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Human-Animal Understanding

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Gyndawyr
585299.  Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:34 pm Reply with quote

As humans become increasingly adept at communication with technology, its unusual to understand that man has not found use for better communication with animals since back in the day when survival and dominance of other species depended upon it.

I am to understand that humanity always bears ignorance towards whatever is "assumed" to be different to social custom; people, animals, objects, that look/act differently to the usual environment they learned as a child to live in.

I question the morality of it in that man is entitled to life as much as any other species, yet chickens are fattened and then slaughtered after 6 months. People remain ignorant it seems so long as the chickens scream from the slaughterhouse in a language unknown to us. It becomes easily justified.

The question im asking is complicated, how well do you think humanity currently understands animal communication and feeling, and how do you think it will change or advance in the future?

I was discussing with my aunt the idea that only mammals can feel pain, and that only pack animals have learned to communicate. Sharks have an advanced body language, as swimming below them puts you in a dominant position, exposing their underbelly, and you are displaying a defensive position, in a way sharks understand. Krill, insects and other tiny organisms react to environmental change which are questionable to feeling pain.

Discuss :)

 
Sadurian Mike
585333.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:04 am Reply with quote

You seem to have a whole bucket of ideas hung together there.

If I can presume to paraphrase you, are you asking whether we can or should develop a way to understand animal thinking so that we can judge whether they are suffering when we kill them?

Or am I on the wrong track?

 
Posital
585342.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:18 am Reply with quote

Please let me unpick this so an average human can understand:
1) Why can't we talk to the animals - we're so clever?
2) People don't like the wierdos from the neighbouring valley 'cos they're different.
3) It's easy to kill something that doesn't talk.
4) Can we talk to the animals already - how will this improve?
5) I had a chat with mummy horse's sister about some things.

There's only one answer to this - Neigh.



PS: Clever Hans was a master of body language...

 
Curious Danny
585351.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:12 am Reply with quote

I've always assumed that one of the main reasons we have never have a decent conversation with an animal is that we don't understand what their saying past the more basic level - with a few exemptions like Hans and the monkeys taught sign language.

Trying to talk to a chicken about mortality would be rather more difficult than just telling it "food!"

 
Gyndawyr
585379.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:01 am Reply with quote

Sadurian learning to communicate with animals has advantages for humanity which could be utilised by various means, ironically, warfare, and such. I dont really have a use for listening to them die :/

1. I question human understanding beyond what it is accustomed to, robots, chickens, whatever you want.

2. I then ask how do you think it will change in the future?
I usually end up asking such an epic question as this :)

The question; how well do you think humanity currently understands animal communication and feeling? has been sort of answered already. Nooot very well :)

I dont expect chickens to talk, or to be that useful to humanity if we learned their language rather than just telling things to adapt to ours :) But something like a cougar or an elephant or a killer whale trained to "sick em" would be awesome :D I think no one can be bothered because theres not enough profit in it for humanity.

 
Posital
585384.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:12 am Reply with quote

We can only communicate within the richness of our inner lives.

So a free range chicken would have more to say than a battery hen.

Battery hen: Oooo food. Drink. Was that an egg?

Free range: Was that a worm over there? Gerroff my patch! Did you see something scary beyond the wire? I name this egg - Apple. I just hope we're safe from swine flu. etc.

Have you not seen those Sky3 things - wolfman - lionman - dog whisperer?

Even stingrays can speak to the world.

 
zomgmouse
585402.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:37 am Reply with quote

It's interesting you should mention battery hens and free range hens; reminds me of the "allegory of the cave".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_cave

 
Sadurian Mike
585567.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:18 pm Reply with quote

A slight aside (and I apologise for once more bringing FRPGs into a thread) this sort of issue appears occasionally in fantasy role-playing games.

Various magical powers can allow characters to communicate with animals and the inevitable consequence is that the games master (referee - the guy playing "everyone else" in the campaign world) must decide exactly what information these creatures can impart.

In general it comes down to very much what Posital suggests; animals are interested in food, danger, and sex. Asking a mouse who is in charge of the local city is not going to work, but he will probably know where to find spilled grain and where a snake hunts.

 
Davini994
585624.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:31 pm Reply with quote

Gosh, is that the time? I need to go... er... check on the... thing...

 
Posital
585632.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:41 pm Reply with quote

Oooo - it's worrying when Sad Mike invokes proof by magic...

Yeah - I'm sure I've got a car to wash somewhere...

 
Sadurian Mike
585634.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:48 pm Reply with quote



 
Gyndawyr
585662.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:24 pm Reply with quote

are my topics really that boring? -_-
Wait till i bring up the morality of robots, & genetic engineering & such :D

Meaning of life shit :)

Nooo I think I understand to some extent. Man usually makes the animal adapt to communicating with humans. This is because of how shallow minded I presume we are. XD
Lion man, etc reversed the roles, to greater understand communication the animals use in nature.

The reasons for this??

Well, the main use I can see for it is animal welfare, which isnt really profitable for humanity is it? -_-
But a more useful idea of being able to communicate with animals is giving them orders. Orders to do our bidding.
Im a freak in that I couldnt care less for listening to people, chickens, cows, or the moon, really.

Anyways, to say that animals only know about food or sex is stupid to me. That is because: we are exactly the same in that sense :D
Some dogs are bright enough to fetch objects based on a picture their owners show to them (its rare though.) This goes beyond "is that food over there?"

Perhaps the question I was asking was raised more towards the ignorance of humanity to care less about dolphins trapped in a net than a dead celebrity. Buut thats coming from me who doesnt put much value in society.

"cluck cluck cluck cluck"

 
Sadurian Mike
585665.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:30 pm Reply with quote

Gyndawyr wrote:
are my topics really that boring? -_-

Not boring, but I for one have difficulty following what you are actually saying.

 
Gyndawyr
585668.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 3:33 pm Reply with quote

I dont know what Im saying, I just randomly threw it out there because it felt more meaning than discussing other things.
I dont think Im asking a question -_-
Just looking for some thought.

 
Posital
585723.  Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:28 pm Reply with quote

Just as a suggestion - try to keep the topics a little focused.

This one seems to want the moon on a stick on a variety of different interesting areas/levels. Sometimes, someone might lovingly give it focus - I tried to make it easier by listing the various topics (and failed, I might add).

Also - It may have been "your topic" before you posted - but after that, you've given it to us baying wolves that inhabit the internet. At this point, it might be ripped to shreds or lovingly nurtured into something more interesting.

But what do I know?

 

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