What distinguishes humans from other species?
For example, eagles are known for their ability to soar to great heights, and for their super keen vision. Cetaceans are known for communicating with sonic calls. Spiders are distinguished by their method of ensnaring their food in a web. Humans?
So many things. I am planning a hub on this very subject. The main aspect of human exceptionalism is their complex representational language and cognitive adaptability beyond simple instinct and biologically-driven goals (survival, food obtainment, sexual attraction) that will increase the threshold of their biological definition of 'fitness'. Many people will probably respond to this question with negative remarks (humans kill for fun, humans pollute, ect.). Humans are simply animals and benevolence is not a trait that describes the entire species nor is that encoded in our DNA however some individuals choose to adopt these philosophies which just points to another major difference between humans and animals.
Yes, there are so many things. And different approaches to answering the question. I can see the distinguishing characteristics of complex (or complicated?) language and cognitive adaptability. We could explore biological & sociological differenc
I think maybe its free will or even the ability to conceptualize and debate free will and whether it exists or not.
What does free will mean to you? Are you saying humans have free will whilst the behavior of other species is driven by instinct? Are humans the only earth-based species with potential to be co-creators with the process of creation?
It's the ability of Humans to make choices unconstrained by certain factors.
Factors such as metaphysical constraints, social constraints. mental or physical constraints.The principle of free will has religious, legal, ethical, and scientific implica
Yes, conscious choice is a distinguishing characteristic.
If I may quote Dan Aykroyd as "Joe Friday" in 1987's "Dragnet":
"There are two things that separate us from the animals. One, we use cutlery. Two, we're able to suppress our sexual urges. Now, you might be an exception, mister...but don't drag me down into your private hell."
Thumbs and self-awareness are the two factors that come to my mind.
Actually many other primates have thumbs, and elephants, dolphins, some apes, and some corvid species are said to be self-aware.
I agree that some species are far more self-aware than is commonly understood by humans. Awareness. Have you come across the idea of the consciousness of the atoms? We are just beginning to learn about the nature of consciousness and awareness.
Hey, some monkeys use forks and I had a cat that used the toilet. Too bad he never learned to flush. I guess that distinguished him from a human.
What distinguished man from animals is his soul. The human kingdom is a different soul group from the animal kingdom and from the plant kingdom. Yes, plants are souls, too, or they wouldn't respond to human voices. Each person in the human kingdom functions as an individual soul on the soul level. I'm not speaking of his personality. An animal, although an individual animal, operates more on instinct, and his instincts are on the soul level, in other words, a collective soul. You are familiar with the herd mentality, I'm sure. This is not to say that the animal does not have a personality which he exercises. Note that one dog is sweet and docile while another is bred with an aggressive personality.
I agree that humans have a different soul group than other species. We are 'other-connected' within the inter-connection of the All.
Besides conscious choice, the ability to conceptualize and to mechanically produce, our complex language skills...
Conceptualization, language skills, the making of tools, free will, etc. are all on the personality or ego level. Maybe it is our personalities that make the difference.
I use to think it was brains and communication, but have come to realize most animals are highly intelligent and have better communication skills than we do. The true difference between us and our pets is their feelings toward us are unconditional acts of love and kindness which many of us are not capable of as humans.
Well said. It is not that I want to put humans down, or 'in their place.' But, to understand the earth and all its inhabitants as a living organism, none superior to another. Humans have more to learn from nature than vice versa. Thanks for answering
I think what distinguishes humans from other species is that humans have the ability to "make" tools although orangutans, birds and other animals learn to "use" tools.
Another one is that humans have culture, in the sense that, humans don't defecate or have sex, or breastfeed, etc anywhere like animals do. Which is why I think that whenever a person does anything like these they will be called uncultured.
I view animals as my friends so I respect and protect them (as much as I could) and I don't eat them!
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