Viewing from Anothers Perspective Sets Humans Apart?

Recently I discussed what sets humans apart from other animals and species. The basic question, which has been kicked around for centuries is what makes man so unique? So, different than the other species we see? Many immediately take their religious doctrine and use it to answer the question; they say things like "God made us in his image." The animals were put here for us to use, eat, fish and etc; they are indeed here to serve man? After kicking around such notions which cannot be proved either way; a gentleman, David, came up with an interesting concept.

Of course he too borrowed the concept from his readings and learnings and made it part of his belief system. Here is how it goes; "empathy is what sets us apart" basically that is it. Here is David's longer version:

"Empathy: If anything, the ability to see from another's perspective is what sets humans apart from the rest of the animals. It is the basis of many of the qualities that we hold in highest regard: kindness, charity, mercy, welfare, forgiveness. Far from being irrational, empathy confers a distinct advantage in any social situation. It provides a foundation for promises, contracts, and deals. To a large extent it is the glue that binds society."

I completely had to reject this and although I was polite; obviously not wanting any coffee spilled on my face here is why and where I differ and my basis for such. Although you might be able to give other examples such as a dog going over to a child who fell off his skateboard and licking his face or some such event you observed. I have a more compelling argument against David's notion: Actually chimpanzees that have been taught sign language have empathy too and from the other human's perspective. In fact this has been well documented by a Washington State research facility. A woman who was pregnant came to work everyday with the Chimps. Then one day she was missing for about a week, she had miss carried and then her stomach was small again, the Chimp asked what happened in sign language and where is the baby? The woman told her back, "it died" the chimp started to cry and hug that lady and said it was "sooo sorry' in sign language?

So in fact empathy is not only a human trait, David will need to try again. As matter of fact, I am still unconvinced for sure humans are that special in anything really. And on further study of other known earth species, I cannot come up with one single difference that sets humans apart. Think on this; let me know if you come up with something.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

In The News:

On Philosophy, Death and the Sea  Scientific American
Philosophy shows bigger picture  New Straits Times
Writer, philosopher KB Siddaiah no more  The New Indian Express

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