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  1. #21
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Few things annoy me more.

    I blame it on the Ti doms.
    I agree to the above plus what is quoted by @Amargith.

    People once didn't know that air contained oxygen and that's what we need to live. Doesn't mean the oxygen wasn't there until it was discovered.

  2. #22
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    OMG I love buzz feeds like this <--- super sappy

    And yeah, I think some people touched on the concept of 'specieism'

    There was a thread on this before "do animals have emotions". I think many species do experience and visibly express emotions. I think to some people that implies they are "intelligent" and that means you're comparing them to humans and that means you're saying "this gorilla is a person because it expressed anger that another gorilla stole its banana" Some behaviorists will give you alternate theories to explain away self-aware emotions like jealousy.

    For example, in training exercises where 2 dogs are both given treats for doing the same task and then only 1 dog is given a treat while both dogs continue to do the same task, it was shown that the dog who did not get a treat would stop participating out of "protest". Some animal behaviorists said the dog was NOT feeling jealous or mad or feeling anything at allbut merely getting "distracted".

    The same experiment was done with monkeys. It turns out dogs didn't care if the same or 'better' treats were given to one another, as long as they both got a treat. Monkeys differentiated and would get mad or "be distracted" whether they didn't receive a treat or whether the other monkey received a better treat for doing the same task.

    You could conclude that MONKEYS HAVE MORALS!!! Or ANIMALS GET DISTRACTED! I guess the conclusion you draw is subjective.

    But, yes, THESE STORIES ARE SO CUTE! Makes me
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  3. #23
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @CzeCze

    Yeah. To reach beyond the obvious observation of what happens is, well, reaching.

    There's no conclusion to support or refute something like jealousy in animals. They may act in protest, or maybe they don't, but ultimately it's speculation and I see no reason to wreck a perfectly good and informative experiment by speculating on things that the experiment doesn't tell us.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    @CzeCze

    Yeah. To reach beyond the obvious observation of what happens is, well, reaching.

    There's no conclusion to support or refute something like jealousy in animals. They may act in protest, or maybe they don't, but ultimately it's speculation and I see no reason to wreck a perfectly good and informative experiment by speculating on things that the experiment doesn't tell us.
    But what would you say the experiment actually tells anyone if no one draws any conclusions?
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    But what would you say the experiment actually tells anyone if no one draws any conclusions?
    Well, it can say obvious things like "This orangutan throws poo at you if it doesn't get grapes". That's a perfectly valid observation.

    Where people slip up is when they say "This orangutan throws poo, so therefore it must be angry at me!" which is taking an anthropocentric focus, interpreting the action in a way that is meaningful to humans.

    We have no way of knowing if it feels the same way to the orangutan - it may, or it may not.

    Now, there's nothing wrong with empathizing, that's a normal thing to do. But in a scientific context when trying to determine what they actually feel or think - you can't do it, because all you end up doing is projecting the context of your own values, such that our feeling of anger is 'the' feeling of anger, and that if an animal does something in particular, it must be angry. Angry to them may not be the same as angry to us if there's any comparison at all.

    Edit: and on that note I do think that animals have feelings and thoughts and all that to various levels, and that we can interact with them in meaningful ways. I'd say they have souls metaphorically speaking.

    What I don't think is that their thoughts and feelings somehow translate into an animalistic version of our thoughts and feelings because we are, after all, animals.

  6. #26
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    Hmm, practically speaking the only value of experiments is to draw conclusions from them. Or rather, it's the conclusions are the answers and the experiments are just a way to get them. That's why people get paid the big bucks to crunch data and spit out meaning and reason from them. If you weren't allowed to draw conclusions from patterns or experiments there would be no economists in the world (maybe not a bad thing).

    I think where people slip is saying that "if we say that animals have feelings we are saying they are human". When people speak of animals the point of reference inevitably comes back to people. I don't think animals necessarily feel things "like people do" but they do feel.

    Like you know what this panda felt at escaping?? EXHILARATION:

    (might wanna turn your volume down, lots of rubberneckers laughing in this one)

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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Well, it can say obvious things like "This orangutan throws poo at you if it doesn't get grapes". That's a perfectly valid observation.

    Where people slip up is when they say "This orangutan throws poo, so therefore it must be angry at me!" which is taking an anthropocentric focus, interpreting the action in a way that is meaningful to humans.

    We have no way of knowing if it feels the same way to the orangutan - it may, or it may not.

    Now, there's nothing wrong with empathizing, that's a normal thing to do. But in a scientific context when trying to determine what they actually feel or think - you can't do it, because all you end up doing is projecting the context of your own values, such that our feeling of anger is 'the' feeling of anger, and that if an animal does something in particular, it must be angry. Angry to them may not be the same as angry to us if there's any comparison at all.

    Edit: and on that note I do think that animals have feelings and thoughts and all that to various levels, and that we can interact with them in meaningful ways. I'd say they have souls metaphorically speaking.

    What I don't think is that their thoughts and feelings somehow translate into an animalistic version of our thoughts and feelings because we are, after all, animals.
    The problem with this scientific approach is that it transfers from the scientists (who are humans and often very emotionally detached to do their job, as well as held in high regard in their field) to the public who read their articles and look to Science to answer their questions and filters into their attitudes. It destroys empathy. It makes the animal so far away from us the human that it becomes ok to mistreat it. And it becomes ok to ridicule anyone who actually does empathize for being an idiot at thinking that an animal has feelings.

    I agree its necessary for scientific observation. But speculation on the emotional state of animals is essential for the survival of empathy and the minimizing of cruelty, not to mention the excusing away the abuse of power, which often comes with the robbing of an animals freedom for scientific purposes, or worse, money making purposes.

    In a way, it is slavery all over again. We just have not evolved beyond it yet in our perspectives.

    People are dangerous and cruel when they do not identify with something. It becomes an object to be used. And thrown away.

    I would argue that that is far more important than scientific research to satisfy our curiosity, even if it leads to curing people. Talk about egocentric.

    Ironically, much of what we know of animal behaviorism nowadays was indeed a bonus feature of keeping lab animals and doing experiments on them. In some cases horrific ones. We understand their psyche better now that we have done extensive torturing. I admit to having really mixed feelings about this when I was in class. I was learning info that had been literally squeezed out of animals. I still remember the one with the poor dogs who had no where to go but lie on the floor as they were electrocuted, knowing it was coming due to the light that would light up beforehand, and unable to get away from it. We learned how even when you give the dog an out after teaching it that there *is* no way to escape the pain, they will not take it. They will just lie on the floor...and be electrocuted. They give up hope, it seems, like they no longer believe they are able to change their fate. Its a part of how depression works, from what I remember and even has a name: learned self helplessness. An animal suffering from this condition (including humans) take forever to learn to trust in themselves again to change their situation if it doesn't suit them, and be pro-active again and in control of their environment.
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  8. #28
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    @Amargith

    Yeah I agree with that. Which is why I communicate with animals more openly and experientially rather than definitively.

    I see what the animal does in relation to what I do without 'wording' in my head about it and we somehow reach an understanding based in experience, not in definitions.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    Few things annoy me more.

    I blame it on the Ti doms.
    Yes. We also shot John F. Kennedy, stole the Amber Room, faked the Voynich manuscript and caused global warming...
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  10. #30
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    @Amargith

    Yeah I agree with that. Which is why I communicate with animals more openly and experientially rather than definitively.

    I see what the animal does in relation to what I do without 'wording' in my head about it and we somehow reach an understanding based in experience, not in definitions.
    I do that with my cats all the time. And it is the most intimate way of connecting with another living creature (heck, the human mating dance works this way ffs). You focus on each other, and respond to their movements...like in a dance. No need for words, just body language
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