What does it mean to human? Are we the only animals with a concious?
Wow the answers to that could fill a universe of books. Mind boggling!!
Do you mean are we the only animals that are conscious or the only ones with a conscience? It's not the same thing.
The Human is the embodiment of the Light that created this entire universe.
However this only but.a temporary state of being, for He will either ascend or descend for it is impossible that He can remain so indefinitely.
To ascend, He must first come to realise exactly that which He is, then that realisation will give to him the necessary impetus to become it. That is the Light.
The other way is the way of death, where the body consumes it own self... this occurs because there is no realisation of his True nature and self, so therefore that ones Life is no better than one of an animal, for the light within him has accomplished it work ( though not fully) and returned to is origin.
I've seen too many animals display signs of intelligence that include awareness of their actions and embarassment and/or disappointment
in themselves for non performance to think they are not capable of developing some level of belief in right and wrong. Since knowledge of right and wrong is how we display conscience I'd have to say animals have them on simple levels.
And many animals have been shown to be conscious of, and to possess an understanding of, many of the concepts we believe make us unique and above other life forms.
Things that set humanity apart from other species. That could be used to differentiate humanity from other species. Some possibilities might be:
1. We modify our environment to vastly greater amounts.
2. We are the only species that commonly domesticates other species.
3. We are the only species that kills our own species on a common daily basis.
4. We are the only species that systematically destroys other species to the point of extinction.
5. We are able to live and survive in a far greater number of environments that any other species. Outside of underwater, humanity has spread to very nearly every place on the planet where other species survive.
6. We are the only species that can directly utilize energy (fire for instance). Other species utilize sunlight (coral), but only through symbiotic bacterial action.
I can't say I like any of them, but they are differences that separate us from other animals. Take your choice. Numbers 3 and 4 might be particularly appropriate.
Animals do all the numbered differences except for six. Are we as set apart or as separate as we might think then?
I can't think of any species that lives at both the north pole and the Sahara desert except man- can you?
Mankind may kill 1000 of it's own species each day - what other species has a record of anything like that?
What other species has driven dozens of other species to the edge of extinction in the past 100 years?
What other species builds a home, then heats and air conditions it to considerably different temperatures than ambient and lights it?
I understand we do things to excess. But I get what you are saying.
Not sure that what we do is a good thing or not.
There are differences. Mainly in excesses and time spans though.
Animals are content to live in their own habitat until death comes calling.
If food becomes scarce however they would relocate.
They kill like us to eat.
They kill like us for fun. (human hunters)
They wipe out species over time.
They can and do adopt at times abandoned babies from a different class of animal.
They relocate when food supply demands it.
They do not take more than they need.
They waste little.
They kill for survival and not profit.
They live according to the seasons
They are quite happy not to have to know it all.
They allow other species that are not food to live freely
They cannot create light, telephone, power, computers etc but none of these things are necessary for their survival.
I disagree in part penny, all of these technologies are now paramount in saving many species from extinction.
Things change and the species that adapt best to the changes survives. We have made these technologies which have now become essential to coordinating and running national parks, zoos, sanctuaries to prolong the life expectancy of many species by delaying or changing the environment, removing competing imported species and creating artificial environments for them to dwell in.
We destroyed their habitat, but we have the scientific means to protect these species as well, and this is at least partly because of technology that allows us to co-relate data, provide heat and cool, clean water etc for the animals.
A lot of technology has gone into saving Australian native animals that have had diseases, and I feel sure this good work in the animal sciences will have positive outcomes.
Oh yes I didn't think of that! I think it is great that we are playing a role in helping animals to survive outside their normal habitat or when they contract some rare disease because of the changes in the environment. As technology advances and the earth evolves many cannot survive and by natural selection are dying out and our efforts are aiding in their survival for the most part.
I sometimes wonder though...whether or not we are messing with the natural order of things. Not often but I do.
We are the only species to have developed a written language. That is what has made everything else possible.
Everything? In what sense do you mean?
How many non-human species are chatting across continents in real time?
Written language (including mathematics) made possible all of our advanced technology, art and philosophy.
On the other hand, my cat probably reckons there are ten cats. That's the limit of his experience. I showed him a book of the world's cats but he wasn't interested.
Oh. What if they have their own medium of communication that we are not aware of? Kinda like the radio waves we never new existed at one time.
They are not communicating within the electromagnetic spectrum or through infra- or ultra-sonic acoustic waves (except for the squeaking of bats). If they were, we would already have detected it. So, what 'medium' had you in mind?
Haha along those lines. I was thinking maybe a wave our technology cannot yet sense. Kinda like the different brainwave patterns. We can detect delta but what is beyond delta?
@Garry185, interesting question. Perhaps you mean are we the only ones with a conscience?
I've seen dogs who looked sorrowful when being scolded, but I seriously doubt if they possess a conscience. But all animals are conscious (aware) in one respect or another.
Spoken language is one thing that sets us apart. Other species have simple sounds that communicate a limited range of equally simple concepts, while humans have far larger vocabularies with a wide range of subtle and complex meanings.
@Paraglider, writing is definitely a big boost for humanity, but there have been many cultures that have built buildings and created farms and domesticated animals without any evidence that they possessed writing. We certainly would not have most of the refinements of modern civilization were it not for writing.
Perhaps one other thing that sets humans apart from animals is the concept of spirit. Some religions hold the idea that souls (true spiritual selves) can inhabit animals, while others do not. Regardless of whether animal incarnations are possible, the combination of human+soul is a special paring that makes spiritual awakening possible. Such awakening is difficult even with writing and richly complex language. Without these refinements, spiritual awakening would likely prove impossible.
Perhaps that's what makes Homo sapiens so special from the religious perspective. Once the awakening has been accomplished, though, I doubt Homo sapiens would hold any importance to these spiritual beings. And it is quite possible that the continuity-based (non-religious) tendencies of Homo sapiens would result in a disintegration of civilization -- blood feuds, wars, vendettas, wailing and gnashing.
Human beings are really only slightly more intelligent animals than all the rest. And in the case of animals like dolphins or elephants, even that theory is suspect.
Human beings , are probably the only animal on earth self centered enough to think ourselves above the other animals because of our "intelligence", we haven't even really begun to study the behaviors of the animal world enough to begin to answer this question. Thats what I think.
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