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Spirituality

Spirituality

  1. 27 May '09 07:15
    Originally posted by FMF
    [b]What makes us human?

    Our capicity for speech along with everything that enables it and everything it enables us to do.[/b]
    That is far too vague. For a start, deaf and dumb people are excluded by your definition and if you decide to include them by allowing sign language as 'speech' then you have to include most animals which are capable of sign language (almost all higher animals have some forms of sign language, chimpanzees and gorillas are capable of quite sophisticated forms).
  2. 27 May '09 07:50 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    Thanks for that clarification and the answer is.....?
    Thanks for that clarification and the answer is.....?

    ....likely to be very complicated. But I can conceive of several cases where I think it would be permissible to kill a human organism. Can't you?
  3. Subscriber FMF
    Main Poster
    27 May '09 09:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    That is far too vague. For a start, deaf and dumb people are excluded by your definition and if you decide to include them by allowing sign language as 'speech' then you have to include most animals which are capable of sign language (almost all higher animals have some forms of sign language, chimpanzees and gorillas are capable of quite sophisticated forms).
    Deaf and dumb people have a capacity for speech but it is obstructed, often permanently - something we refer to as a disability - or, if we are very very NGO about it, we might describe them as diffabled. The cognitive capacity for it is still intact - it is what makes us human.

    As you said, almost all higher animals have some form of sign language, and chimpanzees and gorillas are capable of quite sophisticated forms. However it is not a patch on what humans are able to do. Nowhere near. We're talking far less than 1% of human ability - interms of production, both "qualitatively" and quantitively. The extraordinary sophistication of the sign language used by deaf and dumb people is equal to the speech of people who are not diffabled. That "quality" or sophistication is what makes us human.

    I talked about what the 'human capacity' for speech means about us. cognitively speaking. The factors that create that capacity enable deaf and dumb people to exercise their capicity for "speech" through sign language that is so complex and intrinsically human, that it does not bear any comparison to chimps and apes.

    I also talked about what that capacity enables us, as humans, to do. One could try sitting and talking in sign language to a chimpanzee for a while and then try sitting and talking in sign language to a deaf or dumb human for a while, and try to spot the difference in the conversation one has.

    That difference sheds bright light on the essence of what makes us human.

    People with serious incapacities that preclude them from any kind of speech are also 'human' by virtue of the fact that they are from the same species as the people I have been talking about above.
  4. 27 May '09 09:31
    Originally posted by FMF
    People with serious incapacities that preclude them from any kind of speech are also 'human' by virtue of the fact that they are from the same species as the people I have been talking about above.
    So apart from that rather odd 'same species' clause, infants are not human until they start talking?
    Would a sophisticated computer capable of speech be human in your opinion?
  5. 27 May '09 10:36 / 3 edits
    What defines a “species” is, contrary to what many people seem to believe, ill-defined.
    So why should what defines the “human species” be well defined when not even what defines what a "species" is is well defined?

    -ok, we have certain attributes that no other species has, but the same can be said for many other species. So what non-arbitrary criteria should we use to decide which distinctive attributes should be the ones that we should use to define literally what it means to be “human”?
  6. Subscriber duecer
    anybody seen my
    27 May '09 10:37
    Originally posted by whodey
    Are you suggesting that animals do not have a culture of some kind? In fact, I think many animals live in packs/tribes much like humans. Perhaps they are not as complex, but they communicate and have a culture of some kind nonetheless.

    Nature terminates fetuses all the time? Doesn't nature terminate adult human beings as well? How is that an arguemen ...[text shortened]... e and say otherwise I think it perhaps necessary to start yet another thread altogether!!!
    of course animals don't have culture you dope I repeat...culture is a function of language. what "language " do cows speak?

    Of course ZYGOTES get eliminated all the time. nature also elimantes more advanced fetuses (ever hear of a miscarriage?), and yes nature eliminates adults as well...actually nature eliminates all adults....eventually...duh

    religion should play no part because there are 6 billion people on this planet, all with their own idea of what religion is/should be, and all with a unique theology. So who's right? How many of the ancient texts deal with the subject of abortion? precisely zero.
  7. Subscriber FMF
    Main Poster
    27 May '09 11:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So apart from that rather odd 'same species' clause, infants are not human until they start talking?
    Would a sophisticated computer capable of speech be human in your opinion?
    A capacity for sophisticated speech would make a computer into a very good computer.

    But a computer is unable to match a human in terms of the cognitive abilities that underpin the capacity for human speech. The computer does not have the same capacity and, I think, never will.

    As for infants, I think - once again - the operative word is 'capacity'.

    If apes and chimpanzies had the same capacity for speech as human beings, the humans would kill them all.

    That's something else that makes us human.
  8. Standard member karoly aczel
    Goin in dry bro
    27 May '09 11:45 / 1 edit
    our capacity to question makes us human- just a simple answer but one that distiguishes us from other(maybe not all) animals
  9. 27 May '09 12:45 / 2 edits
    I have to ask again - are we talking biology or political science? Some people seem to be conflating the two and they are not the same thing. Cows have flesh and bone but not political systems. A political system is required if you want to talk about rights. Do tigers have rights? (Only in relation to a human political system!) Do rabbit fetuses have rights? (Rabbit mothers can re-absorb their offspring when times are hard.) None of these biological factors have anything directly to do with human political activity. Lets decide what we ARE talking about.
  10. 27 May '09 13:19
    Originally posted by FMF
    The computer does not have the same capacity and, I think, never will.
    I on the other had think that it will.

    As for infants, I think - once again - the operative word is 'capacity'.
    Capacity in what way? The only 'capacity' infants have is that in future they will (hopefully) grow into beings capable of complex speech. But how does one evaluate 'potential'? An embryo also has the potential to grow into a being capable of complex speech but the likelihood is lower. Any given pair of human egg and sperm cells have the potential, and given the rise of cloning, nearly every cell in every human being has the potential. Where do we draw the line?


    If apes and chimpanzies had the same capacity for speech as human beings, the humans would kill them all.
    What makes you think that? Surely some would, but others would recognize them as human (presumably you would as they would fit your definition) and grant them rights.
  11. Subscriber FMF
    Main Poster
    27 May '09 13:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I on the other had think that it will.

    [b]As for infants, I think - once again - the operative word is 'capacity'.

    Capacity in what way? The only 'capacity' infants have is that in future they will (hopefully) grow into beings capable of complex speech. But how does one evaluate 'potential'? An embryo also has the potential to grow into a being c ...[text shortened]... m as human (presumably you would as they would fit your definition) and grant them rights.[/b]
    I on the other had think that [computers] will [match human capacity for speech.

    Duly noted.

    Capacity in what way? The only 'capacity' infants have is that in future they will (hopefully) grow into beings capable of complex speech.

    This is capacity in my book. The capacity for speech in humans is innate and pre-programmed. This is not the case for any other living thing. That's what makes us human.

    But how does one evaluate 'potential'? An embryo also has the potential to grow into a being capable of complex speech but the likelihood is lower. Any given pair of human egg and sperm cells have the potential, and given the rise of cloning, nearly every cell in every human being has the potential. Where do we draw the line?

    Er... I believe in the woman's right to choose.

    The embryos of humans are human embryos. What lines are you asking me to draw?

    What makes you think that [If apes and chimpanzies had the same capacity for speech as human beings, the humans would kill them all]? Surely some would, but others would recognize them as human (presumably you would as they would fit your definition) and grant them rights.

    I have my own take on the Human Condition. Those that would look these apes and chimpanzies - the ones that had the same capacity for speech as human beings - and seek to recognize them as 'human' and grant them rights etc., would be killed off by the humans who were killing off the apes and chimpanzies that had the same capacity for speech as human beings. The ape killers come out on top.[/b]
  12. Standard member Scriabin
    Done Asking
    27 May '09 16:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    The inspiration for this thread came from talking to someone about abortion in another thread of mine in which I was questioning when and for what reason we become "human"? That is, at what point should we attain "rights" that we now hold under the law of the land?

    The thread I am referring to was started in the debate forum but I thought the spirituali we be considered human with special rights to go along with it.

    So what do you think?
    we are human because we have an opposable thumb and the brains to use it.

    what really distinguishes us, however, is our ability to complain (hence, language)
  13. 27 May '09 19:38
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    What defines a “species” is, contrary to what many people seem to believe, ill-defined.
    So why should what defines the “human species” be well defined when not even what defines what a "species" is is well defined?

    -ok, we have certain attributes that no other species has, but the same can be said for many other species. So what non-arbitrary cr ...[text shortened]... ributes should be the ones that we should use to define literally what it means to be “human”?
    I forgot to add:

    Suppose you arbitrary defined the possession of attribute X as what defines us as “human”; would that mean that, hypothetically, regardless of what you define X as being, if another species later evolved/was found to have attribute X then would that other species also be defined as “human”?
  14. 28 May '09 03:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by duecer
    [b]of course animals don't have culture you dope I repeat...culture is a function of language. what "language " do cows speak?
    I don't know, I don't speak cow. However, I have heard them moo from time to time. I may be a dope, but I know a moo when I hear it. I know a bark when I hear it. I know a meow when I hear it. Do you think these noises are devoid of the ability to communicate with each other? In addtion, alot of communicating in the animal kingdom is done without the use of making sounds much like that in our own style of communication. For example, when peacocks mate they spread their fancy feathers out so as to attract a mate. Is this not a form of communication?
  15. 29 Jun '09 20:35
    Well what seperates us from animals is that we can pass on knowledge from one generation to the next, animals can't, like a spider still makes his web the same way he did thousands of years ago.