Do you think animals are capable of truly being our friends?

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,378
Sydney
" It's just that they don't have the advanced linguistic capabilities that we do, nor can they abstract. "\

I think it's because they just don't have a lot of memory space to remember a lot
but their emotional perceptions is just fine

Konrad Lorenz study of animal behavior demonstrated the depth of emotional reaction in several specie
once he was annoyed that one of his geese wasn't acting as he would expect and didn't care for the task he had devised
his assistant retorting "Konrad , after all ,they are only human "
 
Oct 2017
381
America ??
I reject the notion that humans are so way above animals in cognition.
I think it's more accurate to say that we have a more complex emotional and psychological base than animals.
But all mammals at the least, and possibly birds, reptiles, etc. have the same basic emotions and psychology.

Cats and dogs have genuine attachments to their owners. And can even mourn their owners after they die.
So yes, animals can genuinely befriend humans or form attachments.

I'd argue that many mammals can think or feel like we can. It's just that they don't have the advanced linguistic capabilities that we do, nor can they abstract.
Good to see you again. That’s actually very good to hear from you.

Yes over the past few generations & centuries people have increasingly discovered just how similar humans are to animals in all areas; genetically, anatomically, neurologically & psychologically.

All vertebrates are said to share the same basic overall neurological anatomy, & thus emotions & psychology as you said, but various species have built on top of that over their evolution in certain ways, noticeably, along with increased size in certain brain areas, in sociality, which appears to be, like diet, something that comes & goes across species, which appears to have a significant impact on intelligence. This is certainly a major theory for the evolution of human cognition. & is also why distantly related species like dogs & horses have bonded with us than closer related species, like the several solitary primate species there are. Aren’t orangutans solitary? They may just be our closest related non-social species.

Now what you said, along with revealing our similarities & relatedness, is certainly now sufficient to justify not abusing & exploiting animals. But is it also enough to argue that animals can not just be our companions, but also our true friends as well as community mates? Remember what I said about true friends & community linking together above & other than an emotional base but also a moral one? That people who even dislike each other may still be able to be considered friends if they share those qualities which I mentioned earlier? Cuz remember that an emotional base alone isn’t sufficient for healthy relationships. Minimal morality & respect is needed as well. Fetishes often form that way. Slavery is a common historical example of what happens when people form friendships & community while lacking morality; sure even in the most benign & benevolent scenarios the slaves & oppressed were considered just as heartily part of the society & community as the free & superior people were, but the slaves’ & oppressed internal needs & interests were certainly not taken into account by the superiors. Was that a matter of emotion & cognitive sophistication, or more that of morality & justice? Isn’t there an eerie similar tendency for human captivity of animals? Just how often do people genuinely care internally, meaning whether the other person is happy in their own way & definition, for the animals they are responsible for? For those who often say their dogs, horses & cattle animals were meant to do their jobs, like have you ever seeked to ask them about them in ways that they could comprehend? If you allowed your beast of burden to stop working for a while & it didn’t continue, wouldn’t that be sufficient to consider them not desiring that?
Remember that true friends, along with appreciating each other’s company, genuinely want each other to be happy & content & what’s best for each other on the inside.

The answer to this of course takes into account many factors, like cognitive sophistication as well as interpretations of what true & ideal friendship & community means.

That being said, I think it’s often evident & sufficient to conclude that the dogs & other animals who show affection for us genuinely want us to be happy as well as what’s best for us, even if it’s in ways that’s limited to their own cognitive sophistication.

Btw I wonder who that royal fellow on your avatar is?
 
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Oct 2017
381
America ??
God isn’t it just heartbreaking to think that even basic animal rights is not much more than half a century old? How before that, animals, voiceless in speech as well as cognition, & thus with no representation across societies, were historically utterly powerless against nearly all forms of oppression? Wouldn’t you agree that it’s been Animal Holocaust & slavery (which is a Holocaust isn’t it?) since the Neolithic revolution, if not earlier?
 
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Oct 2017
381
America ??
I reject the notion that humans are so way above animals in cognition.
I think it's more accurate to say that we have a more complex emotional and psychological base than animals.
But all mammals at the least, and possibly birds, reptiles, etc. have the same basic emotions and psychology.

Cats and dogs have genuine attachments to their owners. And can even mourn their owners after they die.
So yes, animals can genuinely befriend humans or form attachments.

I'd argue that many mammals can think or feel like we can. It's just that they don't have the advanced linguistic capabilities that we do, nor can they abstract.
Do you think animal rights can develop into more than basic freedom from pain & deprivation, that it can develop like has modern human rights into more sophisticated notions of rights to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, & justice etc?

Just like you said, other than differences in abstraction ability & language, there doesn’t appear to be any other substantial difference in how important animal lives, sensitivities & consciousnesses are more so than ours, especially for mammals, but also all vertebrates minimally. Sure they may not have very much to offer to us, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be stopped from pursuing their own kind’s condition & success to the max. It’s mainly because their cognitions don’t fit with ours that human societies make them appear ‘dumb’ & ‘incompetent’ to us. While it’s often claimed that domestic animals have evolved too much under artificial selection to be able to survive in the wild, it appears that the many instances of their feral forms doing well counter-arrests to that.

I suppose the main problem with this kind of extreme animal liberation philosophy, not that’s it’s not valid to say, & it’s notions are certainly growing in popularity, is how dependent society has been on them since the Neolithic revolution at least, which was required for civilization to develop of course. Similar to how past societies like the classical world & American societies were heavily reliant on slave labor, except that unlike classical & antebellum society & economy alone, civilization & settled living itself developed centrally around animal domestication. A theory that works better in theory than it does in practice like communism was. I suppose while complete animal liberation isn’t immediately possible, what is is to continue developing their rights & understanding of them in more sophisticated ways, there’s certainly no reason to discontinue that.

Btw aren’t the origins of civilization & agriculture shrouded in mystery & only known through reconstructions, like how human origins & natural history is, that what we know of the origins of civilization & agriculture weren’t recorded but reconstructed? (& when I say recorded I mean in unbroken lineage since events first occurred like primary source, as my other thread explains; Recorded vs. Reconstructed & Discovered History?)
 
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Dec 2014
567
United States
The thesis that there could be a genuine friendship between humans and animals is absurd. Every animal lacks the intellectual possibility to really know and understand a human being. It does not know his thoughts, even if he expresses them, it does not know his past deeds and it has no idea of moral and ethics, which are all prerequisites for the formation of genuine friendship.

In addition, the question arises whether someone who positively affirms the thesis of a human-animal friendship should not necessarily be a vegetarian, since it seems extremely illogical to make friends with animals and eat animals at the same time.
What do you think animal IQ is?
 

Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,605
Planet Nine, Oregon
It is possible to have a genuine friendship with an animal like a dog --they are "dognitively" very much like two-year-olds, understand fairness in play, and treat you like an alpha member of the pack. They rely on you to feed and care for them; if they are a small dog, they rely on you for protection. They have sclera and oxytocin responses as mentioned before and have evolved with us. In fact you can experience a special cross-species kinship and friendship with animals that you can't get with humans.
 
Nov 2018
368
Denmark
Dogs and cats do not always choose the one who feeds them as their best friend. My mom bought a Japanese Chin puppy and she treated it well, no doubt about it.
Nevertheless, from the first time that dog saw my ex-husband it loved him more than anything on earth, it would have followed him to hell and back.
Unfortunately, my mom got so sick she couldn't keep it and it came home to us. Just ask if it was a happy little dog and my husband too.
When my husband and I drank coffee in the morning, she sat between us and looked lovingly at my husband.
If I was alone with her, she just sat and looked at the door, waiting for my husband to come home again.
She was even allowed to sleep in the bed.
I'm not the jealous type, but the devil take me if I didn't sometimes hated that dog.:vomit:
However, if we look at friendship between people, what makes you friends?
Common interests so you have something to talk about and that you are on an equal footing is essential
But to have common interests among peers, you don't have to be friends.
If you have to cut to the bone, are the best friends, not the ones where you feel so safe, that you can be yourself?
Not necessarily the worst version of yourself, but where you don't have to have a facade.