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I am better than you

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I am better than you Photo by David Selbert from Pexels

The human race, we feel superior to Neanderthals, and better than other humans that think, look and act differently. We are above people that have a slightly different colour of skin, who have more money than us, or who have less money than us. And, of course, superior to animals. Even when we are a self-professed animal lover, and often especially then, deep down, we feel superior to our fellow creatures and we see things from our own perspective. We are better, we are more important, we are more privileged. We are smarter, more intelligent, we can think better. Here are some views and perspectives on this that can be found online.

Anthropocentrism: Humans are the centre of the world

Anthropocentrism is known as a philosophical viewpoint about human beings being the most significant beings in the world. We are positioned at the centre. It is also considered an intrinsic belief in many Western religions and philosophies. It is a way of seeing humans as separate from the rest of nature, and better, and that the 'other' which is not human, can be and should be used and exploited for their own good. Furthermore, it is also known to have roots in the Bible, and it said that its line of thought can be found in Jewish and Christian beliefs, as well as in the ideas and philosophies of Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.

The Independent: Humans are not smarter than animals - we just don't understand them

One author wrote for The Independent about how for many years, humans have believed to be the most intelligent beings on the planet, but that according to scientists at the University of Adelaide new evidence suggests that some animals actually have cognitive faculties that are superior to those possessed by human beings.

University of Adelaide: Not better or smarter, just different?

According to University of Adelaide experts in evolutionary biology, humans have been deceiving themselves for thousands of years that they're smarter than the rest of the animal kingdom, despite growing evidence to the contrary.

Dr. Arthur Saniotis: "For millennia, all kinds of authorities - from religion to eminent scholars - have been repeating the same idea ad nauseam, that humans are exceptional by virtue that they are the smartest in the animal kingdom. However, science tells us that animals can have cognitive faculties that are superior to human beings....

Prof. Maciej Henneberg: "Animals offer different kinds of intelligences, which have been under-rated due to humans' fixation on language and technology. These include social and kinaesthetic intelligence."

Animals Asia: Unique, but not superior

Barbara J. King"My work over many years with non-human animals…tells me that the thinking and feeling capacities of many species are exquisitely developed. Our abilities aren’t superior to theirs: we’re just adapted to different physical and cultural environments."

Animal Sentience: Unique and superior — and that is irrelevant

Eze Paez: "Many human beings do have some capacities that animals do not have and are greater in some respects, in the sense of having superior abilities. It is a better argument to deny that any of that is morally relevant. Sentience suffices for moral consideration, and for deriving a moral duty not to harm other animals and to assist them when they are in need."

Harvard Gazette: More important to whom?

Professor of Philosophy Christine Korsgaard: "Western moral philosophy is now more than 2,000 years old, and in all of that time very few moral philosophers have said anything about the treatment of animals. Animals are sentient beings and some are capable of interacting with us, but on the other hand there they are, on our dinner plates, pulling our wagons, hunted by us, and made to fight with one another for our amusement. It just seems like an obvious moral issue, and yet moral philosophers haven’t often asked questions like: Is this all right? Why is it OK to do these things?"

New Statesman: We need to rethink our place in the animal kingdom, even though that would be inconvenient

Simon Barnes in The New Statesman: “To change our views on the uniqueness of human beings would require recalibrating 5,000 years or so of human thought, which would in turn require revolutionary changes in the way we live our lives and manage the planet we all live on....And that would be highly inconvenient."

 

About us

Brand new, international Life Mindstyle magazine, reflecting a variety of perspectives in different aspects of our daily lives. Are our perspectives our own? Are they good for us, for others, for the world? They might be, they might not be. Either way, wouldn't it be good to know? Be curious and see where it may take you. 

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