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Author Topic:   Do Animals Believe In Supernatural Beings?
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 61 of 373 (595245)
12-07-2010 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by frako
12-06-2010 1:37 PM


Examining animal behaviour and comparing it to the behaviour of humans is the other possible method.

Is it thought that Neanderthals believed in supernatural beings? On what basis have any such (albeit speculative) conclusions been based?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 56 by frako, posted 12-06-2010 1:37 PM frako has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 62 of 373 (595246)
12-07-2010 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Jon
12-06-2010 2:40 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Jon writes:

Who wants to go 500 posts debating something back and forth to find out what they meant by something wasn't what someone else meant by something and so every contribution they've made has been, essentially, off-topic?

Any definition of "supernatural" from any mainstream dictionary source will suffice.

Do you have any actual examples of animals displaying such behaviour or are you just here to talk about definitions as per your usual pointless presence?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Jon, posted 12-06-2010 2:40 PM Jon has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 63 of 373 (595247)
12-07-2010 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Jon
12-06-2010 2:41 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Jon writes:

The existence of those threads should make painfully obvious the need for you to lay out what you mean when you use the term 'supernatural' to avoid the mismatch of uses that would otherwise result from everyone coming to the debate with their own meaning in mind.

given the more speculative natire of this thread - Any definition of "supernatural" from any mainstream dictionary source will suffice.

Are you happy now?


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 Message 59 by Jon, posted 12-06-2010 2:41 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Jon, posted 12-07-2010 5:06 PM Straggler has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 64 of 373 (595250)
12-07-2010 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Straggler
12-07-2010 4:44 PM


Re: It's All Relative
You have been given examples.

I don't see how it is possible for my cat to view me as anything other than a mysterious miracle worker. There are so many things that I do that my cat simply could not understand. There are no feline-known explanations for some of the things I do. My cat's view of me, as far as I can tell, is about the same as the Israelites' view of Yahweh in various parts of the Bible. How are the powers of Jon any different than the powers of God? How does that not make me a supernatural being to my cat?

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 4:44 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by frako, posted 12-07-2010 6:33 PM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 67 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 6:46 PM Jon has responded

frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 65 of 373 (595275)
12-07-2010 6:33 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Jon
12-07-2010 5:06 PM


Re: It's All Relative
How are the powers of Jon any different than the powers of God? How does that not make me a supernatural being to my cat?

Well sadly we do not know what animals think she could think you are some alpha male/female that keeps her locked up and brings her food from the hunts you go to everytime you go to work. The cat could also think she is the supernatural being that you worship like a god offering her food, milk and try to furfill her every desire. She could also think you are a giant gullible animal that shares his hard hunted food with her.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 66 of 373 (595277)
12-07-2010 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by frako
12-07-2010 6:33 PM


Re: It's All Relative
When anthropologists discover remnants of ancient cultures and conclude that those cultures held supernatural beliefs how do they do this?

We cannot know what they thought either can we?


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Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Jon, posted 12-08-2010 3:15 PM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 67 of 373 (595278)
12-07-2010 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Jon
12-07-2010 5:06 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Jon do you know how the solid state physics on which your computer functions works? Are those who create such things "mysterious miracle workers"?

Jon writes:

There are so many things that I do that my cat simply could not understand.

I suspect that there so many things that solid state physicists do that you could not understand.

What is your point exactly?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Jon, posted 12-07-2010 5:06 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by Jon, posted 12-08-2010 2:46 PM Straggler has responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 68 of 373 (595325)
12-08-2010 2:37 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by Straggler
12-07-2010 4:38 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Straggler writes:

If you have any examples of animals exhibiting behaviour that could suggest belief in supernatural beings using whatever definition of "supernatural" you think is reasonable then I would love to hear them.

Well, I don't have any. Using the definition of supernatural as being "of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal" it would seem to require a level of doublethink that I have seen no reason to expect animals are capable of attaining. In fact I suspect that sufficiently primitive human cultures would lack such a concept.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 4:38 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 8:45 AM Phage0070 has responded
 Message 70 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 9:04 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 69 of 373 (595361)
12-08-2010 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Phage0070
12-08-2010 2:37 AM


Re: It's All Relative
Given the conjectural nature of this thread feel free to apply any common definition of "supernatural" you can find in any reputable dictionary, encyclopedia or similar source.

If you cannot find any examples that meet even that widest of criteria then I have to ask why you bothered to contribute to this thread at all?

Aside from taking the opportunity to be complete pedantic arse about definitions that is.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Phage0070, posted 12-08-2010 2:37 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 71 by Phage0070, posted 12-08-2010 10:35 AM Straggler has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 70 of 373 (595369)
12-08-2010 9:04 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Phage0070
12-08-2010 2:37 AM


Rain Dancing Apes
A highly speculative example:

Link writes:

The most recent research confirms that chimpanzees possess a sense of self, a theory of mind, strong memory, empathy, politics, and culture. One further question to ask is whether our fellow apes also possess religion.

Jane Goodall has posed this question. She observed long ago that, during the rainy season, male chimpanzees display before the storms thunder, lightning, wind, and rain by beating their chests, pulling down branches, and shaking the limbs and trunks of trees while hooting and screaming. Such displays usually mean to convey strength to rivals. Goodall speculates that this rain dance behavior might be an attempt to get the storm to stop. Chimpanzees in different communities exhibit behaviors that are unique to their time and place, for example, fishing for termites with sticks or using stones to break branches. Ethological observations of such cultural behavior have been corroborated by laboratory experiments. The rain dance behavior has since been observed in other, though not all, wild chimpanzee groups, and so is properly considered cultural. Might it also be religious?

Link

Potential signs of religiosity in apes? Or wild speculation on the part of humans?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Phage0070, posted 12-08-2010 2:37 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 71 of 373 (595392)
12-08-2010 10:35 AM
Reply to: Message 69 by Straggler
12-08-2010 8:45 AM


Re: It's All Relative
Straggler writes:

If you cannot find any examples that meet even that widest of criteria then I have to ask why you bothered to contribute to this thread at all?

Aside from taking the opportunity to be complete pedantic arse about definitions that is.

You asked a question and I answered in the negative. It seems you may be suffering from some pretty serious bias if you refuse to define any terms but want to go have a cry when someone doesn't agree with you.

But then you take an opportunity to complain about my attempts to wring a cohesive topic of discussion out of this thread. So how about you take your arrogant prick of an attitude and shove it straight up the greasy sphincter that passes for your mouth.

It would really improve the thread.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 8:45 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:32 PM Phage0070 has not yet responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 72 of 373 (595416)
12-08-2010 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 67 by Straggler
12-07-2010 6:46 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Are those who create such things "mysterious miracle workers"?

Only because I don't believe they are. How is this relevant?

I suspect that there so many things that solid state physicists do that you could not understand.

Likely. What does that have to do with the topic?

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 6:46 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:35 PM Jon has responded

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 73 of 373 (595421)
12-08-2010 3:15 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Straggler
12-07-2010 6:42 PM


Re: It's All Relative
When anthropologists discover remnants of ancient cultures and conclude that those cultures held supernatural beliefs how do they do this?

We cannot know what they thought either can we?

The problem with using the same method on animals is, as I've already said: animals aren't humans. It is easier for us to conjecture on possible reasons for burying dead folk with jewelry because those practices are like our own, and those people are like ourselves. But to watch a bunch of monkeys jump up and down or observe an elephant seeming sad about another dead elephant and conclude that these are evidence of religious behavior is just stupid and illogical. We're doing a good job of personifying our subjects, but we certainly aren't answering any questions regarding why they actually behave the way they do.

To guess at the reasons for someone within our own species doing something based on why we do it is enough of a stretch the way it is. Jumping outside of our species and trying to draw conclusions in the same fashion is an even bigger stretch, absolute malarkey, in fact.

And, of course, even if we could show that the monkeys danced to coax out the rain, it still wouldn't tell us whether they believed in the 'supernatural'. They may believe what they do to be very much a part of nature. We may call it 'supernatural', but that doesn't mean they call it the same.

It's all so relative; I don't see how we could ever get an answer given only what we know now.

Jon


Check out Apollo's Temple!
Ignorance is temporary; you should be able to overcome it. - nwr

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 6:42 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:44 PM Jon has responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 74 of 373 (595426)
12-08-2010 3:32 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Phage0070
12-08-2010 10:35 AM


Re: It's All Relative
Phage writes:

It would really improve the thread.

As would your absence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Phage0070, posted 12-08-2010 10:35 AM Phage0070 has not yet responded

Straggler
Member
Posts: 10284
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 75 of 373 (595428)
12-08-2010 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Jon
12-08-2010 2:46 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Jon writes:

Stragler writes:

Are those who create such things "mysterious miracle workers"?

Only because I don't believe they are.

And what makes you think that your cat believes that you are?

Jon writes:

Straggler writes:

I suspect that there so many things that solid state physicists do that you could not understand.

Likely. What does that have to do with the topic?

It was you that raised inability to understand and "mysterious miracle workers" as equating to supernatural belief.

Can you tell me which common dictionary definition of "supernatural" you were using to come to this conclusion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Jon, posted 12-08-2010 2:46 PM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Jon, posted 12-08-2010 3:48 PM Straggler has responded

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