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Are animals conscious?


Portre

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I think so.

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Yes

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Count me in too. This is going to break anti-woke minds.😱 

[sarcasm]

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Posted (edited)

A lot of people already know this to be true.

edit to say: This is from the article:  "Attributing consciousness to animals based on their responses was seen as a cardinal sin. The argument went that projecting human traits, feelings, and behaviours onto animals had no scientific basis and there was no way of testing what goes on in animals’ minds". A 'cardinal sin' with no reason for calling it this.  "Had no scientific basis" simply means: "scientists don't understand it . . . YET!!". (Many arguments here at UM revolve around the fact that "scientists don't understand it yet". They're not infallible, you know!).

 

Edited by ouija ouija
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Posted (edited)

 Yup.   ..seems like a ridiculous question to me. Could an Unconscious animal survive?  I reckon we THINK differently?
I had a kitty kat who could play catch with me (10ft.away) ..we’d bat a ball back&forth on the floor.  And, her Aim was Perfect!*  . .  . I think the bigger question is what IS consciousness?   I think plants have a sort of consciousness.      Before we can Think we must Be conscious? Before we can Be conscious we must Be.  ...we can Be, without thinking;  ..but we can’t Think, without Being. ?  :P

Edited by lightly
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13 hours ago, Portre said:

Attributing consciousness to animals based on their responses was seen as a cardinal sin. The argument went that projecting human traits, feelings, and behaviours onto animals had no scientific basis and there was no way of testing what goes on in animals’ minds.

But if new evidence emerges of animals’ abilities to feel and process what is going on around them, could that mean they are, in fact, conscious?

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To me, of course they are conscious. What I don't understand is why this is even controversial.

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34 minutes ago, papageorge1 said:

To me, of course they are conscious. What I don't understand is why this is even controversial.

For the same reason heliocentric model of the solar system was once (?) controversial. It is why evolution is still controversial.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Portre said:

For the same reason heliocentric model of the solar system was once (?) controversial. It is why evolution is still controversial.

Lack of Understanding.?    Early man lived among animals and hunted animals  Before he could speak ,he understood that animals were conscious.     ??

Edited by lightly
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40 minutes ago, lightly said:

Lack of Understanding.?    Early man lived among animals and hunted animals  Before he could speak ,he understood that animals were conscious.     ??

Excessive fundamentalism.

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On 6/18/2024 at 8:28 AM, papageorge1 said:

To me, of course they are conscious. What I don't understand is why this is even controversial.

Well, does being conscious indicate they have a soul?  The Christian view is that  only humans have a soul.  That would be one controversy.

Another might be the guilt associated with abusing, torturing, and consuming beings that are conscious.

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I think the cardinal sin remark was intended metaphoricaly, and the reference was not to the literal religious cardinal sins (traditionally pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and laziness - not much to do with animal consciousness), but rather the scientific aspirations of the behaviorist school of psychology (e.g. B.F. Skinner) and maybe some other schools as well.

The name of the "cardinal sin" for "Attributing consciousness to animals based on their responses" was unwarranted anthropomorphization. The sinner would be attributing something human to somebody other than a human being.

And of course there is all sorts of stuff that really is species-specific. For example, only humans can spell anthropomorphization. However, I think "consciousness" and the closely related "sentience" are used for qualities that just might transcend species boundaries (that is, the terms do not assume humanity explicitly or implicitly). That makes "Are animals conscious?" a well-posed question without denying that "Can animals win spelling bees?" is not well-posed.

This morning I went out walking with a retriever who loves to play fetch and is an experienced swimmer, and met up at the local river with a Catahoula leopard dog who's been swimming only for about a week. He, too, loves to play fetch. On a dozen tosses, my girl took nine. He was willing to impede her on the river bank (dare I say cheat?), but once both were in the water, she left him in her wake. (He did try to bite her tail on one toss, but wasn't quite able to close the gap, and ended up with a mouthful of river water.)

If I saw two human children behaving that way, each maneuvering tactically to either keep or to move the field of play to their own area of advantage, I would infer the activity of consciousness. Exhibiting responses that reflect circumstances is how I always infer consciousness. If I encountered an unresponsive human being, then I would infer that they were unconscious (and hope that the condition is temporary, restful sleep, not a traumatic coma or worse).

Similar cases should be decided similarly. Children and dogs both behave similarly; the children are uncontroversially conscious, I conclude the dogs are conscious, too. "Anthropomorphization?" No - I am not confused about whether the dogs are a different species from me. They are - and I think that that's a feature, not a bug. "Unwarranted?" No - Similar cases... is a fine heurisitic, and as such stands as a warrant in full.

Cardinal sinner? Actually, I like the sound of that :rofl:.

 

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On 6/18/2024 at 12:07 PM, Portre said:

It is why evolution is still controversial.

Only in the U.S. and Turkey in the First World. 

Of course Australia likes to send it's Creation "scientists?" here to the U.S......speaking of which.....

@Sir Wearer of Hats I have told you and @Golden Duck time and time again.....

TAKE KEN HAM BACK!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!! 😡

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Of course they’re conscious. If they weren’t they’d be unconscious; immobile not able to function and quickly die from starvation.

I think you meant to ask if they were sentient, aka self aware, in which case the answer is most definitely.

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1 hour ago, Piney said:

Only in the U.S. and Turkey in the First World. 

Of course Australia likes to send it's Creation "scientists?" here to the U.S......speaking of which.....

@Sir Wearer of Hats I have told you and @Golden Duck time and time again.....

TAKE KEN HAM BACK!!!!!! NOW!!!!!!! 😡

🤷🏻‍♂️

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For me, if a minimum threshold of awareness and intelligence is achieved then yes.

Not joking but when I speak to my cat, his behaviour of eye movements shows something weird, sometimes I will say certain sentences with words he never heard before, his eyes always move left, not his head, his eyes only, I don't see him do this for other stuff.

He understands the meaning of some words like no, sleep, come and eat. And it's when variations of these words, like sleep to sleeping, slept, eat to eating ate, these are mostly the moments he has the behaviour.

I've noticed he does very specific noises for very specific actions, almost as if it was a specific sentence, these noises are not used for anything else.

Obviously the cat is just cat smart, but I do think he has some level of consciousness/self awareness.

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I think they have the same level of consciousness as humans but different. Animals are much more aware than humans. We think too much.

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10 hours ago, godnodog said:

For me, if a minimum threshold of awareness and intelligence is achieved then yes.

Not joking but when I speak to my cat, his behaviour of eye movements shows something weird, sometimes I will say certain sentences with words he never heard before, his eyes always move left, not his head, his eyes only, I don't see him do this for other stuff.

He understands the meaning of some words like no, sleep, come and eat. And it's when variations of these words, like sleep to sleeping, slept, eat to eating ate, these are mostly the moments he has the behaviour.

I've noticed he does very specific noises for very specific actions, almost as if it was a specific sentence, these noises are not used for anything else.

Obviously the cat is just cat smart, but I do think he has some level of consciousness/self awareness.

My cats understand words too. Especially my thumbed one.

I say "C'mon let's go" and he follows me. "Sleepy time" and he runs into the bedroom ahead of me and knows which one of his toys I'm talking about.

I also had a Texas heeler I used to ride fence and work our horse herd with who knew all his toys and brought me the ones I named. My son also taught him to poop on command "Do pooter" to annoy people who complained how scruffy both he and the dog lookec.

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5 hours ago, Piney said:

My cats understand words too. Especially my thumbed one.

I say "C'mon let's go" and he follows me. "Sleepy time" and he runs into the bedroom ahead of me and knows which one of his toys I'm talking about.

I also had a Texas heeler I used to ride fence and work our horse herd with who knew all his toys and brought me the ones I named. My son also taught him to poop on command "Do pooter" to annoy people who complained how scruffy both he and the dog lookec.

Yep.  You have a video showing you calling Frankelin and he came to you.

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My wife and her friend were out and about one day and they came across a little kitten who was being given away and needed a home.  He was so cute that they had to take him. They gave the kitty to my Mother and Father in law who named him Oliver.  That cat was amazing.  He knew his name, would come when called, and loved to play fetch.  Go figure.  He was such a great pet, was so smart, everyone loved him.  Sadly, when he was about four years old and out roaming he was eaten by coyotes.

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1 hour ago, Guyver said:

Yep.  You have a video showing you calling Frankelin and he came to you.

Frank-L-in. 

Pronounce it right! 

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On 6/23/2024 at 5:50 PM, Tatetopa said:

Well, does being conscious indicate they have a soul?  The Christian view is that  only humans have a soul.  That would be one controversy.

Another might be the guilt associated with abusing, torturing, and consuming beings that are conscious.

All dogs go to Heaven. That's pretty much common knowledge.

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