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In the Name of God بسم الله
ZethaPonderer

Why is the term "Animal" being used to describe Humans?

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You can consider me living in a rock, but to spare you the trouble I have read a lot of Science Books and this NEVER made any sense to me.

The definition of the term "Animal" is borderline semantics according to Science and contradictory at worst according to Philosophy.

To describe Humans as Animals is a bit demeaning and makes just as much sense as calling them "Beasts" or using Racial Slurs to describe the entirety of Humanity. So, wouldn't a much more appropriate terminology be taken into consideration for the Scientific Field to be taken seriously? Instead of Animals why not Fleshly (singular) or Fleshlies (plural)? Or Carnal(s)? Or Sensual(s)? All three of these terminologies share similarities with the term "Animal", but not in a demeaning and derogatory sort of way.

So, instead of "Animal Kingdom" it should be "Fleshly Kingdom". Thus, Dogs and Cats are Fleshly Mammals. Chickens are Fleshly Birds. Snakes are Fleshly Reptiles. Salmon are Fleshly Fish. Frogs are Fleshly Amphibians. Therefore, Humans are Fleshly Mammals according to Science. This makes more logical sense than using the term "Animal" all the way to describe Non-Plant and Non-Mineral Living Creatures.

I can buy that. Since the term "Animal" at best is used in a derogatory and demeaning manner when describing someone or something living just as much as using the term "Beast".

 

Here's a social experiment for you all.

Greet your fellow brethren and those as your equal with the following, "Hello there you animal" and see what their reaction is.

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The air of Victorian and Edwardian superiority complex means that even to atheists we are not similar to animals. Anything that doesn't seem to have intellect or follow our norms are animals. They used to have similar views to Africans and Indians sadly.

For example, we only openly reserve the term animal for serial killers, rapists and paedophiles, something I'm sure a bumblebee would be highly offended by.

The animal-human narrative pleases those who disbelieve in God, they pick and choose it as they wish. On one day they tell us we're animals and religion is a lie, on another day when everyone is #prayingforinsertcityhere (see the irony there?) the human suddenly becomes distinct from the animal. "What sort of animal would do this?" They say amongst themselves. These animals that we called humans only the day before never become our problem because of this animal-human divide, we wash our hands and such animals are better off dead or left to rot in a zoo a.k.a prison system. This is partially why society never learns, if something doesn't conform to our principals it can go on the landfill site to rot or be flushed down the toilet. A Goldfish with swim bladder problems, a dining chair, a serial killer, if they are broken why fix them?

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When l was in public school and college, "Man" was not only an animal, but also "one of the Great Apes"  and in college built upon a 'reptilian brain'.

Also, Z-Ponderer, biological ordering/arranging does not mix with philosophy.

 

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56 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

When l was in public school and college, "Man" was not only an animal, but also "one of the Great Apes"  and in college built upon a 'reptilian brain'.

Also, Z-Ponderer, biological ordering/arranging does not mix with philosophy.

That’s what people nowadays want to think which I believe is very disingenuous in the long run.

Why? Because when observing the principles and steps of the Scientific Method,

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/science-fair/steps-of-the-scientific-method

It sounds similar to a particular Philosophy known as Epistemology.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/

Is the Scientific Method epistemological? Yes.

So, if Biology is a part of Science just as much as Chemistry and Physics, then I fail to understand why can’t Philosophy and Science Mix?

I see it that Philosophy is the Ground while Science is the Building on the Ground. Therefore, Science cannot stand on its own without the help of Philosophy.

 

Then again these terms “Fleshly”, “Sensual”, and “Carnal” should be more appropriate for not just Humans, but for other Non-Human Creatures as well. I’m just saying that the term “Animal” sounds demeaning and derogatory. No different than calling someone a Beast or using Racial Slurs to understand Humanity.

 

I’m living in a world currently where I bear witness reading about such lovely people advocating for that which is obviously disgusting and consent-defying on top of a lack of regard for the understanding of innocence to a sane person,

https://www.debate.org/opinions/should-beastiality-be-made-legal

https://www.debate.org/debates/Bestiality-Should-be-Legalized/1/

when being enlightened with the claim and evidence by the Scientific Community and Animal Rights Activists “Humans are Animals”.

 

The degeneracy is growing stronger the more time passes. I might go insane and lose myself for who I am for my pursuit of knowledge and improving myself in the long run as a better person which is what fears me the most.

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5 hours ago, ZethaPonderer said:

The definition of the term "Animal" is borderline semantics according to Science and contradictory at worst according to Philosophy.

In Urdu language, Animal is translated as "Haywan", it is the opposite of "Insaan" which means Human. 

What surprised me is that when I saw the Arabic word "Hayawan" in Qur'an, a verse is mentioning that "the hereafter is the "Hayawan, if you but knew". Hayawan, as per Arabic means "the real life".

Similarly, Animalis is a Latin word derived from the root word "anima" which means breath. Animalis means "having breath" or "having Soul" or even "Living Being". So the Animal in English is perhaps came from the Latin. 

Edited by Logic1234

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1 hour ago, ZethaPonderer said:

Is the Scientific Method epistemological? Yes.

No.

Epistemology separates 'justified belief' from opinion.

Science is quantized, something that is measured.

What separates a Science from a Philosophy (including beliefs and opinions) iz that a Science is self correcting.

:grin:"As someone who was a teacher, l Iove doing these squelch-to-squash operations. Smashing, isn't it?"

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12 hours ago, notme said:

Why does the word "animal" sound derogatory to you?

Is "creature" ok?

The ones you suggest seem a bit awkward.

For your first question I thought I made it clear there. Guess not. So let me elaborate further by using the dictionary from various 

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/animal

https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/animal

What I take issue when understanding the definitions even in context is that there are some meanings of the term that are not logically equivalent,

an·I·mal (an'I-măl),
1. A living, sentient organism that has membranous cell walls, requires oxygen and organic foods, and is capable of voluntary movement, as distinguished from a plant or mineral.
2. One of the lower animal organisms as distinguished from humans.
[L.]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

 

As you can clearly see, the first meaning sounds good and fits in according to Science, the second meaning tries to justify the usage of the term as a means to describe other living creatures as beneath Humans. Therefore, with respect to the second meaning people can use the term "Animal" in a demeaning and derogatory way.

The reason why this makes no logical sense to me is that I fail to see how the definition can have it both ways where on one hand we say Humans are Animals yet on the other hand we say Humans are not Animals. To have it both ways means that both the claims "Humans are Animals" and "Humans are not Animals" have equal weight to them which is a bit illogical.

Basically, it boils to this,

"We are, but we are not"

What? Either you are or you are not? That's all I want to elaborate for your first question. It's sounds inconsistent to me. And if Science favors consistency in the long run I think they would much prefer using a terminology that would be consistent in the field.

 

As for your second question, that's not a bad term to use though I suspect that the usage of the term "Creature" is becoming broad since there are some people willing to argue that Plants should be considered creatures and they are more than just things in nature.

The terms I've picked are more in line to describe something that is neither a plant nor a mineral and is reasonably synonymous to the term "Animal". So it has to be either Carnal or Sensual or Flesh.

 

11 hours ago, Logic1234 said:

In Urdu language, Animal is translated as "Haywan", it is the opposite of "Insaan" which means Human. 

What surprised me is that when I saw the Arabic word "Hayawan" in Qur'an, a verse is mentioning that "the hereafter is the "Hayawan, if you but knew". Hayawan, as per Arabic means "the real life".

Similarly, Animalis is a Latin word derived from the root word "anima" which means breath. Animalis means "having breath" or "having Soul" or even "Living Being". So the Animal in English is perhaps came from the Latin. 

Your post is exactly what I wanted out of this topic and you live up to your username. Even going out of your way to not necessarily agree with the line of thought that the term "Animal" is contradictory according to Philosophy through basic understanding of liguistics.

 

11 hours ago, hasanhh said:

No.

Epistemology separates 'justified belief' from opinion.

Science is quantized, something that is measured.

What separates a Science from a Philosophy (including beliefs and opinions) iz that a Science is self correcting.

:grin:"As someone who was a teacher, l Iove doing these squelch-to-squash operations. Smashing, isn't it?"

But Science does derive what it is through the philosophy of Epistemology does it not?

There's even a whole branch known as "The Philosophy of Science" that discusses how Science has many things in common with Epistemology.

http://www2.phy.ilstu.edu/pte/publications/scientific_epistemology.pdf

http://www.typedynamic.com/2012/06/scientific-method-and-epistemology.html

My line of reasoning Science is the Building while Philosophy is the Ground that holds the Building in place is not far from a stretch.

Either way you're not wrong. Just that Quantity, Data, Statistics and Measurements are taken into account to justify that which is observable and being repeatedly tested from time to time.

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5 hours ago, ZethaPonderer said:

But Science does derive what it is through the philosophy of Epistemology does it not?

There's even a whole branch known as "The Philosophy of Science" that discusses how Science has many things in common with Epistemology.

No.

The "philosophy of science" -which is also the title of  a course l took- is a discussion of different approaches. A little more than whether you use inductive-vis-a-vis deductive as we had in high school. 

Discussions of commonality are usually fruitless. The commonality of being a tetrapoda, symmetrical arrangement, very similar diets, clawed feet, tail, two eyes and so forth does not make a lizard a chicken.

Edited by hasanhh
grammar

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ICYMl  :shock:"Hasan used a modern idiom?"

Another "ancestor" may have been found. 3-4 million years old.

h

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02573-w 

OPINE: l think -outside of what the religion reveals- that some of these claims and 'finds' are a getting contrived.

Edited by hasanhh

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I think there is not much functional difference between some more advanced animals, and small children. A dog can learn to obey commands and do tricks. A toddler can too.

But that's an uncomfortable thought because then what is the difference between a severely mentally disabled person and animal? We know the difference is the soul, but it's still an uncomfortable thought.

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On 8/26/2019 at 7:10 PM, ZethaPonderer said:

For your first question I thought I made it clear there. Guess not. So let me elaborate further by using the dictionary from various 

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/animal

https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/animal

What I take issue when understanding the definitions even in context is that there are some meanings of the term that are not logically equivalent,

an·I·mal (an'I-măl),
1. A living, sentient organism that has membranous cell walls, requires oxygen and organic foods, and is capable of voluntary movement, as distinguished from a plant or mineral.
2. One of the lower animal organisms as distinguished from humans.
[L.]
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

 

As you can clearly see, the first meaning sounds good and fits in according to Science, the second meaning tries to justify the usage of the term as a means to describe other living creatures as beneath Humans. Therefore, with respect to the second meaning people can use the term "Animal" in a demeaning and derogatory way.

The reason why this makes no logical sense to me is that I fail to see how the definition can have it both ways where on one hand we say Humans are Animals yet on the other hand we say Humans are not Animals. To have it both ways means that both the claims "Humans are Animals" and "Humans are not Animals" have equal weight to them which is a bit illogical.

 

 

 

There are lots of words in the English language that have different meanings.

The word "stupid" for example can have a professional meaning, or it can be used as a derogatory term for an otherwise regular person.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/stupid

But just because a word appears to be derogatory, doesn't mean that we should change the professionalized version of the word to something else. If anything, it is the lay-version that should change, simply because it often is more of a non professional "slang".

I could make up a slang term and could start calling space shuttles "rocket ships" in a derogatory way if I wanted to. But I wouldn't expect NASA to rename rocket ships just because some old people became offended that I called them rocketships. Slang is too subjective to necessarily alter professional definitions.

And just the same, people aren't going to rename great apes, just because the term "ape" could be used in a negative way.

Edited by iCenozoic

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6 hours ago, iCenozoic said:

There are lots of words in the English language that have different meanings.

The word "stupid" for example can have a professional meaning, or it can be used as a derogatory term for an otherwise regular person.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/stupid

But just because a word appears to be derogatory, doesn't mean that we should change the professionalized version of the word to something else. If anything, it is the lay-version that should change, simply because it often is more of a non professional "slang".

I could make up a slang term and could start calling space shuttles "rocket ships" in a derogatory way if I wanted to. But I wouldn't expect NASA to rename rocket ships just because some old people became offended that I called them rocketships. Slang is too subjective to necessarily alter professional definitions.

And just the same, people aren't going to rename great apes, just because the term "ape" could be used in a negative way.

Hmm... good point there. I was just questioning the consistency of the terminologies that are acceptable within the Scientific Field since Science according to most lay people rely on being consistent and using specific terminologies that should have only 1 meaning should make Science more easy to understand. But, your line of reasoning is a fascinating take indeed. Btw, is Animal a slang according to you since your post revolves around the differences between 1 meaning only Professional Terminologies and Lay Terminologies with many meanings?

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10 hours ago, ZethaPonderer said:

Hmm... good point there. I was just questioning the consistency of the terminologies that are acceptable within the Scientific Field since Science according to most lay people rely on being consistent and using specific terminologies that should have only 1 meaning should make Science more easy to understand. But, your line of reasoning is a fascinating take indeed. Btw, is Animal a slang according to you since your post revolves around the differences between 1 meaning only Professional Terminologies and Lay Terminologies with many meanings?

When a person calls another person "an animal" in a derogatory sense, it is an informal use of the word and is a form of slang.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slang

http://onlineslangdictionary.com/meaning-definition-of/animal

It isn't just slang according to me alone, It is slang by the nature of it's use. 

But if someone says that homo sapiens are a species of animal, then animal is being used in a professional way and it is no longer derogatory slang.

There are lots of slang words that are alterations from their original meanings. It's common. But we can't go around changing words just because people decide to use them in derogatory ways.

 

Edited by iCenozoic

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I would share more examples, but I don't know if it would be appropriate here on ShiaChat. But many racial terms can accurately describe the offended party, while simultaneously being technically true.

"Animal" can also be considered a compliment with respect to sports. "That guy is an animal!" Could refer to a good football player for example. But it's just slang or informal use.

Edited by iCenozoic

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