Monday, October 04, 2004

Quick Thought - Man vs. Animal

Humans are the only creatures who can consciously reduce stress.

I once had a discussion with my brother about what separates animals from humans. It seemed for each thing I brought up he had a counter-point.

Then a few days ago a difference dawned on me; animals cannot not consciously control stress. They may, with training, be able to supress impulses, but that is not the same thing.

Of course animals are not exposed to the same self-imposed stresses as we humans are. If they were, perhaps over time animals would develop stress reduction techniques as well.

Granted, there were many, many points I tried to make: Animals can't plan for the future. Humans explore beyond their surroundings. Animals don't compete for the sake of competition. There were several more in this vein, but my brother had a counter-point for each one.

I can't wait to talk to him, and let him know that I came up with another one.


At 10:45 PM, Blogger tim boucher said...

i think youre overlooking the underlying argument here: if humans can reduce stress consciously, then we are able to do things on a level which is "conscious"

whether or not any other animals are able to do anything consciously, or have a consciousness at all like ours is the real question

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Pug8 said...

There is no doubt that there is a difference in the level of conciousness between humans and other animals, but I would argue that they both have one. Although degrees could be attributed as differences, it cannot be quantified, and therefore would be relative, or subjective.

Good point brother.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Robyn said...

Actaully you should read a book called Tribe of Tigers. It speaks of cats consciously lowering their stress levels in a number of ways.


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