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  1. #11
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, but this is actually a controversial area in the animale behaviorism field. When I got my training as a cat behaviorist, the warning to not 'anthropomorphize' was dropped like every 5 minutes. Though there are more scientists in the field that are agreeing that animals do have feelings, and probably a lot more deeply than was previously assumed, 20 years ago, those same scientists were ridiculed for being softies and unscientific as you cannot prove that animals have emotions since you cannot ask them and you are reduced to deducing their actions.

    However, more and more scientists are actually making documentaries of the remarkable behavior as listed above. There is amongst others a documentary somewhere of how family oriented elephants are, how they stay with an injured or handicapped herd member, despite the fact that it slows them down and causes problems with finding food and water, how they visit their dead, and...well, how they appear to be able to be traumatized by what happens to them when their moms are slaughtered in front of their eyes.

    I remember a particular documentary where a group of baby elephants that had likely been traumatized that way became what is known as 'manhunters'. They sought out humans to kill..in what seemed to be a murderous rage.

    In another documentary, they had not killed the mothers, but because they at that point in time lacked the technology to transport adult elephants, they separated the young elephants from the adults in the herds to reintroduce the herd in a place where elephants had all but disappeared. A noble return to the wild action. Unfortunately, about a decade later, that same group of elephants became a real problem...as they started killing rhinos for the heck of it. The people who had done the re-introduction had not accounted for the fact that elephants are family oriented groups, meaning that the elderly are respected and in charge of a herd normally. By releasing only babies, they had basically let loose a bunch of rowdy teenagers and it was the teenage bulls who were killing the rhinos...out of competition? Boredom? For fun? To strut their stuff? Nobody knows. The thing is that they finally had the tech to transport a full grown elephant..so they introduced a couple of adults, amongst which a bull in 'mussh'. The second they got wind of him, they piped down immediately and the peace returned in the reserve.


    It is still not clear how deep and which emotions animals experience though. If you take a cat, for instance, they are missing the frontal lobe development that humans have. This could indicate that they are incapable of complex emotions such as self-pity. It also seems that their pain indicators are straightly linked to the brain, causing them to apparently just experience the pain, act on it 'rationally' aka the survival instinct kicks (do not show weakness and hide to heal), whereas humans are a lot more likely to complain and whine about it (due to the herd mechanism we have), and experience a multitude of emotional turmoil.

    Unfortunately, all of the above is *still* just a hypothesis..we just don't know.

    Its funny that scientists in the past were unable to admit the 'we just don't know' and go the ' if we cant prove it it cannot be there' route
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  2. #12
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    feelings =/= souls
    True. We don't even know if humans have "souls."

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    It's like the story of that bear man. Always coming during a time of the season where the bears are not pressed for finding food, in an area food was abundant. Coming later into the season his last time whilest there was a lot of competition over many food sources, and that was the last of him.
    Who, Timothy Treadwell? Yeah, that didn't work out too well for him regardless of how many friends he had among the animals. (Although all indications was that the bear that did him in was a cantankerous sort who Treadwell tried to befriend over the summer but who wasn't buying it... and then the food supply dropped. Never hang out around hungry bears.)

    A better comparison would be to one bear trainer I knew about ... Doug someone, i think he was Bart's trainer (Bart "The Bear" bear), and he was a big husky bearded guy who would get in their and roughhouse with the bears and typically they all loved each other.... but he was attacked at least once out of the blue by one of his bears and had some pretty nasty scars in his head and elsewhere I think to show for it.
    Wild animals are still wild animals.
    Yup. Animals overall are still more instinctive, and if you trigger an instinctive response, you can be in for a heap o' trouble no matter how friendly you are. Chimps and dogs have chewed people's faces and hands off, and those are "smart" animals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Believe it or not, but this is actually a controversial area in the animale behaviorism field. When I got my training as a cat behaviorist, the warning to not 'anthropomorphize' was dropped like every 5 minutes. Though there are more scientists in the field that are agreeing that animals do have feelings, and probably a lot more deeply than was previously assumed, 20 years ago, those same scientists were ridiculed for being softies and unscientific as you cannot prove that animals have emotions since you cannot ask them and you are reduced to deducing their actions.
    On the other hand, there are some people who we're reduced to doing the same for...

    I don't think it's unbelievable to expect animals -- especially the more similar they are to people -- to have "emotions" attached to memories. It's not an abstracted thing, just as here with the MBTI we talk about the difference between "values" and "emotions." Emotions are generated in the body, and they have bodies just like people do, and they have brains and memories just like people do. Why shouldn't animals have emotions? The only issue of debate is the level of self-awareness of various species, how strong memories and their attached emotions play a part, etc.

    (For example, my cat acts like he loves me, but I still fear that if I were 3" tall and running across the room, his "micing" instincts would cut in and he'd chase and kill me regardless.)

    Humans -- even the not-so-smart ones -- still seem to have a much higher level of self-awareness and the ability to articulate it in complex ways. So regardless of our instincts or feelings, we still can choose immediately in a situation to ignore those instincts or feelings. The further down we go in the animal kingdom, the more that instinct still seems to play a part (as instincts are survival mechanisms that serve to keep the species and organism alive...) and the more capricious the animal might seem.
    Anyway, it would seem to make sense that a presence in the environment that has befriended the animals / been a source of positive experience / become well-known to the animal would alleviate anxiety, trigger positive experiences within the body, etc. This is the level of the emotions.

    It is still not clear how deep and which emotions animals experience though. If you take a cat, for instance, they are missing the frontal lobe development that humans have. This could indicate that they are incapable of complex emotions such as self-pity. It also seems that their pain indicators are straightly linked to the brain, causing them to apparently just experience the pain, act on it 'rationally' aka the survival instinct kicks (do not show weakness and hide to heal), whereas humans are a lot more likely to complain and whine about it (due to the herd mechanism we have), and experience a multitude of emotional turmoil.
    Good points, thank you for sharing this.

    Its funny that scientists in the past were unable to admit the 'we just don't know' and go the ' if we cant prove it it cannot be there' route
    It wasn't just the scientists, it was a sign of the times. (Look at the US government, the "Red Scare" of the 50's, the cold war into the 80's where Russian was "evil", etc). Also remember they were coming out of an age that had the exact opposite response, where any superstition and feeling was accepted as if true and for centuries higher learning and "objectivity" didn't really exist popularly. Basically I see it as the pendulum swinging too far as a counter-balance.... and then what we saw was people reacting to the scientists, and slowly the pendulum is centering again.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #13
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    To be honest though, I think that if the lion had been starving and hungry, the clip would have turned out differently.

    It's like the story of that bear man. Always coming during a time of the season where the bears are not pressed for finding food, in an area food was abundant. Coming later into the season his last time whilest there was a lot of competition over many food sources, and that was the last of him.

    Wild animals are still wild animals.
    The point is not that they are not wild rather that wild animals can act contrary to what is commonly understood as "wild". Thus it begs the question, "Are human beings not wild animals too?" Are these alledged deeper emotions and higher cognition also some sort of "instinct" in the grand scheme of the universe?
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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  4. #14
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Now all we need are 14 convincing stories proving that you have to treat things with souls nicely.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    Its funny that scientists in the past were unable to admit the 'we just don't know' and go the 'if we cant prove it it cannot be there' route
    Few things annoy me more.

    I blame it on the Ti doms.

  6. #16
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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  7. #17
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Proof that, cats at least, got plenty of sole.

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  8. #18
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @Amargith

    It's true that we shouldn't anthropomorphize when making the comparisons.

    However, there's a double edge to anthropomorphizing. Looking for stuff in animals that is like yourself is precisely the inverse of looking for stuff that is not like yourself.

    Basically, looking at a chimp and recognizing that it can rip your face off, and including that in your judgement of emotions, feelings, intelligence or whatever, is still anthropocentric. It's making a judgement because they are NOT like you which is just as faulty as projecting your empathic emotions onto them.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    feelings =/= souls
    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    Oh, hey.

    I didn't see you there Mr. Inferior Fe.


  10. #20
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Oh, hey.

    I didn't see you there Mr. Inferior Fe.

    INTJ using friendly emoticons: up to no good!

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