Most Advanced Feature

Berserk has asked, “What do you think a human’s most advanced & weakest feature is?” and I was just going to post a comment response, but I think it warrants a post, so here goes:

Our capacity for empathy and compassion is our most advanced feature.

I was thinking of this when I was getting a drink from the fridge and thought about how my dog always shows such interest and ‘glee’ whenever we (the humans) are around.

I was thinking, how the hell do I know what my dog was thinking? And then I remembered watching animal planet and the people who keep crazy dangerous animals, like Tigers, and seem to think the damn Tiger reciprocates affection. I would think then, that such a person might imagine themselves safe within the tiger’s reach and then discover that the Tiger has much a much narrower emotional spectrum.

I’m sure there are other mishaps that occur with wild animals that are completely non-emotional, but I think sometimes we humans, the so-called most advanced species, can find ourselves applying emotion in undue places. I can’t really explain why that is, but sometimes you’ll just be going along fine and then find yourself emotionally affected by some random thing in a way that you were not expecting. I think in a way, emotions can be addicting, in the way that many members of the fairer sex flock to chick flicks, or men to action movies. Really, it’s just lights and sound, but we get it, in a way that you wouldn’t think you would.

But animals are also affected in a similar manner by the same stimuli, so what is it really? Well, you have to ask yourself how did such a fragile creature, such as man, ever come to this modern state of being, as a species?

I think I’ve derailed from the original question a bit, but there it is.

This is probably because I have read “The Most Dangerous Game” recently, and I was rather enthralled by it. I was thinking about the things that make us kill, and perhaps the slight perversions that occur within the spectrum of human emotion, and how it all connects, on a person to person and generation to generation scale.

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2 Responses to Most Advanced Feature

  1. berserk says:

    Good answer. I’m not sure that I could pick one characteristic that I would call our most advanced & weakest, though, unless it was intelligence in general.

    I’ve got a theory that the more dangerous an animal is going to be as an adult, the longer it remains weak as a child. It’s just sort of an idle speculation, nothing I’ve ever researched or anything. But humans remain helpless for longer than any other animal I know.

  2. Antigone says:

    There’s a book I have called “Equations of Eternity” that talks about the consciousness of animals. It’s mostly a book about physics and philosophy, though. I haven’t read it in years and I didn’t even read the whole thing, but you can borrow it if you like.

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