Save the Fluffies. Animal Rights gets panned.

fried fried at aesops.force9.co.uk
Thu Dec 24 15:24:12 EST 1998


On Thu, 24 Dec 1998 06:20:19 MST, realistic at seanet.com (Richard F Hall)
wrote:
>From: fried at aesops.force9.co.uk (fried)
>Subject: Re: Save the Fluffies. Animal Rights gets panned.
>Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 17:46:48 GMT

Do you think you could forgo the gratuitous illusions to my name? For all
you know, I might be German. I don't know quite how to deal with this
painstaking post. At the end, you recapitulate precisely what you said
before. I think "point made" is the appropriate expression. Well, just for
the sake of argument, let's suppose we are trying to advance the debate.
>
>After a comparison of Kitten's chasing in play, and "logically" predicting 
>the location of their "prey"-mate.   rich wrote:
>>>>>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.
>
>Julian was edited and represented as saying:
>>>>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
>>>>logical.
>
>rich followed:
>>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. 

My point was about what was happening inside the kitten, not about its self
awareness or putative ability to speak English.

> 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.  

Yes, and I think it doesn't. I think we're fairly clear on that by now.

>>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.

Can we leave the God argument out of it for the moment, don't want to
overegg the cake.....
>
>Julian counters:
>>Question: why are humans so illogical?  You have cut out the rest of my post,
>I cut out the rest of your post for brevity, Julian, I thought your statement was 
>very clear.  But, why are humans so illogical?  I will include your post, as you 
>wish, in it's entirety.

Thank you. I feel much better. I was getting a bit panicky for a moment.
>
>>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.
>I'm not trying to "make" anything irrational, or fruitless.
>
>>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:

got a bit lost here, must confess. I will take it as a parenthesis....

>>"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." 
>I made the logical construct..  the Kitten WAS logical according to the 
>construct.. ?????  What does the "rest of your post" add?

Weeeelllll.. I was rather hoping that you'd challenge the kitten to make its
own logical construct, bless its little cotton socks. 
>
>>Just because we
>>have invented the concept of logical constructs does not mean that our
>>brains operate according to their dictates......or not.
>>Equally 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.
>If Kitty were to just happen to run to the top of the couch and 
>the other Kitten appeared..  eureka!  But that isn't the case, Kitty sees 
>the event, and predicts the outcome..  and runs to the top of the couch 
>purposefully.  Kitty will learn to try to predict the behavior of the "prey"-mate 
>in other situations than just the couch..  there is generalization to this 
>mere association, as well.  How close to a logical construct does one 
>have to get?  Do you think logical constructs came to "us" in only books?

Well, actually I was thinking, quite inconsequentially, of Tom and Jerry.
But of course kittens could only have learned to predict things from
watching Tom and Jerry fairly recently, as the frame rate in cinemas is too
low for their brains to deem it worth the attention.

I wouldn't call it a "mere" association either. I'd call it an association.
Like the association that a chameleon makes when employing calculus to catch
its prey, or the amoebic dysentry amoeba makes when it hits the stomach wall
and thinks "yummy".
>
>>It is highly relevant, because in earlier posts you have equated logic with
>>reason. 
>I would not equate the two..  though they are close.

Come, come! Don't be shy!
>
>>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 learned, associatively, to 
>>use, and which gives the eureka sensation because it works, "is right".
>Then you are saying that anything "logical" is a cerebral "tool" invented and 
>constructed by human cerebrums and taught.  Anything not in that category is 
>"association".  ok Julian!  Others will agree with you, but I think it's broader 
>than that.  You are not examining where "logic" came from.

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say we'd invented it. We obviously, after
much suffering and pain (detention, prep, etc.), can eventually get to the
point where we sort of know what it is, but I'm afraid that doesn't make us
logical. Stubborn as mules, really.
>
>>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
>>associated.
>I'm sure there are many..  it would make a great essay.  
>Like Franklin and his kite..  how many have been "fried" due to that?

Now this "fried" bit I didn't like at all, I have to say.
>
>>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.
>Confusing logic with higher intelligence? Dear Julian, I don't see how the 
>Kitten story does this.  
>It seems that "Logic", and it's ninteen (or so) rules, is very sacred to you.  

Dear Anthony, I skipped detention. Wherever this figure nineteen comes in I
don't know.

>However, 
>1.) Skinner was a valid, important step (without your stupid 
>     misinterpretations), 

I'll look on the best side of this, just this once. Gratuitous.....well you
can't get more gratuitous than an almost word for word (with one exception)
repetition of what I said.

>2.) Kittens are organisms, not machines, and 

Not mutually exclusive conditions

>3.) The constructs of "logic" are an attempt to interpret reality but don't 
>      always lead us there.

Whether they are or not is not the issue under discussion, as you know full
well my boy.

>In all fairness, the kitten hasn't the slightest idea of logical constructs.  

There you go again Nancy.... Help, I'm beginning to feel senile again.

>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 think the kitten has logic to the extent that it's 
>behavior is thus interpreted.  There is a certain degree of logic that we 
>possess because we share that gangleon (or whatever) with the Kitten.  
>Every creature is a precious miracle of G*D.

One criticism I will acept is that I did misrephrase you on the question of
highr intelligence. I can understand it may have been irksome, but to this
degree.....

Julian

That's J, U, L, I, A, N. Do you want me to spell it out for you? OK, looks
like I'll have to.
J - that's J for Jewel
U - that's U for Ubahn
L - for luverly
I - for me, myself and I
A - for amoeba
and finally, don't forget it
N for nice person

Class dismissed!
>
>>rich
>>http://www.seanet.com/~realistic/idealism.html
>>Realistic Idealism
>>Philosophy based on evidence
>
>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.
>me
>
>Not much has changed, except no one will read this length of post.
>
Aw shucks!



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