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< Back to question What separates humans from animals? Show more Show less

For some, it is obvious that we are not the same as animals. But is it just our ability to imagine and create stories about there being a difference that separates us? Or is there something more tangible?

Behavior separates humans from animals Show more Show less

Human behavior sets us apart from other species.
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Emotional responses of humans

Humans are the only species capable of blushing and crying for emotional reasons. Our deeper emotional responses differentiate us from animals.
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Proponents


The Argument

Humans are set apart from animals due to their ability to feel emotions more deeply than other animals. Humans are the only species that are capable of crying as an emotional response to a distressing situation.[1] Our ability to cry in reaction to a multitude of feelings, from sadness to joy, makes us distinctly different from animals. Human behaviors in response to emotion show that humans are the only species to have this depth of emotional response. In addition, humans are the only species known to blush in reaction to a situation as well. The reddening of their cheeks is an involuntary emotional behavior that occurs in response to a variety of reasons. [2] Although researchers have confirmed that blushing is likely an emotional response, it is unclear which emotional responses cause this behavior. This shows the unequivocal complexity of human emotional behaviors, setting humans apart from animals.

Counter arguments

Crying does not actually separate humans from other animals. When defined as an emotional behavior that is accompanied by wailing and screaming, crying is actually a response seen across many species of animals. Similar to infants crying out as a way to gain attention, young primates will cry out as a form of communication or in response to negative emotions. [3]While tears for emotional reasons are unique to humans, the concept of crying is not.

Premises

[P1] Humans can cry tears and blush as an emotional behavior. [P2] Animals cannot cry or blush for emotional reasons. [P3] Therefore, human emotional behaviors separate animals from humans.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://time.com/4254089/science-crying/
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/06/why-do-people-blush/489572/
  3. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-humans-the-only-prima/#:~:text=If%20crying%20is%20defined%20as,expression%2C%20and%2For%20feelings.

This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Jul 2020 at 17:55 UTC

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