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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    maybe "intellectually calculated language" - I forgot that there are animals out there (quite a lot really) who have very complex mating calls but they are understood not from intelligence but from instinct
    and hmm well "retard" is an easy generalisation of people who have a very challenging time thinking
    Maybe intellectually calculated communications because like you said, many animals have different "calls" but I suppose with humans we speak and thus have different languages but overall both animals and humans communicate, which is a more general term for it I think. Also, can't help but feel that "retard" has negative connotations there 🤔 Surely there must be another general term?
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    We are genetically human... there isn't really any other way to differentiate us. Other animals have emotions, other animals compete and have conflict. Sure, not to the same extent as we do but that's just a product of our high development (relatively to them). Same with communication, ours is far more advanced but communication in very general terms is not exclusive to us. There's no need to put humans on some kind of special pedistal because, at the end of the day, we are just an advanced decendant of apes.
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    (Original post by JapanNet)
    What makes us human?
    brain and your thinking before doing smth.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    The capacity to willfully choose to do evil acts imo. Yes, I know animals do things we consider evil (such as killing other animals and non-consensual sex) but they do it out of instinct as opposed to conscious choice
    Evil is subjective and has no tangible measurement. There are also cases of animals killing others for no given purpose, and others such as orcas playing with their food which one might consider to be 'evil' in the context that you're talking about. There is no reason to suggest that this isn't a concious decision on the orcas' part. Therefore I don't see how this can be a valid argument.
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    (Original post by dr_sepheroth)
    Animals kill each other for food and in fights of territory, mating and dominance. This is normal not evil. Animals do this to survive.

    Humans kill each other not for survival but for revenge, or to resolve an argument. This is not normal and is Evil.
    Yes, I agree. Awesome username btw, Sephiroth is one of my fav villains
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    Evil is subjective and has no tangible measurement. There are also cases of animals killing others for no given purpose, and others such as orcas playing with their food which one might consider to be 'evil' in the context that you're talking about. There is no reason to suggest that this isn't a concious decision on the orcas' part. Therefore I don't see how this can be a valid argument.
    Animals do not have the capacity to grasp human concepts such as "good" or "evil" therefore they cannot consciously or willingly choose to commit evil acts as they wouldn't know how to differentiate between good and evil as humans do
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    (Original post by bxcks_)
    Maybe intellectually calculated communications because like you said, many animals have different "calls" but I suppose with humans we speak and thus have different languages but overall both animals and humans communicate, which is a more general term for it I think. Also, can't help but feel that "retard" has negative connotations there 🤔 Surely there must be another general term?
    yeah, we can communicate not simply from a instinctive biological level but we actually have to learn the different shared meanings of different vocalisations (as there are a huge amount of languages within the human species itself) and their representations (i.e. texts, signs, etc) - we can't just do that from birth like animals can - we have the rational capacity to learn human/rational languages, but it is based on our rationality itself
    and hm, what about "imbicile"? but remember - "retard" is actually a legitimate term - it was used in literature for hundreds of years before the PC brigade arbitrarily decided that they didn't like the emotional associations of it and hence attempted to stop people using it in an attempt to control people's language
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    (Original post by JapanNet)
    What makes us human?
    The fact that we are Homo sapiens.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Animals do not havethe capacity to grasp human concepts such as "good" or "evil" therefore they cannot consciously or willingly choose to commit evil acts as they wouldn't know how to differentiate between good and evil as humans do
    Read the first sentence of my post. Evil itself has no tangible measurement and is purely subjective, therefore things that humans do are only considered to be good or evil to ourselves. They don't have a definitive 'good' property or 'evil' property. There's no such thing, it's just a lable.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    Read the first sentence of my post. Evil itself has no tangible measurement and is purely subjective, therefore things that humans do are only considered to be good or evil to ourselves. They don't have a definitive 'good' property or 'evil' property. There's no such thing, it's just a lable.
    Being a person of religious persuasion, I disagree with your notion that evil is subjective. I believe it can be defined in objective standards
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    I think, therefore I am.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    The capacity to willfully choose to do evil acts imo. Yes, I know animals do things we consider evil (such as killing other animals and non-consensual sex) but they do it out of instinct as opposed to conscious choice
    I have no doubt that various other sorts of apes also have that capability.
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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    I have no doubt that various other sorts of apes also have that capability.
    I'll be willing to change my opinion if there's any evidence to suggest that apes and other animals a) grasp the concepts of good and evil and b) make a conscious decision based on that knowledge to commit evil acts
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    Being a person of religious persuasion, I disagree with your notion that evil is subjective. I believe it can be defined in objective standards
    'Evilness' cannot be measured though. It has no tangible value. Let me provide an example for you, although I'm sure it's one you'll have heard before. A time traveller arrives in Austria around the time of Hitler's birth, knowing what the future holds. The time traveller kills Hitler to prevent this, thus saving the lives of millions in the future. But they've still just killed a man, at this point he is also entirely innocent from his perspective. Is the time traveller therefore evil? He murdered someone, which we typically assign an 'evil' value to, yet he did so for a greater cause. If you want to make it more realistic than that example, then lets say a person murdered their rich spouse and got away with it. This rich spouse had continually abused their partner and not shared much of the proceeds of their wealth with them. The partner decides they've had enough with being abused, and would rather use the money to set up an agency that helps to promote civil rights for the disadvantaged in developing countries, saving many young women from arranged marriages and many young men of military conscription. Is this partner evil?

    Evil cannot be tangibly defined by any measurable quantity. Also, how do you know that the orca doesn't know that playing (i.e. torturing) a young whale baby is 'evil'? They're fairly intelligent animals, it may well just have a sadistic streak for all we know.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    'Evilness' cannot be measured though. It has no tangible value. Let me provide an example for you, although I'm sure it's one you'll have heard before. A time traveller arrives in Austria around the time of Hitler's birth, knowing what the future holds. The time traveller kills Hitler to prevent this, thus saving the lives of millions in the future. But they've still just killed a man, at this point he is also entirely innocent from his perspective. Is the time traveller therefore evil? He murdered someone, which we typically assign an 'evil' value to, yet he did so for a greater cause. If you want to make it more realistic than that example, then lets say a person murdered their rich spouse and got away with it. This rich spouse had continually abused their partner and not shared much of the proceeds of their wealth with them. The partner decides they've had enough with being abused, and would rather use the money to set up an agency that helps to promote civil rights for the disadvantaged in developing countries, saving many young women from arranged marriages and many young men of military conscription. Is this partner evil?

    Evil cannot be tangibly defined by any measurable quantity. Also, how do you know that the orca doesn't know that playing (i.e. torturing) a young whale baby is 'evil'? They're fairly intelligent animals, it may well just have a sadistic streak for all we know.
    The scenarios you present provide an example of lesser and greater evil imho, I think this is what Fletcher would call 'for the greater good.' Killing a baby Hitler or a rich spouse is still objectively an evil act even if it prevents great suffering further down the line. Yes, I believe in the case of the spouse they are still evil as they have committed an act of murder even if they felt that they had a greater plan for the money than the murdered spouse.

    We don't know enough about animal psychology to speculate as to whether an orca can distinguish between good and evil acts but I see no reason to make the orca or dolphins an exception to the rule. There is no evidence that any animal other than humans can participate and come up with philosophical theories.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    The scenarios you present provide an example of lesser and greater evil imho, I think this is what Fletcher would call 'for the greater good.' Killing a baby Hitler or a rich spouse is still objectively an evil act even if it prevents great suffering further down the line. Yes, I believe in the case of the spouse they are still evil as they have committed an act of murder even if they felt that they had a greater plan for the money than the murdered spouse.

    We don't know enough about animal psychology to speculate as to whether an orca can distinguish between good and evil acts but I see no reason to make the orca or dolphins an exception to the rule. There is no evidence that any animal other than humans can participate and come up with philosophical theories.
    But from the time traveller's perspective they've just prevented WW2. From the spouse's perspective they've freed themselves from abuse and have helped numerous young & disadvantaged children. They may see no moral problem with their actions whatsoever. In their opinion, they aren't evil. So what evidence, other than you personally believing that murder is always an evil act, do you have to suggest that they are in fact evil (even if they are a lesser evil of the two)?

    And yes, of course you are right in saying there is no evidence to suggest that orcas are an exception to the rule. What I was trying to illustrate though is that different animals have different levels of intellect, and some do just kill for pleasure. Humans are just at a slightly higher level than that, but by no means unique so I don't think this can be a valid argument to definitely separate us from animals.
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    (Original post by AngryRedhead)
    I'll be willing to change my opinion if there's any evidence to suggest that apes and other animals a) grasp the concepts of good and evil and b) make a conscious decision based on that knowledge to commit evil acts
    I think you're overestimating humans, and maybe misinterpreting human psychology in some ways. Most of us don't grasp the concepts of good and evil. When we do act evilly, we don't do so because the act is evil, or with the philosophical idea of evil foremost on our mind - usually we do it for our own gain, at someone else's expense, on the spur of the moment, and while attempting to convince ourselves that it's not such a bad thing to do after all. Any animal will act in its own best interests.
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    But from the time traveller's perspective they've just prevented WW2. From the spouse's perspective they've freed themselves from abuse and have helped numerous young & disadvantaged children. They may see no moral problem with their actions whatsoever. In their opinion, they aren't evil. So what evidence, other than you personally believing that murder is always an evil act, do you have to suggest that they are in fact evil (even if they are a lesser evil of the two)?

    And yes, of course you are right in saying there is no evidence to suggest that orcas are an exception to the rule. What I was trying to illustrate though is that different animals have different levels of intellect, and some do just kill for pleasure. Humans are just at a slightly higher level than that, but by no means unique so I don't think this can be a valid argument to definitely separate us from animals.
    Okay, well, from a personal/ religious perspective I would argue that all morality stems from the nature and rules made by God. Because God is all supreme and powerful He made the rules by which humanity must adhere to in order to be considered righteous in His eyes. Because God is perfect and is Love itself (not just feels Love but IS Love itself) then the rules he makes are therefore perfect and are suitable as an objective standard of behaviour and conduct, if you understand me? Because if something is defined as evil by God then logically anything that goes against Him and His nature must be contrary to perfect goodness.

    But I know that you won't accept that as an arguement as you are (presumably) an atheist. So how about the fact that most societies throughout history, even ones prior to abrahamic religion, have considered murder to be an act of evil? Some to the point where the death penalty has been prescribed as punishment for it. Murder is evil because you are taking the position that you should not be taking on. Who is one human to end the life of another? It is presumptuous and prideful.

    How do you mean that we are not unique? We are very much a unique species. What other animal on earth do you know dedicates entire lives to the pursuit of the higher things such as philosophy, wisdom, art, religion or to the studies of the natural physical world such as mathematics, physics, chemistry or biology? What other animal do you know composes exquisite musical masterpieces or breathtaking works of art or technology or medicine that improves the lives of many of its other species? Animals don't do this, they just compete with each other for resources mainly.
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    (Original post by sleepysnooze)
    yeah, we can communicate not simply from a instinctive biological level but we actually have to learn the different shared meanings of different vocalisations (as there are a huge amount of languages within the human species itself) and their representations (i.e. texts, signs, etc) - we can't just do that from birth like animals can - we have the rational capacity to learn human/rational languages, but it is based on our rationality itself
    and hm, what about "imbicile"? but remember - "retard" is actually a legitimate term - it was used in literature for hundreds of years before the PC brigade arbitrarily decided that they didn't like the emotional associations of it and hence attempted to stop people using it in an attempt to control people's language
    I suppose that's where the rationality ties in there then, and yes "retard" is a legitimate term but I suppose over time it's been used as a derogatory term thus earning its negative connotations. I think the same goes for "imbecile" for me. Over time I suppose people have wrongly used such words like these, therefore tarnishing their interpretation?
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    (Original post by bxcks_)
    I suppose that's where the rationality ties in there then, and yes "retard" is a legitimate term but I suppose over time it's been used as a derogatory term thus earning its negative connotations. I think the same goes for "imbecile" for me. Over time I suppose people have wrongly used such words like these, therefore tarnishing their interpretation?
    yes but that doesn't mean "retard" and "imbicile" aren't legitimately descriptive nouns - if I say "retard", what do you think of? a stupid person - exactly - or rather, an excessively stupid person; behond the mere bounds of general stupidity. so we're talking about the right ideas here - just because people throw around the word "retard" to just mean "stupid person" it doesn't make it inaccurate
 
 
 
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