Page 2 of 2 [ 20 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

ouinon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,455
Location: Europe

25 Nov 2008, 10:49 am

carturo222 wrote:
Understood. Can you think of some criterion for "essentially different from" that does not involve "better than/worse than"?

I think that "religion", as a symbol for our deepest subjective experience, is a way of saying "this creature is human", and "that one is not", because the way in which we tend to define/represent non-human is by denial of subjectivity in whatever creature is being portrayed.
.



Last edited by ouinon on 25 Nov 2008, 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

carturo222
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 3 Aug 2008
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,674
Location: Colombia

25 Nov 2008, 10:53 am

Mmm. Reminds me of the colonial justification for massacring the natives because they allegedly had no soul.



ouinon
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Age: 55
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,455
Location: Europe

25 Nov 2008, 10:56 am

carturo222 wrote:
Mmm. Reminds me of the colonial justification for massacring the natives because they allegedly had no soul.

Yes.
.



carturo222
Veteran
Veteran

Joined: 3 Aug 2008
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,674
Location: Colombia

25 Nov 2008, 11:01 am

Still, I think we can't escape the more-than/less-than dichotomy. A paper I've just consulted concludes:

Animals and Androids: Implicit Associations Between Social Categories and Nonhumans, by Stephen Loughnan and Nick Haslam, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia wrote:
Our findings indicate that people attribute two distinct forms of humanness to social categories. Some categories are attributed fewer uniquely human traits than others, as in infrahumanization, and some categories are attributed fewer human-nature traits than others, as in self-humanizing. This effect is evident in explicit ratings and implicit associations. In addition, the humanness traits are differentially associated with distinct types of nonhumans: Uniquely human traits are associated with automata more than with animals, and human-nature traits are associated with animals more than with automata. Completing the triangle, social categories that are attributed less of one form of humanness are associated with the corresponding type of nonhuman. Categories perceived to lack uniquely human traits are associated with animals, and those seen as lacking human-nature traits are associated with automata.
These findings add to a growing body of evidence that humanness is an important dimension in social perception. Infrahumanization involves the differential attribution of uniquely human emotions to in-group and out-group, and selfhumanizing involves the differential attribution of human-nature traits to self and other. Our findings indicate that human-nature traits are also relevant to perception of groups. It is not only humanness traits that are differentially associated with social categories, however, but also the different types of nonhumans that are linked to the relative lack of these traits. Although our findings do not allow us to argue that certain groups are directly likened to nonhumans, they suggest a subtle, implicit form of dehumanization operating in everyday group perception (i.e., some groups are more likened to nonhumans than others).
An important implication of these findings is that some groups may be attributed less humanness than others, and implicitly linked to nonhumans, in the absence of any strong negative evaluation. The differentially attributed humanness traits were of mixed valence, and neither artists nor businesspeople are normally targets of prejudice. In contrast, most theorists place dehumanization in the context of aggression and violence (Bandura, Underwood, & Fromson, 1975; Bar-Tal, 2000; Kelman, 1976; Schwartz & Struch, 1989). Our findings imply that dehumanization may occur even when groups are not derogated or in conflict. Instead, the two forms of humanness might represent dimensions of stereotype content (Fiske et al., 1999, 2002), with each type of nonhuman implicitly defining an extreme on one dimension. When intergroup antagonism arises, comparisons with nonhumans may become explicit, but at other times, groups are merely perceived as more or less lacking in sophistication and civility (uniquely human), or animation, warmth, and emotional depth (human nature).
The processes underpinning the implicit associations observed in the present study remain uncertain. Similarly, it is unclear how these associations may influence everyday social cognition and behavior. Nevertheless, the findings open up a new line of inquiry into social perception. This study indicates that denying human attributes to other people and likening them to nonhumans are subtle and everyday phenomena.



Sand
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Sep 2007
Age: 93
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,876
Location: Finland

25 Nov 2008, 11:09 am

In language the term "inhuman" is frequently applied to any human behaving in a way not in conformance to local mores. That humans attribute certain capabilities only to humans is merely hubris and that other species are discovered to use tools and communicate in their own languages is often taken at as attack on humanity and most often the source for this attack is out of religion since religion to a large extent justifies the abuse of other species on the basis that they are non-thinking or non-feeling or created specifically by their deity for human use.