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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:when it comes to vegetarianism or Buddhism I hear this term over and over again - often used as a class distinction between lifeforms...

Originally Posted By: Merriam Webstersentient
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin sentient-, sentiens, present participle of sentire to perceive, feel
Date: 1632

1 : responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings>
2 : aware
3 : finely sensitive in perception or feeling

This is the first chapter of Wiki on "Sentience":

Originally Posted By: WikiSentience is the ability to feel or perceive subjectively. The term is used in philosophy (particularly in the philosophy of animal ethics and in eastern philosophy) as well as in science fiction and (occasionally) in the study of artificial intelligence. In each of these fields the term is used slightly differently.

In eastern philosophy, sentience is a metaphysical quality of all things that requires our respect and care. In science fiction, sentience is "personhood": the essential quality that separates humankind from machines or lower animals. Sentience is used in the study of consciousness to describe the ability to have sensations or experiences, known to some Western academic philosophers as "qualia".

Some advocates of animal rights argue that many animals are sentient in that they can feel pleasure and pain, and that this entails being entitled to some moral or legal rights.

Personally I am stumbling over this topic especially since I am living in India and ... especially ... for as long as I can remember... Noticing in retrospective how dull I myself have been in earlier years (childhood) to the (possible) feelings and (possible) suffering of plants and animals - and other human beings... and how this seems now to partly repeat itself, facing .... India. shrug It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't lived here... (*)

I'm certain that someone will come up with a load of links to Buddhist literature (which frankly speaking I will simply not have the time to read). However...

More and more I am confronted with the impression that it doesn't really take much "intelligence" to drive a motorized vehicle or to receive training in higher business science or political science or law... as can sometimes be observed at climate conferences and how some companies t(h)reat their workers... or how some worker let himself be t(h)reate(n)ed... or how some presidents run their country... or how some nations let themselves be ruled.

Maybe even a PhD doesn't require that much intelligence or empathy as what I always thought...

It a huge topic as it covers much of human aspiration and self definition... Looking forward to see page 5

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Fugee
Fugee

Cooler than bubblegum!
Location: Dallas, Texas
Member Since: 26th Feb 2010
Total posts: 2501
Posted:Hmmm... Buddhist ideas + Stanford =

The popcorn extends life... The popcorn expands consciousness...

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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:Originally Posted By: FireTomhow would you know? you didn't even watch 30% ...

I know because it's funnier my way.


p|.q|r:|::s|.s|s:|:.s|q.|:p|s.|.p|s

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:SE: telling from the time you posted your reply, you were not able to watch even 30% of the documentary - so how would you know that "day of the triffids" would not be referenced?

now - "sentience" is all about "being funny" and unsolved equations... ?

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Midkiff
shadow stranger
Location: Carmi, Illinois
Member Since: 29th Nov 2009
Total posts: 462
Posted:wow the video on a tour through reality blew my mind wow

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

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Fugee
Fugee

Cooler than bubblegum!
Location: Dallas, Texas
Member Since: 26th Feb 2010
Total posts: 2501
Posted:Originally Posted By: Sister ElevenOriginally Posted By: FireTomhow would you know? you didn't even watch 30% ...

I know because it's funnier my way.

I think it's all funny because when we start applying this term to plants we are in danger of loosing maple syrup because of unnecessary stress on the tree or subjecting produce to the torment of refrigeration. We may as well return to hunter gatherers and give a general disregard to our own nature.


The popcorn extends life... The popcorn expands consciousness...

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:possibly...

One Wheel Dave once put it this way: ~ many vegetarians only play a numbers game ~ meaning that by consuming plants they only aim to minimize their impact of suffering on the planet (as in their opinion meat already contains accumulated suffering)...

it is in the nature of the human mind to simplify things and thus to blur the fact that plants might have emotions - and that other life forms do feel compassion and do have conception.

My personal approach is less about loosing maple syrup - or steak - it is more about realizing where it comes from, and... (*) Many "civilized" people simply don't (want to) realize. They eat beef but would never eat horse or dog. I personally (for the first time in my entire life) cleaned fish from its intestines (before putting it on the grill) and saw the chicken before its life been taken.

(*) for me it's more about awareness and gratitude.


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Fugee
Fugee

Cooler than bubblegum!
Location: Dallas, Texas
Member Since: 26th Feb 2010
Total posts: 2501
Posted:"Perhaps it would be useful to move away from senient/not-sentient to the idea of degrees of sentiency."

Thank you for that view OWD.

I would think that in doing this we are also placing some sort of value system upon the degrees of sentience. How would we make the comparison? Does dog awareness equate to only 20% of a human? This leaves room for debate on weather or not we would diminish suffering with the adaptation of vegetarian lifestyles.

We would increase the amount of suffering on plants. We would be consigning countless millions of livestock to oblivion because they no longer serve our purposes. I would think in degrees of sentience, suffering mainly, that we would be inflicting suffering upon the farmer that depends on these animals economically.

FT, I think your last statement was defiantly food for thought to all of whom, do not consider such things. It was a beautiful thing. Being grateful and giving consideration for the value of life is something that many 'civilized' cultures do fail to recognize because they think it's unnecessary, but it is if you are truly civilized.

Thanks for sharing that personal realization with us FT.


The popcorn extends life... The popcorn expands consciousness...

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