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Moody
Thursday, January 8th, 2004, 04:11 PM
1.
The question of Race is rightly discussed in the various forums dedicated to that subject.

In that sense, Race as such is not really a philosophical topic.

2.
Philosophy approaches Race differently, by asking what Race IS, and quickly learns that Race is a category [by whatever criteria] of 'the Human'.

Only here do we arrive at a Philosophical problem: what is this assumption upon which the categorisation of Race is based?

I mean, in short, 'what is Human?'

And are all the Races varieties of 'the Human'?

3.
Some will say that the 'lower Races' are LESS than Human, and are therefore closer to the Animal.

Here we have the nub of our question: what separates the Human from the Animal?

Only when we have dwelt on this can we begin to look at the concept Race, let alone the idea of the Super-Human.

http://claweb.cla.unipd.it/home/mcanapero/images/vetruvianman.jpg

Siegfried
Thursday, January 8th, 2004, 08:34 PM
One first needs a definition of 'animal', before we can distinguish it from the human. If we use the purely biological definitions, a human being is an animal - but so are certain creatures that are but one cell (as the distinction between plantlife and animallife is in modern biology rooted in the characteristics of their respective cells).
One can only claim a human being is different from the animal, if we accept the thought that humanity is somehow more than merely biological.

Hellenic Eagle
Thursday, January 8th, 2004, 08:45 PM
The human is an animal.

What is it then that distinguishes us from the animal?

We are animals too. We are supposed to be the top of the food chain.

Our difference with animals is that we have the ability to think and reason.

Our greatest difference is that we are the only animals that we know of our coming death. This is what makes us unique in nature.

Jack
Friday, January 9th, 2004, 07:24 AM
Nothing more than an idea: the human is that which can comprehend the meaninglessness of life. This has potential to be a very interesting discussion - let's start.

I think the difference between 'human' and animal is simply a matter of degree. Aristotle believed the essence of man is his ability to reason - basically to draw logical connections between objects. One problem: I think the ability to reason is rooted in (one could say it's the same thing as) man's intelligence (the best definition I've found is one I've thought of myself: intelligence as ability to analyse) and obviously this varies by degree, not kind, between men (and races, as groups of men). Chimps can use sticks as tools to provoke ants. One could (and I will) say this is 'intelligence' in action. So where do we draw the line? At what IQ number do we say 'human' on one side and 'non-human' on the other? Intellectually retarded humans (even whites) could fall on the other side of the line.

At the fact that homo sapiens can only interbreed amongst its own species? But then (I'm an evolutionist) this varies by degree also amongst the races - it's possible (John Baker suggested the difference between a north European and a Bushman borders on two different species - interbreeding between the two can result in offspring of one sex only (I've forgotten whether it's male or female)) that some races (e.g. Bushmen) could concievably interbreed with apes. I don't know. I don't think anyone's done studies into it either. I've seen blacks (African ones) personally who I'd consider not human simply by their skull structure.

Well - man's simply a highly evolved, superbly skilled killing animal. Think about it - chimps throw rocks at each other and we can erase entire cities at the push of a button. I don't think we need to say man is more than biological - there's no reason why the 'non-biological' (religion etc.) can't come from the biological. The fact that man is at core an animal is what keeps us going, everything else is an extension of this (in my outlook). The smarter man gets the easier it is for him to say 'there's no reason to do anything' (which there isn't, honestly). I think the idea of God is man going back to his core - his blood, his instincts, via his mind. Not all instincts are destructive either. The 'higher' (in the 'spiritual sense') man gets the more animal he becomes. The highest - that's staring at oblivion itself. Only blood, instincts. emotions, can equal man's mind and balance him on the tightrope between oblivion and animality (survive-eat-breed-die) and together that combination can push him into infinity. Our civilization, via postmodernism, is effectively staring oblivion in the face, and its leftist head is what's looking.

Well - there's the solution. Ram nihilism down their throats and watch them struggle to breathe, and take over by reviving animality to the extent it can equal the leading minds of the West. Feminism, multiculturalism - destruction of the animal that's what the white world is (is that a big problem, being honest about such things? The leftists will winge about altruism etc. but they're promoting the nihilism - shove it down their throats and tell them there's no reason to be altruistic - that's the disease. Kill the disease by making it swallow its own poison ('the way out is through') and watch it writhe in pain and fall off - we'll hit chaos for a while (dark ages anyone?) but I don't see why we can't pull out of it quickly... first we need to kill the disease.

I don't see why we can't accept nihilism anyway :D "Yes, that's exactly right. There are no reasons for anything" - "but then..." - "Why do you need a reason?"

Moody
Friday, January 9th, 2004, 05:10 PM
1.
All have agreed so far that the Human is differentiated from the Animal by the former's ability to use reason [a distinction at least as old as Aristotle, as has been mentioned].

This is probably why some Humans have entitled themselves 'homo sapiens' [i.e., thinking].

2.
However, it seems that the ancients [like Aristotle] therefore regarded only the civilised races as Human; slaves and barbarians were non-Human, sub-Human etc.,
So we must go beyond the simple 'rational' distinction.

Modern man has decided that homo sapiens, the species as a whole, are 'Human'.
This is clearly a step too far.

3.
But there is another aspect that separates Humans from non-Human animals, and that is our ability to take on Duties and to make Moral judgements.

The Human is a Moral animal.

This means that the Human has a Conscience.

So those homo sapiens who show a lack of Morality and a lack of Conscience are Sub-Human.

Using this criterion, we can exclude whole Races from the category of the Human, and we can treat them in the same way as we treat all other Animals.

Ominous Lord Spoonblade
Monday, January 12th, 2004, 02:37 AM
Well - there's the solution. Ram nihilism down their throats and watch them struggle to breathe, and take over by reviving animality to the extent it can equal the leading minds of the West. Feminism, multiculturalism - destruction of the animal that's what the white world is (is that a big problem, being honest about such things? The leftists will winge about altruism etc. but they're promoting the nihilism - shove it down their throats and tell them there's no reason to be altruistic - that's the disease. Kill the disease by making it swallow its own poison ('the way out is through') and watch it writhe in pain and fall off - we'll hit chaos for a while (dark ages anyone?) but I don't see why we can't pull out of it quickly... first we need to kill the disease.

I don't see why we can't accept nihilism anyway :D "Yes, that's exactly right. There are no reasons for anything" - "but then..." - "Why do you need a reason?"

I love the way you think :D

And promoting nihilism is not hard. You can start right from your very own home. :thumbsup

@Moody -How do you know that all animals don't have a conscience? Dogs can learn right from wrong just like people do, and react negatively when they know they have done something wrong. You could argue that it's because they are trained that way, but then again, aren't we?

IMO, our ability to have morals is not something seperating us from being animals on its own, it is something that comes with the ability to use reason. It is secondary.

I don't see any Race that ultimately lack morals -only Races that lack morals when living in a society built by another.

Jack
Monday, January 12th, 2004, 05:01 AM
1.
All have agreed so far that the Human is differentiated from the Animal by the former's ability to use reason [a distinction at least as old as Aristotle, as has been mentioned].

This is probably why some Humans have entitled themselves 'homo sapiens' [i.e., thinking].

I agree. I think it might be worth pointing out that the skull which the basis for labelling 'Homo Sapiens' was from the Caucasus region - in the original sense, only Caucasians (i.e. Europeans, Turks, Semites, some Indians) are Homo Sapiens.

2.
However, it seems that the ancients [like Aristotle] therefore regarded only the civilised races as Human; slaves and barbarians were non-Human, sub-Human etc.,
So we must go beyond the simple 'rational' distinction.

Modern man has decided that homo sapiens, the species as a whole, are 'Human'.
This is clearly a step too far.

Given that the modern idea of 'human' (aside from the rubbish moralising of the leftists) is a biological generalisation (whoever can interbreed with a 'human' is a human - a bit tautological, but it functions... slightly), I don't see this as a problem. The question remains why people recognise the fact they are capable of interbreeding with a pigmy and then place this as the core of their identity. Humanism is... rubbish.

3.
But there is another aspect that separates Humans from non-Human animals, and that is our ability to take on Duties and to make Moral judgements.

The Human is a Moral animal.

This means that the Human has a Conscience.

So those homo sapiens who show a lack of Morality and a lack of Conscience are Sub-Human.

Using this criterion, we can exclude whole Races from the category of the Human, and we can treat them in the same way as we treat all other Animals.

Leave morality out of it. There is no reason whatsoever other than our own sentimentality and collective egoism to say that our ways are better than those of others. Conscience is an evolutionary mechanism :) Like the Ominous Lord Spoonblade said, each race has its own (biologically) built-in morality.

Moody
Monday, January 12th, 2004, 03:23 PM
1.
I deliberately raised the question of morality, as there appears to be some confusion and even fear of it here.

While accepting the basic distinction of man as a rational animal, I think that advances in psychology have shown that man is also very irrational.

So the distinction of 'reason' is not enough to describe 'the Human' as opposed to the animal.

This is why I take the next step to the Moral.

2.
Now the Ominous Lord Spoonblade claims that morality is derivative of reason, and she opines that animals possess this [i.e., morality and a conscience] also.

A conscience [in Old English the word for this was 'in-wit', i.e., inner-knowledge] is a sure combination of the rational and the moral, in that our conscience tells us when we have 'done wrong', for example.

So the claim that animals have both reason and morals begs the question;
Why aren't animals afforded basic 'human rights'? [I am only thinking of the fundamental rights of life, limb and property accepted by most systems, not the liberal idea of 'human rights']
The 'animal rights' lobby claim that they should.
To be consistent, Ominous and Jack should be advocating that [I'd like to hear their response to that one!].

3.
Of course, there is another claim made by the animal rights lobby here, and that is that all hominids are rational and moral.
Are such REALLY claiming that the unconscionable and irrational African Negro is a Homo Sapien ['wise man'] and a Homo Moralis ['moral man']!

I find such claims as ridiculous as those made for animal rights!

Only the higher races can distinguish themselves from the lower [and therefore from animals] by their reason and morality.

I find either the rejection of morality [Jack] or the universalisation of morality [Ominous] to be indicative of the lower races, not the higher.

So I say that Moral Man and Rational Man are peculiarities of the Human and are exemplified by the Aryan.

p.s.;
See also man as a 'political being', man as a 'producer', man as a 'tool-maker'; notice that all these descriptions of the Human correlate with the Aryan division of the three Functions.

Jack
Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 09:26 AM
1.
I deliberately raised the question of morality, as there appears to be some confusion and even fear of it here.

While accepting the basic distinction of man as a rational animal, I think that advances in psychology have shown that man is also very irrational.

So the distinction of 'reason' is not enough to describe 'the Human' as opposed to the animal.

I agree.

This is why I take the next step to the Moral.

I disagree.

2.
Now Ominous claims that morality is derivative of reason, and she opines that animals possess this [i.e., morality and a conscience] also.

A conscience [in Old English the word for this was 'in-wit', i.e., inner-knowledge] is a sure combination of the rational and the moral, in that our conscience tells us when we have 'done wrong', for example.

Here I disagree. The rational is simply the ability to analyse - the conscience is irrational - it's simply fear (both Nietzsche and Freud covered this). There is no reason to value anything whatsoever. The Objectivists claim that man must choose to value, or not to value, his life - this is apparently his first choice. However there is no reason to value one or the other. This choice is irrational. However, if one values something, then one is capable of fear (I'll define fear as the pain of potential loss of something if that something is in danger of being presently lost.) Animals have a conscience, they just can't think ahead ;)

So the claim that animals have both reason and morals begs the question;
Why aren't animals afforded basic 'human rights'? [I am only thinking of the fundamental rights of life, limb and property accepted by most systems, not the liberal idea of 'human rights']

Actually, a 'philosopher' named Peter Singer is a campaigner for animal rights. He's even gone so far to say sex with animals is ok so long as it doesn't cause the animal pain... Besides that, animals (generally) don't work, so property rights are rather absurd. I said generally, because once again chimps provoke ant nests with sticks and birds construct nests.

The 'animal rights' lobby claim that they should.
To be consistent, Ominous and Lucifer should be advocating that [I'd like to hear their response to that one!].

As you've noticed, I haven't advocated a lot recently :)

3.
Of course, there is another claim made by the animal rights lobby here, and that is that all hominids are rational and moral.
Are such REALLY claiming that the unconscionable and irrational African Negro is a Homo Sapien ['wise man'] and a Homo Moralis ['moral man']!

'Rationalism' as a guide to life itself, without at least a single irrational decision (the decision whether to hold one's own life as highest value or not is the only thing required to life an Objectivist life, apart from living 'according to reason'), is nihilism :D Africans do indeed have consciences ;) Their consciences are thinner than whites' are (takes less to remove them) and now they're figuring out they can get away with just about anything, they live according to their nature.

I find such claims as ridiculous as those made for animal rights!

Not quite ;( As you should recall, the idea that blacks should be given life, liberty and property rights is a side effect of Ethical Socialism (Spengler wrote about it in Decline of the West). Nihilism is the only way to counter it. The 'life-liberty-property rights' idea is universally applicable. The only reason it's held to is because it is universally applicable - the West-European world has an obsession with anything universally applicable. Notice you even tried to justify Race-Nationalism because you wanted it for everyone, not just Europe.

Only the higher races can distinguish themselves from the lower [and therefore from animals] by their reason and morality.

Aye? What about the Magian Arabs, then? Are they not 'rational' and 'moral'? Whose morality? By what standard of value is it measured?

I find either the rejection of morality [Lucifer] or the universalisation of morality [Ominous] to be indicative of the lower races, not the higher.

Morality is the residue of theology. Move beyond :D

So I say that Moral Man and Rational Man are peculiarities of the Human and are exemplified by the Aryan.

Define your terms. You, most certainly, are not rational.

p.s.;
See also man as a 'political being', man as a 'producer', man as a 'tool-maker'; notice that all these descriptions of the Human correlate with the Aryan division of the three Functions.

Right :thumbup

Moody
Tuesday, January 13th, 2004, 04:57 PM
"The rational is simply the ability to analyse "

That is a narrow view of the rational.
The ability to analyse is one thing, but the ability to synthesise is another.
The word 'Man' seems to derive from the sense of 'measure' [cf., Moon, mens etc.,]; so man recognises in himself the ability to calculate, to measure and importantly, to remember.
Not only is he an anlyser, but a synthesiser; the latter is very important, as this is the root of MAN AS A SYMBOLIC BEING.
It is the ability to utilise symbology at all levels that differentiates him from the Animal.
Art and Religion are both aspects of this definition of The Human.
Therefore the trash culturalist and the atheist are Sub-Human [below-the-human].
All of this stems from the 'ratio', which includes the irrational ['law' of pro-contradiction].
Man's reason allows him to be irrational and so make those perverse discoveries that only the illogical can find. It is also the reason why man LAUGHS a lot.

"- the conscience is irrational - it's simply fear (both Nietzsche and Freud covered this)".

Reductionist; while sub-man can be tamed by fear, and a semblance of a conscience can be burned into the mind of a savage by blows and kicks, that is only a dim immitation of the real conscience that is inherited by the Aryan. That which is the child of fear is an aping of the noble conscience or in-witt which is indeed rational in the sense that I have described in the first answer.

"There is no reason to value anything whatsoever. The Objectivists claim that man must choose to value, or not to value, his life - this is apparently his first choice. However there is no reason to value one or the other. This choice is irrational. However, if one values something, then one is capable of fear (I'll define fear as the pain of potential loss of something if that something is in danger of being presently lost.) Animals have a conscience, they just can't think ahead "

Again, animals operate on flight or fight and are tutored by fear according to that strict governness Mother Nature.
However, this is NOT equivalent to the rational conscience seen developed in the Aryan, and exemplified by his moral philosophy and political systems.
Animals have nothing of this; to say that they 'only' lack a 'thinking-ahead' [literally 'Prometheus', fore-thought] is an absurdity. Thinking ahead is what DEFINES the Aryan conscience. It is the imitation conscience of the Negro animal that only thinks behind.
Beware also of attributing human qualities to animals [anthropomorphism] - we only 'think' that the Hyena is laughing..

"Actually, a 'philosopher' named Peter Singer is a campaigner for animal rights. He's even gone so far to say sex with animals is ok so long as it doesn't cause the animal pain... Besides that, animals (generally) don't work, so property rights are rather absurd. I said generally, because once again chimps provoke ant nests with sticks and birds construct nests".

Well, as you and Ominous are suggesting that humans are animals, I am still awaiting your arguments on the accession of equal rights between animals and humans.

"The 'life-liberty-property rights' idea is universally applicable. The only reason it's held to is because it is universally applicable - the West-European world has an obsession with anything universally applicable. Notice you even tried to justify Race-Nationalism because you wanted it for everyone, not just Europe".

Confusion; you are claiming a universality by saying human=animals; I am saying the opposite.
As to race-nationalism [and you have brought in a red-herring as usual], I am not saying that Negroes aren't a Race! Clearly they are a Race, and if they have nations, then they can have a kind of racial nationalism [albeit peculiar to their race].
I am saying that they are not Human in the way that the Aryan Race is.
Because they lack Reason and they lack Morality.

"What about the Magian Arabs, then? Are they not 'rational' and 'moral'? Whose morality? By what standard of value is it measured?"

Morality is not in itself a standard; it is adherence to a particuliar/peculiar code of behaviour which is inherited.
I have also described reason above.
So other Races can be attributed with these gifts, although I would say that the Aryan is the examplar, and I even suspect that the existence of such qualities in other races is due to ancient dispersal of Aryan genes among some members of other races.
Aryan man IS the measurer; he is the Aristotle or the Newton of the Human.

"Morality is the residue of theology. Move [i]beyond".

Narrow again; you yourself have talked of objectivist morality [although you used the word 'ethics' instead!].
I have defined morality in a non-theological way already - it is not dependent on the theological.
It is you who RUN AWAY from the moral issues every time!
Finally, I'd posit a hierarchy;

Gods
Demigods
Superhumans
Aryans
Persons
Humans
Subhumans
Animals.

Jack
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 04:12 AM
Jack; "The rational is simply the ability to analyse "

Moody; That is a narrow view of the rational.
The ability to analyse is one thing, but the ability to synthesise is another.

How are they different?

The word 'Man' seems to derive from the sense of 'measure' [cf., Moon, mens etc.,]; so man recognises in himself the ability to calculate, to measure and importantly, to remember.

Chimps can do this.

Not only is he an anlyser, but a synthesiser; the latter is very important, as this is the root of MAN AS A SYMBOLIC BEING.

You're going to have to explain this ("Man as a symbolic being") a bit.

It is the ability to utilise symbology at all levels that differentiates him from the Animal.

Symbols? Like what? Birds can cheep, that's good enough.

Art and Religion are both aspects of this definition of The Human.

A birds nest could be considered Art. Religion encompasses man's recognition of the inevitability of nothingness, i.e. death.

Therefore the trash culturalist and the atheist are Sub-Human.

I reject your arbitrary decision over what is 'trash' and what isn't.

All of this stems from the 'ratio', which includes the irrational ['law' of pro-contradiction].

I disagree.

Man's reason allows him to be irrational and so make those perverse discoveries that only the illogical can find. It is also the reason why man LAUGHS a lot.

Man has the ability to reason. Doesn't mean he always does.

Jack; "- the conscience is irrational - it's simply fear (both Nietzsche and Freud covered this)".

Moody; Reductionist; while sub-man can be tamed by fear, and a semblance of a conscience can be burned into the mind of a savage by blows and kicks, that is only a dim immitation of the real conscience that is inherited by the Aryan. That which is the child of fear is an aping of the noble conscience or in-witt which is indeed rational in the sense that I have described in the first answer.

This 'Aryan conscience' is not a conscience at all. It is a natural tendency, and it only exists in a handful of individuals.

Jack; "There is no reason to value anything whatsoever. The Objectivists claim that man must choose to value, or not to value, his life - this is apparently his first choice. However there is no reason to value one or the other. This choice is irrational. However, if one values something, then one is capable of fear (I'll define fear as the pain of potential loss of something if that something is in danger of being presently lost.) Animals have a conscience, they just can't think ahead "

Moody; Again, animals operate on flight or fight and are tutored by fear according to that strict governness Mother Nature.

Animals operate on whatever is going to maximise their genes to the highest possible extent.

However, this is NOT equivalent to the rational conscience seen developed in the Aryan, and exemplified by his moral philosophy and political systems.

Classical liberalism, anarchism, republicanism, constitutions, the rule of law - those are European political and moral systems.

Animals have nothing of this; to say that they 'only' lack a 'thinking-ahead' [literally 'Prometheus', fore-thought] is an absurdity. Thinking ahead is what DEFINES the Aryan conscience. It is the imitation conscience of the Negro animal that only thinks behind.

Jews are perfectly capable of thinking ahead, so are East Asians, and Arabs.

Beware also of attributing human qualities to animals [anthropomorphism] - we only 'think' that the Hyena is laughing..

If you want to go down that road, is the ding an sich unknowable? If so, why am I talking to you, or you to me? Are you even there, or vice versa? Are we not merely operating off our sense impressions?

Jack; "Actually, a 'philosopher' named Peter Singer is a campaigner for animal rights. He's even gone so far to say sex with animals is ok so long as it doesn't cause the animal pain... Besides that, animals (generally) don't work, so property rights are rather absurd. I said generally, because once again chimps provoke ant nests with sticks and birds construct nests".

Moody; Well, as you and Ominous are suggesting that humans are animals, I am still awaiting your arguments on the accession of equal rights between animals and humans.

Arbitrary decision on our behalf.

Jack; "The 'life-liberty-property rights' idea is universally applicable. The only reason it's held to is because it is universally applicable - the West-European world has an obsession with anything universally applicable. Notice you even tried to justify Race-Nationalism because you wanted it for everyone, not just Europe".

Moody; Confusion; you are claiming a universality by saying human=animals; I am saying the opposite.

All humans are animals, not all animals are humans.

As to race-nationalism [and you have brought in a red-herring as usual], I am not saying that Negroes aren't a Race! Clearly they are a Race, and if they have nations, then they can have a kind of racial nationalism [albeit peculiar to their race].

No objections.

I am saying that they are not Human in the way that the Aryan Race is.

There is no Aryan Race.

Because they lack Reason and they lack Morality.

Define 'morality'.

Jack; "What about the Magian Arabs, then? Are they not 'rational' and 'moral'? Whose morality? By what standard of value is it measured?"

Moody; Morality is not in itself a standard; it is adherence to a particuliar/peculiar code of behaviour which is inherited.

Then the Arabs are most certainly moral. You are judging them by your standards, not theirs.

I have also described reason above.

Ok.

So other Races can be attributed with these gifts, although I would say that the Aryan is the examplar,

Why?

and I even suspect that the existence of such qualities in other races is due to ancient dispersal of Aryan genes among some members of other races.
Aryan man IS the measurer; he is the Aristotle or the Newton of the Human.

[quote]Jack; "Morality is the residue of theology. Move [i]beyond".

Moody; Narrow again; you yourself have talked of objectivist morality [although you used the word 'ethics' instead!].

Ethics is conduct in relation to an environment. Morality is a priori behavioural restrictions. I don't believe in morality.

I have defined morality in a non-theological way already - it is not dependent on the theological.

You have not defined morality.

It is you who RUN AWAY from the moral issues every time!

Because I don't believe in morality?

Finally, I'd posit a hierarchy;

And I'd posit some comments in relation to this hierarchy.

Gods

Rubbish.

Demigods

Rubbish.

Superhumans

Define superhumans.

Aryans

Non existent.

Persons

How are persons different from humans?

Humans

Human is human. It includes persons, 'Aryans', children, etc.

Subhumans

Arbitrary.

Animals.

All encompassing.

Moody
Wednesday, January 14th, 2004, 04:30 PM
"How are humans and animals different?
Chimps can measure, calculate, remember.
Symbols? Like what? Birds can cheep, that's good enough.
A birds nest could be considered Art".

Aryans have given the world science, technology, philosophy, profound mythologies and art.
To compare the grunting of chimps and the cheeping of bird's etc., with the High Culture of the Aryan displays itself the difference between the Human and the Animal.

So the ground we have covered so far is pretty firm.
The Human is the Reasoner/Thinker/Creator.
The Human is the Maker/Symboliser.
See how reason and creativity are linked and give us this broad basis for the Human.
The Human is also the creator of the Moral/Ethical/Political
The Aryan is the Leading Edge of this reasoning creativity; from him does all High Culture flourish.

That is roughly the position established thus far, but before we go further, my opponents have STILL NOT substantiated their main objection.
They say in effect [discarding all the dressing-up] that the Human is just an animal. Jack says of the category 'Animal' as applied to hominids that it is;
"All encompassing".
So why Oh why cannot Jack or Ominous or anyone else tell me why animals do not enjoy the same rights as their fellow animals?
Why do those animals of the feather-less biped variety make a complete exception for themselves when it comes to the most basic of rights?
We have had some calling for the extension of rights to all animals [this is surely Jack's "all encompassing"], so why won't those who say that we are all merely animals MAKE THAT CASE?
Could there be a flaw in the very foundation of their argument?
Do they have an argument at all?
If the chirping of birds and the grunting of chimps is equivalent to Human Creativity and Science, then why not accord these animals rights?
Why do the animalists run away from THEIR OWN LOGIC?

Is it not rather the case that those who claim "we" are all animals REALLY mean that they themselves are sub-human - I ask this in all sincerity, as I find something very animalistic about Multiculturalism/pop culture/Negritude etc.,

I do implore the animalists to answer me here, only then can we go on.

Jack
Saturday, January 17th, 2004, 03:41 AM
Jack; "How are humans and animals different?
Chimps can measure, calculate, remember.
Symbols? Like what? Birds can cheep, that's good enough.
A birds nest could be considered Art".

Moody; Aryans have given the world science, technology, philosophy, profound mythologies and art.

Moody, what is the purpose of art?

I do not believe in an 'Aryan Race'. I'm more than willing to accept aristocratic castes, but the idea of an 'Aryan Race' has been thoroughly abused. I simply don't use the term anymore. It is unapplicable to the West and Europe, unless we're talking in terms of the (remaining) Aristocracy. To use Spenglerian terms, the popular character of the West is aimed at infinite space, there's a world of difference between our Culture and the Indian Culture of Nobility.

To compare the grunting of chimps and the cheeping of bird's etc., with the High Culture of the Aryan displays itself the difference between the Human and the Animal.

My point is that they are of the same kind, but of a different degree (and that depends on what standard you're judging from, and who you are).

So the ground we have covered so far is pretty firm.
The Human is the Reasoner/Thinker/Creator.
The Human is the Maker/Symboliser.
See how reason and creativity are linked and give us this broad basis for the Human.
The Human is also the creator of the Moral/Ethical/Political
The Aryan is the Leading Edge of this reasoning creativity; from him does all High Culture flourish.

Are the Japanese Aryans?

That is roughly the position established thus far, but before we go further, my opponents have STILL NOT substantiated their main objection.
They say in effect [discarding all the dressing-up] that the Human is just an animal. Jack says of the category 'Animal' as applied to hominids that it is;"All encompassing".
So why Oh why cannot Jack or Ominous or anyone else tell me why animals do not enjoy the same rights as their fellow animals?

Because we wield the power to hold back any granting of 'rights' to other creatures. The difference between animals and ourselves is subjectively observed degree, not kind. That is my point. Any 'line' seperating man from animal is necessarily arbitrary and cannot be justified.

Why do those animals of the feather-less biped variety make a complete exception for themselves when it comes to the most basic of rights?

Arbitrary decision on our behalf.

We have had some calling for the extension of rights to all animals [this is surely Jack's "all encompassing"], so why won't those who say that we are all merely animals MAKE THAT CASE?

Because animals don't have rights ;)

Could there be a flaw in the very foundation of their argument?

My argument and that of Ominous's could well be different.

Do they have an argument at all?
If the chirping of birds and the grunting of chimps is equivalent to Human Creativity and Science, then why not accord these animals rights?
Why do the animalists run away from THEIR OWN LOGIC?

What makes you think I'm running away from my own logic?

Is it not rather the case that those who claim "we" are all animals REALLY mean that they themselves are sub-human - I ask this in all sincerity, as I find something very animalistic about Multiculturalism/pop culture/Negritude etc.,

No, this isn't the case. You find 'something' subhuman with what I prefer as regards culture, that's fine by me - I don't share your standards, I have my own. We were quite plainly born in different eras, and the age gap and the effects of it in cultural taste is, as you've observed, somewhat immense. We are two different people.

I do implore the animalists to answer me here, only then can we go on.

Objective nihilism.

Moody
Saturday, January 17th, 2004, 03:08 PM
1.
Let's look at a typical fallacy you supplied a couple of posts back.
You said;

"Humans are animals, but animals are not human".

First let's distance it from the Human;

'Horses are animals, but animals are not horses'.

The statement's absurdity shines forth.
If we abstract it;

'H are A, but A are not H'.

A contradiction, or rather a pseudo-contradiction.
It is actually just poor reasoning.
Thus;

A is B: B is not A.

So what is wrong?

Well, we must realise that sentences are often abbreviated statements.
'Humans are animals' is actually short-hand for;
'Humans are (a sub-set of the class known as) animals'.

This makes things clearer; we usually leave out the part in brackets because we assume that much is understood.
Now it becomes much easier to transpose the sentence and remain coherent;

'Animals are (the class that contains the subset) humans'.

Therefore your stance REMAINS; Humans are Animals.

2.
Now to take some of your questions;

"what is the purpose of Art?"

Remaining on-topic, I can give a partial answer; art serves the purpose of distinguishing the Human from the Animal.

"Are the Japanese Aryans?"

No, but the Samurai culture was Noble.

"Because we wield the power to hold back any granting of 'rights' to other creatures".

To say 'hold back' implies that we are depriving them!
Animals do not have rights.
As far as Humans are concerned, we may have Duties towards Animals, but that does give Animals rights.
Therefore Animals are not, like us, Moral Beings.
If Animals had rights, then they would be punished for murder, for example. Aren't our prisons over-crowded enough as it is?

3.
So my distinction remains proved.
Not only is the Human a Rational Being, he is also a Moral Being.

THIS IS A DIFFERENCE IN KIND.

There is nothing 'arbitrary' here; you have fallen prey to relativism.

"We were quite plainly born in different eras, and the age gap and the effects of it in cultural taste is, as you've observed, somewhat immense".

I may be older then you, but we are of the same era. My love for writers and musicians of past centuries has nothing to do with my own life-span. It is particularly shallow to think that you can only appreciate the art of your own life-time.
I have enjoyed JS Bach since my early school years.

Indeed, as Nietzsche said, I think it wise to put at least three centuries between ourselves and our cultural taste.

Jack
Sunday, January 18th, 2004, 11:10 PM
1.
Let's look at a typical fallacy you supplied a couple of posts back.
You said;

"Humans are animals, but animals are not human".

First let's distance it from the Human;

'Horses are animals, but animals are not horses'.

The statement's absurdity shines forth.
If we abstract it;

'H are A, but A are not H'.

A contradiction, or rather a pseudo-contradiction.

Pseudo-contradiction, yes.

It is actually just poor reasoning.

I disagree.



Therefore your stance REMAINS; Humans are Animals.

I know.

2.
Now to take some of your questions;

Jack; "what is the purpose of Art?"

Moody; Remaining on-topic, I can give a partial answer; art serves the purpose of distinguishing the Human from the Animal.

That could be sene as a side effect. Let's move slightly off topic. What is art for?

Jack; "Are the Japanese Aryans?"

Moody; No, but the Samurai culture was Noble.

The Japanese satisfy all that you have mentioned so far as 'Aryan'.

Jack; "Because we wield the power to hold back any granting of 'rights' to other creatures".

Moody; To say 'hold back' implies that we are depriving them!

It wasn't theirs in the first place, it's a privelige granted, and we have not granted it. That we can grant said privelige is evidence we have a lot of power and they have a lot less.

Animals do not have rights.

That's right.

As far as Humans are concerned, we may have Duties towards Animals, but that does give Animals rights.
Therefore Animals are not, like us, Moral Beings.

We don't have 'duties' towards animals. That's sentimentalism formalised.

If Animals had rights, then they would be punished for murder, for example. Aren't our prisons over-crowded enough as it is?

Wolves eat sheep. We simply kill them.

3.
So my distinction remains proved.
Not only is the Human a Rational Being, he is also a Moral Being.

THIS IS A DIFFERENCE IN KIND.

There is nothing 'arbitrary' here; you have fallen prey to relativism.

I do not believe it's a difference in kind. It is a difference in degree.

Jack; "We were quite plainly born in different eras, and the age gap and the effects of it in cultural taste is, as you've observed, somewhat immense".

Moody; I may be older then you, but we are of the same era. My love for writers and musicians of past centuries has nothing to do with my own life-span. It is particularly shallow to think that you can only appreciate the art of your own life-time.
I have enjoyed JS Bach since my early school years.

Great for you. I like keep connected with my own generation and with my own existence, here and now. Not to suggest you don't, no sarcasm intended.

Indeed, as Nietzsche said, I think it wise to put at least three centuries between ourselves and our cultural taste.

Nietzsche and I disagree.

Moody
Monday, January 19th, 2004, 04:57 PM
"Let's move slightly off topic. What is art for?"

That would be better discussed on the Art forum.
For the purpose of this thread, Art serves to illustrate the difference in kind between the Animal and the Human.
So as to not avoid your question, I would say that Art itself is not a 'utility', but rather the goal toward which the Human strives in order to become more human - superhuman if you will.
Art is deeply contradictory.

"The Japanese satisfy all that you have mentioned so far as 'Aryan'".

Apart from a cultural/racial specificity; hence the distinction.

"We don't have 'duties' towards animals".

That we behave as if we do, shows that we are Moral Beings, while Animals are not.

"I do not believe it's a difference in kind. It is a difference in degree".

Irrational belief on your part.
If out of all the numerous supposed animal species on earth, ONLY MAN is a rational and moral being, then man is exceptional.
That is an exception to such a tremendous degree that it can only be considered a difference in kind.
It could only be a difference of degree if there were many other rational/moral species of animals - there are not.
The Human is UNIQUE - ergo, he is different IN KIND.

Jack
Tuesday, January 20th, 2004, 03:42 AM
Jack; "Let's move slightly off topic. What is art for?"

Moody; That would be better discussed on the Art forum.

Possibly. I think it links in strongly with psychology, and philosophy was supposed to encompass all the fields of human knowledge (once upon a time...)

For the purpose of this thread, Art serves to illustrate the difference in kind between the Animal and the Human.

I don't believe there's a difference in kind, but a difference in degree. A large difference, yes, but then that depends on where you draw the line between human and non-human animal.

So as to not avoid your question, I would say that Art itself is not a 'utility', but rather the goal toward which the Human strives in order to become more human - superhuman if you will.

Ok.

Art is deeply contradictory.

We disagree, but our disagreement over whether or not you are right here irrelevant to this discussion.

Jack; "The Japanese satisfy all that you have mentioned so far as 'Aryan'".

Moody; Apart from a cultural/racial specificity; hence the distinction.

Yockey suggested the Aztec, Mayan, Egyptian and Chinese Cultures were founded by Aryans. What do you think of that idea?

Jack; "We don't have 'duties' towards animals".

Moody; That we behave as if we do, shows that we are Moral Beings, while Animals are not.

Wolves look after their kin. They fight and die for their pack, they feed their long, they follow the leaders of the pack, and care for their kin communally - on what grounds do you say there is no 'morality'? If being morally human means being kind, one could point in the direction of Apartheid in old South Africa and ask where the morality was.

Jack; "I do not believe it's a difference in kind. It is a difference in degree".

Moody; Irrational belief on your part.

Quite rational. Animals look after their kin, fight and die for their young, feed each other, vampire bats are known to share blood with other vampire bats they've never seen before. Varieties of apes are well capable of analysing situations and using tools to achieve objectives (e.g. get a stick, provoke an ants nest, eat), arctic wolves are well known for group combat and organisation. Meer cats surrender their lives so their kin may survive. Birds are known for grooming themselves, constructing nests, in order to render themselves attractive, wolves howl in common to bring together group strength - no, it isn't irrational. There is no fundamental difference between humans an animals. We are animals, highly developed ones, but there is no fundamental difference.

If out of all the numerous supposed animal species on earth, ONLY MAN is a rational and moral being, then man is exceptional.

Your premise is wrong. Man is not the only rational and moral being.

That is an exception to such a tremendous degree that it can only be considered a difference in kind.

I strongly disagree.

It could only be a difference of degree if there were many other rational/moral species of animals - there are not.

Oh, there certainly are.

The Human is UNIQUE - ergo, he is different IN KIND.

This is the arrogance humans are capable of. We are not unique, we are different by degree.

Aethrei
Tuesday, January 20th, 2004, 01:43 PM
I mean, in short, 'what is Human?'
>Here we have the nub of our question: what separates the Human from the Animal?
Only when we have dwelt on this can we begin to look at the concept Race, let alone the idea of the Super-Human.

Nice question. A short answer from the perspective of Heidegger would be to say that the realm/notion of "uncanniness" separates the Human from the Animal.
Cannot think of anything else right away.

I also think Humans are different from Animals in their fragility than the opinion which has it otherwise. Humans snapping has a possibility of poetic madness, something animals don't have or do not show. At the worst, we can only speak of raging bulls haha...

Moody
Wednesday, January 21st, 2004, 06:27 PM
"I don't believe there's a difference in kind [between man and animals], but a difference in degree. A large difference, yes, but then that depends on where you draw the line between human and non-human animal".

As I said, a UNIQUE difference is enough to qualify for a difference of 'kind'. Aristotle hit the nail on the head when he called animals 'alogon'.
Now that is 'a-', negative prefix, and 'logos', meaning BOTH language and reasoning.
Animals are without speech/reasoning.
Man is unique in his use of language which in itself points to his rationality; from this reasoning/languistic ability stems his morality, his arts his science and his philosophy. From this 'logos' does he create civilisations and voyage beyond the stars.
Compare this to the alogon animals; this can ONLY be a difference of KIND.

"Yockey suggested the Aztec, Mayan, Egyptian and Chinese Cultures were founded by Aryans. What do you think of that idea?"

There is some evidence for this, most certainly.

"Wolves look after their kin. They fight and die for their pack, they feed their long, they follow the leaders of the pack, and care for their kin communally - on what grounds do you say there is no 'morality'?"

You are describing instinctive behaviour, not morality.
Morality begins with SELF-REFLECTION; this is unique to the Human.

"If being morally human means being kind, one could point in the direction of Apartheid in old South Africa and ask where the morality was".

'Kind'? - I never used the word in that way.
Morality is expressed in Law, so that Aparthood was an expression of morality. As we see, the Negro is not a moral being and is unable to operate if he is treated as a moral being, any more than any other animal could.

"Animals look after their kin, fight and die for their young, feed each other, etc., etc.
There is no fundamental difference between humans an animals. We are animals, highly developed ones, but there is no fundamental difference".

As I have shown, Humans are UNIQUELY rational [all the things you list of animals are only instinctual].
We do not only have beliefs, we are able to give REASONS for them.
As I have said, we can express our rationality in words, so much so that we inhabit a Human world that is very different from that of animals.
We are able also to think ahead and PLAN, as well as dwell on the past and create history. Whereas animals are fully in the present and proceed only upon instinct.
Most of all we are able to REFLECT ON THE SELF.
That 'I' which Descartes' 'cogito' reflected upon; THAT makes us uniquely Human and different from animals in kind.
Man is a moral being by dint of that rational reflectivity.
He is able to distinguish between Perfect Duties and Imperfect Duties, for example; between Legality and Morality.
Only Man can do this.
Just as Man has a unique Aesthetic Sense, so he too has a unique Moral Sense.
He realises that there are MORAL QUALITIES. So, while being Negroid may be a physical quality, being a Slave is a moral quality.
To take the following list from Scruton's 'Modern Philosophy' of differences between animals and Humans;
1) Animals have desires but they do not make choices.
2) Animals have consciousness, but no self-consciousness.
3) Animals relate to one another, but not as persons.
4) In general animals do not have rights and duties.
5) Animals lack the aesthetic sense.
6) The passions of animals are circumscribed - to a great extent, their emotional limitations are explained by their intellectual limitations.
7) Animals are humourless.
8) Animals lack speech.

Jack
Wednesday, January 21st, 2004, 08:42 PM
We do not only have beliefs, we are able to give REASONS for them.

No, humans certainly cannot give reasons for anything they do. Why do you value your life Moody?

We are able also to think ahead and PLAN, as well as dwell on the past and create history.

Arctic wolves are known for organising, spanning themselves out over a few miles, all to take down a musk ox.

Whereas animals are fully in the present and proceed only upon instinct.

Humans can't proceed on anything else but instinct. 'Reason' (analysis) is something we've evolved, and if we consider it to be intelligence, then a lot of other animals have it to some degree or another too.

1) Animals have desires but they do not make choices.

Prove it.

2) Animals have consciousness, but no self-consciousness.

Beat a dog often enough and it'll have self-conscious fear every time you walk past it. I believe humans different in degree, not kind, to animals.

3) Animals relate to one another, but not as persons.

What exactly does this mean? The command/obedience structure is strong in some groups of monkeys.

4) In general animals do not have rights and duties.

Neither do a lot of humans. Besides that, if a wolf in a pack makes his surrender known during a fight, he is spared. 'Rights of the captives'?

5) Animals lack the aesthetic sense.

And what exactly is that? Peacocks go after those amongst them with the most attractive tails.

6) The passions of animals are circumscribed - to a great extent, their emotional limitations are explained by their intellectual limitations.

I have no objections here. Likewise often the most tragic of individuals are far more intelligent than a human retard 'Intellectual limitations'. Where is the line drawn?

7) Animals are humourless.

I can agree with this.

8) Animals lack speech.

Dolphins, whales, wolves, dogs, etc. can communicate to each other to a degree. The human ability to do so is only far more extended. Various types of apes have been taught sign language.

Moody
Thursday, January 22nd, 2004, 04:27 PM
"No, humans certainly cannot give reasons for anything they do. Why do you value your life Moody?"

The ability to ask questions is a part of reasoning. I value my life because I am able to envisage POSSIBILITIES.

"Arctic wolves are known for organising, spanning themselves out over a few miles, all to take down a musk ox".

Yes but they are completely at the mercy of their enviroment. Man is able to CHANGE his enviroment to suit himself; that is because of his unique reasoning capabilities.

"Humans can't proceed on anything else but instinct. 'Reason' (analysis) is something we've evolved, and if we consider it to be intelligence, then a lot of other animals have it to some degree or another too".

As I have said, reason does not = analysis; the latter is just a small part of reason.
Man was able to reason from the beginning.
Our creation of laws, for example, shows that we are able to get above instinct.
Laws are an expression of our moral sense.
Quite clearly, you refuse to give moral rights and duties to animals pointing to this difference in kind between humans and animals.

"Beat a dog often enough and it'll have self-conscious fear every time you walk past it. I believe humans different in degree, not kind, to animals".

You yourself have described fear as IRRATIONAL.
I prefer to call fear non-rational or pre-rational.
Clearly, if you try to bring up a rational being by beating it you will be regarded as a criminal; not only that, rational beings tend to REBEL when you treat them in that way.
Rebellion is another feature of Human self-consciousness [ever head of a herd of sheep rebelling?]

"The command/obedience structure is strong in some groups of monkeys".

There is a pecking order amongst animals, but it is purely instinctual; it is NOT the result of self-reflection.

"Besides that, if a wolf in a pack makes his surrender known during a fight, he is spared. 'Rights of the captives'? "

Try living as a wolf - then you might appreciate the tremendous difference in kind [are you aware what 'kind' means in this context?] between Human society and wolf packs.
Again, the behaviour of such animals is instinctual and cannot be compared to Human Legal systems in all their uniqueness, variety and complexity.

"Peacocks go after those amongst them with the most attractive tails".

And so do birds peck the brightest flowers - are flowers then artists too? Are we similar to plants as well!?
No, you are now anthropmorphising; you are PROJECTING onto the animal world an aesthetic/moral/intellectual world THAT ISN'T THERE!
Just use Occam's razor and see that it isn't NECESSARY to pretend that animals are intellectual/moralising artists.

"Where is the line drawn?"

At the unified base line of reason/morality/self-reflection [Greeks had a word for it, 'logos'].

"Dolphins, whales, wolves, dogs, etc. can communicate to each other to a degree. The human ability to do so is only far more extended. Various types of apes have been taught sign language".

The latter experiment is just an imposition on apes by human scientists, not an example of animal nature. Whether the apes really are SPEAKING with signs in the sense of human speech is hotly disputed.
One ape-loving scientist [a woman] said that apes should have Human rights/duties afforded them - do you agree?
The sound waves used by the animals you mention are not used in the way that we use speech and writing. It is not used to reason but merely to navigate their way around their instinctual world.
Compare that to Human sign-language used by deaf-mutes - even the latter goes beyond these animal sonars.
Remember, BIRDS DO NOT SING!

Jack
Thursday, January 22nd, 2004, 11:22 PM
Jack; "No, humans certainly cannot give reasons for anything they do. Why do you value your life Moody?"

Moody; The ability to ask questions is a part of reasoning. I value my life because I am able to envisage POSSIBILITIES.

Why are possibilites important Moody?

Jack; "Arctic wolves are known for organising, spanning themselves out over a few miles, all to take down a musk ox".

Moody; Yes but they are completely at the mercy of their enviroment. Man is able to CHANGE his enviroment to suit himself; that is because of his unique reasoning capabilities.

Rabbits can construct holes in the ground to hide in, and birds build nests.

Jack; "Humans can't proceed on anything else but instinct. 'Reason' (analysis) is something we've evolved, and if we consider it to be intelligence, then a lot of other animals have it to some degree or another too".

Moody; As I have said, reason does not = analysis; the latter is just a small part of reason.
Man was able to reason from the beginning.
Our creation of laws, for example, shows that we are able to get above instinct.

Laws are the codified evaluations of those who wield power.

Laws are an expression of our moral sense.

Certainly not.

Quite clearly, you refuse to give moral rights and duties to animals pointing to this difference in kind between humans and animals.

No, I'm not. There is no difference in kind between humans and animals. As you've observed, I have no reason to deny them moral rights. Why should I grant them, Moody?

Jack; "Beat a dog often enough and it'll have self-conscious fear every time you walk past it. I believe humans different in degree, not kind, to animals".

Moody; You yourself have described fear as IRRATIONAL.
I prefer to call fear non-rational or pre-rational.

Fine.

Clearly, if you try to bring up a rational being by beating it you will be regarded as a criminal; not only that, rational beings tend to REBEL when you treat them in that way.

Blacks didn't regard whites as criminals in Apartheid until Communists started whispering in their ears.

Rebellion is another feature of Human self-consciousness [ever head of a herd of sheep rebelling?]



Jack; "The command/obedience structure is strong in some groups of monkeys".

Moody; There is a pecking order amongst animals, but it is purely instinctual; it is NOT the result of self-reflection.

How do you know that self reflection is not a factor in the development of hierarchy in wolf packs or bands of apes?

Jack; "Besides that, if a wolf in a pack makes his surrender known during a fight, he is spared. 'Rights of the captives'? "

Moody; Try living as a wolf - then you might appreciate the tremendous difference in kind [are you aware what 'kind' means in this context?] between Human society and wolf packs.
Again, the behaviour of such animals is instinctual and cannot be compared to Human Legal systems in all their uniqueness, variety and complexity.

I'm incapable of being a wolf, so I can't answer for that. If I wanted to 'live like a wolf' I'd go join a street gang. Protection and obedience, rewards and fear, respect and resentment - yes, human power systems can certainly be compared to the various power systems of animals. We're just smarter at it than they are.

Jack; "Peacocks go after those amongst them with the most attractive tails".

Moody; And so do birds peck the brightest flowers - are flowers then artists too? Are we similar to plants as well!?
No, you are now anthropmorphising; you are PROJECTING onto the animal world an aesthetic/moral/intellectual world THAT ISN'T THERE!

Or maybe 'aesthetic/moral' isn't there.

Just use Occam's razor and see that it isn't NECESSARY to pretend that animals are intellectual/moralising artists.

How so?

Jack; "Where is the line drawn?"

Moody; At the unified base line of reason/morality/self-reflection [Greeks had a word for it, 'logos'].

I don't think this line exists.

Jack; "Dolphins, whales, wolves, dogs, etc. can communicate to each other to a degree. The human ability to do so is only far more extended. Various types of apes have been taught sign language".

Moody; The latter experiment is just an imposition on apes by human scientists, not an example of animal nature. Whether the apes really are SPEAKING with signs in the sense of human speech is hotly disputed.
One ape-loving scientist [a woman] said that apes should have Human rights/duties afforded them - do you agree?

No.

The sound waves used by the animals you mention are not used in the way that we use speech and writing. It is not used to reason but merely to navigate their way around their instinctual world.

Oh? Wolves and wild dogs howling and barking at each other to coordinate the attacks of the pack, smells etc are NOT forms of communication?

Compare that to Human sign-language used by deaf-mutes - even the latter goes beyond these animal sonars.

I never denied it went 'beyond'. We're different from other animals in degree, not kind. We can reason, so can they - we're better at it. We have 'morals', so do they - ours are more developed (that's debatable...). We have a sense of what we find aesthetically appealing, and so do they (i.e. bright peacock feathers) - ours is different.

Moody
Friday, January 23rd, 2004, 04:47 PM
"Why are possibilites important Moody?"

To ask 'why?' is to enquire after possibilities.
Humans are unique in being protean creatures who can change their enviroment and themselves; they are not prey to the brute facts of Nature.
Humans are able to think creatively and make plans, projects etc.,
This is the Faustian, the Promethean.
It is important because the Human is Ascending, Affirming and Exploratory.
In order to be 'what one is', one must affirm's one's nature; and Human Nature is a constant quest.
Human life is a kind of pilgrimage, a constant searching for the Graal.
You will no doubt keep asking 'Why?' - fine; as I have said, the asking of QUEST-IONS is itself a search for possiblities.
Why do you ask 'why?'

"Rabbits can construct holes in the ground to hide in, and birds build nests".

And insects build nests too, and trees have leaves, and bacteria live in hosts etc.,
However, the Human is different IN KIND to animals, insects, plants, bacteria etc., The Human is not beholden - as is the animal - to the purely instinctive hard-wired instructions of Nature.
The Human can step outside of the instinctual and create anew - in a RATIONAL WAY.
This is UNIQUE to the Human.
Consult a dictionary for the meaning of 'kind' in this context, and you will find that your argument is idiotic.

"Laws are the codified evaluations of those who wield power".

Making a particularly definition of a thing does not define it away.
Fact is that Humans arrive at rational codifications which transcend the instinctual instructions that animals obey.
Humans have a moral sense, just as they have an aesthetic sense. In the latter case they formulate standards of taste, just as in the former they create laws and ethical/moral standards.

"There is no difference in kind between humans and animals...
Why should I grant animals rights?"

To be consistent and so avoid contradiction.
If there is no difference then animals and humans should all exist under the same kingdom of rights and duties.
If you deny this, then you make a DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANIMALS AND HUMANS IN KIND.

"How do you know that self reflection is not a factor in the development of hierarchy in wolf packs or bands of apes?"

There is no evidence for it, nor is there any NEED to posit it.
Pack behaviour amongst animals is explicable by instinct; there is no evidence of rational reflection.
To say that there is, is pure anthropomorphising [itself a result of Human reason].

"I'm incapable of being a wolf, so I can't answer for that. If I wanted to 'live like a wolf' I'd go join a street gang. Protection and obedience, rewards and fear, respect and resentment - yes, human power systems can certainly be compared to the various power systems of animals. We're just smarter at it than they are".

Such street gangs are subhuman. If your only criterion of the Human is the Subhuman, then no wonder that you see no difference between the Human and the Animal.
Look at the highest achievements in art, architecture, music, sculpture, poetry, literature, science, technology, politics, philosophy ... all these are DIFFERENCES IN KIND, because NOTHING OF THEIR KIND is to be found in the animal/insect/plant WORLD!
That the aesthestic sense and the moral sense EXISTS is shown by EVIDENCE. Art and Law [which have no parallel with the animal world] are the evidence in itself.

"Oh? Wolves and wild dogs howling and barking at each other to coordinate the attacks of the pack, smells etc are NOT forms of communication?"

They are not RATIONAL communication!
As I have said, the flower 'attracts' the bird - this is NOT akin to HUMAN communication - it is different in ... kind.

"I never denied it went 'beyond'. We're different from other animals in degree, not kind. We can reason, so can they - we're better at it. We have 'morals', so do they - ours are more developed (that's debatable...). We have a sense of what we find aesthetically appealing, and so do they (i.e. bright peacock feathers) - ours is different".

By now you should have looked up the word 'kind', so I won't labour the point overly.
The rationality and morality you claim to see in animals, plants etc., are PROJECTED there by you. There is no reason to suppose that animals are acting by anything OTHER than instinct - it is not NECESSARY to impose rationality and morality where it isn't.
Instinct alone explains what we see in animals.
In Humans we have to go to another KIND of explanation; in Humans the LOGOS operates; that's why man creates BEYOND HIMSELF.
In that he is UNIQUE. His ability to reason about his reasoning IS PECULIAR TO THE HUMAN.

Krautwurst
Friday, January 23rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
The human is an animal.

What is it then that distinguishes us from the animal?

We are animals too. We are supposed to be the top of the food chain.

Our difference with animals is that we have the ability to think and reason.

Our greatest difference is that we are the only animals that we know of our coming death. This is what makes us unique in nature.

Other animals too know of thier coming death. Why do so many animals have automatic reactions to events which may lead to death?

Jack
Wednesday, January 28th, 2004, 12:28 AM
Jack; "Why are possibilites important Moody?"

Moody; To ask 'why?' is to enquire after possibilities.

That's right. I'm asking why, because I do not live for possibilities, but possibilities as means towards ends.

Humans are unique in being protean creatures who can change their enviroment and themselves; they are not prey to the brute facts of Nature.

Birds can build nests, beavers build dams - humans are not the only beings who can alter the environment to their advantage.

Humans are able to think creatively and make plans, projects etc.,

Plans? As I've said, wolves can organise, working cooperatively over several miles in the Arctic to take down prey.

It is important because the Human is Ascending, Affirming and Exploratory.
In order to be 'what one is', one must affirm's one's nature; and Human Nature is a constant quest.
Human life is a kind of pilgrimage, a constant searching for the Graal.
You will no doubt keep asking 'Why?' - fine; as I have said, the asking of QUEST-IONS is itself a search for possiblities.
Why do you ask 'why?'

Because I don't live for questions, and I'm wondering why you claim you do, because I think it's absurd.

Jack; "Rabbits can construct holes in the ground to hide in, and birds build nests".

Moody; And insects build nests too, and trees have leaves, and bacteria live in hosts etc.,
However, the Human is different IN KIND to animals, insects, plants, bacteria etc., The Human is not beholden - as is the animal - to the purely instinctive hard-wired instructions of Nature.

What, he has some degree of self-determination independent of his instincts, free will of a sort? Why is reason not merely a funnel for his instincts?

The Human can step outside of the instinctual and create anew - in a RATIONAL WAY.

What exactly is 'rational', Moody?

This is UNIQUE to the Human.
Consult a dictionary for the meaning of 'kind' in this context, and you will find that your argument is idiotic.

I'm aware of what a dictionary says about this definition, but I don't believe anything humans can do is different in kind from the capabilities of what animals can do, but only in degree (large degree, I agree - but not kind).

Jack; "Laws are the codified evaluations of those who wield power".

Moody; Making a particularly definition of a thing does not define it away.
Fact is that Humans arrive at rational codifications which transcend the instinctual instructions that animals obey.

HA. They most certainly do not. Taxes? Ah, the police need to be funded, so we're not all mauled by criminals (fear - never mind you could simply organise your own local militia for the job, or even go to ask yourself why you consider your own life important, and try to find a RATIONAL answer), so the poor can be fed, clothed and housed (sentimentalism), foreign aid (sentimentalism), war (irrational desire to survive/expand) - humans are rational, are they? - Let's follow the logic: a man with a rock in his hand can kill another man, because of this, he is by nature a killer.

Humans have a moral sense, just as they have an aesthetic sense. In the latter case they formulate standards of taste, just as in the former they create laws and ethical/moral standards.

I'm not denying that they do, I'm putting forward the idea that these properties aren't solely possessed by humans.

Jack; "There is no difference in kind between humans and animals...
Why should I grant animals rights?"

Moody; To be consistent and so avoid contradiction.

I am being consistent.

If there is no difference then animals and humans should all exist under the same kingdom of rights and duties.

:) No.

If you deny this, then you make a DISTINCTION BETWEEN ANIMALS AND HUMANS IN KIND.

Not quite...

Jack; "How do you know that self reflection is not a factor in the development of hierarchy in wolf packs or bands of apes?"

Moody; There is no evidence for it, nor is there any NEED to posit it.
Pack behaviour amongst animals is explicable by instinct; there is no evidence of rational reflection.
To say that there is, is pure anthropomorphising [itself a result of Human reason].

How about I say that I don't know if you're thinking, or if my parents are thinking, or if my brother is thinking, or anyone at all apart from me, and that the idea that every human apart from me has the ability to reason is nothing more than a useful working hypothesis?

Jack; "I'm incapable of being a wolf, so I can't answer for that. If I wanted to 'live like a wolf' I'd go join a street gang. Protection and obedience, rewards and fear, respect and resentment - yes, human power systems can certainly be compared to the various power systems of animals. We're just smarter at it than they are".

Moody; Such street gangs are subhuman.

In your opinion.

If your only criterion of the Human is the Subhuman, then no wonder that you see no difference between the Human and the Animal.

What if I don't recognise 'subhuman'?

Look at the highest achievements in art, architecture, music, sculpture, poetry, literature, science, technology, politics, philosophy ... all these are DIFFERENCES IN KIND, because NOTHING OF THEIR KIND is to be found in the animal/insect/plant WORLD!

The vast majority of humanity have not and most probably will not contribute to art, architecture, music, sculpture, poetry, literature, science, technology, politics or philosophy - are they human, or not?

That the aesthestic sense and the moral sense EXISTS is shown by EVIDENCE. Art and Law [which have no parallel with the animal world] are the evidence in itself.

Law is codified power structure.

Jack; "Oh? Wolves and wild dogs howling and barking at each other to coordinate the attacks of the pack, smells etc are NOT forms of communication?"

Moody; They are not RATIONAL communication!
As I have said, the flower 'attracts' the bird - this is NOT akin to HUMAN communication - it is different in ... kind.

And the young woman at the bar attracts the young man. ;) Humans are more intelligent and we have better communication skills as a result.

Jack; "I never denied it went 'beyond'. We're different from other animals in degree, not kind. We can reason, so can they - we're better at it. We have 'morals', so do they - ours are more developed (that's debatable...). We have a sense of what we find aesthetically appealing, and so do they (i.e. bright peacock feathers) - ours is different".

Moody; By now you should have looked up the word 'kind', so I won't labour the point overly.
The rationality and morality you claim to see in animals, plants etc., are PROJECTED there by you.

You're projecting your 'rationality' and 'morality' on to the rest of the human races. Do you know the 'essence' of the thing, Moody, or only its behaviour and displayed characteristics? Rationality and morality are INFERRED.

There is no reason to suppose that animals are acting by anything OTHER than instinct - it is not NECESSARY to impose rationality and morality where it isn't.

Humans act on nothing but instinct CHANNELED by their own minds.

Instinct alone explains what we see in animals.

It can be argued that instincts channelled by intelligence explains everything we see in humans, too. That is the case I am arguing. We have intelligence and so do animals, ours is more advanced (that is, higher degree, not kind).

In Humans we have to go to another KIND of explanation; in Humans the LOGOS operates; that's why man creates BEYOND HIMSELF.

Beyond himself? Perhaps you should read the chapter 'The long reach of the gene' in Richard Dawkins' 'The Selfish Gene'. The same argument he puts foward there can easily apply to humans.

In that he is UNIQUE. His ability to reason about his reasoning IS PECULIAR TO THE HUMAN.

Reason about his reasoning? Well, that's interesting. How do you know all 'humans' possess this, Moody? I mean, the vast majority of humans do not. Not everyone is Immanuel Kant or Aristotle. I have friends who have great difficulty with differential calculus - how do you think the average joe would do if you asked him to write a treatise on his own rationality?

Moody
Wednesday, January 28th, 2004, 06:11 PM
That Humans are different 'in kind' to animals is the least controversial aspect of my argument.
The Cambridge Dictionary of the English Language describes this use of the word 'kind' briefly as follows;

KIND [type]: a group with similar characteristics, or a particular type.

It is a fairly good foundation to assert that Humans are of a 'different kind' to animals.

This thread is really about HOW Humans differ from animals in kind.

I say here that the kindhood of Humans is found in the 'rational/spiritual/moral' characteristics of the Human.

As I have shown via various arguments and examples, it is HERE, in the complex 'rational/spiritual/moral' [unfortunately there is no one English word for this] that the Human is differentiated in kind from animals.

The fact that my opponents will NOT grant Human rights AND DUTIES to animals, shows that they IN PRACTICE [no matter what relativist nonsense they spout] make a DISTINCTION IN KIND between animals and Humans.

Now, anyone reviewing my posts in this thread will see that I have implied from the onset that this quality of the Human only pertains to certain members of what is known as the species homo sapiens.

It is only HERE that we can talk of differences of DEGREE.

The degrees can be described variously as a hierarchy within the notion of hominids;
Super-human,
Person,
Human,
Sub-human etc., etc.,

This WORKS because the 'rational/spiritual/moral' complex is the actual CRITERION for these degrees.

"Why is reason not merely a funnel for his instincts?"

'Funnel' is a rather wayward metaphor, that's why.
You will probably need to ask after a definition of the 'rational' ...

"What exactly is 'rational' "?

As I've said, I am after a complex, something akin to Logos in Greek or Geist in German. English lacks words of that richness, so I have to speak of 'rational/spiritual/moral' complexes.
Generally, when we speak of 'the rational' as such [i.e., rational [i]qua rational], we are making an implicit contrast with experience.
It is typically Human to stand back from the world of experience [the world where animals are stuck] and to repair to the world of reason [to think, contemplate, meditate, discuss, argue, invent, theorise, predict, etc.,] that is the stuff of Philosophy, Art and Science.
It is superfluous for me to say that animals do not do this.

"Law is codified power structure".

That is a rather superfluous [and therefore irrelevant] definition/label you give. The point is that the Human is ABLE to CODIFY - that is an example of his unique Logos.
The animal can't/doesn't do this.

"You're projecting your 'rationality' and 'morality' on to the rest of the human races. Do you know the 'essence' of the thing, Moody, or only its behaviour and displayed characteristics? Rationality and morality are INFERRED".

Oh! - you take the argument I made [human qualities projected on animals] and then say that I am projecting human qualities on ... humans!

The fact that Humans create an intellectual/spiritual/moral world in which ONLY HUMANS are able to participate is EVIDENCE for the existence of a unique Human rationality.
That we are able to discuss ideas, for example, is evidence for the Human ability to discuss ideas.

There is no evidence of this kind which pertains to animals!

Therefore, using Ockham's razor, I can say that animals are NOT spiritual beings, for example, because they have no religions. But Humans ARE Spiritual Beings as is evidenced by their RELIGIONS!
Same argument applies to art, science, philosophy etc., of course.

"It can be argued that instincts channelled by intelligence explains everything we see in humans, too. That is the case I am arguing. We have intelligence and so do animals, ours is more advanced (that is, higher degree, not kind)".

So where is the evidence of animal science/philosophy/art/ethics etc.,?
There is none.
Therefore there cannot be a question of 'degree' because there is no first-rung on the ladder.

"Perhaps you should read the chapter 'The long reach of the gene' in Richard Dawkins' [i]'The Selfish Gene'. The same argument he puts foward there can easily apply to humans".

Perhaps you should make the argument yourself, if you can.
I am discussing a Philosophic conception of 'the Human' here, anyway, not a genetic one [go to the Science forums for that].
The reason you can't understand the idea of 'the Human as a kind' is because you are thinking only scientifically, and not philosophically.

Jack
Thursday, January 29th, 2004, 04:49 AM
1.
That Humans are different 'in kind' to animals is the least controversial aspect of my argument.
The Cambridge Dictionary of the English Language describes this use of the word 'kind' briefly as follows;

KIND [type]: a group with similar characteristics, or a particular type.

It is a fairly good foundation to assert that Humans are of a 'different kind' to animals.

This thread is really about HOW Humans differ from animals in kind.

I say here that the kindhood of Humans is found in the 'rational/spiritual/moral' characteristics of the Human.

As I have shown via various arguments and examples, it is HERE, in the complex 'rational/spiritual/moral' [unfortunately there is no one English word for this] that the Human is differentiated in kind from animals.

The fact that my opponents will NOT grant Human rights AND DUTIES to animals, shows that they IN PRACTICE [no matter what relativist nonsense they spout] make a DISTINCTION IN KIND between animals and Humans.

I don't believe in rights as reality full stop (no, no contradiction Moody). Rights as reality ('positive rights' as Njörd has called them in a discussion he and I had) are the priveliges of power. I work on decision based on my own ego, combined with my own analysis of power networks in any given social situation, look at what I can do, what I want (and yes, quite often that's several things at once), and then I work towards it. This is a matter of degree, because my instincts don't deal with sharply defined concepts, just as I'm more likely to help a white than an East Asian, an East Asian more than a negroid etc., and generally a white female over a white male (unless the white male is elderly, and the white female is healthy and fine, in that case I'd be inclined to help the white male). It is a matter of degree. The difference, prior to becoming aware of this 'humanity' idea, between a Hottentott and a Neanderthal would be an opposable thumb and a different skull structure.

Now, anyone reviewing my posts in this thread will see that I have implied from the onset that this quality of the Human only pertains to certain members of what is known as the species homo sapiens.

Yes, I agree.

It is only HERE that we can talk of differences of DEGREE.

I firmly disagree.

The degrees can be described variously as a hierarchy within the notion of hominids;
Super-human,
Person,
Human,
Sub-human etc., etc.,

This WORKS because the 'rational/spiritual/moral' complex is the actual CRITERION for these degrees.

This 'rational/moral' (spiritual is something of an illusion IMO) complex occurs in animals as well as humans, and varies by degrees (massive degrees), and this supposed hierarchy does not, in itself, exist, but is an idea you have imposed upon your own impressions to 'make sense' of them.

Jack; "Why is reason not merely a funnel for his instincts?"

Moody; 'Funnel' is a rather wayward metaphor, that's why.
You will probably need to ask after a definition of the 'rational' ...

Funnel is not exactly an adequate metaphor, I have to agree.

Jack; "What exactly is 'rational' "?

Moody; As I've said, I am after a complex, something akin to Logos in Greek or Geist in German. English lacks words of that richness, so I have to speak of 'rational/spiritual/moral' complexes.
Generally, when we speak of 'the rational' as such [i.e., rational 'qua' rational], we are making an implicit contrast with experience.
It is typically Human to stand back from the world of experience [the world where animals are stuck] and to repair to the world of reason [to think, contemplate, meditate, discuss, argue, invent, theorise, predict, etc.,] that is the stuff of Philosophy, Art and Science.
It is superfluous for me to say that animals do not do this.

This is our way of doing it. You have described the behaviour, not the essence - which you cannot grasp, but only infer. I have suggested that the causes of these effects - intelligence, hormones (no I don't believe in a soul or a transcendent spiritual world) - very in degree and not kind. If you want to go by the effects of these causes, then you can't show that a person is actually thinking or contemplating, but only observe the external impressions which you believe link up with your idea that the person is actually thinking or contemplating. And therefore you can cut out at least half of the population of the human races who do not contribute to art or science or philosophy.

Jack; "Law is codified power structure".

Moody; That is a rather superfluous [and therefore irrelevant] definition/label you give. The point is that the Human is ABLE to CODIFY - that is an example of his unique Logos.
The animal can't/doesn't do this.

No, he can't, because his low degree (relative to ourselves) of intelligence and the fact he does not have an opposable thumb means he has not done so.

Jack; "You're projecting your 'rationality' and 'morality' on to the rest of the human races. Do you know the 'essence' of the thing, Moody, or only its behaviour and displayed characteristics? Rationality and morality are INFERRED".

Moody; Oh! - you take the argument I made [human qualities projected on animals] and then say that I am projecting human qualities on ... humans!

The fact that Humans create an intellectual/spiritual/moral world in which ONLY HUMANS are able to participate is EVIDENCE for the existence of a unique Human rationality.
That we are able to discuss ideas, for example, is evidence for the Human ability to discuss ideas.

You don't know they're actually thinking, they display behaviour which links up with your idea of them thinking. The current argument I'm using in relation to this statement is based on behaviourism, a branch of psychology.

There is no evidence of this kind which pertains to animals!

I've put foward arguments that the causes of these effects do exist in animals, but to a lesser degree, and shown evidence.

Therefore, using Ockham's razor, I can say that animals are NOT spiritual beings, for example, because they have no religions. But Humans ARE Spiritual Beings as is evidenced by their RELIGIONS!
Same argument applies to art, science, philosophy etc., of course.

So now you're basing the argument on effect. The thing in itself, as Kant has stated, is unknowable.

Jack; "It can be argued that instincts channelled by intelligence explains everything we see in humans, too. That is the case I am arguing. We have intelligence and so do animals, ours is more advanced (that is, higher degree, not kind)".

Moody; So where is the evidence of animal science/philosophy/art/ethics etc.,?

Animal-to-Environment - group organisation, use of tools, building.
Animal-to-Animal - in-group out-group distinctions, looking after weaker members of the pack, elderly, young, sharing food.

There is none.
Therefore there cannot be a question of 'degree' [i.e., 'step'] because there is no first-rung on the ladder.

Think harder.

Jack; "Perhaps you should read the chapter 'The long reach of the gene' in Richard Dawkins' [i]'The Selfish Gene'. The same argument he puts foward there can easily apply to humans".

Moody; Perhaps you should make the argument yourself, if you can.

You claimed you've read it, I shouldn't have to.

I am discussing a Philosophic conception of 'the Human' here, anyway, not a genetic one [go to the Science forums for that].

Why are you seperating the two?

The reason you can't understand the idea of 'the Human as a kind' is because you are thinking only scientifically, and not philosophically.

Relative to your own standards of what is and isn't philosophical, of course.

Moody
Thursday, January 29th, 2004, 04:55 PM
"I don't believe in rights as reality full stop.
Rights as reality are the priveliges of power".

Again, all you have done is offer a reductive definition of Right [Right=Privilege of Power], and then pretended that this dissolves the concept of Right as a 'reality'.
It does NOT - you have merely called Right something else; and if that something else [in this case 'privilege of power'] is a reality, then so is Right a reality.
In the same way that changing your own name from 'X' to Anarch to Aloysha to Jack etc., does not deprive the original 'X' of reality.
As an afterthought does a man having a sex-change REALLY become a woman?
So as I have said before, it is not that easy to (re-)define something away.

"This 'rational/moral' (spiritual is something of an illusion) complex occurs in animals as well as humans, and varies by degrees (massive degrees), and this supposed hierarchy does not, in itself, exist, but is an idea you have imposed upon your own impressions to 'make sense' of them".

And the same could be said of your own notion of 'Degree'!
You only see differences of degree [and so presumably see all life-forms as connected by degrees], whereas I see life as differences in Kind [type], and perceive layers, or hierarchies, of difference [Nietzsche's "Pathos of Distance"].
You say [reductively] that the Spirit is an "illusion" - then how do you subscribe to our remit of 'Germanic racial/spiritual/cultural Preservation'?
I would say that you LACK the Spirit, and try to define it away as an "illusion".

"You have described the behaviour, not the essence - which you cannot grasp, but only infer".

How can you deny Spirit one minute, and then talk about "essence" the next?!? Another contradiction on your part.
The products of human spiritual/rational/artistic endeavour are extant!
Go to any library, museum, gallery, laboratory etc., etc., to peruse the evidence.
And what have animals to show in comparison to the all the above?
Where are their cathedrals, their space rockets, their mathematics, their philosophy books, their linguistics, their advances in medicine etc., etc.,?

"Animal-to-Environment - group organisation, use of tools, building.
Animal-to-Animal - in-group out-group distinctions, looking after weaker members of the pack, elderly, young, sharing food".

What! Is that all you have to offer!
That can only be described as a DIFFERENCE IN KIND [i.e., when the degree becomes too massive to be sensible] between animals and Humans.

"Why are you seperating Philosophy and Science?"

Because they too are different in Kind [type]; that's why we have a Science forum and a separate Philosophy forum here. They are two different disciplines; and as you show, those who think reductively cannot appreciate Philosophical abstractions.

Jack
Sunday, February 8th, 2004, 09:59 AM
Jack; "I don't believe in rights as reality full stop.
Rights as reality are the priveliges of power".

Moody; Again, all you have done is offer a reductive definition of Right [Right=Privilege of Power], and then pretended that this dissolves the concept of Right as a 'reality'.
It does NOT - you have merely called Right something else; and if that something else [in this case 'privilege of power'] is a reality, then so is Right a reality.

I am dealing with rights as law, not the ethically-grounded concept built up by philosophers. Rights as legal, practical reality, are the priveliges of power.

In the same way that changing your own name from 'X' to Anarch to Aloysha to Jack etc., does not deprive the original 'X' of reality.

Go ahead and perfectly define what 'X' is. You can attempt, and you would fail miserably. Even I would.

As an afterthought does a man having a sex-change REALLY become a woman?

We'll find out the second you tell me how you define woman.

Jack; "This 'rational/moral' (spiritual is something of an illusion) complex occurs in animals as well as humans, and varies by degrees (massive degrees), and this supposed hierarchy does not, in itself, exist, but is an idea you have imposed upon your own impressions to 'make sense' of them".

Moody; And the same could be said of your own notion of 'Degree'!
You only see differences of degree [and so presumably see all life-forms as connected by degrees], whereas I see life as differences in Kind [type], and perceive layers, or hierarchies, of difference [Nietzsche's "Pathos of Distance"].

Good for you.

You say [reductively] that the Spirit is an "illusion" - then how do you subscribe to our remit of 'Germanic racial/spiritual/cultural Preservation'?

From blood comes the psychological and cultural.

I would say that you LACK the Spirit, and try to define it away as an "illusion".

Say what you will, it is of little consequence to me.

Jack; "You have described the behaviour, not the essence - which you cannot grasp, but only infer".

Moody; How can you deny Spirit one minute, and then talk about "essence" the next?!? Another contradiction on your part.

No contradiction, Aristotle suggested man's 'essence' (his single unique characteristic) is his ability to reason, but I've been swayed by Karl Popper's argument against essentialism. If we were to say (go ahead and disagree if you want...) 'essence' is the total understanding of the object, I believe, with Karl Popper, that we would be getting closer and closer to it, but we will never know when we're actually there.

The products of human spiritual/rational/artistic endeavour are extant!
Go to any library, museum, gallery, laboratory etc., etc., to peruse the evidence.
And what have animals to show in comparison to the all the above?
Where are their cathedrals, their space rockets, their mathematics, their philosophy books, their linguistics, their advances in medicine etc., etc.,?

They aren't smart enough, neither are most humans.

Jack; "Animal-to-Environment - group organisation, use of tools, building.
Animal-to-Animal - in-group out-group distinctions, looking after weaker members of the pack, elderly, young, sharing food".

Moody; What! Is that all you have to offer!
That can only be described as a DIFFERENCE IN KIND [i.e., when the degree becomes too massive to be sensible] between animals and Humans.

I think it's sensible.

Jack; "Why are you seperating Philosophy and Science?"

Moody; Because they too are different in Kind [type]; that's why we have a Science forum and a separate Philosophy forum here. They are two different disciplines; and as you show, those who think reductively cannot appreciate Philosophical abstractions.

You're going to have to fill me in here - how are science and philosophy different?

Darksphere
Monday, February 9th, 2004, 08:06 AM
Here is a couple of essays that might be of interest in relation to this issue:

http://www.rosenoire.org/essays/humanity.php

http://www.rosenoire.org/essays/transhumanism.php

Moody
Monday, February 9th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Go ahead and perfectly define what 'X' is. You can attempt, and you would fail miserably. Even I would".

Since you are only talking about law, that's easy; 'X' is the name you were given by your parents and is therefore the one on your birth-certificate. Calling yourself 'Anarch' or 'Jack' on a web-site doesn't change that.

"Tell me how you define woman".

Similar as the above; what does it say on your birth-certificate - male or female?

"From blood comes the psychological and cultural".

You use the word 'blood' in a spiritual sense there whether you know it or not.

"Aristotle suggested man's 'essence' (his single unique characteristic) is his ability to reason, but I've been swayed by Karl Popper's argument against essentialism".

Precisely, and yet you still use the concept - hence your frequent self-contradictions.

"If we were to say (go ahead and disagree if you want...) 'essence' is the total understanding of the object, I believe, with Karl Popper, that we would be getting closer and closer to it, but we will never know when we're actually there".

Is the world of the object totally dependent on our understanding?
Or is the object independent of we thinking things - predating us and out-living us after our undoubted extinction?
If no one were there to hear it, would that tree falling in the forest make a sound [to resort to a cliche].

"How are science and philosophy different?"

To go back to one of your own disctinctions, the former is an 'IS', while the latter is an 'OUGHT'.

Jack
Monday, February 9th, 2004, 08:58 PM
Moody; Since you are only talking about law, that's easy; 'X' is the name you were given by your parents and is therefore the one on your birth-certificate. Calling yourself 'Anarch' or 'Jack' on a web-site doesn't change that.

Who is the 'me' behind the name?

Moody; Similar as the above; what does it say on your birth-certificate - male or female?

Male. We're not talking about me, we're talking about a hypothetical case of individual X getting a sex change. And the 'male/female' part of the birth certificate is determined by the shape of what's between your legs. If that changes, does one remain male or female?

Moody; You use the word 'blood' in a spiritual sense there whether you know it or not.

I use the word blood in the sense of genetics and hormones.

Moody; Precisely, and yet you still use the concept - hence your frequent self-contradictions.

Where have I used the concept aside from discussing Objectivism and Anarcho-Capitalism?

Moody; Is the world of the object totally dependent on our understanding?

I'm inclined to believe it's there.

Or is the object independent of we thinking things - predating us and out-living us after our undoubted extinction?

Chairs can be built and break down during one's own lifetime, so I don't think that works.

If no one were there to hear it, would that tree falling in the forest make a sound [to resort to a cliche].

I'll run on the working hypothesis that it does.

Moody
Wednesday, February 11th, 2004, 07:00 PM
"If the power relations change, the static concepts placed by the previous power arrangement are rendered meaningless".

Meanings CHANGE, as you say. Change is not necessarily tantamount to negation; a change of meaning does not betoken meaninglessness in every case.
Changes which occur in an evolutionary way can also RETURN to their original meanings after straying off into areas etc.,

"Who is the 'me' behind the name?"

That is obviously a metaphysical question of Identity which clashes with your tendency here to deal ONLY in the materiality of genes and hormones etc.,
In the latter sense the "me" is the body labelled by its birth-certificate as 'X'.

"We're talking about a hypothetical case of individual X getting a sex change. And the 'male/female' part of the birth certificate is determined by the shape of what's between your legs. If that changes, does one remain male or female?"

In the sense of purely material things, change of genitalia could mean a sex-change [although there is some controversy over whether such a genital sex-change justifies altering the gender definition on a birth-certificate].
While a sex-changer may feel that he/she is now the 'right gender' [and these types suggest that they were 'born into the wrong bodies'], in terms of Identity, that elusive metaphysical aspect which transcends the material, the answer is not so simple.
All this opens up the necessity for a PHILSOPHICAL approach to the question of the Human.

"I use the word blood in the sense of genetics and hormones".

You clearly didn't!
You said that "from blood comes the psychological and cultural", thereby going WAY beyond "genetics and hormones".
And the latter isn't good enough for the reasons I have already mentioned;- it isn't philosophical.

"Where have I used the concept ['essence'] aside from discussing Objectivism and Anarcho-Capitalism?"

In this thread you contrasted 'behaviour' with an 'essence' which "cannot be grasped" etc.,
Clearly using the word in its metaphysical sense, while at the same time claiming only to be dealing with genes and hormones!

Jack
Sunday, February 15th, 2004, 03:16 AM
Moody; That is obviously a metaphysical question of Identity which clashes with your tendency here to deal ONLY in the materiality of genes and hormones etc.,
In the latter sense the "me" is the body labelled by its birth-certificate as 'X'.

Ok. This body - 'X' - has recieved numerous scars and stitching, is it the same body? The psychology of 'X' has changed several times in the last ten years. Who or what is 'X'?

Moody; In the sense of purely material things, change of genitalia could mean a sex-change [although there is some controversy over whether such a genital sex-change justifies altering the gender definition on a birth-certificate].
While a sex-changer may feel that he/she is now the 'right gender' [and these types suggest that they were 'born into the wrong bodies'], in terms of Identity, that elusive metaphysical aspect which transcends the material, the answer is not so simple.
All this opens up the necessity for a PHILSOPHICAL approach to the question of the Human.

And what exactly is philosophical, Moody?

Moody; You clearly didn't!
You said that "from blood comes the psychological and cultural", thereby going WAY beyond "genetics and hormones".

Ok, add in the factor of interacting with the world. And no, I don't think that's 'way beyond genetics and hormones'.

And the latter isn't good enough for the reasons I have already mentioned;- it isn't philosophical.

And what is?

Moody
Sunday, February 15th, 2004, 06:03 AM
"This body - 'X' - has recieved numerous scars and stitching, is it the same body? The psychology of 'X' has changed several times in the last ten years. Who or what is 'X'?"

What you describe is the common lot of most bodies; but, through all change, they retain a strand of Identity, like an Ariadne's thread.
Of course, change is the constant condition of all material things.
This suggests that while the body is material, when seen in the reductionist manner of "blood and hormones", as you do, - there is also another aspect which is less changing; i.e., our identities as beings.
This is part of 'the Human'.

"And what exactly is philosophical"?

It is a feature of The Human, and begins with the ability to ask 'why?'
As to the various forms this questioning takes, look at the basic categories given in the subforums of this Forum where they are described in brief.
Mind you, Philosophers don't just ask questions - they also give ANSWERS.
As to method, I would point you to the four-fold root of the principle of sufficient reason.

Darksphere
Sunday, February 15th, 2004, 08:31 PM
Here is my two(or is it ten?) cents...

IT is an often-heard claim these days that race does not exist. It is a completely arbitrary concept, argue its opponents. Whether or not that is true can be discussed. I do believe that it is hardly a very important discussion under the given circumstances: a number of terms of a much more obvious and arbitrary kind are used everyday around us. One that flourishes by far the most is the term "Humanity" and its derived terms "human", "human kind" and others. This, clearly, is a grave case of a completely arbitrary term winning a place in people’s minds. And it’s a construction which is becoming more and more common.

But first off, let's look at the term and it’s meaning in rder to authenticate its actual nature as a completely arbitrary construct. The term "Humanity", of course, designates an idea that all creatures without much hair on their body, with a large brain and a throat shaped in such a manner that they can articulate words form a common, global community separate from the other beings on this earth. In combination with this, it is often stressed by believers in the "Humanity" construct that the alleged "humans" are creatures on a higher level of evolution than the other inhabitants on earth.

This may all make sense at first glance. When one looks into it, however, the above stated and typically provided definition does not fit at all together. Creatures without body-hair are common far outside what is generally considered "human" circles. Although one must admit that lacking bodily hair is usually substituted with feathers, scales or any other form of skin-coverage. Beings with such skin-coverage are never considered human. Still there are examples of creatures without hair on their body that are not considered "human". In turn, many beings with varying but very clear amounts of body-hair are still considered "human" in essence. The same goes for the ability to physically speak, which is not so uncommon amongst creatures that are not considered "human"; mainly birds tend to have this ability. Likewise, not all so-called "humans" can speak. So this trait associated with humanity is very devious as to prove anything at all. Also, I might want to add as a side remark that "Humanity" cannot be defined by the definitions usually applied to distinguish species apart. Indeed a species is a group that can make living offspring and the Gorilla, Chimpanzee and Orangutang differ all with less than 1% of their gene-pool from what is generally considered "human" and should, thus, theoretically be able to produce living offspring with the latter. Yet they are not admitted into the "human family", thus making clear that "humanity" is not technically a species.

The remaining trait that is used to define so-called "Humanity" is our very large, complex brain. This trait, the supporters of the "Humanity"-concept claim, gives "humans" a community exclusive of all other beings. In some sense this claim is not a 100% meaningless. It is true that the construction of the brain amongst the more developed beings on this earth gives them a certain similarity. This similarity is very superficial, though, and serves to divide its bearers rather then unite them. Confused? Well, to present things quite clearly to the ordinary layman, what I’m trying to say is this: What does the overly-developed brain endow its bearers with? It endows them with the ability to make choices; choices in terms of political ideology, religion, culture and a variety of other things. Far from creating unity, it creates divergence. Two non-intelligent creatures have a clear bond in that both are ruled by instinct. The intelligent creatures are devoid of this community, however. They are set free from physical communities and free to choose their allegiance. In a sense, our big, complex brains are like claws: many animals have claws but that does not cause them to be classified as one unified group. Rather the development of claws in an evolutionary perspective has caused for diversity rather than rectification.

So the only thing humans have in common is that they are not born as part of any community but can voluntarily form their own on the basis of their views. So therefore regarding the creatures on this earth that have overly-developed brains as part of a single mass ("Humanity") is very wrong, because the very essence is that they are divided. "Humanity" as a common interests group does not exist.

So what does all this mean, practically speaking? That "humans" share only a big brain means that any call for cultural or political rectification in the name of "humanity" is a non-starter because it is in the nature of our brains to cause diversity, not to rectify.

That "humanity" does not exist as an interests group of the sort that many people want to make it does not mean, however, that compassion is not appropriate or that anyone should be allowed to do what they want to one other. The fact that we are so different should indeed lead for the most part to a compassionate and complexity-sensitive tone of interaction between us as we cannot easily guess one another's others feelings, needs and desires. As Kafka puts it:

"When you stand before me and look at me, what do you know of the pain that is in me and what do I know of yours? And even if I were to throw myself down in front of you and weep and pour my heart out, what would you know about me more than you know about hell when someone tells you it is hot and terrifying? If only for this reason we human beings should stand before each other with the thoughtfulness, with the awe, and with the love we should feel at the entrance to hell."

Now Kafka obviously buys into this flawed "Humanism" crap, but the basic meaning is good enough, not because we are alike, but precisely because we "humans" are not a common interests group and have the ability to be so different on the inside that we might reasonably be considered various separate species.

Moody
Monday, February 16th, 2004, 04:23 PM
'The Human' as used by myself here has nothing to do with the sentimental 'humanism' you refer to. It rather has to do with the Human ability to recognise and create orders of rank through-out experience.
This ability alone differentiates the Human from the animal.

It is a typical trait of humans that they are able to divide the world about them into categories and types - races, species, genera etc.,

In other words, we cannot view the world in any other way.
This is why I mentioned the principle of sufficient reason [after Schopenhauer] above.
The principle of sufficient reason [PSR] refers to the basic cognitive formulas we use to comprehend the world; and our comprehension is 'intentional'.
That is, we do not just blankly experience the world, but we CREATE the world by our perceiving and understanding it.
We view things under the rubrics of cause and effect, space and time, logic and motivation, for example [Schopenhauer's four-fold root of the PSR].

So the tendency to view beings as human/subhuman, as races etc., is inescapable.
Those who deny race tend to substitute other categories, such as victim and oppressor etc.,

Be careful not to fall into the trap of making a merely scientific judgement of animals etc., Philosophy is concerned with a different realm - the realm of reason.

The term 'Human' itself began as a designation in relation to the Gods.
Human implies 'mortal' - i.e., subject to the laws of death and disease.
This unlike the Gods, who are immmortal and perfect.
So it was not a designation of superiority but the opposite - ancient man humbled himself before his Gods [to not do so was 'hubris'].

However, even though Humans had this tragic flaw of mortality, they also possessed something which set them apart from the animals, and this is Reason; the Logos.
In this they are touched by the Gods.

So the human is differentiated in one direction from the Godlike by being mortal, but is differentiated in another direction from the animals by having Reason.
From this Reason stems all the achievements of the Human which I have out-lined above.
The higher achievements of the Human [particularly of Aryan man] are awesome and truly set us appart - IN KIND.

Klegutati
Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 01:43 AM
We are different than animals and our primitive ancestors in a sense of being able to solve problems. We are a new breed of animal, in which God has blessed us with the Holy Spirit!:thumbup

Aupmanyav
Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 03:38 AM
..they also possessed something which set them apart from the animals, and this is Reason; the Logos. In this they are touched by the Gods.Won't know about Gods (I am an atheist), but don't you think we have a little too much of reason landing us into fallacies, we habitually step into imagination. Animals have reason (I suppose they also must be touched by God), but perhaps they keep to reality.

Moody
Monday, October 2nd, 2006, 11:53 AM
We are different than animals and our primitive ancestors in a sense of being able to solve problems. We are a new breed of animal, in which God has blessed us with the Holy Spirit!

Won't know about Gods (I am an atheist), but don't you think we have a little too much of reason landing us into fallacies, we habitually step into imagination. Animals have reason (I suppose they also must be touched by God), but perhaps they keep to reality.

In this thread, I adopt the views that;

i) the 'Human' is a difference in 'kind' from the animal [whereas Jack holds that it is merely a difference of degree], and that

ii) it is the unique capacity for reason/morality that makes the distinctiveness of the 'Human' as such.

Essentially I was asking - 'why don't animals have human rights if they are so close to humans (according to some)?'

The question also relates to distinctions made amongst humans too - races, sub-races etc., and also impinges on notions of gods, subhumans etc., etc.,

Ultimately though, we must go back to the question, i.e., that of the Human, if we are to continue the thread in the present.

While I say that the Human is a difference of 'kind', this is very much a 'human' response.

It doesn't get beyond the 'Human' enough in order to be able to talk about what the 'Human' is .

Here we might be forced to look at the kind of concepts found in Heidegger, for example.
We might have to relinquish this notion of the 'Human' [deriving as it does from that rational tradition of which Jack and Aupmanyav are rightly suspicious of], and try to completely re-orient ourselves.

Heidegger talked about our [i]'is-ness'; i.e., that the most we can say is that a human is the kind of thing that can speak about its own ex-istence at this moment, as it 'is'.
In other words, the talk of morals, reason, animals and such-like is not only saying too much, it is also saying what has already been said repeatedly to little avail.

None of that has got to the nub of the question of the 'human', that 'isness', or 'being there' or 'being-here' of Heidegger's Dasein.

So I would like to see this thread go back to these more primal layers of meaning to address this important concern of what the 'human' is [if it be anything].

Aupmanyav
Friday, December 1st, 2006, 02:35 PM
A biological speci.

Moody
Friday, December 1st, 2006, 03:37 PM
A biological speci.

Surely the 'human' is something more than mere biology?

And isn't there always a problem, a disconnect, when man tries to objectively classify man as man?

It strikes me as a similar problem to that of consciousness.

No matter how much we may know about the physical brain, a certain quality - that which makes the brain a 'mind' - is always missing; it eludes definition.

Likewise with the 'human'; we can classify man 'biologically' [which is our own classification of creatures amongst which man is only one (or more)], but we are hard pushed to describe what makes him human.

There is the need to gain a distance that isn't available to us, but we feel that this distance is needed to explain those extra qualities which make a man 'human', and a brain a 'mind'.

Aupmanyav
Friday, December 1st, 2006, 04:17 PM
Human are biology only. Nothing eludes in making brain into a mind. As for humanity, that is a bit different and consists of social rules evolved for smooth operation of the society and interactions between its members (which we erroronously call religion).

Moody
Friday, December 1st, 2006, 04:23 PM
Human are biology only. Nothing eludes in making brain into a mind.

Is a robot the same thing as human?

Is a computer the same as a mind?

As for humanity, that is a bit different and consists of social rules evolved for smooth operation of the society and interactions between its members (which we erroronously call religion).

So are you saying that it is only 'religion' [which is only a set of 'rules' to you] that makes the 'human'?

Aupmanyav
Saturday, December 2nd, 2006, 01:43 PM
There are commonalities in robots and humans, and computer and mind. The Social rules started with animals, continued in Homos, religions came much later.

Moody
Sunday, December 3rd, 2006, 02:18 PM
There are commonalities in robots and humans, and computer and mind. The Social rules started with animals, continued in Homos, religions came much later.

Only "commonalities"?
Then they are not the same.

Does a computer have self-consciousness?

Can it reflect upon itself?

Can [non-human] animals reflect upon themselves and the rest of the world enough to make classifications of themselves and the world?

As I asked Jack before, where is the animal world's equivalent of human art, culture, philosophy, architecture, science etc., etc.,?

Where is the missing link between so-called 'social rules' in animals [surely just instinctual], and the [often counter-instinctual] rules formulated and laid down by humans in human societies?

Also, perhaps you could answer the question I put to Jack from the start: if humans are the same as animals, then why don't we afford animals 'human rights'?

Aupmanyav
Sunday, December 3rd, 2006, 04:24 PM
Does a computer have self-consciousness? Most probably with the rate they improve, yes, in time.

Can [non-human] animals reflect upon themselves and the rest of the world enough to make classifications of themselves and the world?
They do. A male tiger classifies another male as a competitor for females, it knows the kind of animals are food, it knows what kind of animals it should not meddle with (bears, for example), and generally slinks away when humans are nearby, knows that this puny animal has ways to harm him. It also knows that in case of stomach upset it should eat grass and when wounded, it should lick the wound. This is about the tiger, there are many animals more intelligent than a tiger, elephants, seals, octopus, dolphins, sea-lions, chimps, orang -utans, and gorillas.

As I asked Jack before, where is the animal world's equivalent of human art, culture, philosophy, architecture, science etc., etc.,? Look at some bird nests for art, and ant, bee, and termites colonies for architecture.

Where is the missing link between so-called 'social rules' in animals [surely just instinctual], and the [often counter-instinctual] rules formulated and laid down by humans in human societies?
You have them in monkeys.

Also, perhaps you could answer the question I put to Jack from the start: if humans are the same as animals, then why don't we afford animals 'human rights'?
Some people do fight for animal rights.

Moody
Monday, December 4th, 2006, 04:04 PM
Most probably with the rate they improve, yes, in time.

So computers are not 'yet' up to the level of minds!
But why assume they ever will be?

Before computers were invented, materialists compared minds to the machines of their time - such as the 'clockwork' model of the mind.

No doubt the materialists of that time thought that if clockwork mechanisms could be "improved" then they would rival minds!

This now seems absurd to us - and yet the computer is merely the machine of our own day.

The things is this: brains are able to 'produce' minds.
Computers are not able to produce minds.
Why assume they ever will?

A male tiger classifies another male as a competitor for females, it knows the kind of animals are food, it knows what kind of animals it should not meddle with etc.,

This is all instinctive behaviour; those animals do not invent classifications outside of themselves and set them down as exemplars.
They certainly do not 'map-out' the whole animal/natural kingdom in an objectified and scientific way.
Man's ability to do this is what makes him different in kind to the animals.

some bird nests for art, and ant, bee, and termites colonies for architecture.

Again, these things cannot compare to the art of man which trascends purpose.

Another difference in kind; man doesn't just make a mud hut or a nest; he creates a beautiful aesthetic work of art which in some cases is not even meant to be lived in [a Greek Temple, or a Gothic Cathedral, for example].

The same with all art; man makes art not for practical survival reasons, but to enhance his higher life - the life of his spirit.

That is another reason why he is very different in kind to the animals.

You have them in monkeys.

The distance between the social organisation of monkeys and that of mankind is so vast that the 'missing link' between them is one] has yet to be found/explained.

There is a Quantum Leap between the apes and man that suggests that the 'human' is a difference in kind.

Some people do fight for animal rights.

And there you have it - they fight for "animal rights" - not human rights for animals.

Imagine if our human rights and laws were applied to the animal world!

Therefore the case seems certain that the 'human' is something very distinct and something very different from the animal.

Spjabork
Monday, December 4th, 2006, 04:29 PM
So computers are not 'yet' up to the level of minds!
But why assume they ever will be?(...)
The things is this: brains are able to 'produce' minds.
Computers are not able to produce minds.
Why assume they ever will?
Because we see the progress. The human brain is a material thing. It is substantial. There is no logical reason why it should be impossible to re-create or copy it artificially.

The neo-creationist movement in the States is very much a counter-revolutionary current, caused by feares of humans that this really may happen. They want to stop it.
This is all instinctive behaviour;
So, if I lick my wounds - would that be instinctive or intelligent behaviour?
those animals do not invent classifications outside of themselves and set them down
They don't do it, for they lack writing.

In that sense, all homo sapiens hordes who can't write do not "set down" their classifications, too.
The distance between the social organisation of monkeys and that of mankind is so vast that the 'missing link' between them is one] has yet to be found/explained.

There is a Quantum Leap between the apes and man that suggests that the 'human' is a difference in kind.
There is a quantum leap between chimpanzees and Neanderthalers, another between Neanderthalers and Africans, another between Africans and Albanians, another between Albanians and Germans.

The last quantum leap is between ordinary Germans and people like Nietzsche or Konrad Zuse.

Aupmanyav
Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 03:53 PM
A quantum leap does not necessarily mean an Olympic long jump, it could mean a progress by one centimeter. The quantum of leap could be very small.

Moody
Tuesday, December 5th, 2006, 04:47 PM
Because we see the progress. The human brain is a material thing. It is substantial. There is no logical reason why it should be impossible to re-create or copy it artificially.

Then why hasn't it been done?
This is because we do not know enough about consciousness.

The brain as a physical object - fine, we know about that - but the product of that brain - the mind is still beyond our ken.

We can't make something if we don't know what it is!

So, while it is true that the human brain is material, consciousness is not material.

Consciousness has a privileged and incorrigible existence.

Your own subjective thoughts and feelings - including the will - are particular and unique to yourself and you can, if you want, keep them entirely to yourself.

No one else knows what it is like to be you.

The classic demonstration of this is Nagel's 'What is it like to be a bat?'.
http://members.aol.com/NeoNoetics/Nagel_Bat.html

The basic point is that no human can really imagine what it is like to be another being - he can only imagine what it would be like for him to be something else.
This is the inique and baffling aspect of human consciousness that has troubled philosophers from Descartes onwards.

And how is it that this 'mind' , which has no [i]extension , can [i]act upon material objects such as our bodies?

This basic problem throws up a mind/body dualism which is very difficult to resolve.

Modern theories which talk of a 'popular dualism' where everything is looked upon as different forms of energy is mystical [and New Age] but not too convincing.

'Property dualism' which says that the mind and the body both have different 'properties', just says that when bodies become very complex then minds occur.
Similar view in 'Interactionist property dualism', which has minds and consciousness as emergent.

But all the same, the problem remains - how do things of such differing properties 'act' upon each other?

And if they are not different, then the dualism collapses and we are in a monistic situation which runs counter to our experience of consciousness .

'Epiphenomenalism', as we know, says that minds cause nothing, and that consciousness is just something like the 'froth' on top of bodies.

But then what about the experience we have of willing?

What could be more Germanic than the feeling of the Will to power?

If it is not the case that the mind causes anything, and we are mistaken when we think we willed something [i.e., we did it first and thought about it after - then we trick ourselves into thinking we willed it] then what is the [i]purpose of thinking and willing?

Why do we have consciousness if it is only self-deluding?

Of course, you can deny the quality of consciousness altogether and say that mind is just another word for brain and it is purely physical.

But then how do you explain the unique, privileged and incorrigible elements of consciousness?

The neo-creationist movement in the States is very much a counter-revolutionary current, caused by feares of humans that this really may happen. They want to stop it.

Not necessarily; I am not coming from the perspective of creationism at all.
See John Seale's The Myth of the Computer;
http://web.ku.edu/~acudd/phil140-s10/index.htm

It is possible to have philosophical doubts too, especially when it seems as if people are using science-like ideas reductively.


So, if I lick my wounds - would that be instinctive or intelligent behaviour?

Humans display both instinctive and counter-instinctive behaviour.

The main difference is that humans take what Churchland called Propositional Attitudes towards themselves in a way that animals don't.

This means that we hold a representational view of the world about which we take an attitude.
http://homepages.vub.ac.be/~emyin/Churchland.html

They don't do it, for they lack writing.
In that sense, all homo sapiens hordes who can't write do not "set down" their classifications, too.
There is a quantum leap between chimpanzees and Neanderthalers, another between Neanderthalers and Africans, another between Africans and Albanians, another between Albanians and Germans.

There you are - you are making classifications beyond yourself, which is a very human thing to do [Aristotle being probably the first great classifier on record].

The appropriateness of the ones you make is another issue for another thread.

But as we see, this ability is very much a human one and is found amongst the highest examples of humanity.
In previous posts in this thread I have alluded to my own belief in Aryanism.

The last quantum leap is between ordinary Germans and people like Nietzsche or Konrad Zuse.

Well, Nietzsche believed that humans were not the "last", but rather that the Ubermenschen would be the next leap.
For the latter we would need to discuss the 'Philosophy of the Superhuman'.
The model though remains.
[By the way, Konrad Zuse];
http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Zuse.html

A quantum leap does not necessarily mean an Olympic long jump, it could mean a progress by one centimeter. The quantum of leap could be very small.

Yes, well, even if I go along with you for a moment and say that humans and animals are no different and that we all share the same consciousness [I don't accept this, but will play Devil's advocate], then this still doesn't explain what [u]consciousness is!
Perhaps we should ask the animals to tell us what it is!

And we are still no closer to answering the question as to why we don't give animals human rights.

Aupmanyav
Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 05:13 AM
Why nobody created aeroplane before Wright brothers, why nobody thought of gravity before Newton or of relativity before Einstein. Everthing has its own time. That is hardly a question.

Brain is a physical object, and mind is the result of its working. What is consciousness? Is it the booting of a computer? Similarly, no two monkeys or tigers are alike.

Body/mind. If it pleases you to see problems where there are none, have it your way. Will is a lame excuse, and its crutches are probablities.

Moody
Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 11:57 AM
And we are still no closer to answering the question as to why we don't give animals human rights.

Why nobody created aeroplane before Wright brothers, why nobody thought of gravity before Newton or of relativity before Einstein. Everthing has its own time. That is hardly a question.

I would say that you are avoiding the question.

The reason we have not given human rights to animals has nothing to do with the invention of air-flight or the discovery of gravity.

The reason is due to the difference in kind between animals and humans.

It would be intolerable to give animals the same rights [and responsibilities] as humans now or any time in the future.

Brain is a physical object, and mind is the result of its working. What is consciousness? Is it the booting of a computer?

We clearly don't know what mind/consciousness is - but it certainly isn't a physical object. And it certainly won't be found in computers.

Similarly, no two monkeys or tigers are alike.

Who said they weren't? The question is, do they have consciousness in the way that humans do.

Body/mind. If it pleases you to see problems where there are none, have it your way.

If these are non-problems then why can't you answer the basic questions here on the distinction between animals and humans?

Will is a lame excuse, and its crutches are probablities.

If you reject will and probability, then what do you believe instead?
And are your beliefs shared by animals too - or are they human beliefs, peculiar to human consciousness?

Arrian
Wednesday, December 6th, 2006, 04:46 PM
The light of the mind

"The personality is always striving to adjust itself to the "world" and its environment; the disciple on the other hand attunes his aura to Hierarchical vibration or his own soul, and soon discovers that there isn't any "world" in the human sense of the word. The "world" is replaced in his consciousness by the "constantly expanding revelation". As the disciple deals with himself the "world" becomes illusion, glamour, maya. When the "world" is emptied out of his consciousness, then space is created to make room for the "revelation". Clarity of thought replaces the personal muddle; both impression and expression are greatly facilitated. "The world is too much with us; getting and spending we lay waste our powers." Thus synthesis involves a drastic process of elimination; the Fire will not tolerate the trivialities or petty concerns of personal existence."

Robert Assagioli, M.D
From Transpersonal Development The dimension Beyond Psychosynthesis

http://www.browofcalm.blogspot.com/

And how is it that this 'mind' [i.e., the non-material aspect of that spongy object, the brain], which has no extension [unlike a body], can act upon material objects such as our bodies?

Why do you assume its the mind that acts upon the body and not the other way?

then what is the purpose of thinking and willing?

Why do we have consciousness if it is only self-deluding?

"...perhaps the entire evolution of the spirit is a question of the body; it is the history of the development of a higher body that emerges into our sensibility. The organic is rising to yet higher levels. Our lust for knowledge of nature is means through which the body desires to perfect itself. Or rather hundreds of thousands of experiments are made to change the nourishment, the mode of living and of dwelling of the body; consciousness and evaluations in the body, all kinds of pleasure and displeasure, are signs of these changes and experiments. In the long run, it is not a question of man at all: he is to be overcome." [Nietzsche, Will to Power, 676]

So the purpose of thinking and willing is the desire for self-perfection?
From a Nietzschean position, it can be said everything is Body, and the rest are semblances of the various differentiations of the Body.

In 585, he makes a pause:

"Tremendous self-examination: becoming conscious of oneself not as individuals but as mankind. Let us reflect, let us think back; let us follow the highways and byways!"

"A greater power implies a different consciousness, feeling, desiring, a different perspective..." [564]

Can animals think on behalf of all animalkind? Do animals possess such power?

I agree with Moody that we do not all share the same consciousness.

Moody
Thursday, December 7th, 2006, 04:07 PM
'... When the "world" is emptied out of his consciousness, then space is created to make room for the "revelation". Clarity of thought replaces the personal muddle; both impression and expression are greatly facilitated..."

The quote you gave certainly paints a picture of a certain kind of consciousness, and the 'emptying of the mind' is very therapeutic.

But we also need stimuli - it is said that by depriving the mind of stimuli, a man can be quickly driven mad.

Why do you assume its the mind that acts upon the body and not the other way?

Going on from what I said above, I believe that we can think ourselves ill, for example: psychosomatic disease, caused in the body by the mind.
By the same token we can think ourselves well - we can will ourselves well, if you like.

As I mentioned elsewhere, epiphenomenalists suggest that this is not the case and that the body always effects the mind and never the other way around.
This view just seems to run contrary to experience [although I don't doubt that there are occasions when this happens], and I'd wager that the mind has greater power than the body.

"...perhaps the entire evolution of the spirit is a question of the body; it is the history of the development of a higher body that emerges into our sensibility. The organic is rising to yet higher levels. Our lust for knowledge of nature is means through which the body desires to perfect itself. Or rather hundreds of thousands of experiments are made to change the nourishment, the mode of living and of dwelling of the body; consciousness and evaluations in the body, all kinds of pleasure and displeasure, are signs of these changes and experiments. In the long run, it is not a question of man at all: he is to be overcome." [Nietzsche, Will to Power, 676]

This is a kind of epiphenomenalism; but then this "higher body" which is "consciousness" begins to have a 'mind' of its own, as it "lusts for knowledge". It therefore acts upon the body as a drive, as a lust, as a will to power [Nietzsche calls "philosophy the most spiritual will to power".]

So even if the 'mind' is a 'higher body', it is still qualitively different from the 'lower body', and so the problem of the mind/body is not here avoided, but rather re-stated in other terms [higher body/lower body = Master/Slave].

So the purpose of thinking and willing is the desire for self-perfection?
From a Nietzschean position, it can be said everything is Body, and the rest are semblances of the various differentiations of the Body.

Yes, and the body [like the Nietzschean conception of the soul-complex] is a hierarchy which acts like a microcosm of a political entity.
As I said, no matter what way you slice it, you still have to deal with the notions of consciousness and will etc., [Nietzsche said that the "consciousness is a surface"]

In 585, he makes a pause:"Tremendous self-examination: becoming conscious of oneself not as individuals but as mankind. Let us reflect, let us think back; let us follow the highways and byways!"

Nietzsche thought that the development of individual consciousness was more recent than the development of group consciousness - a sound assumption to make.
By becoming more and more individualistic we lose contact with the group - the archetypes of the tribe, the unconscious collective.

"A greater power implies a different consciousness, feeling, desiring, a different perspective..." [564]

The idea of consciousness as perspectival rather than reflective: intentional, active - a form of willing.

So the Nietzschean view of consciousness as an emergent epiphenomenon which then becomes a master of the body and rules it [or rather should do].

The revolt of consciousness over the body.

The Ubermensch is in complete control of his body [and of other bodies and other minds].

Hence Master Morality.

Can animals think on behalf of all animalkind? Do animals possess such power?

I do not believe that they can. Depite our anthropomorphising, there is no real 'king of the beasts'.
Because they lack our kind of consciousness, animals have not been able to make that quantum leap made by mankind.

Of course, it only takes a few to do it; then it becomes contagious.

This relates to the Aryan theory.

The Aryans were the first self-aware humans who were, before that, unselfconscious blond beasts.

Upon achieving consciousness they then enslaved all other unself-aware prehuman beasts.

Through contagion, and the breakdown of castes etc., this consciousness began to spread amongst non-Aryans.

However, this means that consciousness has been diluted.

The idea of breeding pure Aryans is the idea of re-attaining that first self-awareness which is hinted at in great poetry.

And of course, the idea of breeding upwards to the Superhuman is an idea of attaining a Superconsciousness.

This latter is what the various symbols [the Grail, the Ring etc.,] refer to.

Arrian
Friday, December 8th, 2006, 01:42 PM
But we also need stimuli - it is said that by depriving the mind of stimuli, a man can be quickly driven mad.

True, but what about madness - isn't that another kind of consciousness as well? It can be said to be healthy from some perspectives and for certain types of people. I'm refering to the art of cultivating solitude and madness - as a pathos of distance in consciousness.

Going on from what I said above, I believe that we can think ourselves ill, for example: psychosomatic disease, caused in the body by the mind.
By the same token we can think ourselves well - we can will ourselves well, if you like.

Alright, but what makes you posit the mind as a causal agent?

Aren't such causal theories flawed as Nietzsche has shown them to be? At any given instant, one cannot isolate and say , this arose because of that, etc. Everything is too linked.

As I mentioned elsewhere, epiphenomenalists suggest that this is not the case and that the body always effects the mind and never the other way around.
This view just seems to run contrary to experience [although I don't doubt that there are occasions when this happens], and I'd wager that the mind has greater power than the body.
This is a kind of epiphenomenalism; but then this "higher body" which is "consciousness" begins to have a 'mind' of its own, as it "lusts for knowledge". It therefore acts upon the body as a drive, as a lust, as a will to power [Nietzsche calls "philosophy the most spiritual will to power".]

"...epiphenomenalism denies that the mind has any causal influence on the body or any other part of the physical world..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphenomenalism

I don't think we can call Nietzsche's case an epiphenomenalism since he writes in TSZ, Despisers of the Body,

"The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain!" And thereupon it suffereth, and thinketh how it may put an end thereto - and for that very purpose it is meant to think.
"The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pleasure!" And thereupon it rejoiceth, and thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice - and for that very purpose it is meant to think.
The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself spirit, and as a hand to its will.
Behind thoughts and feelings there is a mighty lord... it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy body.
The Body is a plurality with one sense. ..."

So even if we regard this "one sense" as the mind of the Body, Nietzsche's Body seems to be such that the mind in turn prompts the body/self "to think" - so the interaction seems both ways, although, the Body seems to be
the "leading string" and all thoughts are meant to be a "by way to its purpose".

So even if the 'mind' is a 'higher body', it is still qualitively different from the 'lower body', and so the problem of the mind/body is not here avoided, but rather re-stated in other terms [higher body/lower body = Master/Slave].

You are right.
In WTP, Nietzsche says there is a higher ruling committee, and consciousness is only an "organ of the directing agent" and not the directing agent.
By "organ" I suppose then, he sees consciousness as some kind of surface-Body.


This relates to the Aryan theory.

That is a truly interesting way to look.

Do you believe there is such a thing as an Aryan qualia or Aryan qualias?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia

And am I right to think you are saying that there existed no [mode of] communication amongst the blond beasts?

And of course, the idea of breeding upwards to the Superhuman is an idea of attaining a Superconsciousness.

Is superconsciousness the surface of the surface, an edge over the edge?

Moody
Monday, December 11th, 2006, 01:21 PM
True, but what about madness - isn't that another kind of consciousness as well? It can be said to be healthy from some perspectives and for certain types of people. I'm refering to the art of cultivating solitude and madness - as a pathos of distance in consciousness.

We know little about consciousness - and even less about madness!
Philosophers like Churchland say that our understanding the mind [an understanding that he calls 'folk psychology'] comes alarmingly adrift when faced with madness.
We tend to talk of "being out of your mind", "losing your mind" etc.,
So its hard to say whether madness is "just another" form of consciousness.

The 'cultivation of madness' reminds us of Rimbaud's 'derangment of the senses'. But is that not a revolt against consciousness?

The sense of aporia here is due to the slippery nature of consciousness, methinks.

Alright, but what makes you posit the mind as a causal agent?

Taking the 'mind' in the widest sense, so including thought, feelings, volitions etc., Therefore the belief in the will leads one to make the mind a causal agent in that sense.

Aren't such causal theories flawed as Nietzsche has shown them to be? At any given instant, one cannot isolate and say , this arose because of that, etc. Everything is too linked.

Didn't Hume opine that we had no right to make a causal link between events?
That only through mere mental habit do we infer that x caused y to occur?
Certainly, in the more sceptical reaches of WTP Nietzsche even found the hypothesis of the will itself to be lacking.

But that is the answer - it is all an hypothesis; the will-to-power is a conjecture, and Nietzsche certainly used it for his own philosophy.

Ultimately then, this is what nietzsche called 'Perspectivism'.

So while we can rightly be sceptical about causes and about willing, these concepts are vital to our making sense of the world - our perspective.

I don't think we can call Nietzsche's case an epiphenomenalism since he writes in TSZ, Despisers of the Body,"The Self saith unto the ego: "Feel pain!" And thereupon it suffereth, and thinketh how it may put an end thereto - and for that very purpose it is meant to think [...]
Behind thoughts and feelings there is a mighty lord... it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy body.
The Body is a plurality with one sense. ..."
So even if we regard this "one sense" as the mind of the Body, Nietzsche's Body seems to be such that the mind in turn prompts the body/self "to think" - so the interaction seems both ways, although, the Body seems to be
the "leading string" and all thoughts are meant to be a "by way to its purpose".

I responded to the WTP quote you gave which suggested, as I said, "a kind of" epiphenomenalism; - of course, I wouldn't suggest that Nietzsche was an 'epiphenomenalist'!
His positions are too fluid and complex - at times monist, other times dualist and at other pluralist.

Is the mind in Nietzsche supervenient?

Or shall we apply Leibniz's law of the 'identity of indiscernibles' and say that if the mind and the body are identical, then everything we can say about the body we should be able to say about the mind?

In WTP, Nietzsche says there is a higher ruling committee, and consciousness is only an "organ of the directing agent" and not the directing agent. By "organ" I suppose then, he sees consciousness as some kind of surface-Body.

Yes - it is revealing that he uses a political metaphor in an attempt to describe it.

Do you believe there is such a thing as an Aryan qualia or Aryan qualias?

Is there an Aryan Quale?
It certainly sounds good!

I take qualia to be experential concepts [they are to 'quality' what quantum is to 'quantity'].

So Aryans may have qualia which are peculiar to them, but this would be rank specualtion given that the notion of qualia is controversial in itself.

So I would have to reject the idea of an Aryan Quale as such.

The notion does throw some light on the nature of consciousness, though.

And am I right to think you are saying that there existed no [mode of] communication amongst the blond beasts?

I would separate consciousness from 'modes of communication'.
Perhaps the former evolved from the latter, but it is by no means certain that they necessarily entail each other.

Is superconsciousness the surface of the surface, an edge over the edge?

It is a deeper surface and a sharper edge.

Arrian
Friday, December 15th, 2006, 05:51 PM
We know little about consciousness - and even less about madness!
Philosophers like Churchland say that our understanding the mind [an understanding that he calls 'folk psychology'] comes alarmingly adrift when faced with madness.
We tend to talk of "being out of your mind", "losing your mind" etc.,
So its hard to say whether madness is "just another" form of consciousness.
The 'cultivation of madness' reminds us of Rimbaud's 'derangment of the senses'. But is that not a revolt against consciousness?
The sense of aporia here is due to the slippery nature of consciousness, methinks.

Isn't that which is revolting still another consciousness - possibly the outcome of a shift in the usual order of the many souls and drives within?

"William James explored the paranormal and mystical dimensions of consciousness, that usually lie outside the boundaries of scientific interest. He pursued a life-long interest in the phenomena of sub-liminal consciousness, what he called “exceptional mental states”, including those found in hypnotism, automatisms, such as sleep walking, hysteria, multiple personality, demoniacal possession, witchcraft, degeneration and genius. James’s interest in unusual states of consciousness led him to experiment with nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” as it was then known, an experience that reinforced his understanding of transrational states of consciousness. He wrote that the conclusion he drew from these early “psychedelic” experiences was “that our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.
...Those who have embarked on a serious psychospiritual practice of consciousness exploration using shamanic and yogic technologies, who are willing to trust their own experience more than the received views and concepts they have taken on faith, tend to find themselves gradually awakening to a vastly expanded and different worldview."
http://www.greenearthfound.org/expanding.html


So while we can rightly be sceptical about causes and about willing, these concepts are vital to our making sense of the world - our perspective.

So Consciousness as an intention-morality, though Nietzsche listed more than one kind.
From the same link above:

"The word consciousness is derived from the Latin con-scire - “with-knowing”. We can ask “knowing-with” - what?
...A core concept of Husserl’s phenomenology of consciousness is intentionality : consciousness is always intentional, always “of” or “about” something, always directed, like an arrow or a mathematical vector, toward some object of meaning. The objects that consciousness intends can be external, or they can be internal aspects of our own experience. Because intentional consciousness is always “constituting” the essential features of the various domains of existence, both external and internal, consciousness has a fundamental “ontological priority”—it is the “supporting ground of reality”. The focus on intention as the fundamental constituting attribute of consciousness is congruent with the emphasis on “set (and setting)” as the prime determinants of altered states..."

Consciousness is constituted by intention, and intention grows from... desire?
Again, that is more or less back to the body.


His [Nietzsche's] positions are too fluid and complex - at times monist, other times dualist and at other pluralist.

Yes, you are right.


Is the mind in Nietzsche supervenient?

Yes, I don't think it'd be wrong to say that.

Or shall we apply Leibniz's law of the 'identity of indiscernibles' and say that if the mind and the body are identical, then everything we can say about the body we should be able to say about the mind?

That was a good one. But how will it cover schizophrenia - which is one physical body splitting into many minds and many differing consciousness? How does one ascertain the body has proportionately split too?


Is there an Aryan Quale?
It certainly sounds good!
I take qualia to be experential concepts [they are to 'quality' what quantum is to 'quantity'].
So Aryans may have qualia which are peculiar to them, but this would be rank specualtion given that the notion of qualia is controversial in itself.
So I would have to reject the idea of an Aryan Quale as such.
The notion does throw some light on the nature of consciousness, though.

I think this would very nicely tie with the idea and concept of a racial consciousness.

"The British botanist and philosopher Rupert Sheldrake has in recent times suggested the hypothesis of "formative causation" to explain much of the way in which living plant and animal bodies are formed.(18) In brief, Sheldrake postulates that every three-dimensional body, living or not, is associated with a "morphic field" (from Greek morphê "form") which is actually a field of memory of the respective body’s shape and its dynamics. On this view, all electrons in the universe have the same mass, spin and charge because they are all remembering the same morphic field. Natural laws are accordingly very strong habits, and life is a form of matter which can acquire new memories, that is, learn. Evolution proceeds by a life form’s sudden (unconscious) "re-thinking" of its morphic "fit" in its environment, in the same way as the solution to a difficult problem may suddenly just "pop into our heads" for us humans. (And evolution is therefore not gradual, but a series of sudden jumps - which accords perfectly with the archeological record.(19)) Evolution on the whole is, thus, a learning process, i.e., epistemological in nature.
But Sheldrake’s hypothesis is also useful when considering what happens after death. It allows us to see the soul as the morphic field, or form-memory, of the body and its history, both personal (i.e., recent) and evolutionary. In fact, in the juxtamortal trance, it is very common to see a "life review," although few recognize that what they are actually seeing is themselves as consisting of memory. But this is clearly what is happening. Later, upon coming into resonance with a new, developing body in the womb, the soul would guide the growth of that body in accord with its own memory-structure: its own self-formulation."

http://www.harbornet.com/folks/theedrich/hive/AftrLife.htm#X_FOUR

So the quale of a past consciousness, that has lived and learned and cultivated itself under an Aryan code of values, is likely to 'form' and impart in the present, a consciousness with a characteristic Aryan quale, i.e. the suchness of what is Aryan.
This ties in with the Germanic belief that a clan line's fylgja forms along with the hugr[mind/memory] nine days after a child's birth.

"The soul interprets this unfamiliar environment in accord with its own makeup. This makeup is always conditioned, first, by the body it inhabits(12) and, secondly, by the culture of which it has become a part.

...The Proto-Germanic form *guðan resulted in Gothic guþ (nominative and accusative singular) and guð- (the stem for all other cases, singular and plural), Old Norse goð, Old English god, Old High German cot and got, etc. The adjectival form, with vowel mutation (umlaut), appears in Old English gydig (i.e., "goddy,") meaning "preternaturally possessed," "insane," and has resulted in Modern English giddy. ...the original Germanic name for the cosmic inframind itself was *wurthiz, (pronounced "worthies"), originally from an ancient root meaning "turning"; it referred to the pre-birth "winding" or "spinning" of the thread of life by the Norns. The word accordingly implied a "Master Pattern" for a history-fabric "woven" by supernatural intelligences using the lives of men and gods as threads. Usually translated as "fate," *wurthiz, "the spun," became Old English Wyrd, now Weird." [ib.]

I think the fabric of our consciousness is very much shaped by our current values, actions, god-beliefs, etc. - it is our residual wyrd.


I would separate consciousness from 'modes of communication'.
Perhaps the former evolved from the latter, but it is by no means certain that they necessarily entail each other.

Thanks. I was also thinking of your remarks on another thread about language being unnatural and the Blond Beasts as representing a state prior to this. Does this mean, in super-consciousness, the BB communicate merely by bodily language and gestures? Yet, because you say this super-consciousness prevails in ancient poetry, does this also mean such poems are products of that consciousness when the poet, his writing, and the poem were one?

It is a deeper surface and a sharper edge.

Not sure if this somewhat fits with your description -

"This path of knowledge leads man to the recognition of the connection between microcosm and macrocosm, so that he is able to divide himself up within the kingdoms of Nature, so that he is able to say to which part of the world each single one of his organs belongs. The old Germanic myth distributes the giant Imir in this way. The dome of the heavens is made from his skull; the mountains from his bones and so on. That is the mythological presentation of this inner vision. Each part of the world reveals to the esotericist its connection with something in himself. The inner relationship then becomes apparent. All religions point to this kind of intensive development. The esotericist says to himself: Everything in the surrounding world — stones, plants and animals are signposts along the path of my own evolution. Without these kingdoms I could not exist. This consciousness fills us not only with the feeling that we have risen above these kingdoms, but also with the knowledge that our existence depends upon them.

There are seven grades of human consciousness: trance consciousness, deep sleep, dream consciousness, waking consciousness, psychic, super-psychic and spiritual consciousness. Actually these are in all twelve stages of consciousness; the five others are creative stages. They are those of the Creators, of the creative Gods. These twelve stages are related to the twelve signs of the zodiac. The human being must pass through the experiences of these twelve stages. He ascended through the trance, deep sleep and dream consciousness up to the present clear day consciousness. In the succeeding stages of planetary evolution he will reach still higher stages. All those which he has already passed through he will also retain within him. The physical body has the dull trance consciousness as this was gained by man on Old Saturn. The human etheric body has the consciousness of dreamless sleep, as this developed on Old Sun. The astral body dreams in the same way as one dreams during sleep. Dream consciousness derives from the Old Moon period. On our present Earth, man achieves waking consciousness. The ego has clear day-consciousness.

[b]Higher development consists in this, that one casts out what is in one's own being in the same way as man has cast out the snake, thereby retaining the snake on a higher level in his spinal cord. With still further development human beings will not only cast out stones, plants and animals into the world, but also stages of consciousness. In a stock of bees, for example, there are three kinds of beings which have a soul in common. Seemingly quite separated beings carry out a common work. In the future this will also be the case with man; he will separate off his organs. He will have to control consciously from outside all the single molecules of his brain. Then he will have become a higher being. This will also be so with his stages of consciousness. One can imagine a lofty being who has put forth from himself all twelve stages of consciousness. He himself is then present as the thirteenth and will say: I could not be what I am, if I had not separated off from myself these twelve stages of consciousness.
At first people were given pictures, now they receive concepts and, in the future, they will have to act in accordance with these in their practical life."

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Dates/19050926p01.html

Moody
Saturday, December 16th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Isn't that which is revolting still another consciousness - possibly the outcome of a shift in the usual order of the many souls and drives within?

Rimbaud says that "the poet makes himself a seer by a long, immense and rational disordering of the senses".
Implying that there is an intellectual will to power [inter- between, and legere, choose, pick-out, read] which 'rules' the senses, and is both able to order them, or to throw them into disorder.
It is able to step back if it wishes to let the disordered sense run riot in a feast of metaphor.

"... our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, while all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different".

Those imputed "different type of consciousness" might not be a 'conscious' at all, and so may not deserve the name, especially as they may lack the quality of inner awareness usually imputed to 'consciousness'.

It was Schopenhauer, of course, who spoke of the unconscious long before Freud.

To Schopenhauer [normal] consciousness was very much that "filmiest of screens" parasitic upon the immense urgings of the Will.

But this still leaves us with the problem of what this 'normal consciousness' is, in and of itself.
And how is it that something so flimsy could have the power to disorder our senses?

"The word consciousness is derived from the Latin con-scire - “with-knowing”. We can ask “knowing-with” - what?

Actually, I think the sense of the etymological meaning should be 'knowing-within'. In Old English the word was glossed as "inwit" , while the Latin was a translation of the Greek [i]syneidesis.

...A core concept of Husserl’s phenomenology of consciousness is intentionality : consciousness is always intentional, always “of” or “about” something, always directed, like an arrow or a mathematical vector, toward some object of meaning.

This "always" contradicts the 'other' forms of consciousness, which are not intentional, such as the ones James speaks of.
So to Husserl, these 'unintentional' states are not 'consciousness'.

What are they then?
Are they mind states like consciousness?

And we are still assuming that consciousness is of the mind - are we right to do that?
Because the word suggests that the states are 'inner' we believe this to be the case.
But what if we are being misled by the folk psychology of our language?

Would Plato have understood this idea of an inner-knowing?

To him Ideas were 'out there' - one connected to them through knowledge of the Forms.

Perhaps our post-Cartesian 'secret box' view of consciousness is false and misleading and based on the Christian notion of conscience with which it shares its etymology?

Consciousness is constituted by intention, and intention grows from... desire? Again, that is more or less back to the body.

If we accept that consciousness is only 'intentional'.
But what of those unintentional mental states which can act on the body ?
Are such states [i]of the body - a body which they seem to thwart?

Schizophrenia - which is one physical body splitting into many minds and many differing consciousness? How does one ascertain the body has proportionately split too?

Of course, the schizophrenic's body doesn't change in parity with his mind.
Unlike the Jekyll and Hyde story, his body remains the same whether he be Mr Jekyll or Mr Hyde.
So this would suggest that the mind has a separation of some kind if it is able to change while the body it inhabits remains the same.
Using Leibniz's law, if mind & body were identical then the body would have to change when the mind changed.

" In brief, Sheldrake postulates that every three-dimensional body, living or not, is associated with a "morphic field" (from Greek morphê "form") which is actually a field of memory of the respective body’s shape and its dynamics.

This is actually closer to the Platonic view and gets away from the subjectivist - inner-wit - model of consciousness.
It also leaves the body behind.

The 'field' is both within us and without us as the Mystics might say!

Whereas the notion of qualia is that of the personal and inner-experiential.

So the quale of a past consciousness, that has lived and learned and cultivated itself under an Aryan code of values, is likely to 'form' and impart in the present, a consciousness with a characteristic Aryan quale, i.e. the suchness of what is Aryan.
This ties in with the Germanic belief that a clan line's fylgja forms along with the hugr[mind/memory] nine days after a child's birth.

Yes but you are just re-naming the 'soul', or the 'fylga' concepts etc., as qualia; this is actually less enlightening and has only a tenuous connection with the quale concept itself.

"... a "Master Pattern" for a history-fabric "woven" by supernatural intelligences using the lives of men and gods as threads. Usually translated as "fate," *wurthiz, "the spun," became Old English Wyrd, now Weird." [ib.]

I like these ideas - but they are all more Platonic and non-individualist and so wouldn't recognise the modern concept of a personal and secret consciousness.

I was also thinking of your remarks on another thread about language being unnatural and the Blond Beasts[BB] as representing a state prior to this. Does this mean, in super-consciousness, the BB communicate merely by bodily language and gestures? Yet, because you say this super-consciousness prevails in ancient poetry, does this also mean such poems are products of that consciousness when the poet, his writing, and the poem were one?

I'm tempted to hypothesise that the ancient Aryans communicated purely via telepathy [this has been suggested by many others].

The loss of this ability [or its severe limiting] may have led to the invention of language.

I believe that language was purely poetic at first and was a way of trying to recapture that Aryan form of commincation which was borne on the wind of the blond beasts.

"This path of knowledge leads man to the recognition of the connection between microcosm and macrocosm, so that he is able to divide himself up within the kingdoms of Nature, so that he is able to say to which part of the world each single one of his organs belongs"

Yes - I find it really interesting that all your examples point to a very different model of consciousness, one that is almost the antithesis of the philosophical notion.

The 'type' of consciousness you speak would be better called a telesciousness, as it is orientated outside the self - at a tremendous distance - and works towards an 'end'.

Aupmanyav
Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Moody Lawlessness: Sorry, I took so long for the reply. I am a bit intimidated by long posts.

'why we don't give animals human rights.' Because we are not enough evolved. There are people who do care about animals to that extent. There are people who would not like to pluck a flower from its stem. We are selfish. We use animals to use in our medical experiments without thinking about what we do to them. We are cruel.

'And it certainly won't be found in computers.' What makes you so certain. This is not a scientific attitude. It sure is not an object. It is the way brain would treat a matter in future, 'it is OK, it is not OK', and may order the body to act in a particular way in a given situation. It is the experience and the conclusion, it is the result of data fed into it.

'do they have consciousness in the way that humans do.' Why should they have a human kind of consciousness. Monkeys and tigers are machines (or arrangements) different from humans.

'If you reject will and probability' I reject 'will', even after 'will' there are many variables. A person's 'will' is not supreme in the world. The 'will' also comes up after the effect of many variables. I do not reject probablity and chance.

Arrian
Sunday, December 17th, 2006, 06:06 PM
Actually, I think the sense of the etymological meaning should be 'knowing-within'. In Old English the word was glossed as "inwit" [inner wit, or knowledge], while the Latin was a translation of the Greek syneidesis.

Quote:
" In brief, Sheldrake postulates that every three-dimensional body, living or not, is associated with a "morphic field" (from Greek morphê "form") which is actually a field of memory of the respective body’s shape and its dynamics.

This is actually closer to the Platonic view and gets away from the subjectivist - inner-wit - model of consciousness.
It also leaves the body behind.

Would Plato have understood this idea of an inner-knowing?
To him Ideas were 'out there' - one connected to them through knowledge of the Forms.
Yes but you are just re-naming the 'soul', or the 'fylga' concepts etc., as qualia; this is actually less enlightening and has only a tenuous connection with the quale concept itself.

But this still leaves us with the problem of what this 'normal consciousness' is, in and of itself. And how is it that something so flimsy could have the power to disorder our senses?


No, I wasn't merely trying to rename the fylga as qualia; I was trying to point out that the fabric of the racial conscious was believed to develop at the same time as memory/mind at the birth of a child. So from what Sheldrake proposes, it is possible to hypothesize that our acts and our consciousness now are not only the products of our previous 'body', but our present body, the acts and values we incline to, these memories, this body, weaves the filmy fabric of our future consciousness. Its possibly because of this intimate connection of the same Self, mind and body resonate, and how consciousness is able to communicate to the bodily senses and vice-versa. I find this view interesting because it makes a strong case of tele-pathy - transference of thought, Extra--sensory perception. Blood may be the sixth sense through which the body telepathasizes across time, and this makes the striving for racial purity so imperative.

Using Leibniz's law, if mind & body were identical then the body would have to change when the mind changed.

Yes, that's what I thought.

I'm tempted to hypothesise that the ancient Aryans communicated purely via telepathy [this has been suggested by many others].


"Dreams bring telepathic messages as we time ravel or grid travel in our dreams where al exists. These are called precognitive dreams. If they are about the 'world' rather than our personal lives, they are called 'collective dreams'.

Deceased souls sometimes bring messages through dreamtime. Communication is by thought form using symbols. In dreams youare moving faster than the speed of light. This is similar to meditation, time travel and remote viewing. You meet up with spirits and share adventures and information. In dreamtime you move faster and higher.

As your consciousness returns to the physical body the lower your get to your body - the more it slows down ...slower...and slower... until you enter your consciousness mind and wake up in the sluggish place - we call 3D. it is here that the concept of lineartime exists. You can best understand this by remembering that in your dreams - you move from event to event but time is notmarked. There is no time beyond 3D as frequency of light - and that is all we are - is moving too fast. Remember - the lower and slower the frequency -the less likely to achieve telepathy or other abilities that work in faster light.
Lovers definitely are more in tuned telepathically as being in love at that level is a very high frequency.
Telepathy between members of the same family - or close friends is common as they learn to adjust to each other's frequencies. There always seem to be one member of every family - usually a woman - who has psychic or telepathic abilities. Mother's sense when children are in trouble. When you are in panic mode - the adrenaline flows and the telepathy kicks in to those would tune in to help you.
I woman could receive messages from her unborn child, often through dreams, but also telepathically.
People often sense the death of a family member.
Twins are often telepathic with each other creating these abilities when they are infants. they generally are in the same frequency at the same time and learn to communicate with words. very often it is just about a single thought - hunger. Telepathy between twins or family members can remain for a life time. ..."
http://www.crystalinks.com/telepathy.html

"possess mind control abilities, which can include "pushing" thoughts, feelings, or hallucinatory visions into the mind of another person, or completely taking over another person's mind and body (similar to spiritual possession).

...Some scientists and intellectuals, occasionally referred to by themselves or others as "transhumanists", believe that technologically enabled telepathy, coined "techlepathy," will be the inevitable future of humanity. Kevin Warwick of the University of Reading, England is one of the leading expert proponents of this view, and has based all of his recent Cybernetics research around developing practical, safe devices for directly connecting human nervous systems together with computers and with each other. He believes techno-enabled telepathy will become the sole or at least the primary form of human communication in the future. He asserts that this will happen by means of the principle of natural selection, which he predicts will force nearly everybody to make use of the technology for economic and social reasons once it becomes available to all."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telepathy

The loss of this ability [or its severe limiting] may have led to the invention of language.
I believe that language was purely poetic at first and was a way of trying to recapture that Aryan form of commincation which was borne on the wind of the blond beasts.

Thank you!

What led you to believe this? Was it the fact that the runes appeared as symbols before alphabets in the sense of a word and lang. as we understand today?

Have you found any instances of telepathic thought in ancient poems/myths? Please share if you have.

The 'type' of consciousness you speak would be better called a telesciousness, as it is orientated outside the self - at a tremendous distance - and works towards an 'end'.



A lot of this [perception, understanding, inference] depends on one's blood, so if the view is, if blood is both body and mind, so should be consciousness. Maybe not body and consciousness, but does Leibnitz's indiscernible unit hold between blood and consciousness? They seem to grow and decline proportionately.

We are selfish. We use animals to use in our medical experiments without thinking about what we do to them. We are cruel.

So how was progress made among the Vedics and their medicinal sciences?

I reject 'will', even after 'will' there are many variables. A person's 'will' is not supreme in the world. The 'will' also comes up after the effect of many variables. I do not reject probablity and chance.

What is there besides Will?

And what makes you sure that probability and chance are not themselves been willed?

Aupmanyav
Monday, December 18th, 2006, 05:05 AM
The Vedics and the Indians used the hit and trial method on themselves to know the effect of herbs, the way that was available to all aboriginals of the world. A red herb may help in restoring strength, this kind of initial thinking till they knew better.

Besides the much touted 'will', there is chance and probability, the real monarch of this world, hindus call it 'Maya'.

The last depends on the religious thinking of a person. I am an atheist, have found no reason to accept the existence of God, so there is none to control probability and chance. It is 'Maya', one out of the many probabilities, an inherent property of the universal substrate, which hindus know as 'Brahman'. A baryon giving out a neutron to become a gluon or a baryon accepting a neutrino to become a boson (not an exact scientific sequence but just an example of what all could and what does happen every attosecond all over the universe. Of course, if I google, I can find the correct sequences, but I suppose you get my meaning).

Deceased souls, dreams with meaning, spirits, previous body, present body, future consciousness, telepathy, extra-sensory perception, words that are not for me. Aryans were made of blood and bones, and were not ETs.

However, perhaps the greatest story of tele-pathy and tele-vision, Sanjay, the charoteer of the Kaurava kind Dhritarashtra describing the whole 18 day Mahabharata war as he saw and heard it, including minute details in Srimad (this is a honorific) BhagawadGeeta (The Divine Song) for those who believe.

Arrian
Monday, December 18th, 2006, 05:37 AM
The Vedics and the Indians used the hit and trial method on themselves to know the effect of herbs, the way that was available to all aboriginals of the world. A red herb may help in restoring strength, this kind of initial thinking till they knew better.

And if an animal had to be cured, would an Indian man still test things on himself?

Are you an opponent of non-vegetarianism? I read Vedics were pious non-vegetarians.


Besides the much touted 'will', there is chance and probability, the real monarch of this world, hindus call it 'Maya'.

I understand. Theosophy gives Maya from an etymological meaning 'to measure', and therefore that which limits our view and perception.

The last depends on the religious thinking of a person. I am an atheist, have found no reason to accept the existence of God, so there is none to control probability and chance. It is 'Maya', one out of the many probabilities, an inherent property of the universal substrate, which hindus know as 'Brahman'.

I wasn't talking of God. I was talking of man willing his chance and fate into existence. Nietzsche opines that chance is really the clashing of wills and its outcome.

Deceased souls, dreams with meaning, spirits, previous body, present body, future consciousness, telepathy, extra-sensory perception, words that are not for me. Aryans were made of blood and bones, and were not ETs.

I think there was ESP among the Indo-Aryans too, an example would be how Evola describes the birth of Buddha after a similar dream his mother had.

However, perhaps the greatest record of tele-pathy and tele-vision, Sanjay, the charoteer of the Kaurava kind Dhritarashtra describing the whole 18 day Mahabharata war as he saw and heard it, including minute details in Srimad (this is a honorific) BhagawadGeeta (The Divine Song) for those who believe.

I didn't get this. What's telepathic about this?

Aupmanyav
Monday, December 18th, 2006, 06:06 AM
I presume that Indians and Vedics treated their livestock with the same herbs as they used themselves, more or like in the fashion that we do now, of course, we now have more scientific data.

I am a non-vegetarian, unfortunately, the desire for taste wins over the mind. Vedics also most probably were non-vegetarians. Hinduism accepts 'Jeevo Jeevasya Bhojanam' (one life form is food for another). After all, vegetation also is living. I am not a theosophist, which Indians discarded some 75 years ago.

'man willing his chance and fate' that we always do, it is part of the game. 'into existence', how is that? We did not 'will' ourselves into existence. You are welcome to your views on Buddha's birth, Krishna's birth, or Jesus' birth, all these stories have the magical elements.

Telepathy - Will the learning of war formations (Chakravyuha) by Arjuna's yet-to-be-born son, Abhimanyu, as Arjuna was explaining that to his wife, Subhadra, Krishna's sister, qualify for that? Interesting stories for children.

Arrian
Monday, December 18th, 2006, 08:36 PM
'man willing his chance and fate' that we always do, it is part of the game. 'into existence', how is that? We did not 'will' ourselves into existence.

Isn't that what Karma is about? You will the kind of life you would like being real ized, and in Hinduism, social duties and responsibilities are held so important because they understand collective karma will will a whole environment into existence.

Telepathy - Will the learning of war formations (Chakravyuha) by Arjuna's yet-to-be-born son, Abhimanyu, as Arjuna was explaining that to his wife, Subhadra, Krishna's sister, qualify for that? Interesting stories for children.

That's right! I just read up on that now.
Why shouldn't it be a case for telepathy?

Aupmanyav
Tuesday, December 19th, 2006, 01:28 AM
That may be in buddhism. There is no collective karma in hinduism. This is an age of science. I believe karma was only a rod taken up by hinduism to keep people in line with 'dharma' (duty and righteous social action). Behave properly and one gets a vacation, not behave properly one suffer in prison.

As for creation, for believers it is 'will' of the Lord. For those who believe in a 'Nirguna' (non-satient) 'Brahman', there is no creation, it is an illusion. Sankaracharya opined 'Brahma Satyam Jagan-Mithya' ('Brahman' is truth, creation is false). It is 'Ma-ya' (Not this), we are not perceiving what actually there is. If the power of our eyes be increased (or for that matter decreased) a million times, we will see quite a different world there. It is 'Brahman' alone which in its 'Maya' seems like substance, space and time. 'Ekam-eva Adviteeyam' (One only, no second). No duality. Science knows this as quantum field.

'Why shouldn't it be a case for telepathy?' Try to explain it with science, that is why it is a myth and not a fact.

ps. - I do agree if you mean that if everybody followed 'dharma', it will result into a very different environment. I think I got your meaning wrong.

Arrian
Wednesday, December 20th, 2006, 07:51 AM
I believe karma was only a rod taken up by hinduism to keep people in line with 'dharma'

I regard that as a too simplistic social understanding of Karma. I believe there is such a thing as an impersonal personal-wyrd.


For those who believe in a 'Nirguna' (non-satient) 'Brahman', there is no creation, it is an illusion.

So what do you make of the creation hymn in the Veda?

'Why shouldn't it be a case for telepathy?' Try to explain it with science, that is why it is a myth and not a fact.

So telepathy as of today is unscientific and non-factual only because it cannot be proved?

Aupmanyav
Sunday, December 31st, 2006, 03:29 PM
1. Hindus are free to understand the world and what is therein in many ways. That is my current understanding.
2. The creation hymn in RigVeda is very advanced thinking for its time. Now we find atoms are not solid but quantum fields.
3. Telepathy is unscientific and non-factual today. If tomorrow even a little possiblity comes up, that would be researched further.