User Tag List

First 12345 Last

Results 21 to 30 of 50

  1. #21
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    MBTI
    ENTP
    Enneagram
    7w8
    Posts
    2,934

    Default

    Are animals capable of empathy?

    Yes of course. As far as I know and read, empathy seems linked with the presence of mirror neurons or similar cells (although the real function of such cells is still debated). And this rule seems also true for the animal kingdom. Thus genuine empathy, as we know it, may only be restricted to animals with superior brains. This means primates of course, dogs and rats probably, but there are animals that even have a greater number of this kind of cells in their brains than us: dolphins and elephants, notably. And this could explain why these animals are likely to be more empathetic than humans. And curiously, birds seem to have the most efficient mirror neurons of all, hence the incredible efficiency of their brains despite their limited size.

    But don't expect a snake or a cat to be empathetic: they never will be.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

    7w8 SCUxI

  2. #22
    Society
    Guest

    Default

    as far as animal empathy - yes, ofcourse animals are capable of empathy, and cruelty. even the same individual animals - just like individual human are capable of both.


    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    It's a perfectly logical thing to do, but I don't know any human women who ate their babies. Not that it never happens, but I don't think it's as common as it is in the animal kingdom.
    how many humans in near starvation do you know in the first place? my grandmother had a life long friend who run away from home with her mother because her father was going to eat her in the siege of stalingrad. i'm not saying it's common, but as far as modern civilization goes, neither are the circumstances that lead to it.

  3. #23
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    9w1
    Socionics
    INFj None
    Posts
    9,827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    how many humans in near starvation do you know in the first place? my grandmother had a life long friend who run away from home with her mother because her father was going to eat her in the siege of stalingrad. i'm not saying it's common, but as far as modern civilization goes, neither are the circumstances that lead to it.
    I don't know any, thankfully, but animals don't have to be starving to eat their young. I certainly did not starve my hamster. But I did read recently, that they found a girl at a dig in Jamestown that looked like she'd been butchered for food. Humans will do it, but things have to be pretty bad first unless they're crazy or it's part of a religious ceremony. We do a lot of other terrible unprovoked things, though. And we're supposed to know better.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #24
    Society
    Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't know any, thankfully, but animals don't have to be starving to eat their young. I certainly did not starve my hamster. But I did read recently, that they found a girl at a dig in Jamestown that looked like she'd been butchered for food. Humans will do it, but things have to be pretty bad first unless they're crazy or it's part of a religious ceremony. We do a lot of other terrible unprovoked things, though. And we're supposed to know better.
    i think you're using an indicator that doesn't quite fit the chemical mix: our empathy for our children isn't anywhere close to our default empathy to others to be an indicator of our general tendency towards empathy - people are quite capable to withhold empathy and kill other people when their own survival is at stake, or for that matter, for the survival of their children (i am pretty sure i wouldn't flinch).
    i'd wager the reason it's so much harder to detach empathy to our children is probably the fact we have a lot less of them than most other animals - consider the number of women who'd die in pregnancy throughout most of history, consider how much care and extra resources they demand. they are a huge investment for us.


    as far as the animal comparison, you can make a pretty good calculated guess that you probably won't be starving tomorrow, the animal can't - many animals live under the assumption that they always might just starve tomorrow. we on the other hand are quite capable of infanticide for much dumber reasons - just look at china or ancient rome.

  5. #25
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    INFJ
    Enneagram
    9w1
    Socionics
    INFj None
    Posts
    9,827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    i think you're using an indicator that doesn't quite fit the chemical mix: our empathy for our children isn't anywhere close to our default empathy to others to be an indicator of our general tendency towards empathy - people are quite capable to withhold empathy and kill other people when their own survival is at stake, or for that matter, the survival of their children (i am pretty sure i wouldn't flinch).
    i'd wager the reason it's so much harder to detach empathy to our children is probably the fact we have a lot less of them than most other animals - consider the number of women who'd die in pregnancy throughout most of history, consider how much care and extra resources they demand. they are a huge investment for us.


    as far as the animal comparison, you can make a pretty good calculated guess that you probably won't be starving tomorrow, the animal can't - many animals live under the assumption that they always might just starve tomorrow. we on the other hand are quite capable of infanticide for much dumber reasons - just look at china or ancient rome.
    Good points. I'd kill someone else's baby and feed it to my kid if my kid was going to starve, I'm pretty sure. All other people and kids can die if it's between them and my husband and/or my kids.

    Not nicer or meaner than animals, just a bit different sometimes.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #26
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    I don't have an answer on your question, but I do want to comment on this.


    This irritates me somewhat. People view all animals as innocent beings who always get along with each other. They are pure, and we are not. However, the animal world is very cruel and vicious. We are not the only being who wars and fights with our own kind. This happens all the time in nature. Just look at baboon troops, for example. The alpha male usually gets there by being the biggest asshole possible. He uses everyone and beats them when they don't do what he wants.

    We just have more tools to fight with one another is all.
    I'm inclined to agree with that you know, some friends joked with me that the monkey is taking the dog because he might need something eat if the factory has gone up in smoke.

    The stories about lions etc. which befriend gazzelles are nice but if that animal moves the wrong way, suddenly enough, they will kill and eat them and while its possible they behave in a way which appears to be grief stricken afterward the instinct over rides anything else.

    Baboons I think are a good example of the sort of norms of violent domination which prevail in lower species and which the lowest examples of people exhibit too. On the other hand there are anthropologists like Konrad Lorenz who've provided interesting counters to that thinking, even if there's been subsequent good criticism of their counters too. Its difficult to generalise sometimes but I would say its a nice sentiment, even if its not an accurate observation, the point about compasionate monkey I mean.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Good points. I'd kill someone else's baby and feed it to my kid if my kid was going to starve, I'm pretty sure. All other people and kids can die if it's between them and my husband and/or my kids.

    Not nicer or meaner than animals, just a bit different sometimes.
    I dont know if I would resort to cannibalism you know, although I am a survivor so it is possible.

    Discussions like that make me think of the film The Book of Eli.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    i think you're using an indicator that doesn't quite fit the chemical mix: our empathy for our children isn't anywhere close to our default empathy to others to be an indicator of our general tendency towards empathy - people are quite capable to withhold empathy and kill other people when their own survival is at stake, or for that matter, for the survival of their children (i am pretty sure i wouldn't flinch).

    i'd wager the reason it's so much harder to detach empathy to our children is probably the fact we have a lot less of them than most other animals - consider the number of women who'd die in pregnancy throughout most of history, consider how much care and extra resources they demand. they are a huge investment for us.

    as far as the animal comparison, you can make a pretty good calculated guess that you probably won't be starving tomorrow, the animal can't - many animals live under the assumption that they always might just starve tomorrow. we on the other hand are quite capable of infanticide for much dumber reasons - just look at china or ancient rome.
    I think what you're describing is a a relatively recent development, the nuclear family etc.

    There's photo archives from the not too distant past in Ireland of massive families in rural areas, norms of twenty kids, I know of two families in a neighbouring town which are still of that size and then and now the larger families are ones in which quickly the older kids assume roles of carers and companions of the younger ones, now perhaps they've just done it well and its a parenting miracle but they would claim that each child after a certain point is easier to bring up than the last.

    The question of whether or not pregnancy is going to be life threatening is one which probably had different connotations in the past, I'm reminded of that film about bowling with the guy from the Amish community who at one point says something like "The joke's on him with narrow hips like that she couldnt bare more than three or four children" or something like that.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Yeah and we eat other creatures' babies. I don't think we're any better or worse myself. But I'm glad my mother only left the rare welt or bruise and didn't eat me.
    I love lamb chops.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    It's a fake?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/0..._n_673999.html
    sadwww.fugly.com/pictures/19006/monkey_puppy_thief.html

    In China right now (as almost always, it seems) there is angst about good actors in society. Another recent one is the Good Roommate. Some kid ran into a collapsing room during the Ya'an earthquake to save the computers--that's right, the computers--of his dorm mates. A photo was taken and everything. They--the Chinese--or at least the Chinese as represented by the "young" ones on the internet--are trying to create social institutions. Big formal institutions like the Red Cross of China are thoroughly corrupt in practice, so who will save us, how can we be humans, why are we even men, etc. In response, images and stories are being created and transmitted.

    It might even be right to say that where memes in western internets are for fun and games, Chinese make memes for actual social propaganda. These things are picked up and carried forward not just by government agents bent on controlling the populace, but by actual free agent citizens because that's sort of how Chinese communicate with one another.

    This monkey-dog one, however, seems like it may be of the fun and games variety.
    I am a chinese.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 24
    Last Post: 07-13-2016, 12:19 PM
  2. why is it that people get butthurt and call others trolls
    By prplchknz in forum General Psychology
    Replies: 64
    Last Post: 08-09-2012, 09:32 PM
  3. Why is that...?
    By Razzaberry in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-20-2012, 06:11 PM
  4. What is your favorite # and why?
    By swordpath in forum The Bonfire
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 07-16-2008, 11:32 PM
  5. What is "hope," and why do I "need" it??
    By ArbiterDewey in forum Philosophy and Spirituality
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-14-2008, 05:04 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO