Because we can? We clearly can think intelligently on things besides sex, food, and general survival.
Well, I mean, I can, but we have to beg the question against solipsism in order to have a discussion and I have neither the time nor the will to get into P zombie stuff. 'Sides shit ain't quite germane to the issue at hand.
Now if you meant how can we trust our senses, and other more basic arguments against empiricism, that stuff I'll get into.
my point was that because we can clearly think about something besides sex food and survival there is some intelligent design behind humans. no other animal is quite like us.
as the the problem of solipsism i think i would be a lot more selfish if that where the case plus i would be running the world. but if nothing exist outside my mind then how could anything exist at all. am i to believe that my brain through who know what created a complex mathematical system which i only halfway understand yet understand more of as i grow older. and where does the idea of time come from! i certainly couldn't have thought that up. but solipsism can't really be defiantly disproved. i doubt it, and it still leaves the question of where did you come from.
ok so this is basically a subjective topic. what u say is absolute i may not believe is so. as brodos demonstrated w/ his quote, reality or absolute truths are things like gravity or heat. evil is subjective; what u believe is evil and wrong and what i believe is evil or wrong may b diff. 4 instance, i believe that dating youngsters is wrong, but u might say "a 28 yr old can date a 14 yr old! age doesnt matter, love is love!" i would say that is immoral and in poor taste. extended beyond this, reality is what normal ppl base their thoughts and actions on; as an example, normal ppl function on the assumption that other people are capable of sentient thought (which is y solipsists r assholes), not the mere ergo cogito sum argument (a side note: the ergo cogito sum argument is hilariously pointless - if u believe that only u exist since u can only prove that u can think, y would u argue with others? according to your argument, they dont even exist!).
Other animals may not think like humans, but they do think.
Look at ants. Let's say they never existed on earth, and we suddenly found a colony on Mars one day; We'd look at their cities, complete with ventilation, agriculture, and heirarchy, and call them a 'primative caveman race' in an instant.
Humans have progressed to the point were we can just steal one another's ideas, and thus snowball the effect to greater and greater heights. Not everybody knows how to create an electrical plant or a fine peice of art, but none of that would have happened if we didn't first start by securing a sufficent ammount of protien to waste on thinking about weird stuff like that first.
I mean, thoughts aren't free. They burn energy. It's hard to think when you are tired and hungry. You become stupid for a while.
Thus, the only thing that makes a creature 'sentient' is his super huge capacity for thought. Sounds obvious, but consider how a creature must have evolved to earn that capacity. So much capacity he doesn't even really need all of it anymore. Evolution doesn't just stop when it reaches a destination, it keeps on going. There is no destination.
Things like rats, squids, crows, certain spiders and your bog standard dogs are all pretty good contenders for evolving in our direction, having enough of this 'waste energy' to burn on having a relatively good imagination and cunning. They just aren't quite there yet. And it's a long, long process...
Taking that to a human level, you can see quite clearly how we are all slave to certain habits. One school of thought being that all "sentience" has done is allowing us to recognize these natural evolved patterns and question their nature. But does it stop them? Not particularly, even if a person deliberately avoids social contact etc, in a bid to avoid our "duty" they just end up dying without contributing to the next generation; which is the sole duty of a living organism.
I don't really have an actual opinion, just wanted to throw some stuff into the mix.
Intelligence isn't something that you either have or you don't. With individual animals, as with humans, there are variations, subtle as they may be to our eyes.
Sylux is right in that this is very much subjective. One person's truth may not be the truth for another person. BUT if we're talking about absolute truths I don't think there are any. Think about it! The things that we take to be absolute, or undeniably true, right now may be proved wrong in the future. Centuries ago people believed that the sun revolved around the earth and that the earth was flat. They believed in a huge variety of gods and used them to explain things they did not yet understand. They were all proved wrong. There is no reason for us to believe that anything we seem to know now may not be proved wrong in a couple of centuries, or even a couple of decades! Basically there are truths, and there are theories, but I dont believe that there is anything that is absolutely completely true. Even our understanding of gravity could shift. I doubt it would ever be proved false, but that doesn't mean that we know everything there is to know about it.
well its like this: if u drop an apple on earth it will definitely fall towards the strongest center of gravity, which will likely b the ground. if it doesnt, u have more things 2 worry about than absolute truths. also my view on religion is that u can't prove any religion wrong, but chances r u can't prove them rite.
Well if you really want to burn your bacon, think about the fact that the earth is attracted towards the apple too; Just an impossibly tiny fraction of an ammount.
Pluto and it's moon Charon are a cool example of this. Charon doesn't rotate around Pluto, it's too big. Instead, they both orbit a totally empty area slightly outside of Pluto, as they constantly throw each another other off balance. There are loads of binary stars out there that do the same thing.
Not really arguing with anybody, just building on what Corra was saying. Everything is relative. Everything scales both up and down. It's not just a question of yes or no. Not even time.