View Poll Results: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

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  • yes, (I'm an older person 60+)

    2 2.74%
  • no, (I'm an older person 60+)

    0 0%
  • yes, (I'm a younger person 30 or less)

    29 39.73%
  • no, (I'm a younger person 30 or less)

    2 2.74%
  • yes, (i'm somewhere in the middle 30-60)

    40 54.79%
  • no, (i'm somewhere in the middle 30-60)

    0 0%
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Thread: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

  1. #21
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    This poll is wrong. Some animals have emotions, some don't. It depends on the animal you are talking about. It's not like a crayfish or crocodile has any feelings/emotions while a parrot or dog does.

    The adult alligator has a brain roughly the size of a marble. This is a creature that can be up to 12 feet long, sometimes bigger. They operate on instinct alone, period. Most Reptiles and amphibians are roughly the same. They just don't scientifically have the brain power to support an emotional response system and it is not needed.
    Last edited by Black Dog; 05-23-10 at 02:25 PM.
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  2. #22
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    not sure if you read my initial post, the poll addresses birds and mammals.

  3. #23
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora151989 View Post
    not sure if you read my initial post, the poll addresses birds and mammals.
    I just read the poll question, not your post.

    yes, (i'm somewhere in the middle 30-60)

    I have a parrot and she definitely has emotions. Enough to drive me crazy at times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    Benjii likes the protests...he'd be largely irrelevant without them. So he needs to speak where he knows there will be protests against him and that makes him responsible for the protests.
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    You can successfully wipe your ass with toilet paper, that doesn't mean that you should.

  4. #24
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Those who work with animals and train them, professional trainers, tend to speak in terms of drives, rather than emotions.

    Drives in this context refers to instictive or learned behaviors exhibited in the presence of certain stimuli.

    Dogs are the animal with which I'm most familiar in this sense, having had training by a professional in dealing with dogs.

    Dogs primary drives include predation, territorial defense, submission, and fear. They can relate to humans in all these drives, usually viewing humans as alphas, or sometimes as equals; sometimes as threats, and sometimes as prey animals.

    I've seen all these drives modeled by real dogs, both in training classes and in "the field".

    The funny thing is a dog can switch drives like flipping a lightswitch. Seriously, they can be in predation mode, ripping the crap out of a trainer's protective sleeve... then two seconds later the same trainer can be petting them on the head, once the context that made them "go predator" is removed.

    I won't say that dogs don't have feelings of some kind, because I believe they do; but I think their feelings operate very differently from humans.

    How many humans can turn their emotions on and off like that? Switch from "KILL!!!!" to "oh you want to scratch my ears? Joy joy joy..." in two seconds? Well, the human equivalents of those feelings I mean.

    Human emotions tend to be more persistent. We have long-lasting emotional reactions to things that engender strong feelings, even long after the stimulus is removed. For the most part, dogs don't seem to.

    I won't say that animals don't have feelings and emotions of some kind, based on instinctive drives and some degree of learned behavior, but I don't think there is any close correlation to human emotions. Human emotions, like human thoughts, can have incredible depths and nuances; animal feelings/drives tend to be fairly simple and directly correlate to their basic drives: food, survival, reproduction, pack status, etc.

    My two bits..

    G.
    I think you're right, but don't quite go far enough - we know now that elephants (and possibly dolphins) express complex emotions such as grief and joy. Dolphins in captivity are known to commit suicide (according to some - but it's hard to refute since, unlike us, breathing is a conscious thing and they can choose not to breathe).
    NATURE . Unforgettable Elephants . Elephant Emotions | PBS

  5. #25
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by jujuman13 View Post

    When you are able to observe the depths and nuances of any animals emotional state then an informed statement or statements can be made, until that time all Humankind can do with regards to the emotional state of the other creatures that also co-dwell on this planet is offer unprovable suppositions.

    Humanity always likes to view itself as the 'Superior' creature in a variety of ways!

    We are a superior creature, or at least a far more complex creature.

    We observe animal behavior and theorize about their motives, yes... because they can't communicate with us in a manner that conveys the depths and nuance of their feelings... if there are such depths and nuances. There is no evidence to believe there are.

    We actually go further than that though. We dissect their brains and compare their neural tissue and structures to our neural tissue and structures, observing a HUGE difference in complexity.

    We scan their brains with various equipment while watching them react to stimuli, and see how their brains actually work. We can then compare that to similar studies on humans and contrast the level of complexity and depth of response.

    I like animals, but they aren't people. I don't deny that they have feelings, but to pretend that they have a depth and complexity of emotional life comparable to humans is contrary to all available evidence.

    I like my pets. I like to think that my dogs and cats have some affection for me; but I realize that the behaviors I like to label "affection" are directly related to their response to me as a substitute-parental figure or alpha packmate. They probably mentally label me as something like "Alpha Male who feeds me and scratches behind my ears."

    I'm not speaking about cetaceans and apes, necessarily. I don't have a solid opinion on them yet. Their behaviors and apparent emotions are an order of magnitude more complex, yet I still think the jury is out on whether they actually approach human-level complexity close enough to be considered sapient.

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  6. #26
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by FilmFestGuy View Post
    I think you're right, but don't quite go far enough - we know now that elephants (and possibly dolphins) express complex emotions such as grief and joy. Dolphins in captivity are known to commit suicide (according to some - but it's hard to refute since, unlike us, breathing is a conscious thing and they can choose not to breathe).
    NATURE . Unforgettable Elephants . Elephant Emotions | PBS

    Well, I brought up dogs because I consider myself well-informed and experienced with that species.

    Elephants and dolphins... I know what I've read, that's about it.

    I don't doubt that there are animals whose mental/emotional depths are far greater than dogs and cats.... but this is kind of how I see it, rating them from lesser to greater mentality:

    Insects--- 0.1
    Fish------ 0.5
    Reptiles--- 1 or 2
    Squirrel--- 4 (I'm tempted to say -10 for running in front of the truck! lol)
    Cat, Dog-- 8
    Pig------- 9
    Elephant-- 15
    Chimpanzee 18 or 19.
    Dolphin---- 17 to maybe 20.
    HUMAN --- 100.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  7. #27
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    yes .. animals have emotions and feelings (soul)

    a carrot and a dog both have a body ..
    a dog has a soul ( mind and emotion ) a carrot does not ..
    a dog and a human both have a body and a soul ..
    a human has a spirit ( Image of God ) a dog does not ..

    this is what elevates man above the animal world . . .
    man ( even in his fallen/sinful state ) has the ability to
    comprehend and communicate with his creator ( born-again )
    God's indwelling Spirit ( according to God's word )
    Last edited by dadman; 05-23-10 at 03:19 PM.

  8. #28
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The funny thing is a dog can switch drives like flipping a lightswitch. Seriously, they can be in predation mode, ripping the crap out of a trainer's protective sleeve... then two seconds later the same trainer can be petting them on the head, once the context that made them "go predator" is removed.

    I won't say that dogs don't have feelings of some kind, because I believe they do; but I think their feelings operate very differently from humans.

    How many humans can turn their emotions on and off like that? Switch from "KILL!!!!" to "oh you want to scratch my ears? Joy joy joy..." in two seconds? Well, the human equivalents of those feelings I mean.
    Not discounting the rest of your post, but I did want to address this. The immediate switch you're talking about has to do with motivation and intent. When you're playing with a dog, they're playing. And they are not being aggressive. Even if they're trying to rip the training sleeve off the trainer. They're playing. That's what dogs do. They do it with us, they do it with each other. You can watch two dogs go at each other - playing - and it may sound and look like they're trying to kill one another. But the second one of them whines in pain or *actually* gets pissed... the playing abruptly STOPS. This is how they learn, and socialize.

    This is the difference between true aggression and playing. If the same dog who switches in an instant with a trainer were *actually* fighting for his life, he would NOT switch off like that. If he actually felt threatened. If he was actually being aggressive (and not on command). Even a dog who relinquishes a grip on a person by command is still going to be standing alert and attentive and ready to attack again. He's not going to roll around and play if he's truly in an aggressive mode. (i.e., a police dog subduing a suspect) The cop may be able to call him off on command, but the dog's mood isn't going to switch to lovey dovey like it would if he were actually playing.

    This is how you can tell the difference between your dog playing and actually being pissed the **** off. If they stop abruptly and lick you, show you affection.. they were playing. If they perhaps just back off and move away, they were pissed.

    This is much like humans. Take a boxing match, for instance. Two guys beating the **** out of each other but when the bell rings... (when they're commanded) they back off. They're still in fight mode though.

    Or, two friends wrestling around or even boxing it out for fun. When one of them expresses TRUE anger or pain, the bout stops.

    So yeah, humans DO turn those drives or modes or whatever on and off. They can, anyway.
    Last edited by rivrrat; 05-23-10 at 03:12 PM.

  9. #29
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    It's not like a crayfish or crocodile has any feelings/emotions .
    and that's probably a good thing, because I sure don't want emotional animals in my gumbo.
    "you're better off on Stormfront discussing how evil brown men are taking innocent white flowers." Infinite Chaos

  10. #30
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    Re: do non-human animals have emotions, feelings?

    They have feeling and they have wants and needs that are important to them as individuals.

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