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Thread: Your Relationship to Pets & Naming Strategies

  1. #31
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    If your personal system for making ethical judgments hinges on some kind of principle of reciprocity--like e.g. a "social contract"--then of course a cat cannot be equivalent to a human in that respect, and more generally the sentience of animals in and of itself is not likely to be very useful to you as a guidepost for how to make judgements about the ethics of how you treat them.
    First -- great post overall. As for the quoted bit above, as a synopsis for the rest... Regarding terminology, I agree, I acknowledge that I was remiss/mistaken to use the term "sentience" at all, or without proper qualification/context. I suppose when I think of "sentience", my definition is of human sentience, as in the form that is found only in human beings. Insofar as animals are sentient, they are an evidently lesser -- or if you must, simply different -- form of sentient, a lesser/different form of self-awareness, of consciousness ... hence, also of a lesser/different resulting profile of behavior. So, yes, perhaps your "tertiary cognition" term/reasoning above explains a -- if not the - quantum-leap of a difference between human and non-human sentience, as such.

    Another term or concept which I could (perhaps should) have invoked is "rational". As in, we humans are the "rational" animals, self-evidently distinct among all life on earth, as such. Rational as in, possessive of and using reason. Here again your "tertiary cognition" might align with an elaboration of how I would define "reason", as a thing which, as it happens, only humans demonstrate.

    If my cat were capable of reason, in the sense and to the degree of human beings, then the world would be a very different place. But my cat, like all other non-human animals, does not and (evidently) cannot. And so, in short, they are not ethical agents. For ethics proper concerns itself with the interactions between rational beings (which is also why ethics proper enters some very careful and specific/special edge cases when -- for instance -- involving human children, who are not yet rational, or of people who are vegetative or damaged to the extent that they do not possess or cannot demonstrate properly functioning reason).

  2. #32
    Now we know... Asteroids Champion ACow's Avatar
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    As you guys probably know, I think the proposition that all humans are capable of/enact symbolic thinking is debatabely false-more nuanced than yes/no.

    I think Ptah's position on human rationality/reason is, to an even greater extent, both empirically false as to the question of whether most humans do approach anything close to rationality/reason, and I'd also go so far as to say that there's not even a good theoretical basis that most of them are even capable of such.

    I do have limited experience with small children, but I've got copious experience with animals and animal behaviour, and its been my general impression that animals (obviously I'm generalising here) remind me greatly of people: with the concession that I think there is more qualitative distance between the gifted/exceptional humans and normal humans/society than there is between everyday humans and animals.

    And before you go all: "Oh my god, acow is hitler equating lower-class humans with animals", I just want to make it clear I would happily kill and eat gifted humans.

    And besides, i have yet to meet ANY social animals that, once tamed-socialised into your pack/mob/family/whatever, can screw you over with the same qualitative mix that higher-order operating or even average humans can and will.

    Suffice to say I don't see human/animal superiority/inferiority as vaguely so black and white...

  3. #33
    No Thank You Blorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACow View Post
    And before you go all: "Oh my god, acow is hitler equating lower-class humans with animals", I just want to make it clear I would happily kill and eat gifted humans.


    Suffice to say I don't see human/animal superiority/inferiority as vaguely so black and white...
    Totally agree. My psychology professor once said that cats aren't conscious because...no reason really - the whole idea of "consciousness" is far from any verifiable, cogent, and agreed-on scientific definition. it's just what a lot of psychologists like to say about animals. I think it's a vestige of the Christian idea that people are so special and get to go to heaven unlike everybody else.

  4. #34
    Meae Musae Servus Hephaestus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Mexico View Post
    OK, but here's the thing though:

    For a long time I've been hearing say this thing about how adult dogs supposedly have the same IQ as a three-year-old human.

    It always sounded exactly like the kind of thing that was presumably just a popular myth and couldn't actually be true. (I mean, for starters, how do you even give a dog an IQ test?)
    Recently, in a grocery store, I watch a mother let watching her brood paw over a display of flowers or some shit. I didn't look close, I just noted that her attitude and the conversation was identical to letting a dog or dogs sniff around during a walk. The patient impatience, the concern about potential damage but wanting to let them have fun and explore, and of course the intonation and usage of the command phrases "No", "Leave it" as well as all the ancilliary discussion which is less about communicating to the beast than it is a sort of "prayer to self", all identical the aforementioned experience. And of course, the behavior of the kids was just like that of an eager and curious dog, but swapping hands for sniffing or tasting.

    I'd guestimate the kids were between four and eight years of age.

    I could practically see the leashes.
    Most of time, when people ask why something terrible happened, they don't realize they are looking for someone to blame.

    --Meditations on Uncertainty Vol ξ(x)

  5. #35
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Just want to give a shout-out to my worm farm.

    Best. Pets. Ever.

    What do I call them? The worms. If I'm feeling affectionate (which is most of the time), they're our little worm friends.

    I feel like I am responsible for their environment. I cherish them collectively. I believe that on some level they can sense the good vibes.

    They live in a box. I feed them once every week or so. If I miss a feeding they're still fine. Their poop smells like fresh earth and helps my garden grow.

    I started a garden this year, and it is 50% for its own sake but 50% to complete the cycle of the worm poop.

    I love our little worms.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

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