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Debates Forum

  1. 28 Apr '12 22:30
    Are humans the most intelligent species on the planet? Yes or No.

    If you answered yes go on to the following:

    Are there any other life forms that commit suicide or kill each other for no reason? (Exclude protecting young etc.) If so, I'd like to know which animal.

    Are we really the most intelligent species if we kill ourselves? Ponder that.
  2. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    28 Apr '12 22:33 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by steve645
    Are humans the most intelligent species on the planet? Yes or No.

    If you answered yes go on to the following:

    Are there any other life forms that commit suicide or kill each other for no reason? (Exclude protecting young etc.) If so, I'd like to know which animal.

    Are we really the most intelligent species if we kill ourselves? Ponder that.
    Humans don't kill "for no reason". Not normally anyway.
  3. 28 Apr '12 23:11
    Of course humans are the most intelligent species on the planet. Nothing else comes close.

    What other animals are intelligent enough to figure out so may ways to kill themselves?

    Humans know more about animals than any animals know about humans.

    When animals get hurt or injured seriously enough, it takes a human to fix them. They don't operate on each other. They wouldn't know where to begin.

    Humans are not only productive themselves (well, a lot of us are, anyway), but we also create machines which are themselves productive. Animals don't create tools or machines which make their lives any easier.
  4. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    28 Apr '12 23:33
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin#Social_behavior
  5. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    28 Apr '12 23:34
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Humans don't kill "for no reason". Not normally anyway.
    They sure can kill for trivial reasons, if those even qualify as "reasons".
  6. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    29 Apr '12 02:07
    Quotes taken from http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Do_any_animals_other_than_humans_commit_suicide (it's a long article and worth the read)

    How can you deny the numerous stories of animals who deliberately hurt themselves when put in captivity, or pets who starve themselves and die after the loss of their master? The animal puts it's life in jeopardy because it is 'unhappy.'
    Whether this is conscious or unconscious is the question at hand and whether this 'unhappines' leads to death, or suicide is hard to prove.

    **

    Suicide, with regards to a seemingly deliberate action ending one's life with no other apparent purpose, is regularly engaged in by many species of animals (see some examples in the next section)- the contentious issue is whether those creatures genuinely understand the concept of death, and that their actions will result in it- that is, while the action itself may have been apparently deliberate, we can not know for certain if the desired effect was deliberately suicide (and not, for example, merely self harm).
  7. 29 Apr '12 09:43
    The question contains the ill-defined term "intelligence". So for there to be any relevant answer to your question you must first propose a quantitative measure of intelligence.

    The same applies to your second question - how do you measure if an organism had a "reason" for doing something?
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Apr '12 12:06
    Originally posted by steve645
    Are humans the most intelligent species on the planet? Yes or No.

    If you answered yes go on to the following:

    Are there any other life forms that commit suicide or kill each other for no reason? (Exclude protecting young etc.) If so, I'd like to know which animal.

    Are we really the most intelligent species if we kill ourselves? Ponder that.
    Yes.

    suicide is not an indication of lack of intelligence. It's merely an indicator of having given up hope on things getting bearable. It takes a fairly high level or intelligence to overcome the biological urge to live because of a decision that life is unbearable and will not get any better.

    I would say intelligence is a prerequisite for suicide.
  9. 29 Apr '12 12:22
    Originally posted by sh76
    Yes.

    suicide is not an indication of lack of intelligence. It's merely an indicator of having given up hope on things getting bearable. It takes a fairly high level or intelligence to overcome the biological urge to live because of a decision that life is unbearable and will not get any better.

    I would say intelligence is a prerequisite for suicide.
    So bees who sacrifice themselves in order to protect the hive are "intelligent"?
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Apr '12 18:47
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    So bees who sacrifice themselves in order to protect the hive are "intelligent"?
    Bees don't make a conscious decision to die because living is too painful.
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    29 Apr '12 21:05 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    Bees don't make a conscious decision to die because living is too painful.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=079bmItLABo
  12. 29 Apr '12 21:11
    Originally posted by sh76
    Bees don't make a conscious decision to die because living is too painful.
    If so, in what sense is intelligence a prerequisite for suicide?
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Apr '12 22:45
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    If so, in what sense is intelligence a prerequisite for suicide?
    There's a difference between sacrificing your life for the greater good and taking it because you don't want to live anymore. The latter requires an entirely more advanced decision making process than the evolutionary instincts of the bees that sacrifice their lives.