Help: to explain animal vs human free will

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by emilynghiem, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    HELP! can ANYONE help me with this one:

    I got stuck with a friend on the free will issue.

    I said that the will/consciousness/conscience of human beings is DIFFERENT from the sentient ability of animals.

    He disagrees.

    He keeps talking about the spiritual connection with all life, which I agree with.

    When he separates humans from animals, he uses the terms "intelligence" to confirm that people are more "intelligent" than animals; and he also says people have made bad or worse mistakes/choices and that is why we have that responsibility to fix them. but he says animals have equal responsibility for their destructive or productive actions, and I disagree, that animal instinct is not on the same level of human consciousness and free will. (I believe the mistakes/lessons by humanity are already on a different/higher level than animals who do not carry karma/sin like humans carry into future generations until these are resolved. So there is a REASON we make mistake with more global impact, and it is NOT just by our intelligence but by our spiritual level of connection by conscience that is different. He thinks the spiritual connection of animals/plants is equal; I agree it is equally important in the sense of the whole creation, but the free will and knowledge that man carries has a higher responsibility or path than nature/knowledge animals have.)

    YIKES!

    My point is that human nature has a higher component to it BY DESIGN and not like animals do; it is NOT that we are "more important than animals because we are human" it is our spiritual nature and responsibility we have as humans that makes us different that is more important to use correctly.

    Can anyone help me, I must be miscommunicating and maybe he uses "intelligence" to say what I am trying to say. But even there he thinks it is possible for animal intelligence to change the same as human intelligence to change, but that is NOT the same!

    Can ANYONE give an analogy an example that would explain
    how humans have a different spiritual level and it is not just intelligence
    but by the design of human nature?

    HELP HELP HELP thanks!
     
  2. Lokiate
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    Lokiate Super Beast

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    Well, we are animals. The difference between us and them is that something happened in our evolutionary process that made things like speech, and tool making necessary, and over a long period of time, other things either became necessary, or made one a more attractive mate. Are we different? Yes. We have speech, we make and use tools, music, art, but that doesn't mean somewhere down the very long road of life, some other animal group can't evolve to do some of those things. Some animals already do use tools, usually rocks, or sticks, many animals communicate with sound and touch, hell, some even adorn themselves with decoration. They have the potential, we just happened to get there first.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    In order for you to win this debate you'd need to prove your contention that:

    "...our spiritual level of connection by conscience that is different"
    Two thoughts

    1. I haven't a clue what you're talking about

    2. Neither do you.

     
  4. tonystewart1
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    tonystewart1 VIP Member

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    Humans have free will animals have insticncts to guide their behavior.

    Humans have instinct also but free will gives us the option to ignore our instincts and do the opposite.

    To me it seems animals react to their enviroment based on instinct and therefore have no responsiblity for their actions. Humans on the other hand have choices in the way they act and therefore are held responsible by God for out choices.

    Free will is both a blessing and a curse.

    For example you can train a dog to do many different things but once away from humans it will rely on its instinct to guide its behavior. Feral dogs and cats.

    Animals do not have a consious but we do. We regret our behavior animals do not.
     
  5. Colin
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    Colin Gold Member

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    Give your friend a stroke and a biscuit treat, let him off the leash for a run and he'll be fine.
    Just check him for tics afterwards. There's a lot about at the moment.
     
  6. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Thanks Colin your reply made me laugh.
    However the way I hung up on my friend in complete shock and disbelief,
    offended my friend as rude who sees it as a serious matter.

    He also truly does NOT understand that he has any spiritual links or connections with his mother, his parents that are different from his relations with others.

    So he may be one of these pure innocent souls, like Adam or Jesus, born without such connection to physical parents and just living in the world completely innocent of any such awareness or connection to past conditions. It could be so.

    I think I will take the other statements people have said, and maybe talk to him where HE may not have any of this consciousness, but OTHER people carry it. Adam and Jesus were born without carrying karmic connections from family past, but everyone else does.

    If he is the exception, then he is on the level of the last Imam, the last Buddha, or whatever last level conquers the generational sin or karma and does not live under that anymore. But the rest of us carry our part of the Cross or give it to Jesus to carry, but it is on the human conscience and is our responsibility. If he feels he does not owe any of this, maybe he doesn't. Maybe he is like Christ and owes nothing, so anything that happens is just old sins being paid back but he is not adding any new sins. Congratulations to him if that is the truth, if he is born without sin like Adam or Jesus. That is what I hear he is trying to say he believes. Pretty shocking to hear this.
     
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  7. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    Animals = Sex when they want, rules of the jungle
    Humans = Underwear and clothes
     
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  8. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    It's like comparing apples to oranges. They are two completely different things. Same with animals and people. Same with Republicans and Democrats.
     
  9. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    Society is a concept which battles human's instincts.
    A result of it is marriage and women's rights.
     
  10. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Hi Tony I agree with you, but this is where my friend does not get it.

    He rejects these two things:
    1. He rejects the teaching that humans are "superior" to animals or have some rights or higher status by God that animals do not have. I told him this is NOT about claiming LESS responsibility but MORE. He says that responsibility comes from human making worst mistakes than animals, but I say it is our greater capacity not "intelligence" that gives us that ability to have MADE those greater mistakes.

    2. He does not regret his actions the same way people do. He acts so innocent but it comes across as not taking responsibility for how he imposes on others. When I impose on others by my differences, I am aware I am causing suffering to others and I take responsibility to try to fix it so I do not hurt people's feelings.

    3. He also did not understand that his relationship with his mother is going to carry different weight than with other people. He really thought all people are equally under God and don't owe more or less to one person or another by birth. But I said there is some special karma that is born into our closer relationships so we can work these out. Our relationship with the people we meet in life is different, where if we focus on that and work things out there, the whole world can be at peace. And family and romantic relations are the most intense, where the root of all our conflicts can be found and resolved.

    Our conscience is designed differently from the animals, I agree with you.
    I will try to find out what my friend is saying, and then find out a better way to
    explain what I am saying without coming across as #1 where it is a superiority issue.

    4. My friend also thinks that since people can artificially alter their intelligence, then it is possible that animals could change in their intelligence level also. That is where I disagree with attributing it to intelligence as something that can change. This is due to some spiritual capacity that is different by design, and animals do NOT have it as people do!

    5. One last question: do you think people would be like the animals, innocent in the garden, if we had never bitten into the apple? If we did not gain self-awareness AHEAD of our maturity level and caused huge messes, would we have "evolved" in a more natural pace to become self-aware over time instead of it happening all at once where we were not prepared to deal with all that knowledge, and this caused war fighting for control of knowledge and laws to compete with each other out of fear and greed?

    Is this what my friend means as part of the bigger mistakes we make that make us different from animals?

    Do you really think animals are meant to gain the same sense of awareness of past actions and history that people carry?

    I think he is saying animals carry the same knowledge in their spiritual consciousness which is all one fabric of life so he doesn't make this distinction. To him they are spiritually as connected and equally important as people in the greater scheme.

    Somehow whatever the difference is, he chalks it up under the category of "intelligence" so maybe I just use that word differently and don't consider the factor under that. I call it something under "spiritual design" "conscience" or something else, but as for intelligence I would say the instinct level of animals would count as intelligence that we don't have awareness of. Maybe you are saying we have this same level but have overridden it with choices and memories that have conditioned us to choose against harmony with nature?

    I will ask around if there are Buddhist terms that explain the difference in sentient being better between the level of animals and the level of people. I would not call it "intelligence" but that is what my friend calls it. (see point #4 where he usage of "intelligence" to describe it is something that can change, but I feel the factor that makes us different is not something that animals can gain)

    Thanks Tony
    between everyone here I hope I can isolate what factor is different and be able to describe it to my friend using common terms. Not "intelligence" which he thinks can change where animals can be the same as people, it has to be something factor that we both agree CANNOT change like intelligence can develop.
     

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