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Post by Tinuviel Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:16 am

Hello Intelligent people! study
I am currently writing a short play that is a comedic creation myth in which Michael and Gaberiel were given the job of creating "humanity" in humans. However, I'm having trouble deciding which human traits I want to touch on and or parody. So I was wondering if you lovely Forumshirers would tell me what you think is best about humanity and what you think is worst about humanity. Nod

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Post by David H Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:15 am

Hi Tin,
It may not be what you're needing, but I'll tell you what I consider the most fundamental human characteristic: the ability to see faces in everything.

Whether it's a mountain. a rock or the moon, a car, a cloud, a stain on the rug, a whale, a trout, or a fruit fly, if we can find an eye and a mouth, however unlike our own, we can imagine a face and empathize with it. Kind of amazing really. I think a lot of the best qualities of humanity arise from this gift.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:07 am

The worst thing I reckon Tin is one close to Tolkien's concerns and thinking- the desire to order everything to your own will- to fear difference and to wish to make the whole world uniformy as one person wants it. Its behind the worst of religions atrocities and secular societies atrocities too. It's the thinking behind every shade of extremist.

The best human trait for me is our magic side- yup I said magic cause I suspect it is- humans, as far as we know- are the only beings who can turn a thought, a collection of electrical impulses in a squidgy few pounds of brain into somethng physical and real that never existed in the universe before and never would without us.
We can turn thoughts into realities. Here I am typing on a keyboard in Scotland and communicating with all of you- and none of it is 'natural' it only exists at all because humans added to the things in the universe by turning thoughts in brains into physical realities- we don't just dream, we create reality out of dreams- thats amazing to me.

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:45 pm

One of my favourite human traits is the way people can be positive in the face of disaster and pain. To have a sense of humour and a healthy dose of the ridiculous always amazes me, call it the Blitz spirit, or just getting on with it without moaning.
The worst fault in my opinion is the way we fail miserably to understand if we fuck up Nature and the Earth our Mother, we fuck up everything for everyone forever..
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Post by halfwise Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:46 pm

One of the crucial themes in the development of our species is the extended childhood. If you see most wild animals, the only time they are playful is when they are young: this is the learning phase. Humans have kept this learning phase longer to complement brain development, and indeed we keep the ability to play throughout our lives. We have bred our pets to be the same: wolves will never play 'stick' once they are grown. (in fact the breeding of dogs goes so deep that they are the only other animals on earth that can understand what is meant when a human points at something: not even chimpanzees can decipher this).

Watch an adult pig, or great cat, or wolf. No sense of play...but their young are irresistably playful. Many adult humans lose their sense of play completely - and in my mind this brings them closer to being animals. The fact that responsibility can be so heavy that play becomes a luxury is an unfortunate consequence of many societies.

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Post by Norc Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:26 pm

halfwise wrote:One of the crucial themes in the development of our species is the extended childhood. If you see most wild animals, the only time they are playful is when they are young: this is the learning phase. Humans have kept this learning phase longer to complement brain development, and indeed we keep the ability to play throughout our lives. We have bred our pets to be the same: wolves will never play 'stick' once they are grown. (in fact the breeding of dogs goes so deep that they are the only other animals on earth that can understand what is meant when a human points at something: not even chimpanzees can decipher this).

did you see that documentary about where the dog came from, they tamed foxes and tried tame a wolf and so on?
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Post by halfwise Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:21 pm

If not that one, something very close to it. Loved the experiment where they have food hidden under bowls and the human points at one before letting the animal go. I'm a little suspicious the dog was just smelling it though.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:25 pm

Was that the doc Norc where within only a few generations the wolves had developed 'dog-like' traits, colour changes in the coat, ear position and some other things I cant quite recall!! The speed of the transformation was quite shocking.

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Post by Kafria Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:18 pm

One of the things that makes me sad is peoples tendency to equate logic and rational thinking as being mature intelligent beings, whereas I believe one of our great strengths as people is to be able to accept the more emotive and instinctive parts of ourselves as part of our being and not simply deny it.

(It can also be one of our biggest failings too. It is incredible how as people we can hold two clearly opposite ideas to be equally and self evidently true with ease.)

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Post by Norc Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:29 pm

YES! we're talking about the same documentary! but it was silver-foxes used in fur industry they had bread to be not-aggresive and they developed dog.like features like new colours, floppy ears and a curly tail!

btw, sorry Tin, for going off topic Rolling Eyes
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Post by halfwise Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:45 pm

Worst thing about Humans: they constantly go off topic
Best thing about Humans: they constantly go off topic

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:47 pm

lol! Halfwise

Kafria no double-think no religion or politics! After all a lot Chrisitans believe they will go to heaven soon as they die and they will stay in the ground to be raised for Judgement Day- completely contradictory! And politics- is all double-think!

(By the way Tin this a great little topic)

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Post by Kafria Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:01 pm

Oh yes - it gives rise to some real issues, but equally wihtout it some of the creativity and leaps of imagination, both artistic and scientific would never occur.

If you hadn't guessed I have a bit of an issue with the whole 'we're too grown up and evolved to tolerate people who believe differently to us' stuuf that seems to pervade our scientific community at the mo! It is building into a kind of childlike intellectual snobbery - 'you disagree so you obivously can't really think!'

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:13 pm

Thats a tricky one Kafria- I dont have a lot of time for religion- but spirituality, individual belief I see quite differently- its the presenting people with an implausable story then demanding they believe it and obey it to prove themselves- I do think its about time intelectually humans outevolved that nonsense- but to do away with the idea humans may well be a lot more complicated in our existence than we know seems like throwing the baby out with the (dirty) bath water.

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Post by Kafria Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:30 pm

I understand the problem people have with organised religion. I dislike the idea that faith should be unquestioning or blind.

I suspect a lot of my fascination with this idea is the personal dichotomy for me in being a science teacher yet, as we've discussed before, I believe. The conflict between the two in my own life is what makes me so aware of and intrigued by this aspect of human nature. I also think it has a lot to do with peoples views on what science is.

For many there is a simplistic view that faith is 'imaginary' and science is ' real'.

Now I am not for one minute saying that science is not rigouress, based on experimentation and repeatable data. I share the frustration of many that it in the media science and scientists are to be distrusted, studys are wilfully misquoted for a headline and for many the word theory is equated with opinion, despite in the scienctific context having a very different meaning.

However, science is not infallible and is only as advanced as our ability to understand as human beings. Everytime a new hypothesis is put forward we have sweeping pronouncements of how this will cure/solve x y z only to find on further investigation it is more complex than we thought (gene therapy and the huan genome project was suposed to cure all humanity after all).
In this context science itself can simplistically be viewed as a way of looking at and understanding the world - just as religion could be. Yes it is logic based, it is not believe because I say so, but it is still a way of trying to understand the world and make sense of it. The biggest issue I have is the idea that we have reached a point where we know it all, we may find in fifty years time there is a whole new layer of complexity to it. This kind of fevour is reaching something equating religious proportions in some quaters, it is just as limiting as blind faith.

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Post by halfwise Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:39 pm

I hope Tin doesn't mind us wandering off topic, but I think she knows us too well to expect much else....

I'd say the dichotomy comes in our understanding the universe versus understanding our reactions to the universe.

The first has to be very logical (though in many cases strongly supported by intuition), but the second need not be - and that makes it no less important and valid.

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Post by Orwell Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:40 pm

I think a balanced perspective is required here.

Women = Emotional.

Men = Rational.

We need both traits to survive as a Species, methinks. Very Happy

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Post by Kafria Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:41 pm

Orwell wrote:I think a balanced perspective is required here.

Women = Emotional.

Men = Rational.

We need both traits to survive as a Species, methinks. Very Happy

Mmmhh...... now where is that spell for dragon fire....... I know I left it somewhere?...

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:47 pm

I think that mood, I supposed espoused most by Dawkins and the rest is it seems as blind as faith at times, in that he seems to have a zeal similar to religion to make everyone conform to a particular view of the universe, but thats too narrow for me, but at the same time we really can't still have a huge bulk (probably the majority) of humans still fighting, squabbling and murdering one other over whose faery story for adults is the real one.
If it were just an intellectual problem it would not matter so much but its also a real problem where lots of pepole die all the time.
No one should be denied the right to believe in a God, and no one should deny those people when of like mind to gather together- but without the story, without the books as ultimate truth and the believing because you are told to.
The Bible can be used to better purpose viewed by secular folks as having some of the greatest moral thoughts humans have achieved in how to live together and which we can build and improve upon, and by those who believe in a God as displaying through His creation some of the highest moral thoughts (but not as orders from above, but as achievements made my His creation on their own) without having to believe Noahs Ark and 6,000 year old earths and resurrections of the dead and that homosexuality is wrong and beating your wife regularly good. Religion needs to seperate the wheat from the chaff if its to survive I reckon.

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Post by Kafria Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:03 pm

was replying - lost it and my train of thought - Evil or Very Mad B£&^%(U

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Post by Orwell Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:18 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I think that mood, I supposed espoused most by Dawkins and the rest is it seems as blind as faith at times, in that he seems to have a zeal similar to religion to make everyone conform to a particular view of the universe, but thats too narrow for me, but at the same time we really can't still have a huge bulk (probably the majority) of humans still fighting, squabbling and murdering one other over whose faery story for adults is the real one.
If it were just an intellectual problem it would not matter so much but its also a real problem where lots of pepole die all the time.
No one should be denied the right to believe in a God, and no one should deny those people when of like mind to gather together- but without the story, without the books as ultimate truth and the believing because you are told to.
The Bible can be used to better purpose viewed by secular folks as having some of the greatest moral thoughts humans have achieved in how to live together and which we can build and improve upon, and by those who believe in a God as displaying through His creation some of the highest moral thoughts (but not as orders from above, but as achievements made my His creation on their own) without having to believe Noahs Ark and 6,000 year old earths and resurrections of the dead and that homosexuality is wrong and beating your wife regularly good. Religion needs to seperate the wheat from the chaff if its to survive I reckon.

Dawkins and his ilk fall back to an argument based on "Faith." I'm agnostic because I can't prove scientifically if "God" (however you interpret who or what "God" is) does or doesn't exist.

Was there ever 'nothing"?

How did 'something' come from nothing?

Indeed can 'nothing' exist - or 'not exist", for that matter.

Making God into a super human as opposed to an Numeral Uno Atom, or an ant (or an aardvark, which would be cool Very Happy ) is where I have a problem.

....and how come He/She can't get His/Her message out coherently, consistently and cogently? Why all the differing versions of rules and regulations?... and would God really leave so much up for interpretation...?

Anyway Dawkins believes in his "God" = the God called "Atheism" who we must believe in 'Faithfully' with no actual "Proof'. It's a flawed logic according to his own rules about scientific enquiry, methinks.

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:46 pm

I dont think the human brain copes very well with the concept of Nothing, there may well have been Nothing before the Big Bang, but our little squirrel brain goes oi! that cant be right, Nothing? there must have been Something even if it was as small as Orwells swimming trunks. Shocked
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:48 pm

lol!

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Post by Tinuviel Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:23 am

[quote="OrwellWas there ever 'nothing"?

How did 'something' come from nothing?

Indeed can 'nothing' exist - or 'not exist", for that matter.

Making God into a super human as opposed to an Numeral Uno Atom, or an ant (or an aardvark, which would be cool Very Happy ) is where I have a problem.

....and how come He/She can't get His/Her message out coherently, consistently and cogently? Why all the differing versions of rules and regulations?... and would God really leave so much up for interpretation...? [/quote]

Thanks Orwell! You've given me some questions to think about/find a creative solution for in the play Razz

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Post by Orwell Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:44 am

Natch! flower

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