Humans are not superior

Discussion in 'Animism' started by plantsarepeopletoo, Jul 1, 2012.

  1. RooRshack

    RooRshack On Sabbatical

    Why we ASPIRE to dominate, you tard.

    And if you understand how we're just animals, you understand self-centered illusions very well too, and how they contribute heavily to survival.

    I'm something of a botanist wannabe, I like plants and all. But you're just preaching to the crowd that doesn't take their own survival seriously, now that they're aware of the nature of their survival. And yeah, that's evolution, they die off and the more self-centered greedy assholes live on.
  2. By mentioning Cartesian thinking, I am not trying to imply that all of his thoughts were novel, nor that he had a special amount of influence. His name serves as a symbol for a train of thought.

    I do not believe that change will take hundreds of years and is as fundamental as changing our metaphysical language. E.g. East Asians typically view the world in a relationship manner, whereas Westerners view it linearly. Some Native American chiefs warned that when you destroy a tree, you destroy a community, because the nature surviving around the tree is interconnected. Modern Westerners will eventually realize that pouring waste into water, then eating fish from that water is not a great idea.

    Look at many Native American movements that have been going on for the past several decades and most are really looking for clean air, clean food and clean water. It does not have to be either, or (Aristotelian thinking). It can even be a slight increase in our knowledge of relationships in nature. Again, that TED talk gives a great example, as does "The Superior Human"
  3. walsh

    walsh Senior Member

    One would be forgiven for thinking you are suggesting this is a western problem while asians and native americans live perfectly harmonious lives. The problem IS fundamental - it's a problem with thought itself, which is divisive and dead while we ourselves are not. Our bodies can't live independently from the air around us, ground under us, plants and water. No knowledge can reproduce the intelligence of the living organism.
  4. That is often true. Illusions can be very useful. But if self-centered greediness equates success, then altruism and societies would not exist. We cannot just plunder endlessly. For example; slave owners feed their slaves and give them places to sleep. It makes them work harder (not to mention live) and the slave master earns more. Darwin emphasized that cooperation was more fundamental than competition. He did not invent social Darwinism.

    If you understand evolution deeply, then you understand why I and others are evolved to warn others about excess environmental damage. Also, why you are evolved to care about Bradley Manning. Hey, the government is composed of greedy a$$holes increasing their survival. So what? Don't talk about it. See what I mean? I would rather have the gov's feet held to the fire about that so they serve us as much as possible.

    Cyanobacteria, who were also greedy assholes, reproduced so much that they changed Earths atmosphere and nearly wiped themselves out by turning Earth into a giant snowball.

    There is a way to live more efficiently as illustrated by the Guy in the TED talk. It makes more production for humans, takes less work, and balances our ecosystems. It's more efficient than having a warring attitude with our environment.
  5. Extending my statement to the extreme is not helping the understanding. It is using journalistic argument tactics. I am talking about change to a degree.

    By the way, it is fact that East Asians have more reverence for animals according to a recent international survey done at UQ that is reported in "Origins of Attitudes Towards Animals". I believe it is the largest survey in the world on the topic, so don't worry about sample size. Note: I'm not Asian or Native American.

    I think it would be wise to slide towards increased reverence to our environment to a degree. The world is not either, or. We can become a degree more understanding to our environment without shattering reality. That is happening now with the green movement, although gradually.

    I do not believe in either total change, or nothing at all. In that case, cancel all police forces, hospitals, schools, etc. because they cannot protect, save, and teach 100% of everyone.
  6. hotwater

    hotwater Senior Member

    This quotation from Henry Beston pretty sums it all up :2thumbsup:

    We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

  7. LoneDeranger

    LoneDeranger Trying to pay attention.

    We are all connected."]Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft. Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye) - YouTube
  8. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    As an aside, everyone does realize that was a trained elephant doing the artwork.
  9. Yeah, that's pretty obvious though. I don't see them do that often in the wild.

    It shows they have the capacity to perform what some people view as so special though. Many people are only impressed when they see something done the human way.
  10. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    there's only one way that humans are unique from other life forms on earth that i've been able to observe, and that is attention span to creative things. interest in them. and for those humans to whom this does not apply, or chose not to have it apply to themselves, i really see no difference at all.
  11. swoosh

    swoosh Member

    get off your computer and go live in the woods then. theres a negative byproduct to electricity
  12. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Humans have the means to destroy ourselves and all other life,plant or animal. Conversly we have the means to create a paradise for all. Never happen. Too stupid.
  13. Man Yellow

    Man Yellow Member

    Or a shotgun. Or just a homo sapiens with a rock in his fist.
  14. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    Great points Walsh and Plantsarepeopletoo.

    I believe that the problem of man's ego, and his objectivistic view that he is superior to (and therefore separate from) the rest of nature goes back much further than Descarte and Plato, but not all the way back to man's hunter-gatherer stage of spirituality. Therefore we cannot rule out all of metaphysics.

    The real problem arose with the dawn of civilization and the rise of the institution of religion. At this point, man began to restructure his thinking and world-view in terms of a group ethic--because suddenly, in the early planter cultures the group was necessary to the survival of the community. The group began to lead to a dualistic frame of thinking (the hunter-gatherer thinks in multiplistic terms). Over time you began to have the rise of the male god, and the rise of the masculine--this led to a more objectivistic frame of thought and a more rational outlook. It also strengthened the dualistic zeitgeist--black/white, us/them, man/woman, good/bad, and so forth, Plato, and later Descarte where simply obvious conclusions to this evolution of mankind's thought process.

    This dualistic and divisive zeitgeist created a world of do's and don’ts. It required man to conform to the group, and to be part of us and not them. This played strongly into our shadow development (referring to the Jungian Shadow). At the same time this caused inflation of the ego. Which only further enhanced the development of seeing the world in rational-objectivistic or conscious-focused terms. Modern Man therefore finds himself with an inflated ego-shadow complex.

    How will man resolve this ego problem that makes him blindly lord over the earth until its eventual destruction? The same way it developed--we reverse the process. The rise of the feminine is one example---it may seem like a mere social phenomena---but the social reality around us influences the reality within us (within our psyche). Today it may be jobs and equality in the workplace, but this trend will continue to influence other areas of life. This begins to break down the forces that create the inflated shadow. Irrational (subconscious) thought processes will begin to re-emerge (or actually be consciously recognized—they are always there), and even the group ethic itself begins to break down (after all the division between men and women is a group aspect—a group dynamic—that we encounter on a daily basis. Breaking down the shadow, breaks down the polar opposite of the ego—the ego-ideal. More importantly, breaking down the shadow will have a similar effect on the inflation of the ego (the more the shadow elements, the more the ego must work to deny the existence of each shadow element). In other words, the ego dynamic as it exists today begins to break down. Over enough time, the ego-shadow complex would return to a more natural state in relation to other elements of the psyche.

    As the group ethic and our dualistic zeitgeist break down, we would return once again to a multiplistic understanding of the universe. Hopefully this would not be achieved through mankind being forced back to the level of the hunter-gatherer.

    It is possible that somewhere along the line science actually identifies, or at least incorporates consciousness into its rational models of the world. That might even be the only way to solve the Unified Theory. Imagine how that could flip everything over---suddenly the rational is aligned with the irrational. Suddenly metaphysics is science.

    Coming out of the Twentieth Century, it is feared that reductionism, always leads down a path to mass destruction in search of the ideal (e.g. eugenics, the holocaust, etc). But reductionism in the modern world was rationalistically objective, and framed in a dualistic group ethic that did place man in the power of the Gods. Reductionism in a multiplistic framework where man is once again just another part of nature, should be a whole different story.

    If we achieve this, and survive to save the earth from our Industrial Age mistakes, we would find ourselves working with quantum technology, with a more holistic psyche defined by a hunter-gatherer-like zeitgeist. I would think that if there is any creature within this universe to have advanced to the point of interstellar travel (not saying that there necessarily is, but…) it would surely have advanced through such a stage of development.
  15. Hmm, you all brought up extremely interesting points. And I agree with religion, at least ones with transcendent gods being a root of the modern human vs. nature mentality, but I think it started before that even, with the rise of the Patriarchy. If you think about it in terms of the order/chaos or Apollonian/Dionysian dichotomies (man being order and Apollonian, woman being chaos and Dionysian), then the beginning of human's desire to conquer the natural world parallels the beginnings of the oppression of women. I think it probably started back during the Agricultural Revolution. Instead of cooperating and relying on nature, and worshiping nature based gods and goddesses, humans now had more control over nature; in fact they had to control nature in order for their fields to yield any crops. Also if nature=women (I'm just saying that as a sort of general, loose idea--relating back to the dichotomies), then planting a seed in the soil parallels sex; women are mere receptacles...but I'm getting off track. When agriculture was established, and nature began to be feared by humans, they also began to create transcendent gods who could control nature without being part of it. And that's where the human ego, the notion of superiority comes from (I think). The need to control nature, and the ability to do so. People just need to be a little less sure of themselves and their beliefs, and go through life being slightly more open-minded, and perhaps they would be able to accept that we really don't know anything for sure, and could possibly let go of our massive collective ego.
  16. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    Yes----you are very right grace sagewillow. When I speak of the Dawn of Civilization, I am referring to the early planter cultures. I don't think I wrote it here, but I have written elsewhere that I believe that our earliest ancestors saw the male and female as equal aspects of creation (and I have demonstrated this through language roots). Somewhere about the time between the early cattle herders (that preceded the planting cultures) and the early planter cultures, the feminine---the all-powerful mother who is mother of all and the source of fertility-----rose to dominance. This represented a change from the multiplistic beliefs, cosmology, and world view of the Hunter Gatherer, and represented the move from spirituality to religion.

    But as the planter group ethic evolved, it was natural through the dynamics of group ethic for the male to rise up and repress the female. This marked a shift to objectivistic and rationalistic thinking. The female as you said, did represent nature---and this is still very true in the duality as it exists in India and the East (where the feminine is of the earth and the physical, and the masculine is of the transcendent sky or heaven).

    Now as we see gender roles and rights shifting, perhaps we shall see a return to that equality that our hunter-gatherer ancestors understood.
  17. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    we only dominate because of our artifacts, and our artifacts exist only because of our creativity, and then only on this earth. otherwise we are just like any other life form.

    get rid of our god-egos, and we would indeed live in a safer, happier, more gratifying, even more free, world. and its not like this is something enough of us couldn't do to make the difference.

    one of the things coyote shows us, by his often self destructive antics, is just how stupidly self destructive and illogical our own species chauvinism really is.
  18. Emanresu

    Emanresu Member

    I certainly do not buy into the absurd (and ultimately meaningless) idea that humans are superior to other forms of life or that we are 'more evolved' than other types of life. That being said, in a historical sense, it is easy to see how humans came to formulate this absurdity.

    Early humans must have noticed that they were able to do things that other life forms couldn't, and that they could out-smart many other life forms in such a way that those forms appeared stupid. For example using traps to catch animals, making clothes to keep warm, building shelter, and being able to adapt quickly to changing situations (not adapt in the evolutionary sense, but rather in the sense of altering one's behavior rapidly to meet current demands). This could potentially explain at least the beginning of our superiority complex as a species.

    This feeling of superiority was eventually codified into religious belief systems. In most of the belief system that I am aware of humans are the crown of creation. We are the most similar to the creator, and we have dominion over other life forms. This is, of course, not a strictly religious concept. Many early philosophers believed in the scala-natura, which basically arranged all life forms on a ladder of increasing prowess and complexity.

    Now we are beginning to realize, through a variety of explorations, that we are essentially the same as all other life forms. I enjoy being human in the sense that we are intelligent enough to realize how ridiculous we are (organisms shooting strands of DNA at each other to make babies).

    We also realize now that the ability to write novels and solve differential equations does not put us above other animals. Beavers build impressive damns without going to school.

    It's all a matter of perspective. If elephants ruled the world they would have impressively long noses to look down at us through.
  19. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    to equate sapience with the human species, no matter how dominant it might be of this one planet, in this one solar system,
    when we know little more about other solar systems, then that their suns are tiny lights in our night sky,
    is an utter and terrible failure, of our own imaginations.
  20. Dax

    Dax Members

    Humans are certainly unique in the animal kingdom but by no means superior.

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