Your greatness lies in imagination.
    The ability to imagine is the largest part of what you call intelligence. You think the ability to imagine is merely a useful step on the way to solving a problem or making something happen. But imagining is is what makes it happen.
    This is the gift of your specis and this is the danger, because you do not choose to control your imaginings. You imagine wonderful things and you imagine terrible things, and you take no responsibility for the choice. You say you have inside you both the power of god and the power of evil, the angel and the devil, but in truth you have just one thing inside you-the ability to imagine
    ." (Chrichton, 335)

    Quote

    Resource:
    Micheal Crichton. Sphere.Ballanntine Books, NY 1987
     
  17. poofspoon New Member

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    we cant eat intelligent stuff, therefor, animals are stupid
     
  18. poofspoon New Member

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    hey, wait a min. who said animals were stupid anyways? did i miss the announcement or something?
     
  19. poofspoon New Member

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    oh yes, also, it IS because they cant build a civilization. thats how we define smart. civilized. because smart people dont eat mud we say, and smart people live in luxury.
     
  20. poofspoon New Member

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    on the other hand, maybe roosters have brainwashed us into taking care of them so they DONT have to do anything, and they are the truly smart ones....
     
  21. General Shino Member

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    ok... you could have summarized that in 1 post
     
  22. Obscura Dea di oscurita'

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    Just because animals can't talk that makes them unintelligent? They lack the vocals we humans have.. in all honestly I'd freak out if animals could talk lol

    Wolf: Mmm, I'm gonna eat you!
    Small kid: Mommy, that dog over there talked!

    Seriously.. If you've ever watched and been around animals, they all have their distinct personalities that sets them apart from others of their kind. And they adapt to humans aswell.. thats why we can teach them commands and they respond to them.. does that make them dumb? Ravens for example.. I was watching a show on tv and it showed how this raven would drop a nut on the road and some car would run over it and crush the hard shell.. then the raven would wait until the stop light turned red before he'd fly down and retrieve his meal. The raven had to learn when it was safe to go down and plus it learned that cars are good for cracking open nuts.. thats pretty smart imho.
     
  23. General Shino Member

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    Fine, lets all go vegetarian...Animals can be great...fine... but not greater then human.

    Do you honestly believe we are at the same level as animals... think about it..
     
  24. Obscura Dea di oscurita'

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    If you want to go vegitarian go ahead.. I'm not turning vegan anytime soon lol.

    I wasn't saying animals were on our level of intelligence, I was just saying they wern't stupid.
     
  25. ComeComeParadise Icha Icha Paradaisu

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    I think we are more advanced, but not more intelligent. Animals do not attack their own kind, unless met with danger or some other circumstances, but humans do, and that's so stupid. Humans do things to hurt themselves and the earth, but animals don't.
     
  26. princesstaco Tastes like...

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    What kind of intelligence are we talking about here? 'Intelligence' is a very vague thing.

    On some levels, sure animals/organisms can be intelligent. Look at any primate. They act in very intelligent ways, as can a lot of other creatures. But then take a single cell organism such as E.coli...obviously not intelligent. There has to be some way to draw a line between the two. Who knows what that is.

    I think the fact that we don't have to blindly do what's best for personal survival is a result of our intelligence. We can consciously decide to do what is not rational. I don't think *most* animals have that ability.

    Animals attack their own kind all the time. Ever put two male beta fish together? Male mice fight all the time when placed in the same cage. Chimpanzee males will eat the young of chimp females to get them to go into heat earlier. I think lions and gorillas do that too.
     
  27. General Shino Member

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    Its called Instincts and we all have them... most animals... like humans, have a competive nature...they can even have what we call "emotions"...but other animals are way less evolved then us. This is basics, it should come to everyone easy but apparently easy. Its the chain of life...sorry thats how things work....
     
  28. Azalie Guardian

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    I believe animals are far wiser than humans, for they know how to live without harming the earth. Although there is no way to prove it, I don't believe they act solely on instinct.

    Until we learn to listen to the creatures we share this planet with, we will never fully understand them.
     
  29. theoneandonly is back to his origin

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    yeah...animals DO NOT kill their own children..but some pathetic humans...
     
  30. Deathinstinct Member

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    Actually some do. If a new Lion male comes into a pride and scares off the old male, his first job will be to kill any male cubs to prevent another lions children from prospering.
    Hippos are similar, except the male will kill just so he can have her for himself. Even if it is his own offspring, but hippos are pee-brained morons.
    Scientifically, intelligence is determined by comparing brain size to body size.
     
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