Save the Fluffies. Animal Rights gets panned.

fried fried at
Wed Dec 23 12:46:48 EST 1998

On Wed, 23 Dec 1998 03:50:23 MST, realistic at (Richard F Hall)

>In article <367ddb3d.57074151 at> fried at (fried) writes:
in tuitively perceptive comment (not mine of course)
>>>In some ways, humans more often seem less logical than their 
>>>animal counterparts.  It's almost as though the capability of greater 
>>>intelligence enables a greater potential for illogical considerations.
>>I think your kittens example says it all. Why do you assume the kitten is
>>"be[ing] logical in this limited way"? Maybe it is just anticipating a
>>repeat occurrence because this has become imprinted upon its "neural
>>circuits", a mere learned behaviour?
>>So it may seem pure pedantry, but I don't believe the kitten is being
>In all fairness, the kitten hasn't the slightest idea of what you are saying.  
>Being "logical" is a human thing if you restrict it to be that, just as 
>having a soul is.  
>But in all fairness, every creature on earth experiences 
>life to the extent that it has been enabled.  
>Some creatures experience quite 
>a bit more than we humans..  as a matter of fact, virtually all experience 
>something we don't. I thing the kitten has logic to the extent that it does.  
>There is a certain degree of logic that we possess because we share that 
>gangleon (or whatever).  Every creature is a precious miracle of G*D.

Question: why are humans so illogical? You have cut out the rest of my post,
ie the bit which has a direct bearing upon your above answer, in order,
seemingly, to make your answer appear logically consistent with the bit you
have not cut out.

Thus the conversation we are engaged in becomes irrational, and whether
irrational or not, fruitless in terms of advancing the debate. This is the
bit you cut out:

>So it may seem pure pedantry, but I don't believe the kitten is being
>logical. A logical construct can be made of it, that is all. Just because we
>have invented the concept of logical constructs does not mean that our
>brains operate according to their dictates......or not.

>Ewqually when we use logic, or shout eureka when an idea seems intuitively
>right, we are using the same "connectionism" if I can borrow the word for a
>moment, rather than proving the existence of higher reasoning faculties. It
>is no big deal. It is not a qualitative difference.

It is highly relevant, because in earlier posts you have equated logic with
reason. Here I am showing how I believe they do not equate, how there is no
causal chain of this highly simplified type that cannot simply be equated
with association, in all animals, including humans. So we cannot "be
logical", any more than a kitten can. We simply apply logic as a tool which
we have learnt, associatively, to use, and which gives the eureka sensation
because it works, "is right".

This is also highly relevant today because the mechanistic view of the brain
has again assumed primacy in scientific circles. It is like Skinner
revisited. The trouble with Skinnerism is that it led to all sorts of gross
misapplications and misunderstandings, with which Skinner himself was

My position would be that the brain is indeed a machine, but that:
1. no way do we have enough understanding of how it works to go round making
the causal links which are being made right now (repeat Skinnerism)
2. we already have enough knowledge to supplant the present wrong
understanding of the "machine" with something more consistent with the facts

You are confounding logic with intelligence, reason, and anything else you
deem to be a higher intellectual faculty.

>Realistic Idealism
>Philosophy based on evidence

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