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Are humans special?


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#196    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:16 AM

View PostDarkwind, on 18 January 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

Guess what, I came home last night after a long trip.  I was standing at the sink washing up a few dishes the cat comes up touches my leg. Look down and said just let me finish. When I was done I turned to go sit down and my leg have out. She then came up and gave me a look of stupid human, I told you.  OK Walker, in your infinite wisdom what is going on in this cat's little brain the motivates her to do this. Not how, but why.  There is more going on there than instinct,

We are not special, just different.
Well a scientific rationalist would have many reasons for her coming up to your leg.

She was hungry because you had been away. she was renewing her scent on you by rubbing her scent glands on your leg Our cat does this each day.  Or having been by herself she was just going up to her pack leader for reassuranc, like big cats do in a zoo or in the wild.

Now a scientific rationalist would say it was complete coincidence that yourr leg gave way  it was likely to happen after a long trip and standing at the sink washing dishes. NO actual connection between the two events, except in your mind. Some scientists might decide that your body was exibiting physiacl asymptoms of your weakness, perhaps in scent from your body  or in a slight trembling either of which a cat could easily detect by natural senses.

It is you who saw and described the look on the cats face  and who interpreted it as you did. She didnt actually think that because her brain doesnt have the capacity to verbalise like that or form thoughts like that. A scientist would tell you this is a biological fact.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#197    GreenmansGod

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 07 January 2013 - 12:16 PM, said:


My dog and my cat really pick up on my emotional and my physical state. They know before I do when I am getting sick.  They let me know. One time I was out walking the dog suddenly she starts pulling for home.  By the time I got home I could barely walk. She knew I was having a relapse with my MS before I knew it.  My cat is even better at it than the dog.  She knows I am in danger of falling before I am do. She touches my leg and runs to bedroom. Meaning I need to lie down before I fall down. If they where mindless instinctive robots they wouldn't care enough to let me know what is going on. If they didn't have similar emotional state we have alert dogs couldn't do their job, because they just wouldn't bother. My dog works as a therapy dog.  She always knows who needs her the most. If she didn't any empathy she couldn't do it. She had a patient who never responded anybody, (his brain was gone, so everybody thought) but my dog would go up to him and ask to get on his lap. The guy would respond to her and start petting her. His nurses and family were amazed.  He was there and she was the only one who knew it.  


View PostDarkwind, on 08 January 2013 - 12:00 PM, said:

I never trained my dog to alert, never trained my cat to alert, so why do they do it? There is no real benefit to them to let me know I am not well.  Especially with the cat, once I'm safely down she often runs off to do her own thing.  They are not robots, there is more going on there than just instinct.   There is science behind this but Walker you are doing your usual rejection of it, because it doesn't comform to your world view.  Just because a being can't comunicate at your level doesn't mean the can't feel emotions or pain.
As I said in one post, if an animal can evolve to our level, then that would mean we are as they are just a product of evolution and we are nothing all that special beyond that.
http://news.bbc.co.u...ine/6919063.stm

Walk, you haven't been reading my posts. What she does is called alerting. She touches and my leg then runs to the bedroom. She does this only when I am endanger of falling. Actually a lot of animals alert, They have become a big part of service dogs. Most are trained to do it and some like my cat just do it without training. I have talked to a lot of people with alert dogs who have put them in the training, because they started alerting on their own. To be certified they have to be obedience trained.   She isn't asking for food. When she want food she meows as runs to her food dish. This is different. She runs to the bedroom, until I go lie down. Once I lie down her job is done, sometimes she lays with me for a bit, most the time is runs off to do her own thing.
This has become very important to me. Falling is a major danger for me. My dog does it too, but she is not as good at it as the cat. My cat is getting older and has pick up some health problems. I spend a good bit of money special food keeping her going, but she is worth every dime. When she is gone I might look into getting a alert dog, but they are expensive. What she is doing is a caught behavior and is tricky to train for, because I have to be in the situation.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#198    Rlyeh

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:47 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 01:05 AM, said:

Did you actually read the whole article you quoted? Now, who determines whether joan of arc's visions were real events or not ho decides if they were real encounters with god? Who determines if paul's conversionary experience is an actual event.
Read it again, the source mentions the study of evidence.

The rest of your post kind of proves what I was saying about your inability to separate the facts from beliefs or mythology.

Edited by Rlyeh, 19 January 2013 - 01:51 PM.


#199    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 19 January 2013 - 12:01 PM, said:

http://news.bbc.co.u...ine/6919063.stm

Walk, you haven't been reading my posts. What she does is called alerting. She touches and my leg then runs to the bedroom. She does this only when I am endanger of falling. Actually a lot of animals alert, They have become a big part of service dogs. Most are trained to do it and some like my cat just do it without training. I have talked to a lot of people with alert dogs who have put them in the training, because they started alerting on their own. To be certified they have to be obedience trained.   She isn't asking for food. When she want food she meows as runs to her food dish. This is different. She runs to the bedroom, until I go lie down. Once I lie down her job is done, sometimes she lays with me for a bit, most the time is runs off to do her own thing.
This has become very important to me. Falling is a major danger for me. My dog does it too, but she is not as good at it as the cat. My cat is getting older and has pick up some health problems. I spend a good bit of money special food keeping her going, but she is worth every dime. When she is gone I might look into getting a alert dog, but they are expensive. What she is doing is a caught behavior and is tricky to train for, because I have to be in the situation.

Why assume you have to train an animal to do what comes naturally to them?  The training enhances and regularises what is natural behaviour, otherwise they could not BE trained to do this. Your cat sounds like it is naturally doing what others are trained to do But the reasons it is doing it have nothing to do with self aware intent. That simply isnt possible, given the brain structure and capacity, neurology and cognitive ability of a cat. For example a cat wil attack and kill a snake but not to protect you, even though that is an unintended consequence. A human observer who sees a cat kill a snake on the back lawn, which is approaching, say a baby, might think the cat was acting to protect the baby but that thougth never entered the cat's mind because it can't formulate thoughts of that order. It would have attacked a grasshopper or a mouse in the same vicinity.

All the rest is your mind creating connections because IT can;   and not only has  it the capacity to do this, but  it has actually evolved to do this for special purposes.

I hope you find another animal which can help you, and i am sorry to hear of your condition. It must be frustrating. Perhaps i should not  continue to "attack" the belief and faith you have in your cat. It serves little productive purpose and i dont want to upset you. Even if scientifically you were incorrect, the effect is positive and productive for you, and that is more important than who is right or wrong..

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#200    Mr Walker

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:13 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 19 January 2013 - 01:47 PM, said:

Read it again, the source mentions the study of evidence.

The rest of your post kind of proves what I was saying about your inability to separate the facts from beliefs or mythology.

  That doesnt answer my question. YOU assume there is no evidence for joan of arcs conversations with god, or their validity. An impartial/unbiased historian would not make such an assumption,  whether they were an atheist or a theist.. And of course for most of history the great majority of historians were theists, like all other humans. Probably the majority of modern historians, including academics, still are; but they have to be objective and impartial in their study of history.

You believe god is a myth. That informs your total opinion. If god is real your opinion is wrong. God is  then a physical part of human history. Even if god is nothing more than a human construct, that construct and its effects make up the majority of human history, because almost every race, society and civilization constructed gods, and lived in a relationship with them that superceded and informed every other aspect of their lives. For almost the entire length of human history you couldnt live without religion, and a god or two,  informing your understanding of every aspect of life, and influencing every action you took in life. Modern historians have to take that into account, because it explains almost everything about the micro and macro elements of human history.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#201    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

Why assume you have to train an animal to do what comes naturally to them?  The training enhances and regularises what is natural behaviour, otherwise they could not BE trained to do this.

Huh?  What is the natural behavior that corresponds to a dog learning to 'shake' hands?  Have you not seen what circus animals are trained to do?  There's a lot of it that is not natural behaviour, unless you think monkeys ride bicycles in the jungle.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

#202    Rlyeh

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:40 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 03:13 PM, said:

  That doesnt answer my question. YOU assume there is no evidence for joan of arcs conversations with god, or their validity. An impartial/unbiased historian would not make such an assumption,  whether they were an atheist or a theist.. And of course for most of history the great majority of historians were theists, like all other humans. Probably the majority of modern historians, including academics, still are; but they have to be objective and impartial in their study of history.
You assert it happened, in fact you attempted to pass it off as a historical event.

Quote

You believe god is a myth. That informs your total opinion. If god is real your opinion is wrong. God is  then a physical part of human history. Even if god is nothing more than a human construct, that construct and its effects make up the majority of human history, because almost every race, society and civilization constructed gods, and lived in a relationship with them that superceded and informed every other aspect of their lives. For almost the entire length of human history you couldnt live without religion, and a god or two,  informing your understanding of every aspect of life, and influencing every action you took in life. Modern historians have to take that into account, because it explains almost everything about the micro and macro elements of human history.
Doesn't work that way, the existence of a religion is not the existence of a deity.
But again thank you for proving that you can't separate the mythology from historical events.


#203    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 03:46 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 03:13 PM, said:

  That doesnt answer my question. YOU assume there is no evidence for joan of arcs conversations with god, or their validity. An impartial/unbiased historian would not make such an assumption,  whether they were an atheist or a theist.. And of course for most of history the great majority of historians were theists, like all other humans. Probably the majority of modern historians, including academics, still are; but they have to be objective and impartial in their study of history.

There is nothing biased about a historian saying there is no evidence that Joan of Arc actually had conversations with God because no one, including you I'm pretty sure, accepts that extraordinary things are true merely because someone says they are.  Impartiality does not require that one ignore and not compare the amount, weight and strength of evidence, or lack thereof, supporting two different propositions.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

#204    GreenmansGod

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:41 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 19 January 2013 - 03:00 PM, said:

Why assume you have to train an animal to do what comes naturally to them?  The training enhances and regularises what is natural behaviour, otherwise they could not BE trained to do this. Your cat sounds like it is naturally doing what others are trained to do But the reasons it is doing it have nothing to do with self aware intent. That simply isnt possible, given the brain structure and capacity, neurology and cognitive ability of a cat. For example a cat wil attack and kill a snake but not to protect you, even though that is an unintended consequence. A human observer who sees a cat kill a snake on the back lawn, which is approaching, say a baby, might think the cat was acting to protect the baby but that thougth never entered the cat's mind because it can't formulate thoughts of that order. It would have attacked a grasshopper or a mouse in the same vicinity.

All the rest is your mind creating connections because IT can;   and not only has  it the capacity to do this, but  it has actually evolved to do this for special purposes.

I hope you find another animal which can help you, and i am sorry to hear of your condition. It must be frustrating. Perhaps i should not  continue to "attack" the belief and faith you have in your cat. It serves little productive purpose and i dont want to upset you. Even if scientifically you were incorrect, the effect is positive and productive for you, and that is more important than who is right or wrong..

I have been around cats, birds, dogs, farm and wild animals all my life. There is nothing in a cat's behavior that would even come close to alerting. Cats are murders by nature. They are one animal, other than us, that will kill for fun. The dog is a different story, she is trained to alert. It is her nature.   She barks when people come in the yard or to the door. It is her job, that is what dogs are for. So there is no surprise when she does it.  The only way I can tell when some's at the door with the cat is she starts and hides. When she alerts there is more going on in her brain than robotic behavior.

If you really want to understand animals this is the woman who knows better than most,  Dr. Temple Grandin.  She has an advantage over must of us when it come to how brains work. She is autistic. Nothing will teach you more about the brain than having a wonky one.
http://www.grandin.c...not.things.html

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#205    shadowlark

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 19 January 2013 - 03:38 PM, said:

Huh?  What is the natural behavior that corresponds to a dog learning to 'shake' hands?  Have you not seen what circus animals are trained to do?  There's a lot of it that is not natural behaviour, unless you think monkeys ride bicycles in the jungle.

Pawing is actually pretty natural in dogs. They paw each other as an expression that they want to play  http://www.dogsbestl...-my-dog-paw-me/

So "shake a paw" is just building on that natural movement. Kinda like dressage horses - the movements are all natural movements horses can do, but they are trained to perform them on cue and to exagerrate the movements. For example, most horses are able to turn on their haunches at different speeds. The pirouette in dressage is an extension of this natural movement that uses the natural movement and exaggerates it into a high level dressage move that you wouldn't see horses doing in the wild. Same with the circus animals. Elephants in the wild can pick things up and step onto things, in the circus they are trained so these natural things are turned into "tricks"  Lions/tigers are naturally good jumpers, so they are trained to jump from one specific place to another, often through objects. With enough training and trust between the animal and trainer, the object could be set on fire, so the natural jumping action has now been turned into a trick of jumping through a ring of fire.

Monkeys on a bicycle have me stumped though! LOL

View PostDarkwind, on 19 January 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

I have been around cats, birds, dogs, farm and wild animals all my life. There is nothing in a cat's behavior that would even come close to alerting. Cats are murders by nature. They are one animal, other than us, that will kill for fun. The dog is a different story, she is trained to alert. It is her nature.   She barks when people come in the yard or to the door. It is her job, that is what dogs are for. So there is no surprise when she does it.  The only way I can tell when some's at the door with the cat is she starts and hides. When she alerts there is more going on in her brain than robotic behavior.

Personally, I think your cat has picked up on your dogs alerting. Cats are way too smart for their own good. It wouldn't surprise me at all if she could see the connection between the dog alerting you and you going to lie down. And I have no doubt she could recognize the same symptom the dog recognizes that prompts the alert.  Seriously, cats are too darn smart. My old cat pulled a Lassie and came and woke me up and led me down the hall to the front door where he proceeded to paw and whine at the door. I peeked through the crack and saw hubby passed out in the hallway.


#206    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:02 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 19 January 2013 - 03:46 PM, said:

There is nothing biased about a historian saying there is no evidence that Joan of Arc actually had conversations with God because no one, including you I'm pretty sure, accepts that extraordinary things are true merely because someone says they are.  Impartiality does not require that one ignore and not compare the amount, weight and strength of evidence, or lack thereof, supporting two different propositions.
An impartial person would neither assume they were true, nor assume they could not be. From there on I agree with you entirely.

It is an assumption that joan talked to god. It is also a assumption that she had some sort of disease or brain damge which caused her to think she was talking to god. One can only go on evidences and knowledge to estimate the most likely truth. Knowledge includes ones own knowledge /data base, wherever that came from and was formed.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#207    Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:05 AM

View PostDarkwind, on 19 January 2013 - 04:41 PM, said:

I have been around cats, birds, dogs, farm and wild animals all my life. There is nothing in a cat's behavior that would even come close to alerting. Cats are murders by nature. They are one animal, other than us, that will kill for fun. The dog is a different story, she is trained to alert. It is her nature.   She barks when people come in the yard or to the door. It is her job, that is what dogs are for. So there is no surprise when she does it.  The only way I can tell when some's at the door with the cat is she starts and hides. When she alerts there is more going on in her brain than robotic behavior.

If you really want to understand animals this is the woman who knows better than most,  Dr. Temple Grandin.  She has an advantage over must of us when it come to how brains work. She is autistic. Nothing will teach you more about the brain than having a wonky one.
http://www.grandin.c...not.things.html

Actually, all things being equal, i think having an excellent working brain would allow one to  learn and know more, but i accept a condition like autism would provide exceptional motivation.

I read her article. In general principles I accept everything she says. It is how i perceive and treat animals. And so?
Interestingly, my mind is the diametric opposite of hers

Since I am autistic I do not understand purely abstract concepts that are based only in language. To understand a word I have to make a picture in my imagination and define words with concrete examples. When I think of the phrase “buy a car” I immediately get images of past experiences of buying cars. Some purely philosophical arguments I do not understand because I can not visualize them.  

I do not, and cannot,  consciously make myself visualise anything, not even a simple circle in my "mind's eye".

I think in verbal, abstrtact and symbolic, terms using various internal streams of consciousness and dialogues between parts of my mind. I have an excellent undersanding of abstract concepts, symbols etc, because i can think them in words, thoughts, meanings etc. This might be because i was read to from birth every night. I listened to my mother, grandmother and father read. As i observed the word in the book I heard their words. By two I was reading the books by myself and i still heard the words in my head, only now they were my own versions of the reader's words, and I knew what they represented but i couldnt see a picture of them.

  I have a "photographic memory" which enables me to remember hundreds of pages verbatim temporarily, and many facts for decades.  I can read a page as fast as i can turn it, because the words on the page go straight into my mind, as fast as i can see them, and i taught myself to look at a whole page, rather than a word or even a line at a time, but i cant see pictures  images etc.

So my knowledge ALL exists in abstract non written verbal form. I do not "see" the words on a page when i remember them, as some people with a photographic memory might, because i cannot  visually "see" numbers, letters, or words in my mind at all.

I just recall them from my memory, where i internally verbalised and stored them as I read. They come straight into my mind in my stream of consciousness. If i shut my eyes and try and see a word which i just typed, I simply physically cannot. Yet i can type it again straight from my memory This is so for very complex things as well. At uni i recalled 200 big pages of a year's lecture notes  for third year politics, while sitting in the exam, and got  a distinction for the exam. I knew every word on every page, but i couldnt "See" them, they just came into my memory .

Ps to my point about training reinforcing natural abilities. Try training your cat to ride a bike. All primates have very similar natural abilities, and monkeys can be trained to do many things a human can do, from grinding an organ to painting a picture.(or riding a bike) I used to swing from tree to tree on a rope in our back yard, and climb trees, towers, buildings etc, as a young child.

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 January 2013 - 01:41 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#208    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:23 AM

View Postshadowlark, on 19 January 2013 - 11:27 PM, said:

Pawing is actually pretty natural in dogs. They paw each other as an expression that they want to play  http://www.dogsbestl...-my-dog-paw-me/

So "shake a paw" is just building on that natural movement. Kinda like dressage horses - the movements are all natural movements horses can do, but they are trained to perform them on cue and to exagerrate the movements. For example, most horses are able to turn on their haunches at different speeds. The pirouette in dressage is an extension of this natural movement that uses the natural movement and exaggerates it into a high level dressage move that you wouldn't see horses doing in the wild. Same with the circus animals. Elephants in the wild can pick things up and step onto things, in the circus they are trained so these natural things are turned into "tricks"  Lions/tigers are naturally good jumpers, so they are trained to jump from one specific place to another, often through objects. With enough training and trust between the animal and trainer, the object could be set on fire, so the natural jumping action has now been turned into a trick of jumping through a ring of fire.


Ah, thanks shadowlark, that does make sense.  I'm not sure how far to go on the circus tricks, ha, yes obviously it's difficult to analogize something a monkey would naturally do that resembles riding a bicycle, but it seems to me that the line of 'natural behavior' maybe being drawn too close to just 'they are capable of doing it'.  I would be that monkeys can and occasionally do walk on their hands only.  If you trained a monkey to walk on it's hands all the time at the circus, I don't know I'd call that merely an enhancement of natural behavior, nor do I consider elephants balancing on a ball to be all that natural either.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

#209    Liquid Gardens

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:38 AM

View PostMr Walker, on 20 January 2013 - 01:02 AM, said:

An impartial person would neither assume they were true, nor assume they could not be. From there on I agree with you entirely.

Taking 'could not be' literally, I agree.  But I think an impartial person can still assume it is not true, as there is no compelling reason or evidence to think it is true. You can be less than certain about something and still make impartial, rational assumptions.

Quote

It is an assumption that joan talked to god. It is also a assumption that she had some sort of disease or brain damge which caused her to think she was talking to god. One can only go on evidences and knowledge to estimate the most likely truth. Knowledge includes ones own knowledge /data base, wherever that came from and was formed.

Agreed again, but the value of said knowledge/database in this case is measured by how well it is compares to the objective reality we seem to be all sharing.  That reality currently does not have very good demonstrable and convincing evidence that God even exists, which would need to be resolved before we can then discuss whether Joan was conversing with him, which are both rather large hurdles.  In a nutshell, I don't think the assumption that Joan talked to God and the assumption that Joan did not talk to God are equally founded.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into"
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence" - C. Hitchens
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool" - Richard Feynman

#210    Mr Walker

Mr Walker

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:11 AM

View PostLiquid Gardens, on 20 January 2013 - 01:38 AM, said:

Taking 'could not be' literally, I agree.  But I think an impartial person can still assume it is not true, as there is no compelling reason or evidence to think it is true. You can be less than certain about something and still make impartial, rational assumptions.



Agreed again, but the value of said knowledge/database in this case is measured by how well it is compares to the objective reality we seem to be all sharing.  That reality currently does not have very good demonstrable and convincing evidence that God even exists, which would need to be resolved before we can then discuss whether Joan was conversing with him, which are both rather large hurdles.  In a nutshell, I don't think the assumption that Joan talked to God and the assumption that Joan did not talk to God are equally founded.
Ah! now there you touch on a differnce in philosophy and logic. In my view an absence of evidence allows for belief and disbelief and does not(and should not) predispose one to disbelief Because disbelief will then prejudice imartiality( as would belief) For example is gravity a universal constant? I do not know, so i can chose to believe it is or it is not. We do not have enough evidence to know either way

I KNOW that joan might have talked to a real and powerful physical god because i do al the timeand he physiclaly answers proects me teaches me etc. But of course i should not allow tha tto prejudice mein considering joans case. She might have had epilepsy or another condition which caused hallucinations.

But neither should a person with no personal experience in god allow that to prejudice their own opinion about joan's case. Just because they have never encountered god says nothing about joan's case. The two experiences are totally unconnected, as are my case and joan's case. It is just tha t I know it is quite possible to converse with god and to be helped by him.

If the current objective reality does not suggest god is real, then why do the vast majority of humans, past and present, think he is, (in one form or another) and why do so many of us have personal encounters with him and his agents?  You are speaking of YOUR objective reality, not my own current objective reality.

My objective reality has complete, demonstrated and convincing, physical evidences for the physical existence of an independently existent, sapient being which humans call god, and for physical agents or extensions of god as well. Just as much evidence, and in the same form, as for my own existence, or that of any other concrete thing.

You dont have that evidence, so you are forced to take a position of belief/disbelief, like many others. Your position is chosen based on other values, beliefs, and logics you have learned and established in your life. And they are not "wrong," for you.

So, in my objective reality god exists. Whether joan was talking to "him",  or mentally ill, is open to debate. The effect on history is exactly the same, in either case. Using god's personal  teachings and empowerments, I have changed the world as well. Not as dramatically as joan did, but in significant ways for many people.

Whether god was real or not, of course, if I believed in him enough, I would have changed the world, just the same and for the same reasons. That's the way belief works, although knowledge changes a realtionship from that of belief.

I do not have to invest belief in god. I am not motivated by belief in god. it is more like my relationship with my father. I honour and respect and trust him,  and thus i do what i can for him and  work with him, rather than against him.

I could know god was real and still not follow him, just as i could know my father was real but still not trust, respect, love or obey him. but if  I believe in god, that belief "enforces", and reinforces, my responses to him.

Edited by Mr Walker, 20 January 2013 - 02:14 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.




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