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Jay_Bird
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/04/06

Loc: USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" *DELETED* *DELETED* new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933800 - 06/21/13 10:12 PM

Post deleted by Jay_Bird

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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Joad]
      #5933930 - 06/21/13 11:43 PM

"Is the original, what I am calling, the psychological definition, incorrect?

If it is not incorrect, again, how does human cognition over power instinct?

Again, thank you for the courtesy of responding to my questions."

___________________________________________________________-





Otto,

I believe you might be oversimplifying things a little bit. Now you are talking about behavioral psychology, and we measure that through several approaches: The single trait approach, and the Many trait approach... One looks at "Why do people do that" and the other approach looks at what do people like that do?"

Research Methods used are as follows:
• Reliability
• Validity
• Research Design
• Effect Sizes

Data used is S- self I-Informant L -Life B-Behavioral Data.

Single Trait approach-
For example, I could design a test of 500 random questions, and ask several people who have records for stealing, They will tend to answer certain questions in a questionnaire similarly. I Isolate these similarities, and I can apply them to a random new set of volunteers, and pick up certain patterns of behavior, an I could then make some fairly valid assumptions about those people after they answer 500-800 T or F questions.

These are behavioral traits, and can be quantified in personalities that are extroverted, introverted, High self monitors, etc. etc. We do not really have a point in day to day behavior when "instinct" takes over .. but we do see it in fight or flight scenarios. So basically to answer your previous question, we now delve into the field of personality psychology, which I am well versed in that, but it can be very in depth. But ask away if you want.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5933967 - 06/22/13 12:16 AM

Quote:

I think those are very important questions which you ask, Dave; i.e. is the stroke victim human. Are we human when we sleep.

I was fascinated by the experience of anesthesia during a surgery. The drug used was demerol. I am in one room. A nurse turns a little spigot attached to a line through the drug flows into my arm. I feel warmth in my arm. I'm commenting about the warmth...and then my next conscious awareness is of being in another room three hours later.

The philosophical question that struck me was, "Where was Otto during those three hours?"

The first response which came to me was, "Otto was not during those three hours" because he had no sensation of existence."

The second response which came to me was, "But when the monitor is turned off on my desktop computer, the monitor, and more importantly "the computer" continue to exist. By analogy, the "mind" (harddrive/internet/web) continue to exist event thought the "brain/body" has no sense of itself.

In conclusion then, to your excellent questions, I think there is reason to believe the human person continues to exist even when it lacks self-awareness.




If this is the case then, your earlier statement of what is a "necessary but not sufficient" requirement to be designated 'human' was in error.

(Sorry if this has been addressed subsequently, I'm on the road and reading and posting in haste from the motel room)


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5933969 - 06/22/13 12:17 AM

What a kind invitation you gave me!! Thank you.

I just don't know how to ask the question that is in mind, after reading all you and Joad et al. said, without restating much the same thing, and then irritating folk by asking the exact same question.

But I'll try:

I recall in psychology classes being told of things were an animal could not deviate from its instincts; the chickadee cowering/hiding when any type of shadow passed over it; the pigeon starving to death while sitting on a pile of seed/food it could digest but had not been programmed by evolution to eat. From examples like that, I came to the understanding that non-human animals necessarily follow their instincts; they cannot choose not to. Another non-human animal instinct, to survive and to eat, a healthy non-human animal will always eat.

The human-animal though can choose to starve itself to death. Surely, if humans have instincts, it has the same animal instinct to survive and to eat. If the human then is only an animal of a particular evolutionary path, but still only an animal, why is it that it can ignore, go against, choose to deviate from its instincts?

Again, thank you UND. If the question can generate a straight forward simple answer, great. If there is something egregiously wrong with the way i stated the question, point that out. Seriously, do so! But it seems from what I see and what I've been taught that non-human animals cannot deviate from their instincts, but humans can deviate from their instincts (assuming they have instincts); but if humans are only animals (of a particular evolutionary path), how do they have the ability what all other animals do not have?

Otto


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MRoedel
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/10/06

Loc: Michigan
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Jay_Bird]
      #5933970 - 06/22/13 12:18 AM

To me, it seems that the question is: "What qualifies another creature to be considered a person?"

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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934003 - 06/22/13 12:56 AM

Quote:

What a kind invitation you gave me!! Thank you.

I just don't know how to ask the question that is in mind, after reading all you and Joad et al. said, without restating much the same thing, and then irritating folk by asking the exact same question.

But I'll try:

I recall in psychology classes being told of things were an animal could not deviate from its instincts; the chickadee cowering/hiding when any type of shadow passed over it; the pigeon starving to death while sitting on a pile of seed/food it could digest but had not been programmed by evolution to eat. From examples like that, I came to the understanding that non-human animals necessarily follow their instincts; they cannot choose not to. Another non-human animal instinct, to survive and to eat, a healthy non-human animal will always eat.

The human-animal though can choose to starve itself to death. Surely, if humans have instincts, it has the same animal instinct to survive and to eat. If the human then is only an animal of a particular evolutionary path, but still only an animal, why is it that it can ignore, go against, choose to deviate from its instincts?

Again, thank you UND. If the question can generate a straight forward simple answer, great. If there is something egregiously wrong with the way i stated the question, point that out. Seriously, do so! But it seems from what I see and what I've been taught that non-human animals cannot deviate from their instincts, but humans can deviate from their instincts (assuming they have instincts); but if humans are only animals (of a particular evolutionary path), how do they have the ability what all other animals do not have?

Otto




The difference is the development of the Neo-cortex in humans, it takes a more upper level thinking, but still communicates and interacts with the original R- complex (and basal ganglia). We have the most developed of all animals because Homo Erectus Was able to control fire, and cook meat. The cooked meat required less calories of the bodies energy budget to digest. Uncooked meat requires an energy budget of 6 hours a day chewing vs. cooked meat for the same calories delivered in Homo Erectus. This new energy from cooked meat created a rapid increase in brain size, from 800cc to around 1100 cc. That is why we have the ability other animals lack; A well developed neocortex.
Animals cannot cook ;-)


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934240 - 06/22/13 08:56 AM

As for instinct, humans are not the only creatures who can suppress instincts for social or practical reasons. Other creatures can be trained to do the same thing. Dogs can be trained to avoid chasing and killing what would normally be their prey, for example.

What we do, both in ourselves and in our service animals, is take advantage of the fact that often these instincts are in conflict with each other in different circumstances. Then we create circumstances where some instincts can be supplanted with others. None of our instincts have gone away, we've just been able through training and environmental/social manipulation to redirect them towards other goals.

Among the other instincts that have been mentioned, the drive of the human child to learn to speak is a powerful one.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934256 - 06/22/13 09:13 AM

Quote:

This new energy from cooked meat created a rapid increase in brain size, from 800cc to around 1100 cc. That is why we have the ability other animals lack; A well developed neocortex.





That's Richard Wrangham's thesis in "Catching Fire -- How Cooking Made Us Human". My wife and I read and debated the book, and we felt that while the idea makes sense to a certain extent, he overstated his case, and made a less than compelling argument. As a nit, I would rather say that cooking enabled the continuation of a trend in human brain size expansion that was already ongoing. The consumption of raw organ meats has been popular among many human populations even after the mastery of fire and cooking, so it's not an all or nothing proposition. The real selection feedback for increased brain size was tool manufacture and the fine motor coordination required to manipulate them skilfully, and of course the complex social interactions involved in tribal and intertribal relations.

Add to that the growth of language, which is likely also a continuing trend, and the selection pressure for increased brain size has been in place for a long time. Cooking definitely made that selection easier, though.

Edited by llanitedave (06/22/13 09:14 AM)


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: MRoedel]
      #5934271 - 06/22/13 09:25 AM

Quote:

To me, it seems that the question is: "What qualifies another creature to be considered a person?"




"Person" is a better word in this case, because it's a legal and social term rather than a biological one, and its meaning is not firmly fixed.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5934288 - 06/22/13 09:37 AM

Better still, I think, would be "being," as in human being or extra-terrestrial being.

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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934313 - 06/22/13 09:53 AM

UND...thank you. I understand what you have written. To summarize:

Animals have instincts which, in non-human animals almost always is the acting without cognitive choice; a behavior they cannot choose to do otherwise, cannot overcome or override.

But in those animals called humans because of dietary effects on the neo-cortical development, there has developed an ability to be aware of the instinctual urge, and to choose otherwise.

Otto


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934345 - 06/22/13 10:29 AM

My gratitude to you who patiently took the time and devoted the effort to explain to me your positions/opinions/beliefs/thoughts/understandings of what constitutes humanness and how humanness is formed.

The Opening Post was my assertion that all beings we find who possess self awareness, free choice, intelligence should be called human. And then I asked for others to respond to this assertion.


The position, most recently articulated by UND and Joad here, and others, is that the human being is an animal; nothing more, nothing less. As all other animals, the human is an animal of a particular line of evolutionary development. Because of that development, from solely material causes which have been and perhaps will be discovered in biology and chemistry and physics, man has developed the ability to have a mind and be a person; i.e. to be self-aware, to choose (perhaps freely, perhaps not), to understand, to reason. Though we do not understand fully yet, the reason for the development of this type of consciousness we find in humans (called “mind” and which includes self-awareness, choice, understanding, reasoning), there is no reason to assume that some other non-material or spiritual agency is needed to explain the arrival of human consciousness/mind/person-hood/personality.

An aside, but a very important aside, they have articulated that animals have instincts which, as a psychological phenomena, is biologically and evolutionary programmed behaviors which the animal cannot choose not to do. However, to class humans as just animals of a particular line of evolutionary development, it was necessary to qualify this definition of instinct in the animal called human by saying there had been brain-organ development which allowed for chosen deviation from instinctual urges.

The relevance of this human-is-an-animal-only position to the Opening Post is that if a human is a particular line of animal development on the planet called earth, then it would not be correct to call human, beings which developed self-awareness, choice, understanding, reasoning by some other line of evolutionary development under non-terran conditions on some other world, or by some type of human fabrication. Thus, the fabricated machine or smart program that wakes-up, the test tube developed chemical consciousness, the sentient creature on a planet orbiting a star thousands of light years away, should not be called human.

As always, if my summaries are in error in any manner, please correct them for my benefit and the benefit of the reader.


The position that the human is an animal only of a particular line of evolutionary development is a position based in part on some assumptions which cannot be proven (e.g. that science is based on the philosophical assumption called objectivism) and other assumptions, which for the sake of space and time, were not stated. These assumptions were not discussed and probably should not be nor should have been discussed as they were not directly pertinent to the Original Post.


I continue to be of the opinion/belief/understanding that humanness (self-awareness, free choice, understanding, reason) within the human condition as it exists in reality, requires a material substrate and some type of immaterial spiritual agency or addition.

For the sake of brevity I like to replace all those words, i.e. self-awareness, free choice, understanding, reasoning with the word “mind”. In my opinion/belief/understanding “mind” is not the equivalent of “brain” but does (within the human condition and perhaps elsewhere) require the organ called “brain” to manifest itself; much like the computer (harddrive/web) requires the monitor of some sort to be manifested.

I am undecided as to whether, what I am calling, the material substrate, needs to be a particular material substrate. Does it have to be biological? Does it have to be biological according to our understanding of evolutionary development? Can it be a mechanical substrate? Can it be a laboratory generated chemical substrate? Can it be a biological substrate created on a total different chemistry which might be found on some other planet around some other star; e.g. flourine based? arsenic based?

Assuming the substrate can be something other than the biological substrate of terran-evolution, because I believe the necessary component in humanness (the creation of mind/person) is an immaterial spiritual agency or addition, I am of the opinion; these two assumptions accepted, that where-ever in the universe and by what-ever biological, chemical, mechanical fabrication process the right substrate comes into existence, if mind/person is found there, that mind/person is human.


I ask that this thread not be used to discuss, at this time, the differing opinions of man as an animal only or as an incarnate spirit.

Rather, the ramifications to the Opening Post having been fully explored and stated by those holding human-is-animal-only position, I request we now explore the question of the appropriateness of calling human any entity anywhere in the universe who has (evidences) mind (self-awareness, free choice, understanding, reasoning) which has developed as the result of a spiritual agency/addition to some type of material substrate.

Thank you.

Otto


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934434 - 06/22/13 11:29 AM

In Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn, the last words spoken, by Kirk, of Spock who had just died, "of all the souls I have known, his was the most human". As Kirk says these words, the camera scans to Kirstie Alley who cringes. The implication seems to be she does not consider herself human, being a vulcan; and thus questions the appropriateness of defining the half Vulcan Spock, by the name of human.

Movies, literature, can never be used as proof; but occasionally they can be used to illustrate, illuminate, articulate an idea or, this case, a conflict of ideas.

Is mind, assuming it is the product of a material substrate and an immaterial spiritual agency or addition, human regardless where or how it comes into existence?


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WaterMasterAdministrator
Moat Keeper
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934525 - 06/22/13 12:21 PM

Random mutation + time + natural selection = us. E.O. Wilson has adequately (at least to my satisfaction) defined kin selection. Self-sacrifice, in this light, need not necessarily be contrary to 'instinct'. The behavioral layers on top of our lizard brains have increased the species' fitness (the Darwinian definition = w = the number of viable offspring). Richard Dawkins wasn't entirely off base, nor was Occam.

We define ourselves, and it's blatant anthropomorphism to ascribe our self-definition to anything outside our own species (that's the biological definition of species). Consequently I disagree with the premise that the word 'human', used to describe our self-defined values, is inappropriate for application to any other sentient entity.

P.S. Spock was half human. That 'hybrid' plot point was well developed. So Kirk did not apply the word incorrectly according to my definition.

Edited by WaterMaster (06/22/13 12:26 PM)


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5934559 - 06/22/13 12:38 PM

Steve,

You wrote, "Consequently I disagree with the premise that the word 'human', used to describe our self-defined values, is inappropriate for application to any other sentient entity."

Did you mean "appropriate" instead of "inappropriate"? I got a bit confused because, so far no one has argued the appellation of non-terran beings possessing mind as human to be inappropriate. Also, I got a bit lost in the double negative.

Your position then: Is it or is it not appropriate to use the word human, to describe beings possessing minds whose origin is not of earth?
Otto


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deSitter
Still in Old School


Reged: 12/09/04

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934739 - 06/22/13 02:43 PM

Quote:

Forgive me. I do not understand what the poem was meant to say. If it was a response to my last post to Joad, could you tell me what you were saying...in prose.

Thank you

Otto




Sorry, I was being a bit of a *bleep* (rhymes with tick). It's a metaphysical examination of context by Wallace Stevens called "13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird". This is 13.

-drl


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" new [Re: deSitter]
      #5934750 - 06/22/13 02:51 PM

Oh...rhymes with tick....you mean the ecclesiastical pronunciation of the third person singular present tense of the verb scire (sheer-ay) meaning to know:
scit (he knows).

I've always thought of that as something of an appropriate metaphor when we get too attached to what we know: As in; "He knows scit."

Anyway, about the poem, drl: no problem.

Otto


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UND_astrophysics
sage


Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5934780 - 06/22/13 03:06 PM


When one starts to talk about spiritual agency and metaphysics (that is not quantifiable) I cannot begin to speculate, because that is not the job of science, that is the job of philosophy. I have no idea what a "non terran" being is so I am at a disadvantage there. As far as I know there are no beings living on Earth that originated from somewhere else, unless I missed something ha ha. That would be some big news for sure.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934820 - 06/22/13 03:32 PM

Thank you UND.

You have articulated exactly why I am interested in this idea of naming all self-aware, sentient, beings with free choice, human. It saves fumbling with silly words like non-terran.

Is it appropriate to call and consider human, any beings with whom we have contact, who have mind, i.e. who are self-aware, have will (can choose), can understand and reason, whether they are products of human evolution on earth, or the product of some other biological evolutionary path on earth (perhaps now; i.e. bonobo or dolphin; or perhaps in the distant future), or the product of some other very different chemical biological evolutionary path on the planet circling another star, or a product of a biological laboratory, or some fabricated machine or advanced smart program which becomes aware.

We've pretty well reached the conclusion, if the human is only the product of a particular line of animal evolution, then it is not appropriate to call a being with mind that arises by some other process, human.

Assuming that mind is the product of some material substrate and an immaterial spiritual agency or addition, with those assumptions having been given, is it appropriate to call any and all beings with mind, human; regardless of their origin on earth, on the planet around a distant star, in a laboratory, or a bit of smart programming?

........

You are very right; spiritual agency and metaphysics are not quantifiable. However, they do have to operate by the same rules of logical consistency as any other reasoning. Thus, someone like yourself, who is really good at math and logic, even if you don't have a-dog-in-the-fight regarding things-spiritual, can certainly give valuable comments.

Otto

Edited by Otto Piechowski (06/22/13 03:35 PM)


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scopethis
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/30/08

Loc: Kingman, Ks
Re: Sentient, Intelligent, or Human? or "Sapient" [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934862 - 06/22/13 03:53 PM

so if humans are at the top of the scale, why did people start worshiping animals?

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