ForumsDialogue is Action
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What makes us different from a rock?
@alechayosh07 I think the difference here is that, even though humans may sometimes react the same way as a rock, we have the ability to react otherwise. Like Mr. Chisnell said, to not react, rationalize, or make a decision, is to make a decision. Rocks could not move or react even if they wanted to (if they were able to want to do something). So by freezing in a situation is to choose not to react. I don't think having the same fate as something makes you the same. Even looking at people, different people can have the same circumstances and outcome of their life, but took completely different paths to get there. Different work ethics, opportunity availability, circumstances throughout one's life, and many other factors can still lead to a certain job, philosophy, attitude, family situation, education/education level, etc. So I don't think having the same fate is synonymous with being the same person/thing.
@nicole I think you are spot on. The main thing that most people are saying that differentiates us from either a dog or a rock is the ability to rationalize. Where the difference is larger from rocks, who have do needs or wants, they still this theory holds true; they can not rationalize. Even with a closer comparison, such as dogs, they have needs and wants and can make decisions, the difference is they can not rationalize multiple decisions. A person could argue that to a point dogs can rationalize, for example before making the decision to tear through the garbage it may think otherwise when considering its' owner might get mad. This is more of a decision making rather than deep reflection. The dog may not do something because the owner told it no, but the dog would not stop and think, "do I really want this trash?" or, "am I going to make a mess?" And that is the difference.
@savhoisington, I agree! I think dogs for example can make their own decisions. But what separates dogs from humans is our connection of many different thoughts and decisions. It's not as simple as both dogs and humans can make decisions. Humans can make much more in depth decisions and connections between multiple things. The fact that we're even having this discussion separates us from dogs or rocks. There isn't a group of dogs or rocks having a discussion about how they differentiate from us. But I completely agree with what you said about we can rationalize multiple decisions at once.
@xwing37 I also would agree with what you just said but I would like to add in a little Freudian twist, if I may. Yes both humans and dogs can make decisions we all know this, but dogs, rely mostly on their id to make their decisions. Chasing a squirrel, eating drinking, these are all instincts that all dogs have, nothing that they are taught. This makes me think, does a more well trained dog start to develop a superego and ego? A more well trained dog knows better than to chew a blanket and rip it apart. Is this a superego or just something that it is taught. Where do learned things fall? Id, superego or ego? Or are they a completely different thing all together?
@snowyyeti That is an interesting question and one I have been thinking about as well actually. I was thinking about my dog lately-we have this shock collar for the couch, but overtime we didn't even need the collar because the dog becomes classically conditioned to not even go near the couch. However, over this past year, without the collar, she has gotten closer and closer to the couch and recently we would wake up to find her on the couch! This is the interesting part though...every single time I came into the living room, she would jump off the couch. It was almost like a little kid, when they are doing something they know is wrong but do it anyways. At first following their id, but then super ego. I thought it was interesting-does this seem like my dog knows what is right and wrong and then choosing to follow animal instinct? It almost seems like it, right? But then at the same time, the fact that as soon as she sees me enter the room, she jumps off the couch proves the fear of punishment, of not in fact choosing, but of conditioning. She follows her animal instinct, until we enter the room and her conditioning alerts her that she must jump off the couch in order to avoid something bad.
@snowyyeti When a dog learns to do or not do something, that is still part of the id. They are doing it based on consequences that have been presented to them in the past. A dog doesn't refrain from chewing a blanket because it knows it is its owner's favorite blanket or because it doesn't want to make a mess. It will (sometimes) refrain because the last time it chewed a blanket, it was yelled at, put in a kennel, hit--punished in some way. A human will use rational thinking to refrain from ruining the blanket because they know the value of the blanket and they know it is wrong to damage other people's things. The dog is acting on survival, the human on morality. So they are using the id and superego, respectively, to make their decision.
@snowyyeti I think that where you mentioned that a dog realizes that it shouldn't chew a blanket is something that is taught. If the dog was only relying on its id, there is nothing that would tell him that it isn't okay to chew on the blanket if it wanted to. Rather, this behavior must be taught. Humans implant these lessons on their dogs by praising for good behavior and not for bad behavior. Learned things aren't really instinctual so this definitely doesn't fall under the id category. But, I'm not sure between ego and superego where this would fall, or if it doesn't apply to either
@aplitstudent123 I disagree with you about this. The reason the id is able to drive animals is because it is forcing them to rely on their instincts. What will satisfy my needs and wants? Getting punished for chewing a blanket goes against the dog's survival instincts and what it needs and wants. So it doesn't do it because it is afraid of getting punished. It is like Mr. Chisnell was saying with the traffic light example. Humans stop at a red light because when they approach it, they see there are cars going both ways, and it makes sense to stop so an accident doesn't occur--superego. Dogs would stop because they were beaten every time they tried to run a red light. And when you think about it, dogs really only refrain from behavior that humans deem "bad" when their owner is around, right? Like @gil was saying. Her dog gets off the couch when someone walks in. My dog does the same. They want to be on the couches, so they get on the couches. But when someone arrives, they know a punishment is coming, so they get off--id. Avoiding punishment is survival behavior.
@nicole I have something to add to this argument about the red light example. I was thinking about it, and it seems like humans are no different than dogs when they stop at a red light, afraid of punishment. However, I feel that we do use our super egos, when we stop at a red light in the middle of the night when no one is around. Even though we can rationalize that we can safely go, we can also rationalionalize that it isn't worth it. The ability to weigh these options is what makes us human. Afraid of getting a ticket, does not stem from your id, but your super ego. Humans rationalize, it is not worth the money and trouble of getting a ticket so I will sit right here.
Without the conditioning, a dog would never sit at a red light with no one coming, but then again without our societal laws ("conditioning" in a way?) neither would we. Woah wait, could our laws be considered "conditioning"? Maybe the id and super ego are more connected than I thought.
@gil I think it's a good point that stopping at a red light in the middle of the night could be considered superego because we can rationalize that it isn't worth it or because we have decided that it is "wrong" to break order in society. But can I just change one thing? Maybe following societal rules is a result of the superego to preserve order. But I think it can also be id, and it changes from person to person. Some people avoid doing those things because they are scared of getting in trouble. Not for order or because it isn't worth getting in trouble. But because it actually scares them. So I think this would be classified as id. Acting out of survival, avoidance of punishment. It's also like the example Mr. Chisnell posed about class: Leaving when the bell rings can be a result of en soi and pour soi behavior. You could leave at that time because the bell gave you permission--en soi--or you could leave at that time because you decided your learning is complete for that class on that day--pour soi. I think the same concept can be applied to the id, ego, and superego discussion.
With these discussions I always seem to be going back to the root of the predicament. With red lights and order comes those who control them, humans. We have established law enforcement with set rules that all humans must oblige, or else they receive punishment. Same goes for the traffic lights themselves, we created them for human behavior. A dog or a rock would not know to stop at a red light unless a human was controlling it. Same goes for rules; humans have decided that if a dog misbehaves, such as attacking a human, in most cases it is to be put down. This concept you bring up is part of our universal consciousness as humans. We all must follow the rules, or else punishment is ensued.
@nicole So would stopping at a red light when there is actually traffic be considered id or superego? I feel like that too would be id, because it is survival mode, you shouldn't cross, you would get hit and die!
Something that is hard to wrap my head around is that id is natural instinct, but it can be controlled by conditioning, is that correct? Like conditioning our dogs with the couch is natural instinct, because the dogs are avoiding punishment. However, with the super ego is built on societal norms and parental influences, and in that way it seems like the super ego is almost built off of another kind of conditioning (and that is why it is confusing), if that makes sense. Since the super ego is built upon the societal norms, wouldn't stopping at this red light and such be a part of the super ego?
(I know this has strewn off the topic of en soi and pour soi, and is now id and super ego, but both topics seem soooo similiar!)
Another example I'd be curious to look into is guilt vs fear. Technically, we have the ability to stay out all night, but I do not. Some nights, I think to myself, rationally, I would be able to stay out all night, and my id tells me that I want to. However, although on those nights I know my dad is asleep by the time I get home and really would never know for sure that I get home on time or not, I still always get home on time. Now, you could say one of two things. You could say that it is my superego, that the guilt would absolutely kill me, which is true. OR you could say that it is my id and I am FEARFUL of punishment. What do you think? Is this possibly an accurate example of id AND superego together? Or is guilt actually just fear?
@gil I can see how my last response was a bit confusing--I wasn't very clear in my point. What I was trying to say is that humans are capable of acting from id and superego. Humans have both, so they are able to act out of instinct and they are capable of acting out of rationality. The reason of me pointing this out was that my argument is that dogs (and rocks, to go back to the original example in this post) don't have the superego, so they aren't able to act from rationalization, which is what makes us different from a dog and a rock (well, rocks don't have a mind, so they don't listen to their id either). Now that I think about it, these examples would probably be more the ego than the id or superego because you are using reason to say, "The light says I should stop, so that is the right thing to do (superego), and if I don't stop, I will get hit (id). So it makes sense to stop." That thinking is a mixture of the id and superego, which is exactly what the ego is! About the curfew example, I think guilt would be related to the superego, and fear the id, so I wouldn't say that guilt is fear, but they can both be used together to make decisions--ego. I think the difference between the id and the superego being conditioning is that conditioning of the id would be like classical conditioning or operant conditioning (mostly operant conditioning I think), where an external stimulus is applied (either desired or not) to either make you continue a behavior or stop the behavior. You stop at a red light (learned behavior) to avoid getting hit or a ticket (external stimuli). But I don't think what is learned by the superego would be considered either of these. The superego is learned, which is exactly what conditioning is! But the difference is that it is morality and what is "right" and "wrong" that is learned through the superego, rather than a physical external stimulus. You stop at the red light (learned behavior) because society and morality say it's right and good to follow the law (morality). So I agree that they are both conditioning, but I still think there is a distinction between the two. I hope this made sense and wasn't just a random jumble of thoughts, but I tried to address all your points and was trying to work through my own thoughts in the process.
@snowyyeti the question that you posed is very interesting and I think important that it was brought up. Essentially you are right, dogs start with certain traits (which is what I'm going to reference them as). As they get older and with adequate training they learn what's acceptable in their owners mind and what's not allowed. Same thing with humans in my opinion, they are born and they only have a couple of traits. With the nurture of their parents they learn how to speak, walk, write. This is them definitely evolving their Id, Ego, And Superego. The question I pose and it might've been answered is do babies start with all three or do they slowly grow up and find these?
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