What is man?

Discussions on the nature of being, existence, reality and knowledge. What is? How do we know?

Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 19th, 2017, 10:39 am 

vivian maxine » March 16th, 2017, 12:12 pm wrote:Speaking of "us" and "them", have you considered how often and how quickly our "us" and our "them" change? One year we can be warring with "them". A few years later, they will be "us" and we'll be warring with those who were "us".


Our brains have a very limited capacity for relating to humans in large numbers. Those we related to intimately are very few and I think knowing the names of 600 people is our max. We cope with this deficiency by establishing cultural rules, customs and ideas of good manners, and by being prejudice. Seeing all males as males or all whites as whites, or all Christians as Christians etc. enables us to deal with large groups of people, even though now we are strangers in the crowd. This is a real biological necessity and it is why education for a culture of cooperative people is so important. Without such education, the potential for violence including legal violence and economic exploitation of others runs high.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 19th, 2017, 10:44 am 

mitchellmckain » March 17th, 2017, 8:43 am wrote:
wolfhnd » March 17th, 2017, 1:11 am wrote:mitchellmckain your link has nothing to do with psychopathy. It is about profiling and misuse of data. On the other hand my link does clearly contradict your assertion that psychopathy is more common in white males. Start a new thread if you want to make that argument.


I made no such claims about the link or about psychopathy. The link is where the quote came from. If you want to fabricate an argument out of nothing then start a new thread, but I doubt I will join it.


And how might a focus on being respectful change that exchange of thoughts? What is man? Just about anything he learns to be. Our nature is more flexible than any other species.
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Re: What is man?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 19th, 2017, 3:03 pm 

Back to the topic...

What is man?

How do we answer questions like this? How do we identify one of these categories we have constructed in our language? Typically we identify which wider categories (sets) we have included it in, and then proceed to identify the features which sets the members of this category apart from those in the wider sets.


I usually start with a little wider category than most by saying that man is a living organism. Others often start with something considerably more narrow like animal, mammal or primate. These are certainly categories which are subsets of this larger category of living organisms. But as I explained in my first post of this thread, I object to this reduction of man to biology alone. The implication here is that I believe the category of living organisms is not confined to the biochemical organisms studied in biology.

What then is a living organism according to my understanding? A living organism is a self-organizing dynamic system capable of adapting to its environment and thus doing things for its own reasons in response to environmental changes rather than simply as direct effect of those changes.

Let's take an example. The temperature of the environment drops. As a direct effect of this heat will leave rocks by conduction and radiation so that the temperature of the rock drops. With a nuclear material the rock might have its own source of heat and as a result the temperature of the rock is always higher than the environment. But there is no adaptation of the rock to its environment, the drop in its temperature is not a response for its own reasons but a direct effect of the environmental change. By contrast a biological organism will respond to this change with all sorts of chemical reactions to maintain its own organization in whatever ways it has learned and codified in the information storage system known as DNA. A plant might shed its leaves and animal might employ devices like shivering to generate more heat.

Rather than an either/or quality, I see life as a highly quantitative measure where adaptability of an organism can be increased by many orders of magnitude by means of information gathering (senses), programmed responses (such as chemical and motor, for example), and cooperative communities.

Of course, biological organisms are an obvious example of all of this. But my definition not only includes the possibility of living organisms in another media such as electronics but also applies to something that also already exists in the different media of human conceptualization found in the human mind, human communication and human civilization. And thus I elevate the seemingly minor improvement of language attained by man over other forms of life on the planet to a radically different identity as a completely dissimilar form of life altogether -- a living organism founded upon memes rather than genes. It is admittedly however quite dependent upon the biological, thus bringing us back to this previously mentioned reality of being both the same and different at the same time.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 19th, 2017, 5:13 pm 

a living organism founded upon memes rather than genes.


I am not sure attempting to comprehend quantum physics is equal to a life based on memes, but I think there is a degree of truth in what you said. But at what stage of our evolution would this be our truth? I think in the beginning we were too busy meeting our survival needs to trivialize our understanding of life with memes?
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Re: What is man?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 19th, 2017, 9:05 pm 

Athena » March 19th, 2017, 4:13 pm wrote:
But at what stage of our evolution would this be our truth? I think in the beginning we were too busy meeting our survival needs to trivialize our understanding of life with memes?


It was not so long ago that attitudes about the uselessness of book larnin were prevalent and this tells us that the requirements of survival were the dominant motivations for most human actions. The cynical would even suggest that the life of the mind was largely an indulgence of the upper class (and the artists, entertainers and priests who parasitized upon them). However, we now live in an age when entertainers have become some of the richest people in the world and thus it looks like the needs of the mind are competing for dominance over human actions.

The quantitative nature of life plays a role here. Life, awareness, and adaptability varies considerably not only between species but between individuals. Likewise, the quantity of life in the human mind varies considerably between individuals. For some people the inheritance, needs, and development of the mind play a minimal role in their existence and most of their actions can indeed be explained by biological drives alone. To say that man is both a living organism of the the mind and a biological species is not to say that all human beings are equally proportioned in these two facets. Like many other aspects of human beings we can only say that the potential as well as specific examples are notable, not that it is a universal characteristic. And it is upon this potential that our equality rests, especially because our judgments of personal actualities are not particularly trustworthy.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 20th, 2017, 11:18 am 

mitchellmckain » March 19th, 2017, 7:05 pm wrote:
To say that man is both a living organism of the the mind and a biological species is not to say that all human beings are equally proportioned in these two facets. Like many other aspects of human beings we can only say that the potential as well as specific examples are notable, not that it is a universal characteristic. And it is upon this potential that our equality rests, especially because our judgments of personal actualities are not particularly trustworthy.


And what exactly are the potentials and what is required to realize them?
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Re: What is man?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 20th, 2017, 11:51 am 

Athena » March 20th, 2017, 10:18 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » March 19th, 2017, 7:05 pm wrote:
To say that man is both a living organism of the the mind and a biological species is not to say that all human beings are equally proportioned in these two facets. Like many other aspects of human beings we can only say that the potential as well as specific examples are notable, not that it is a universal characteristic. And it is upon this potential that our equality rests, especially because our judgments of personal actualities are not particularly trustworthy.


And what exactly are the potentials and what is required to realize them?


I don't understand the point of such questions. Surely you can think of good answers to suit yourself.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Eclogite on March 20th, 2017, 12:21 pm 

Neri » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:54 am wrote:Eclogite,

Honestly, I have no clue what you are talking about. I get the distinct impression that you have not read my posts with a view to comprehending them.
What is clear is that I have done a singularly deficient job of making my viewpoint clear. I have been contemplating how to address this and have come up with an unsatisfactory solution.

Over the next two years (approximately), subject to interest, my continued existence as a sentient being and that of civilisation as a coherent whole, I shall initiate a series of threads from which my position should emerge with the clarity of a diamond freshly cut in the workshops of Amsterdam.

This will have the advantage of giving me some focus for a study I intended to undertake anyway and it will end this presently pointless exchange that threatens to corrupt the thread. If I remember I shall pm you whenever one of these threads is initiated.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Eclogite on March 20th, 2017, 12:31 pm 

Athena » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:56 pm wrote:
Eclogite » March 17th, 2017, 8:58 am wrote:
Athena » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:39 pm wrote:The distinguishing feature of homo sapien is he is the only animal that explains his behaviors. It is his reasoning powers that separate him from all other animals. This is one of the things that separates him from homo erectus, not his teeth.
Are you suggesting that "all other animals" lack reasoning powers?

What is your evidence that the reasoning powers of homo erectus differed significantly from that of homo sapiens?


I have said animals think. I have also said there is a difference between thinking and reasoning. .
So please answer my question. Do some animals reason or do they not? It is a simple question. You have avoided answering it.


Athena » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:56 pm wrote:My evidence that the reasoning powers of homo erectus and homo sapiens was significantly different is the extinction of homo erectus.
On what basis do you reject all the other possible explanations?

Athena » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:56 pm wrote:Evidently, Neanderthals also did not have the reasoning powers to win the competition for a place on earth. It was the second migration of homo sapiens out of Africa that succeeded.
What evidence do you have that it was not one of other plausible explanations?

Athena » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:56 pm wrote:I don't have time for details at the moment.
I can wait. I look forward to the response to my other questions and observations too.

Athena » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:56 pm wrote:If you want to argue my points please present any reasoning that is contrary to what I have said.
No. You cannot shift the burden of proof. You are assuming an explanation for events for which there are other sound explanations. You need to justify that. You are the one who made the initial assertions.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 20th, 2017, 12:49 pm 

mitchellmckain » March 20th, 2017, 9:51 am wrote:
Athena » March 20th, 2017, 10:18 am wrote:
mitchellmckain » March 19th, 2017, 7:05 pm wrote:
To say that man is both a living organism of the the mind and a biological species is not to say that all human beings are equally proportioned in these two facets. Like many other aspects of human beings we can only say that the potential as well as specific examples are notable, not that it is a universal characteristic. And it is upon this potential that our equality rests, especially because our judgments of personal actualities are not particularly trustworthy.


And what exactly are the potentials and what is required to realize them?


I don't understand the point of such questions. Surely you can think of good answers to suit yourself.


Sure I can think of good reasons, but that doesn't mean that is good reasoning. The miracle of language and democracy is we can share our reasoning and improve it by mixing our thoughts with others. What is man is not the single man, as a bear is a bear unchanged by what bears what think and do, but rather we are what we have achieved over centuries of accumulated knowledge and by interacting with each other. Unlike all other animals, we are the product of continuing evolution of the mind. Our brains haven't evolved, but the mind, our shared consciousness, has.

I asked the questions because I thought you wanted to share what you think.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 20th, 2017, 1:21 pm 

quote Ecolite... So please answer my question. Do some animals reason or do they not? It is a simple question. You have avoided answering it.


Ecolite, I keep answering your questions and you keep failing to get the answers. Before this thread is closed like the others have been, I am putting an end to the destructive game you play. The answer to your question is, there is a difference between thinking and reasoning. If you really want information, put some effort into understanding what I have said.
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Re: What is man?

Postby vivian maxine on March 20th, 2017, 1:22 pm 

Strictly by coincidence, and without any intention of doing so, I am sure, Discover Magazine, April 2017 issue, has contributed to this thread in an article entitled "This Means War". Archaeologists, biologists, and others are putting together a theory of when violence became part of homo sapien's makeup. This stems from what archaeologists have found in graves of various ages and their ideas of why the violence happens in lesser or greater numbers based on age of the graves.

Richard Wrangham, biological anthropologist at Harvard, by studying the evolution of human warfare, puts violent conflict as a vestige of pre-homo ancestry. He and other researchers believe we dragged our violent nature with us as we became human. Augustin Fuentes of Notre Dame puts a limit on how far back we can go with this idea. He does not believe violence was, in earlier times, part of our basic human nature. He says (quote from article) "...the surge in violence and aggression coincided with humans beginning to settle and create societies with a shared sense of group identity."

Before that, when numbers were smaller, most humans practiced avoidance rather than attack. From 2 million years ago to roughly 14,000 years ago, only about two percent of fossils show any evidence of lethal aggression. After that, there is a doubling in numbers that show evidence of aggression and homicide.

(Quote from article re Fuentes's ideas): In evolutionary terms, the trait of aggression is a complex cocktail of genes, hormones, learned behavior and culture". "We are", Fuentes says, both the potentially nicest and the potentially cruelest species on the planet."

As I read it, we come away with the conclusion that man or his ancestors were not, at the start, hard-wired to be violent. Perhaps the first killings of fellow homos (pre-14,000 years ago) were even accidental. From that ideas of how to remove a competitor or enemy was to kill him. And then how to remove a whole group of people if we wanted their territory.

And that is a trait that we have not lost to this day. I might say that we have now added a new kind of violence - control. Force everybody to join "us" and "become like "us". If that doesn't work, the "us" will make the "them" suffer for their sins. I just finished re-reading a book I'd read years ago that illustrates this magnificently: If you like historical fiction: "The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet" by Edith Pargeter wherein is the history of King Edward I's determination to destroy and remake Wales. There are many other such instances and it is lunch time here. :-)
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 20th, 2017, 2:00 pm 

vivian maxine » March 20th, 2017, 11:22 am wrote:Strictly by coincidence, and without any intention of doing so, I am sure, Discover Magazine, April 2017 issue, has contributed to this thread in an article entitled "This Means War". Archaeologists, biologists, and others are putting together a theory of when violence became part of homo sapien's makeup. This stems from what archaeologists have found in graves of various ages and their ideas of why the violence happens in lesser or greater numbers based on age of the graves.

Richard Wrangham, biological anthropologist at Harvard, by studying the evolution of human warfare, puts violent conflict as a vestige of pre-homo ancestry. He and other researchers believe we dragged our violent nature with us as we became human. Augustin Fuentes of Notre Dame puts a limit on how far back we can go with this idea. He does not believe violence was, in earlier times, part of our basic human nature. He says (quote from article) "...the surge in violence and aggression coincided with humans beginning to settle and create societies with a shared sense of group identity."

Before that, when numbers were smaller, most humans practiced avoidance rather than attack. From 2 million years ago to roughly 14,000 years ago, only about two percent of fossils show any evidence of lethal aggression. After that, there is a doubling in numbers that show evidence of aggression and homicide.

(Quote from article re Fuentes's ideas): In evolutionary terms, the trait of aggression is a complex cocktail of genes, hormones, learned behavior and culture". "We are", Fuentes says, both the potentially nicest and the potentially cruelest species on the planet."

As I read it, we come away with the conclusion that man or his ancestors were not, at the start, hard-wired to be violent. Perhaps the first killings of fellow homos (pre-14,000 years ago) were even accidental. From that ideas of how to remove a competitor or enemy was to kill him. And then how to remove a whole group of people if we wanted their territory.

And that is a trait that we have not lost to this day. I might say that we have now added a new kind of violence - control. Force everybody to join "us" and "become like "us". If that doesn't work, the "us" will make the "them" suffer for their sins. I just finished re-reading a book I'd read years ago that illustrates this magnificently: If you like historical fiction: "The Brothers of Gwynedd Quartet" by Edith Pargeter wherein is the history of King Edward I's determination to destroy and remake Wales. There are many other such instances and it is lunch time here. :-)


It is not believable to me that violence was not part of our nature from the beginning because we are predators and social predators kill for food, territory, and mating rights. Chimps, wolves, lions are social animals that defend their food, territory and mating rights. Sometimes, but not all, males defend everything for themselves, and some species will put caring for the children first. I think this difference plays a very important role in our species not killing each other. The wars these animals fight are won easily, because their numbers are relatively small, and one group will quickly exit the territory of another, or if the invaders out number them or are the more vicious the wolves, lions, chimps, etc those who were there first may flee.

If we look at other animals, a new comer is rarely accepted, but if this species puts taking care of the young above competition and personal satisfaction, a new comer is more likely to be accepted, and where food is plentiful, this is a distinct advantage because the larger group has a better chance of winning the wars or hunting large prey. What should get our attention may not be why we kill, but rather why we don't kill. Note, the food must be plentiful and in the beginning, this does not depend on farming, but nature and food animals. Where food is plentiful, more offspring will survive, and numbers matter when it comes to defending territory. So now the number of members in the group can be increased with reproduction AND accepting new comers.

I think we seriously need to rethink our understanding of our humanness. We succeeded because we took better care of each other, and those who failed to do so became extinct. Or in the case of Neadrathals, they were absorbed into the more successful line of homo sapiens. Thinking our survival depends on our ability to kill rather than our ability to cooperate and care of each other, may lead to our own extinction.

That drive for control is what Richard M. Brickner, M.D. called paranoid, an excessive need to be superior and in control and it is my opinion this is prevented by the liberal education we did have and promoted by the education for technology that followed the 1958 National Defence Education Act. In the forums, I see the drive to "be right" without an understanding of conceptualizing. I think this increases the likelihood of violence and war. So yes, we can swing either way, very creative and caring of very destructive, psychologically and physically.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Eclogite on March 20th, 2017, 4:30 pm 

Athena » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:21 pm wrote:
quote Ecolite... So please answer my question. Do some animals reason or do they not? It is a simple question. You have avoided answering it.


Ecolite, I keep answering your questions and you keep failing to get the answers. Before this thread is closed like the others have been, I am putting an end to the destructive game you play. The answer to your question is, there is a difference between thinking and reasoning. If you really want information, put some effort into understanding what I have said.
I perfectly understand that you assert a difference between thinking and reasoning. I did not ask you that. I asked you if you believed animals reasoned.

Your reply was ambiguous. Your statement is that animals think and that thinking and reasoning are different. That does not preclude the possibility that animals also reason, but it seems to imply that you believe they do not reason.

Since this is a demonstrably false idea I was seeking to get clarification before providing you with the evidence via citations of peer reviewed articles in reputable journals. I don't believe it was unreasonable to ask for that clarification.

You say that I have made no effort to understand you. My patient effort to get you to answer a very simple question is part of that effort. You may think you are the epitome of great clarity, but for me - at present - you are not. I am asking for your help.

You may have noted in another post I accepted full responsibility for my failure to explain my POV to Neri. I have proposed a solution that will end the confusion in this thread and may lead to a resolution elsewhere. I also accept full responsibility for my failure to understand your points, but I have also explained how you can help me overcome that failure.

In order not to disrupt this thread further I shall not be posting in it again. I do however wish to see your answers to my questions posed earlier. They are reasonable questions. Please send to me by PM, or start a new thread to discuss the topics raised by them - whichever you prefer.

Thank you.
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Re: What is man?

Postby mitchellmckain on March 20th, 2017, 7:00 pm 

Athena » March 20th, 2017, 11:49 am wrote:
Sure I can think of good reasons, but that doesn't mean that is good reasoning. The miracle of language and democracy is we can share our reasoning and improve it by mixing our thoughts with others. What is man is not the single man, as a bear is a bear unchanged by what bears what think and do, but rather we are what we have achieved over centuries of accumulated knowledge and by interacting with each other. Unlike all other animals, we are the product of continuing evolution of the mind. Our brains haven't evolved, but the mind, our shared consciousness, has.

I asked the questions because I thought you wanted to share what you think.


Our interests vary. I share what I think on topics which interest me.

I don't see democracy as such a miracle as you seem to. I dislike Plato's anti-democracy sentiments but that is far as I would go, for I do see that democracy has great weaknesses. The conundrum presented by populist presidents is an illustration of this and Andrew Jackson is one of the best examples. He is the only president who ever got rid of the nation debt. On the other hand, he presided over a ruthless slaughter of Native Americans. Thus we see that democracy is only as good as the average citizen and can thus be horrifically shortsighted and immoral. So "miracle" is not the word I would use for it. On the other hand, perhaps you use the word "democracy" in much the way I use the term "free society" to represent the ideals of liberty and tolerance which I would certainly defend with my life.

Of course our brains have evolved, but the mind via the accumulation of human knowledge evolves much faster for a very good reason: the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Evolution via genetics and DNA is a system of biological learning which takes millions of years because the accomplishments during ones lifetime (after conception) make no direct contribution. But human civilization, by contrast, can be transformed dramatically by the achievements during an individuals lifetime -- the discoveries of Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and such, for example. Language and human communication media bring what we learn during our lifetimes to the next generation while DNA does not.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Neri on March 21st, 2017, 12:44 am 

Eclogite,

It has been my experience that when one cannot express himself clearly, he usually has no idea what he is talking about. It is people of this sort that corrupt an otherwise useful discussion.
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Re: What is man?

Postby hyksos on March 21st, 2017, 3:26 am 

Neri,

We can see that you have dragged the thread out for 3 solid pages. What you are doing on this forum may be opaque to the regulars here, but I'm not entirely impressed with the "show" you are putting on.

The societies that we modern people live in are composed of sectors. There is the Business Sector, the Industrial/Manufacturing sector, the Governmental sector, the Military, the Healthcare sector, and so on and what have you. In 2017, we might even have a "Tech Sector" often referred to as "Silicon Valley".

While the sectors rely on each other in a self-reinforcing structure which sustained the society as a whole, the differences between people in various sectors is quite extreme. They disagree on fundamental questions of what is right and wrong, on questions about what is good. Their aims in life may even be completely contradictory.

At this moment, you are posting in a philosophy forum. Philosophy is a human exercise that is intertwined with academia, science, and the humanities. We don't talk about our guns here, share pictures of our guns, and discuss the invasion of Normandy by the Allied powers during WWII. There are many internet forums that cater to such "warriors", but this forum is not one of them.

It is always possible for a person like yourself to jump into a given philosophy forum , remind all the tweed-sweater 'professors' that human beings are still pointing nuclear-tipped missiles at each other, and that we are nothing but a warring species of ape. You could even go further to insult the forum regulars by saying such things as :

  • "Philosophy has never done anyone any good."
  • "Utopian societies are impossible because humans are violence-loving apes. So all politics is pointless."
  • "Tweed jacket professors are suppressing their killer instincts, unlike me who embraces them."
  • "If you ever been in a war zone, you'd know what I mean. Ever been in a forward operating base, professor?"
  • "We are destined to destroy ourselves in a destructive final war anyway because of our nature. All science, technology, medicine, and philosophy is pointless. Leave the forum and build your bunker before the bombs land."

Such sentiments will get the regulars all worked up into a nice lather. In their heightened emotional state : cause a huge thread that goes on for 11 pages. I've seen this technique all before many times. You aren't doing anything impressive. At the end of the day you aren't even communicating a point, you are just trolling and scoring points whenever your trolling gets a reaction.

If you honestly believe that only the gun-toting soldier (in his "forward operating base") is the only honest person left on this planet, then by all means, depart from this forum and go to another internet forum that caters to such people. Embrace the military sector. You will meet many like-minds who believe they have it "all figured out" and that philosophy is nothing but time wasting and talking in circles about language. Or get your gun and go hunt a deer,( or whatever exercise is more conducive with your ape nature. )
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 21st, 2017, 10:50 am 

mitchellmckain » March 20th, 2017, 5:00 pm wrote:
Of course our brains have evolved, but the mind via the accumulation of human knowledge evolves much faster for a very good reason: the inheritance of acquired characteristics. Evolution via genetics and DNA is a system of biological learning which takes millions of years because the accomplishments during ones lifetime (after conception) make no direct contribution. But human civilization, by contrast, can be transformed dramatically by the achievements during an individuals lifetime -- the discoveries of Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein and such, for example. Language and human communication media bring what we learn during our lifetimes to the next generation while DNA does not.


It is possible our DNA transmits more information than is commonly thought. If a grandparent learned to play the piano well the ability to do so may pass on to following generations. Also nutrition can effect the next generation, such as making a child more prone to obesity or addiction.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gu ... r-learned/

I didn't mean to give the thread a political theme, but want to high-light what you said about individuals making a big difference in our lives. This for me is the democratic mind. Forget politics please. The democratic mind is wide spread knowledge and an accumulation of knowledge from all sources the past and present. For example, contrast life in the US with life in the mountains of Afghanistan where education is restricted to males and also restricted to studying the Quran. When people are isolated for whatever reason their evolution is arrested. On the other hand, where information flows freely and education is universal, the speed of man-made evolution increases. Not that long ago it took a 100 years for an idea to catch on, and today our greatest problem may be change is happening too fast. For me, that is the democratic mind. It is something that clearly separates us from all other animals.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 21st, 2017, 10:55 am 

Neri » March 20th, 2017, 10:44 pm wrote:Eclogite,

It has been my experience that when one cannot express himself clearly, he usually has no idea what he is talking about. It is people of this sort that corrupt an otherwise useful discussion.


Thank you for clarifying this. I was thinking it is a very bad idea for me to engage with you, and you have confirmed that. It is my intention to avoid your post. You might be the nicest person as well as the most intelligent person, but I have a very bad reaction to you.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Athena on March 21st, 2017, 11:07 am 

"Philosophy has never done anyone any good."

It is hard to imagine anyone well informed about philosophy saying such a thing.

It is also common for people who never studied philosophy to think they are philosophical experts. Why is this so? In the different fields of science, if a person completely ignorant of that field of science, presented himself as an expert on the subject, that would never be tolerated? And it is pain in the ass to deal with these people when knowledge of philosophy is essential to the topic and they are clueless.
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Re: What is man?

Postby Neri on March 21st, 2017, 11:53 am 

Hyksos,

I have read your ad hominem rant with no interest. You have utterly failed to grasp the point of what I have been saying. Although, there is nothing of intellectual substance in your comments, I will respond out of respect for the other participants of this forum.

This thread has extended for “three solid pages” (as you put it), because matters have been raised that are of interest to others who have entered most of the posts.

You make the “blindingly obvious" observation (to borrow Eclogite’s words) that the U.S. consists of “sectors.” To say that all humans share certain basic characteristics is not to say that all are exactly the same. For example, I like to think that I am not exactly like you
.
However, we are able to distinguish a class called “human,” because characteristics of this sort do exist. My concern herein has been to ascertain what they may be. In other words, I concern myself with what it is that makes us all human despite our differences and how it is instantiated in our behavior.

I do need the likes of you to tell me what philosophy is.

You are hallucinating if you think that I have “jumped into” the forum to talk about guns. In fact, you are the first to mention guns. Over the years, I have, on this forum, discussed philosophical questions of every sort. Nor am I resentful of academics, having myself for many years been an adjunct professor and a trial lawyer. If your sophomoric attitude is any indication, I was reading philosophy and trying murder cases before you were toilet trained.

Utopian societies are in fact impossible, and I have given the reasons therefor. This does not mean that philosophy is useless. On the contrary, it means that philosophy should deal with the realities of the human condition.

I am interested in neither guns nor bunkers. Nor do I respect those who build bunkers in their own minds.
Neri
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Re: What is man?

Postby Eclogite on March 21st, 2017, 12:13 pm 

Moderator Hat On: I am locking this thread for review. I shall not be participating in that review as I have doubtless contributed to some of the tensions within it.
Eclogite
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