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Author Topic:   Do Animals Believe In Supernatural Beings?
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 373 (594737)
12-04-2010 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
12-01-2010 3:32 PM


Most Likely
Do animals exhibit belief in supernatural beings?
Likely. To my cat, I am God Two-Legs who brings food to the bowl from the magical bag within the mystical closet.
If they do is this evidence in favour of the actual existence of supernatural beings?
Of course not!
Or does it point to the evolutionary origins and causes of human belief in supernatural beings?
Perhaps.
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Straggler, posted 12-01-2010 3:32 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 6:32 AM Jon has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 373 (594811)
12-05-2010 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by Straggler
12-05-2010 6:32 AM


Re: Most Likely
What indications do you have that your cat thinks you are a supernatural being rather than just a rather gullible two legged source of food?
She bows to me each morning in order that I feed her.
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 6:32 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by frako, posted 12-05-2010 11:13 AM Jon has seen this message but not replied
 Message 31 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 11:24 AM Jon has replied
 Message 33 by Phage0070, posted 12-05-2010 11:50 AM Jon has not replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 43 of 373 (594862)
12-05-2010 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by Straggler
12-05-2010 11:24 AM


It's All Relative
No dude. She is showing you he ass and saying "If you don't supply me with food I will shit on your pillow".
She doesn't have to respect me to believe that I am supernatural. But I think you are missing the point, which is that it is pretty difficult to figure out whether or not a critter believes in a 'supernatural being' if we do not know what constitutes a 'supernatural being'.
To my cat, I am big and powerful. I control the flow of her food and her water, and keep her shitting area cleanI make her life possible. I also do an undoubtedly many things which mystify her: I stand under running water regularly; I make the weirdest noises with my mouth; I sit at this goofy flip-box thingy hammering away at these little button things; I punish her for doing things she does not even understand, occasionally even for simply doing things that are merely in her nature to do.
If this doesn't make me supernatural to my cat, what would?
Jon
Edited by Jon, : subtitle

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 11:24 AM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 1:41 PM Jon has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 373 (594864)
12-05-2010 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Straggler
12-05-2010 12:53 PM


Re: Do Animals Believe In Supernatural Beings
And to instead look for signs of animal behaviour that are comparable to human behaviour in the context of religious or supernatural beliefs in the widest sense.
If this is how you plan to evidence supernatural beliefs in animals, then you will fail at the task for the simple reason that animals are not humans.
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 12:53 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 1:44 PM Jon has not replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 373 (594917)
12-05-2010 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 45 by Straggler
12-05-2010 1:41 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Jon writes:
If this doesn't make me supernatural to my cat, what would?
Do you think the capacity to question the causes of things and invent answers requires a degree of intelligence?
A degree of inventive intelligence which cats (to my knowledge) have not demonstrated. Which humans indisputably have demonstrated (e.g. Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter) and which apes, elephants and other relatively intelligent creatures may or may not have displayed?
The latter cases being the main focus of this thread.
You are missing the point, which is that it is pretty difficult to figure out whether or not a critter believes in a 'supernatural being' if we do not know what constitutes a 'supernatural being'. As far as I can tell, one doesn't have to be overly intelligent at all to believe in supernatural things.
Reply to Message 46:
A) But humans are animals.
Huh? Animals aren't humans. This is what I said.
B) What alternative method do you suggest?
I cannot propose a method for investigating something until you tell me what you want it to investigate.
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 45 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 1:41 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 6:28 PM Jon has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 49 of 373 (594960)
12-05-2010 9:01 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Straggler
12-05-2010 6:28 PM


Re: It's All Relative
I want to investigate animal behaviour that is equivalent to, or comparable to, human behaviour that is known to be religious or spiritual.
What does that have to do with the thread title?
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Straggler, posted 12-05-2010 6:28 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Phage0070, posted 12-05-2010 11:02 PM Jon has seen this message but not replied
 Message 53 by Straggler, posted 12-06-2010 12:53 PM Jon has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 57 of 373 (595092)
12-06-2010 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Straggler
12-06-2010 12:53 PM


Re: It's All Relative
The title is about animal belief in supernatural beings; you have so far been unwilling to discuss these things in any way whatsoever.
You've shoved off anyone attempting to discuss this as well.
What are you going for?
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Straggler, posted 12-06-2010 12:53 PM Straggler has not replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 58 of 373 (595095)
12-06-2010 2:40 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Phage0070
12-06-2010 1:20 PM


Re: It's All Relative
I don't want to debate over it, I want you to just spit it out! TELL ME!
That really is the heart of it. No one wants to debate the definition of anything. We just want to be able to reply to Straggler on his own terms. 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?
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Phage0070, posted 12-06-2010 1:20 PM Phage0070 has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 4:43 PM Jon has not replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 373 (595096)
12-06-2010 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by Straggler
12-06-2010 1:08 PM


Re: It's All Relative
But if you want to discuss the detailed meaning of the term "supernatural" further I suggest you do it here What is Supernatural? or one of the other numerous threads that explicitly discusses that issue specifically.
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.
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by Straggler, posted 12-06-2010 1:08 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Straggler, posted 12-07-2010 4:44 PM Jon has replied

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 replied

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

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 replied

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

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 replied

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

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 77 of 373 (595433)
12-08-2010 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Straggler
12-08-2010 3:35 PM


Re: It's All Relative
It was you that raised inability to understand and "mysterious miracle workers" as equating to supernatural belief.
I didn't equate inability to understand to supernatural belief.
And what makes you think that your cat believes that you are [a mysterious miracle worker]?
It's one of the many conclusions she can come to given what she doesn't know; and of all the conclusions she can come to, it is also my personal favorite. I think I'm biased.
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:35 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 4:12 PM Jon has not replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 78 of 373 (595435)
12-08-2010 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by Straggler
12-08-2010 3:44 PM


Re: It's All Relative
And as I have said humans are animals. Hence some comparison is valid even if not definitive in any sense.
Is this the way you actually want to use the word 'animal' in this thread? If so, let me point to a random Christian as evidence of supernatural beliefs in animals.
Why do you think other animals are so psychologically different from ourselves?
Is there any reason to believe they are the same?
I am not asking why. I am seeking comparable behaviour.
But that behavior won't do anything to address the question you've asked in the thread title.
The same could be said of any primitive human civiisation that we find archaeological evidence for could it not? Yet we do conclude that ancient cultures are theistic on less direct evidence than is being talked about here.
Like I said, even that is a stretch.
I am asking for speculative but evidence based conjecture.
And I am telling you that the evidence you want has nothing to do with the question in the thread title.
Jon
Edited by Jon, : Jonny be good...

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:44 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:59 PM Jon has replied

Jon
Inactive Member


Message 80 of 373 (595440)
12-08-2010 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 79 by Straggler
12-08-2010 3:59 PM


Re: It's All Relative
Evolutionary origins?
How so?
Jon

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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 3:59 PM Straggler has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Straggler, posted 12-08-2010 4:15 PM Jon has replied

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