Saturday, July 12, 2014

530: American Indian philosophy

There's a big debate going on about hunting for sport. On one side are the advocates of animal rights, who think that shooting and killing a deer or a duck is almost as bad as murdering a human being. 

The fact that it is done for sport only makes matters worse, because hunters evidently get a sadistic pleasure from spilling the blood of other living, sensitive creatures.

On the other side are sportsmen and -women. They believe, to the contrary, that people are totally superior to animals and have a God-given right to do whatever they like to "lower" forms of life, provided no injury is done another human being. 

An important element in the justification of modern sport hunting is the minimization of animal consciousness. 

Animals have no thoughts or feelings beyond their immediate sensations and get around largely by "instinct," or so many of the hunters allege.

Thus to hunt and kill these moving targets is a far cry from doing similar things to another genuine "subject," another fully conscious, thinking, feeling person.

One thing we can say here already is that neuroscience and men like Frans de Waal, the well known Dutch primatologist and ethologist, have proven, that animals can have feelings and emotions too and in that sense the hunters are wrong.

Among traditional American Indian peoples, who primarily lived from hunting and gathering food, you could expect that hunting for them was good sport.

Once upon a time, even anthropologists believed that the aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere lived in a rude and primitive state, only a notch above the beast they preyed upon. 

If so, one could hardly imagine that these "savages" entertained any other notion about animals than which ones were good for eating and what was the easiest way to catch them.

But when anthropologists began to study the cognitive as well as material cultures of American Indian peoples, there emerged a whole new way of thinking about these “savages”.

Frank Gouldsmith Speck (1881-1950) was an American anthropologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, 

specializing in the Algonquian and Iroquoian peoples among the Eastern Woodland Native Americans of the United States and First Nations peoples of eastern boreal Canada.

Speck was unique among many anthropologists of his generation in choosing to study American Indians rather than people of more distant lands.

Because of the changes that had taken place in the 19th century and drastic declines in population, Speck found his work was in part a "salvage operation" to try to capture ethnological material at a time of great stress for the peoples. He wrote:

Among Indians in the hunting level, various families and clans held themselves in special relationships to groups of animals.

 The animal world, in their view, enjoyed the right to exist in close association with human beings .... Numerous regulations govern the taking and killing of plant and animal life. 

With these people no act of this sort is profane, hunting is not war upon the animals, not a slaughter for food or profit, but a holy occupation. -end quote

For indians hunting an animal for sport would violate its dignity, sanctity, and right to be respected by human beings.

We all have a philosophy of life. So had the native Indians too. Next time we’ll look into there view on themselves and nature.

The Discussion

[13:27] herman Bergson: Thank you... ^_^
[13:27] Paolo Rousselot: :-)
[13:27] Chantal: Thank you Herman
[13:27] Merlin: Hmm... Interesting
[13:28] Dawn Rhiannyr: great Herman, thank you
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:28] Chantal: specially after your day... Thank you!
[13:28] Merlin: I am interested in the biological aspect of philosophy
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: aaaa very nice
[13:28] Areyn Laurasia: Thanks, indeed.
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: nice
[13:28] herman Bergson: The subject is quite fascinating....
[13:28] Merlin: Herman... have we finished with Asia now?
[13:29] herman Bergson: especially when you think about how to retrieve the indian thinking.....
[13:29] Bergson smiles
[13:29] Paolo Rousselot: book suggestion - Black Elk Speaks
[13:29] Chantal:
[13:29] herman Bergson: yes indeed of the outstanding reports on the subject
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: most living beings have som form of intelligence and feelings id say, not just preprogrammed behavior like some machine
[13:30] Merlin: Yes Bejiita
[13:30] herman Bergson: We are done with Asia , Merlin..yes :-)
[13:30] Merlin: aah ok ty Herman
[13:31] herman Bergson: the most interesting issue here is of course how we look at nature....
[13:31] herman Bergson: can we shoot the deer for fun ...or cant we
[13:31] Chantal: To me native americans etc seem to have been more in Tune with nature... ability we lost really
[13:31] Paolo Rousselot: very true Chantal
[13:31] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Chan, see it similar
[13:32] Merlin: Yes Chantal... and the Aussie Aborigines too
[13:32] Chantal: yes
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: yes Merlin
[13:32] Merlin: they are all good environmentalists
[13:32] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Merlin
[13:32] herman Bergson: Maybe interesting to think about the phenomenon....Hunting as a sport
[13:32] Paolo Rousselot: the native peoples and their ability to stay in tune with the heartbeat of nature
[13:32] herman Bergson: When did it show up in history?
[13:32] Chantal: gaaaah Herman... saw some pictures on fb :(
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: indeed, for some reason we think we are the only lifeform that ca think and feel it seems in some cases
[13:33] herman Bergson: We are not Bejiita...that is clear :-)
[13:33] Paolo Rousselot: and even then not very well!
[13:33] herman Bergson: true too, Paolo :-))
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: and we even classify ourselves higher and lower, for ex white vs black paople that white people should be much more valued then black
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: and similar
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: i don’t get it
[13:34] Paolo Rousselot: mistaken images of "superiority"
[13:34] herman Bergson: I am still thinking about hunting as a sport....
[13:34] Chantal: seems our brain is looking for a negative before it seems possible to reach a positive Bejiita
[13:35] Valcyrie: there are categories of farmers... corporate farmers, hobby farmers, family farmers, and a myriad more... but some farmers have a similar knowledge of the earth and ecosystems that the Native Americans have... some don't
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: it seems so
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: interesting point Chan
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: for some reason
[13:35] herman Bergson: Was it a UK invention....the fox hunt for instance?
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: yes Val
[13:35] Paolo Rousselot: and "hunting" isn't always limited to man vs. "animal"
[13:35] Merlin: Bullfights
[13:36] Merlin: some of it is just bullying, not even sport
[13:36] Chantal: Ancient civilizations Herman
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes Chantal....but in those days they used the game as food eventually I suppose...
[13:37] herman Bergson: even tho it was a hunting party....
[13:37] herman Bergson: but maybe not
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:37] Chantal: Killing a lion in the Colosseum meant the lion ended up on a dinner table?
[13:37] Dawn Rhiannyr: when did it start the hunting just for fun and where
[13:37] Valcyrie: or was killing fox... like the modern killing of wolves and coyotes
[13:38] herman Bergson: Ahhh good point Chantal...but was that least killing animals for fun indeed
[13:38] .: Beertje :.: no one eats a Lion because it's a meat eater and they taste bad:)
[13:38] Paolo Rousselot: 19th century England comes to mind but it was probably earlier
[13:38] Chantal: no hunting no
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes and I am thinking of colonialism...
[13:38] herman Bergson: big game hunting in Africa...killing lephants
[13:38] Chantal: :(
[13:39] Paolo Rousselot: yes (which now may be heading to extinction - at least forest elephants)
[13:39] herman Bergson: ok....
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:39] herman Bergson: a thought....
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: and the illegal hunt to get rhino horns
[13:39] herman Bergson: when became killing animals a sport and fun?
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: they are almost extinct now because of that
[13:39] Areyn Laurasia: when it was no longer necessary to hunt for survival?
[13:40] herman Bergson: so contrary to the attitudes of American indians...
[13:40] Chantal: Good point Areyn!
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: good question Areyn
[13:40] Chantal:
[13:40] Areyn Laurasia: Thanks, Chantal and Paolo.. it's just a guess.
[13:40] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Areyn, think you are right
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: perhaps when for was plentiful enough it could be wasted
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: today its all about money as usual, the hunter get good pay to sell rhino horns and similar
[13:40] Paolo Rousselot: *food
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: and thus they continue
[13:40] herman Bergson: there is another point here.....
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: even its illegal
[13:41] herman Bergson: Just think about this....
[13:41] herman Bergson: What do you think about killing a fly?
[13:41] herman Bergson: What do you think about killing a butterfly?
[13:41] Paolo Rousselot: "out damned spot!!!"
[13:41] .: Beertje :.: who in this room is a vegetarian?
[13:41] Chiania (Chiania) is now known as Chiana.
[13:41] Chantal: Feels bad for killing the spider... but does... beyond that no
[13:42] herman Bergson: KIlling the spider....yes
[13:42] Merlin: Oh Beertje... Halal has been in our news a lot today
[13:42] Dawn Rhiannyr: bringing even spiders in a glass in the garden but kills mosquitos
[13:42] Paolo Rousselot: the Lakota respected even the role the spider played
[13:42] Areyn Laurasia: It's difficult to be a vegetarian in a family of meat eaters.. :S
[13:42] Chantal: I try too Dawn :)))
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: many think spiders are scary and thus kill them
[13:42] Chantal: smiles at Areyn
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: as long thay dont jump on me and bite me im fine with them
[13:43] .: Beertje :.: so we kill animals too...
[13:43] Chantal: You hereo you, Bejiita
[13:43] Chantal: hero
[13:43] Dawn Rhiannyr: but more a kind of defense :)
[13:43] .: Beertje :.: have you ever looked at those beautifull eyes of a cow?
[13:43] herman Bergson: is interesting in what way you are selective in which one to smash and which one to take out into the garden in a glass
[13:43] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot keeps moving closer to being a vegetarain - not yet tho
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: oe at work however see a spider and go 2AAAARRGGHHH EEEEEEK STOMP STOPM SPLAT"
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: ONE
[13:44] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Beertje
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: damn keyboard
[13:44] Merlin: "A robin redbreast in a cage, Puts all heaven in a rage"
[13:44] Paolo RousselotPaolo Rousselot chuckles with Bejiita
[13:44] herman Bergson: or the little lambs in the meadow...:-)
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: ehehe
[13:44] Merlin: yum yum
[13:44] herman Bergson grins
[13:44] Bejiita Imako:
[13:44] .: Beertje :.: or those beautiful roof rabbits
[13:45] herman Bergson: OK...I think we can stop here.....:-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako:
[13:45] Dawn Rhiannyr: yes Herman, I think I would be long time vegetarian if I had to kill the animals
[13:45] Chantal: me too Dawn
[13:45] herman Bergson: I guess we are all thinking now about our personal attitude toward nature....and animals of all sorts :-)
[13:45] Merlin: Oh I would just eat small animals
[13:45] .: Beertje :.: i only eat meat form a can...does that mean i'm a vegetaran?
[13:45] Merlin: Chickens
[13:46] Merlin: Fish
[13:46] Merlin: lol
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:46] Areyn Laurasia: no... :)
[13:46] Chantal: yes good, sorry fish
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: can confess i love bbq
[13:46] Chantal:
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: but also love chocolate beer and whatever is tasty
[13:46] Merlin: "Never eat anything bigger than your head"
[13:46] Chantal: Merlin
[13:47] Areyn Laurasia: agrees with Dawn
[13:47] Paolo Rousselot: thanks folks - good to see you all!
[13:47] Merlin: I am just throwing quotations around... I don’t necessarily agree
[13:47] Chantal: Waves
[13:47] Ciska Riverstone: thank you herman- thanx all
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:47] Areyn Laurasia: bye Paolo
[13:47] Chantal: Thanks everyone Loved it Herman :)
[13:47] herman Bergson: Well..I guess we all have got the picture now
[13:47] Dawn Rhiannyr whispers: great time here again :)Thank you Herman!
[13:48] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation again..:-)
[13:48] Dawn Rhiannyr: no need to whisper, stares at my fingers
[13:48] Chantal:
[13:48] Ciska Riverstone: have a great day or night everyone
[13:48] .: Beertje :.: smiles
[13:48] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...^_^
[13:48] Areyn Laurasia: good night :)
[13:48] Letty Luckstone: Thank you, herman. Excellent discussion.
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:48] Bejiita Imako:
[13:48] Dawn Rhiannyr: good night all :)
[13:48] Merlin: Thanks Herman... Bye all

[13:48] .: Beertje :.: after these lessons we all will be vegetarians:))))))

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