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  Topic: Uncommonly Dense Thread 4, Fostering a Greater Understanding of IDC< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Posts: 2090
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 28 2012,20:05   

Quote (CeilingCat @ Sep. 28 2012,02:39)
Quote (keiths @ Sep. 27 2012,16:30)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Sep. 27 2012,05:24)
Quote (CeilingCat @ Sep. 27 2012,07:38)
Dr. Torley explains his reasoning:
You ask why the question of whether crows are rational matters. I can think of two big reasons, right off the top of my head. One is religious and the other is political. First, a demonstration that non-human animals are capable of abstract reasoning of any sort – let alone reasoning about hidden causal agents – would discredit claims made by most adherents of Judaism, Christianity and Islam that human beings alone are made in the image of God, thanks to their possession of reason (see here and here and here). After all, if other animals can reason too, then we’re obviously no longer unique, are we?

Second, if other animals are considered to be capable of reasoning, then political rights for these animals are sure to follow. The recent Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness recently declared that “Evidence of near human-like levels of consciousness has been most dramatically observed in African grey parrots” (italics mine) – an assertion that I criticized here. At the 2012 meeting in Vancouver, Canada, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, support was reiterated for a cetacean bill of rights, listing cetaceans as “non-human persons.”

Shorter answer: I don't want animals to be able to think, therefore they don't.  

Evidence be damned.


It's like the fool sat down and TRIED to think of the most fallacious set of arguments from consequences that was possible for this dataset.  fuck me that is hilarious

CeilingCat, 'Ras,

In that passage, Torley is explaining why the question matters, not why he thinks his answer is correct.  

There are plenty of real problems with Torley's reasoning. No need to invent bogus ones.

I was being charitable.  Torley knows that non-human animals can't think because they aren't made in the image of God.  See Thomas Acquinas and Edward Feser for the details.

Confronted with evidence that crows do reason, he grabs every straw he can find to "disprove" this apostasy.

The best straw he can come up with is that crows can't speak, therefore they can't explain their reasoning to us, therefore Jesus.  Bull shit.

His second straw:  
Think about that. These crows supposedly learn how to reason without explicit instruction of any sort, and without even learning through imitation? I have t say I find that philosophically absurd.

What do you say to something like this?  They figured it out themselves, therefore they can't reason?  More BS.
My third reason for pouring cold water on the claim that crows are capable of reasoning about hidden causal agents is that in order to reason about causal agents in the first place, you need to be able to understand the notion of a cause, which is quite a sophisticated concept. Even eminent philosophers have a hard time explaining it.

So if a crow's not as smart as an eminent philosopher, he can't think?  That's PhD (Piled higher and Deeper) grade BS.

Sorry, but the real reason for Torley's "reasoning" are in the initial quotes above.  There's no way he can think critically in the face of his overriding Thomistic beliefs.  It would absolutely kill Baby Jesus.  And besides, if we let the crows get away with this, next thing you know whales and parrots will be demanding the vote and don't even let him get started on chimps.  BS^2

Is Torley religiously motivated?  Yes.

Is he grasping at straws to avoid admitting that crows can reason?  Yes.

Is he arguing that "I don't want animals to be able to think, therefore they don't," as you claimed?  No.  He gives other reasons, albeit bad ones.

No need to make false accusations when there are plenty of legitimate reasons to criticize his position.

And the set of natural numbers is also the set that starts at 0 and goes to the largest number. -- Joe G

Please stop putting words into my mouth that don't belong there and thoughts into my mind that don't belong there. -- KF

  10669 replies since Aug. 31 2011,21:06 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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