Animals and Empathy
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13-05-2013, 08:20 PM
Animals and Empathy
Animals have been observed to show empathy not just for their own kind but for different species. If they can show empathy why not love? If love, then why not a soul? (this last question is rhetorical and aimed at theists)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...als-weird/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/...l-science/

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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14-05-2013, 03:18 PM
RE: Animals and Empathy
Empathy is pretty well defined, so it's sometimes easy to say whether it's exhibited by another species (and under what conditions) - like, stress response when exposed to images of anothers' suffering, f'r'ex, which, without having read the links yet, I'd assume was the case.

Love?

Not so much...
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14-05-2013, 03:57 PM
RE: Animals and Empathy
The scene depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo depicting the creation of Adam never happened.

There was no divine spark that imbued homo sapiens with any "higher faculties." EVERYTHING we have came to us through the tree of evolution, so it is not mindblowing when we realize that our failure to see evidence of an "internal life" in other life forms is only evidence of our limitations, not the limitations of other animals.

Life is just one of the things star-stuff does given billions and billions of years and the right circumstances.

On the other hand, if I may, oil is not the residue of dead dinosaurs. It is produced by geologic chemistry at extreme pressures and temperatures. It is likely that the earth was making oil long before the first extremeophiles began metabolizing.
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14-05-2013, 03:59 PM
RE: Animals and Empathy
(14-05-2013 03:57 PM)Nathan Natas Wrote:  The scene depicted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo depicting the creation of Adam never happened.

There was no divine spark that imbued homo sapiens with any "higher faculties." EVERYTHING we have came to us through the tree of evolution, so it is not mindblowing when we realize that our failure to see evidence of an "internal life" in other life forms is only evidence of our limitations, not the limitations of other animals.

Life is just one of the things star-stuff does given billions and billions of years and the right circumstances.

On the other hand, if I may, oil is not the residue of dead dinosaurs. It is produced by geologic chemistry at extreme pressures and temperatures. It is likely that the earth was making oil long before the first extremeophiles began metabolizing.

No one thinks oil or coal is dead dinosaurs, but the remains of carboniferous forests. The theory that it is non-biological does not have a great deal of support.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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14-05-2013, 04:15 PM
RE: Animals and Empathy
Homo Sapiens evolved to have "feelings" of empathy, love, sadness and other emotions. I actually find it highly unlikely that other higher forms of life did not evolve similar, but perhaps less developed emotions.

"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"- David Hume
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14-05-2013, 04:54 PM
RE: Animals and Empathy
(14-05-2013 04:15 PM)Heathen Wrote:  Homo Sapiens evolved to have "feelings" of empathy, love, sadness and other emotions. I actually find it highly unlikely that other higher forms of life did not evolve similar, but perhaps less developed emotions.

I wonder about that, less developed emotions. Take a look at these five examples, granted not the in-depth article I'd prefer, but a nice guide pointing to where you can continue searching.

http://www.livescience.com/24800-animals...ality.html

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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14-05-2013, 05:38 PM (This post was last modified: 14-05-2013 05:42 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Animals and Empathy
The esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal posits that moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but rather is a product of mammalian evolution which antedates religion.

Here's an excerpt from his new book The Bonobo and the Atheist: Have Militant Atheists Created a New Religion? There is danger in dogma, whoever is behind it.

Posted about it here before in the There is danger in dogma, whoever is behind it thread but it's relevant here as well.

Dude's definitely an atheist but he is sensitive to society going completely cold turkey off religion given that it has become so conflated and intertwined with morality. He seems to think it needs to be teased out carefully. Not sure I agree with him, but he makes his point effectively. "Atheism will need to be combined with something else, something more constructive than its opposition to religion, to be relevant to our lives. The only possibility is to embrace morality as natural to our species." - The Bonobo and the Atheist, 2013.

And here's an interview with him: 6 Amazing Ways Animals Show Compassion

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14-05-2013, 05:45 PM
Re: Animals and Empathy
When looking into this on the past, I've never felt there was a great gap in difference of empathy and love.

Love seems simply enough a stronger more chemically bonding form of empathic emotions.
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14-05-2013, 05:51 PM (This post was last modified: 14-05-2013 05:56 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Animals and Empathy
(14-05-2013 05:45 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  When looking into this on the past, I've never felt there was a great gap in difference of empathy and love.

Love seems simply enough a stronger more chemically bonding form of empathic emotions.

I think that's right, Clydesdale. But not sure I'd characterize it as a stronger chemical bonding so much as a shared experiential bonding (which admittedly can probably someday be reduced to a chemical bonding, but that somehow feels sterile and insufficient to me Tongue ). In either case, I think the difference between empathy and love is only a matter of degree.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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14-05-2013, 07:05 PM
RE: Animals and Empathy
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/god-mor...ZLe_8rV6t8

"Which is more likely: that the whole natural order is suspended, or that a jewish minx should tell a lie?"- David Hume
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