Spritial attributes

I’m a little nervious posting this message here because I think it belongs in the MPTIMS forum, but because the answer to this question is debatable, I’ll post it here.
OK, I’ll start with a few statements then ask the question.
Now I know that some of these statements aren’t going to be 100% correct, but as long as you get the general idea, that’s what I’m shooting for.
Single cell organisms react to their environment.
Organisms like insects have instinct and react to their environment.
Animals have emotion, instinct and react to their environment.
Humans are sentient, have emotion, instinct, and react to their environment.
So if you believe in spiritual beings, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that they would have one or more attributes above and beyond the attributes of: Sentience, emotion, instinct and reaction?

I think some people believe that certain “spiritual beings” have supernatural attributes. That might rule out logic.

Huh ?

As outlined, there appears to be a hierarchy of apprehension, (the philosophical term for ways to accept and process stimuli rather than the mor common meaning of “vague worry”).

That said, it would follow that if there is a hierarchy of beings who extend from the merely reactive up through the sentient and if that hierarchy extends to some higher level (sprirtual or mental or whatever) beyond the sentient, then the beings at higher levels of the hierarchy than the sentient beings would very likely have some capacity beyond mere sentience.

However, even if such a hierarchy does exist extending “above” the sentient, those in the sentient rank would necessarily never know what those extended capacities were. (Read Abbot’s Flatland some time to appreciate the problem of explaining things that are utterly outside experience.

So, if one chooses to believe that there is a hierarchy of apprehending beings that extends above humanity as well as below it, then one can posit that there are capacities “beyond” sentience.

However, there is no way to guess what those capacities might be. You can have a lot of fun speculating, but there will never be a resolution of the discussion. (And those who do not recognize a hierarchy or who do not believe that such a hierarchy extends upward past humanity will not ever be persuaded of your position or your conclusions.)

I’d say that “instinct” and “react” were the same thing. So already the proposed hierarchy begins to crumble.

That’s only true if you buy the thesis that animals have “emotion”.

Well, what’s left? What did you have in mind by way of “attributes”? I mean, once you hit “sentience”, that pretty well covers it as far as “intelligent life” is concerned. Are you talking about psychic powers? Wouldn’t that come under the heading of “sentience”?

tomndebb, I have read Flatland actually. I’m fascinated by the fourth and higher spatial dimensions, but that’s another topic. :slight_smile:

Duck Duck Goose, UUGGGHH!!! Didn’t you read the part where I said that my statements may not be 100% accurate but as long as you get the general idea then that’s all I’m shooting for???
All right, for clarification, in this post MY Definitions are (again, maybe not 100% accurate, but try to get the general idea)
React - Such as, a breeze blows across a lit candle, the flame flickers, it is reacting to the breeze.
Instinct - Flies instinctively mating before dying to carry on their species.
Emotion - You scratch a cat, it purrs and rubs against you because it’s happy.
Sentient - Self awareness.

I already thought about that when considering some experiments made with chimps or gorillas, like teaching them a sign or symbol-based language.
For instance, reading an article stating that said apes had no concept of “future”, I thought that not necessarily a “spiritual” creature, but say, some kind of ET could have access to concepts we couldn’t even conceive.
Now, as someone said, we probably would be unable to be aware of such attributes. But not necessarily. Perhaps they would have an ingrained ability to understand the meaning of life, the origin of the universe, and how to organize a pyramid scheme where everybody receive more money than he put in. We wouldn’t be able to understand it, but at least we would know what is it they grasp and we’re unable to.
Thinking twice about it, it very possible since (contrarily to apes) we have the faculty to understand the abstract. It could make an important difference. We could perhaps have an abstract understanding of their abilities.
I suppose this could apply to spiritual beings as well…

Thinking again…There could already be some specie on earth which has develloped such surhuman attribute without us being aware of it :eek: I suspect cats…

Is self awareness not a pre-requisite for instinct?

When I try to swat a fly, it flies away sensing danger (a response stemming from the instinct of self-preservation, right?).

It might not think before it takes evasive action, but it certainly perceives a threat and acts accordingly. This for me is evidence of self-awareness.

Anyway can’t humans be spiritual?

I don’t have the cite, but I read somewhere that certain non-human primates will look in a mirror and know that it’s them. They will even use the mirror to see parts of them that they can’t usually see, like their back.

Of course, perhaps I was just reading B.S.

But, if it’s true, then either we include that primate as sentient, or we redefine sentience.

Argh, I forgot to include my point. My point was that the primates were “self-aware”. Sorry.

Well, as for the fly, I could be full of b.s. but isn’t flying away from a swat an instinctive reaction to preserve its life? Something it doesn’t think about, it just does, instinctively. Just like a fly trap plant doesn’t eat flies because they taste good, nor does it contemplate what it’s doing. It just eats flies instinctively to survive.
As for humans being spiritual, sure we are. I’m just talking about life forms that are either…er, for lack of a better term, purely spiritual.