The Philosophical Man

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Nyarlathotep's picture
HumbleThinker - f you don’t

HumbleThinker - If you don’t think then, that we are the greatest species on earth, please endulgebus with your definition of successful and please provide the name of the species you find most successful and why.

We don't need to go out on a limb and make a bunch of wildly subjective claims, to be skeptical of yours.

Tin-Man's picture
@HT Re: "Are you being

@HT Re: "Are you being honest? What the f is the value of a nut?"

Well, to ME, a stash of six hundred-some-odd nuts would likely have very little value (in my present circumstances). To the SQUIRREL, on the other hand, that little pile of nuts would be invaluable. Could mean the difference between making it through the winter or not. So, in that respect, that is a very successful squirrel.

However, let's say my circumstances were different and I was not fortunate enough to live where I do and have the life I have. Let's pretend I live in a desolate area with no income and every single day is basic survival and searching for food to just live another day. Well then, in that case, my finding that little pile of nuts takes on an entirely new value. See what I mean? Basically, using "wealth" as a measure of success is probably not a very good indicator.

LogicFTW's picture


Greatest species like others said is highly subjective, I feel I could make valid arguments for humans as both the greatest and the worst.

Now if you were to use "most dominant" description I think a lot more people would agree and it would be easier to actually objectively measure, like for instance total human biomass in the last ~5000 years has gone way way up, where the biomass of just about everything other living thing has gone way way down, (except for domesticated/farm animals like human pets, cattle, chickens etc.)



I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.

David Killens's picture
How long can a human survive

How long can a human survive with $12.43?

How long can a squirrel survive with 632 peanuts?

Value is relative. A squirrel will live longer with 632 peanuts than a human with $12.43. Does your life have value? If yes, then what keeps you alive is of great value.

Turritopsis dohrnii, the immortal jellyfish can live forever. It doesn't matter how smart you are if you die first.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ HT

@ HT

Interesting. Is there a species you find ‘more successful’? Cockroaches perhaps? Please provide me with a more successful species and why.

Cats. Specifically "domestic" cats. They are all gods.


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CyberLN's picture
Old man...I couldn’t agree

Old man...I couldn’t agree more! My keetie is absolutely a goddess.

I cannot imagine living my life without a cat in it.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I have more cats than I'm

I have more cats than I'm legally allowed to own :(

toto974's picture
Woh you must be allowed to

Woh you must be allowed to have a certain quantities of cats????

Nyarlathotep's picture
Depending on what you mean by

Depending on what you mean by success, some bacteria might be in the running.

Tin-Man's picture
@Humble Thinker

@Humble Thinker

"Most Successful" is really kinda arbitrary. For instance, if you judge humans as being "most successful" because we have been able to propagate and spread out over the entire globe in such large numbers, then I'm afraid we lost that title before it was ever awarded. Care to take a guess at how many ants populate the Earth? Personally, I have no clue, but I would speculate I have a few MILLION in my front yard alone... *chuckle*... Yes, Man is no doubt superior to many other creatures in many ways in the intellect department. However, how successful are we REALLY when we are slowly "killing" and depleting the resources of the very planet that nutures us?

Oh, and by the way, whales do not breathe under water. They just hold their breath for a very long time.

David Killens's picture
"Humans may not be the

"Humans may not be the fastest, or fiercest, but overall, no doubt the most successful. You aren’t really going to deny that are you?"

Please define successful. I know animals that live longer. I know species that have been around longer than humans. Krill has the largest biomass on this planet. There are 7.2 billion humans on the planet today, and 10,000 trillion ants.

I have covered individual lifespan, collective lifespan, mass, and numbers. In each category humans are definitely not number one.

David Killens's picture
I do not disagree that in

I do not disagree that in almost every mental metric we are superior to other animals. But is it real facts or our human arrogance that drives us to such conclusions?

Man used to believe he was the center of everything. Man used to believe everything revolved around the earth. When that was disproven, man still believed that our sun was the center of everything. When it was proven that we were a small part of the Milky way, man still believed that the Milky Way was the center of everything. Google "great debate". The topic was a debate on whether this universe had other companion universes.

I pointed this out, and it relates to just cosmology. In our relationship with animals, I remember an old definition that only man used tools. Once it was discovered that some animals did use tools, then the definition was revised, but only to keep animal characteristics as distinct from humans. They can't feel emotions, they don't have morals, yadda yadda yadda.

Personally I believe that other animals possess the same characteristics as us humans, just diminished.

Humble Thinker, what has kept you from recognizing that some other animal species do domesticate other animal species? Arrogance or ignorance?

HumbleThinker's picture
I see what you mean, David.

I see what you mean, David. Really. But I can’t help but feel like we are being dishonest just for the sake of semantics. It really doesn’t matter to me if a dolphin has complex speech, or an elephant mourns it’s dead. Humans are CLEARLY more advanced than ANY species alive today. It only makes sense that our ancestors have some trace of complex thinking and emotions, if you believe in evolution...I don’t disagree with that.

You say animals have the same traits as humans but diminished. So that confirms my original comment, no?

Edit: forgot to reply to your last comment. Symbiosis is not the same as slavery. Please name me one other species that has domesticated another.

Nyarlathotep's picture
HumbleThinker - Humans are

HumbleThinker - Humans are CLEARLY more advanced than ANY species alive today.

Mountain Dew is CLEARLY more advanced than ANY other soda.

I hope my jest puts some perspective on what you are claiming.

HumbleThinker's picture
No, it’s a silly comparison.

No, it’s a silly comparison. I gave you my definition of ‘greater’ and more ‘successful’. It is not a subjective claim. Which species do you think is the most successful and why.

Nyarlathotep's picture
HumbleThinker - I gave you my

HumbleThinker - I gave you my definition of ‘greater’ and more ‘successful’. It is not a subjective claim.

If it isn't subjective, you should be able to tell us the magnitude of this difference, with a unit. Which I'm guessing you can not.

HumbleThinker's picture
Are you here for real

Are you here for real conversation or just refuse to give ground to anyone else. Please, indulge us with your definition and provide me with evidence that shows my claim is incorrect

Nyarlathotep's picture
HumbleThinker - Please,

HumbleThinker - Please, indulge us with your definition and provide me with evidence that shows my claim is incorrect

I'm highly skeptical of comparisons that make use of words like greater or more without some way of checking them (without a magnitude and a unit).

Claiming Mountain Dew is the greatest soda and claiming that humans are the greatest species; seem incredibly subjective.

Sky Pilot's picture


Are demons more successful than angels? Are angels with two wings as successful as angels with six wings?

CyberLN's picture
“Please name me one other

“Please name me one other species that has domesticated another.”

Some ants have aphid ranches.

David Killens's picture


"You say animals have the same traits as humans but diminished. So that confirms my original comment, no?"

I am afraid not because my post was a response to what you stated in your OP

"As far as we can determine, humans are the only animals capable of philosophy."

gupsphoo's picture


If every claim has to be empirically proven with physical evidence in order to believe it, then how do we address any of the non-physical concepts of life?

Nobody says every concept needs empirical evidence.

It's only when you make a claim of something's existence, you must provide evidence for it.

If god is just a concept, then fine, you don't need to prove that such a concept exists in your mind.

Cognostic's picture
Holy COW! I'm late to the

Holy COW! I'm late to the thread because of illness and vacation but when I read this ABSOLUTE CRAP I just had to say BULLSHIT!

"A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy, which involves rational inquiry into areas that are outside either theology or science."

You don't know what in the hell you are talking about. Philosophers are completely imbedded in both Religion and Science. Without Religious Philosophy, there would be no Apologetics. Without scientific philosophy we can do away with Theoretical Physics and the whole idea of Morality of Science and a hell of a lot more.

Perhaps you need a real working definition:

the study of the FUNDAMENTAL NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE, REALITY, and EXISTANCE, especially when considered as an academic discipline.See also natural philosophy.
a particular system of philosophical thought.
"Schopenhauer’s philosophy"
the study of the theoretical basis of a particular BRANCH OF KNOWLEDGE or experience.
"THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE" (The example is not mine. It's right out of the frigging definition.)
thinking · reasoning · thought · wisdom · knowledge
a theory or attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behavior.
"don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed, that's my philosophy"
beliefs · credo · faith · convictions · ideology · ideas · thinking · notions · theories · doctrine · tenets · values · principles · ethics · attitude · line · view · viewpoint · [more

"Mankind has evolved brains that allow for higher cogitative ability than any other known species on the planet." What in the hell do you mean by "higher?" "Different" might be a better word.
A chimpanzee's working memory is a hundred times more effective than yours. Just one example of thousands.

"So human kind has evolved the capability of philosophizing, meaning it is important for our survival and propagation. Many topics in philosophy will forever remain non-physical."

WRONG AGAIN. All philosophical topics are non-physical. Every one of them. If they can be tested they become the realm of science, history, or some other scientific discipline. It is not the job of philosophy to prove anything. Proof is a mathematical concept.

"then how do we address any of the non-physical concepts of life?

We address the non-physical aspects by logical arguments. Read Christian apologetics - these are all attempts at logical arguments for the existence of god. Unfortunately for the Christians, all of the apologetics are founded on "Logical Fallacies" and once a fallacy is pointed out the argument is invalid. The same would be true for any other non-physical phenomena. Bigfoot, Aliens, Ghosts, whatever. You must make a non-physical argument that is sound and valid to support your premise of existence. As soon as you assert an effect in the physical realm of existence, you have engaged science.

It is one thing to say God exists. Quite another to assert he exists beyond time and space. You are making assertions about time and space that are invalid. There is no action without time and where would something be in no space. This is just nonsense and it can be proved by all we know "science." We have no example anywhere of anything that is timeless or without space so the theists are just making shit up. They can not prove their assertion.

It is one thing to say you like bananas. Anyone can say it. You can even assert you have eaten thousands of them. No one can logically call you wrong. But bananas are real and so are you. We can test your assertion. We can put you in front of a banana and measure your reactions to it. There is a significant difference between the physical and the non-physical or non-existent. If you think something exists, you have the burden of proof. You must support your assertion with argumentation and evidence.


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