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Discussion Starter #1
Which animals do you think are sentient? Which do you think are sapient?<br><br>
Is there a cut off? (ie. Higher Mammals for sapience)<br><br>
Do you think our compassion towards these animals should be based upon their sentience and sapience? Do you think that if animal rights were propsed into law, the bases of ones rights should be based upon its sapience (or sentience)? Should proponents of animal rights, stick to advocating sapience species first, or should animal rights be applied to all under an umbrella law?<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience" target="_blank">Sentience</a><br><br>
sentire, "to feel";<br><br>
"Sentience is the ability to sense. It is separate from, and not dependent on, aspects of consciousness."<br><br><br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapience" target="_blank">Sapience</a><br><br>
sapere, "to know".<br><br>
"Sapience is the ability of an organism or entity to act with judgment. Self Awareness"
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Examples to those not "getting it".<br><br><br><br>
I would consider Dolphins to be self-aware, and having the abilty to make judgements on their situations.<br><br><br><br>
I would consider a rattlesnake to be sentient, having the ability to feel pain, but not neccisarily to ability to make judgements based on their situations.<br><br><br><br>
I would consider a tree to be neither. Alive but without the ability for pain.
 

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I think the basis of rights should be sentience.
 

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To answer the question about sapience, we'd have to engage the question, in the philosophy of mind, of what is a "judgment". I'd say that simply perceiving a situation and using that perception to guide behaviour is a use of judgment. And so I would say that snakes are sapient, according to this definition.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thats true, I wonder if there is a better definition somewhere. Because there is a distinct difference between the two.<br><br>
A dolphin may protect a human trapped in the water from sharks, is this the result from a defined thought process? Did the dolphin weigh the risks and options involved? (swim away from shark, protect human from shark and risk getting eaten myself) Or was it mearly an instictive responce of protecting members of their pod. A snake surely can feel pain, but would it risk death to protect a being of another species? Is this a sign of sapience, or compassion. If compassion, would having compassion be then a sign of sapience?<br><br><br><br>
Is then sapience a human only trait? Surly bees and ants and snakes and snails are different to humans and dolphins and great apes. Arent they? Or do we just find something of more common ground with some animals?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggiejanie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Is there even a way for us to know which animals are sapient and which are not?</div>
</div>
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Not more than we can know which humans are, but probably not less either, the more advanced in neuroscience we are.
 

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I really don't know how any creature which moves around its environment can be considered to not be sapient. I mean, I assume that species have different ways of thinking than other species but when they feel hungry (for example) there must be some kind of thought process which identiifes the feeling as hunger, and some kind of decision to locate food and eat it.<br><br><br><br>
There seems to be this assumption among people, that animals are machines and don't have any conscious thought, they just react to stimuli. This doesn't make any sense to me. Isn't it much more logical to imagine (having no proof either way) that other animals are more, not less, similar to humans, if only based on the similarities in our biological and genetic make-up?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
perhaps simply,<br><br>
animals do as much as they can to their own abilitys.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>veggiejanie</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Is there even a way for us to know which animals are sapient and which are not?</div>
</div>
<br><br><br><br><br>
Some animals can as much as tell us. For example, Koko the gorilla, who can speak using sign language.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bstutzma</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Some animals can as much as tell us. For example, Koko the gorilla, who can speak using sign language.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br>
Wow! I didn't know that.
 

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People have also taught chimpanzees to use computers which have buttons with symbols representing words which they can press and the machine says the word for them. I saw a video where a chimpanzee and the woman who trained her were going for a walk and the chimpanzee indicated that it wanted to use this machine, then used it to say that it wanted the woman to carry it. So she bent down and it climbed up, it was very clear that it wasn't just pressing random buttons. They reckon that chimpanzees would be able to communicate with humans fine if they had the vocal apparatus.
 

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^^ I saw a show simliar to that. They were teaching the chimps how to identify and match letters/numbers. Eventually they formed words. (I know this isn't the same as what you mentioned.)
 

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Still shows that they understand though.<br><br><br><br>
I volunteered at a zoo for a year (until I found out that zoos are just glorified farms) and the chimp keepers told me that they had decided to start being careful what they said around the chimps because they seemed to be understanding some of it.
 

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If the animal has a brain, I will assume it's sapient, even if it isn't. If the animal has a nervous system, I will assume it's sentient, even if it isn't, just to be safe.<br><br>
If it has neither, then I have as much concern for it as I do for plants, which is not to say none.<br><br><br><br>
I'll take my response off the air.
 

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Part of the reason I choose the arbitrary cut-off line of the lifeform's being a member of the kingdom animalia is because I consider it extremely difficult to know whether a specific creature is sentient. I would consider sentience to be the criteria we should use if there is a way of knowing for sure.
 
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