what are we?

My friend keithnoback has always advised me to leave the faitheads alone. I promised to not bother with them, but you all can indulge me this one time and many more to come.

Katherine asks

Can anyone believe that the differences between humans and chimpanzees are simply biochemical? I have a few questions:

  • Why don’t drugs fix problems such as depression, schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder? Maybe all the causes are not known. 
  • Why do humans insist on going beyond the need for nutrition and prefer food with flavor, color and artful presentation? Custom
  • Why do humans need relationships beyond a partner for sexual intercourse and some association for personal safety? There are birds and a few other animals that keep their partners. Should we promote them to human beings
  • Why do humans have aspirations that transcend their need for food, clothing and shelter? In other words, why are humans never satisfied with the way things are? Because the mind can conceive of anything once it has the raw material for it.
  • Why do humans change the space around them in so many ways when other animals hardly leave footprints? Maybe because we are wasteful
  • Why don’t all homo sapiens make identical sounds for purposes of gathering crowds, finding sex partners or warning of predators? In fact, why do humans have so many ways to express language, laws, government, art, philosophy and religion? Why does no other creature even bother with these things? (Please refrain from the temptation to tell me that an elephant or a cat has produced real art.) Different birds have different sounds for danger, for catcalls and so on. Your comparisons are such that a fish would die thinking itself stupid for not riding a bicycle.
  • Why does every human culture include a religious element? Even the most atheistic, secularized humans on earth worship something—themselves. Because most human societies have generally been ignorant.

We may want to be more than just animals, it is understandable. A little reflection should however dissuade the intelligent from such illusions. Our behaviour is mainly a matter of custom. The things we know or claim to know are so by custom and not by any special effort on our part.

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