I like your point about all the good things there are to treasure in life, and how we can hopefully tend to focus on the good rather than get all depressed about the not-so-hot.
Re: shame ... gosh, I think we can all agree that it is destructive. Oh I don't know, maybe if you've done something really bad to someone, shame is an appropriate initial response as part of the process of repentence? I don't know.
Let's just say that most of the shame we (or at least I) feel for the little things we (I) do "wrong" is quite (emotionally) destructive, serving no beneficial purpose. Same with feeling shame about things we can't really help, such as our body shape and that. Ah, now if I could only convince my mental innards to give that grubby little brand of shame up.
I like your point that each animal is just as much a unique individual as is each human. For those of us with dogs and/or cats as pets, we clearly see that principle. And it's worth noting that some pets (as well as wild animals) come "infected" with painful cruel damage from their past, and it makes it harder for them to be "friendly" (towards any other living creature). Same principle with humans, of course.
Heheh ... I must here mention my favorite bit of Facebook page: a video of one of the weirdest spiders I've ever seen. This guy is in some kind of patch of flour or something, with a mirror-like wall on the side. It turns this way and that, looks at itself in the mirror, digs furiously in the flour for no imaginable reason, and then at the very end, buries itself with a bunch of flour! Goddamn that's funny. Who said spiders were all about catching prey? They have some very peculiar personal interests on the side.
Re: respect ... I, too, have a hard time with associating that word with physical violence. I guess you could argue that it's self-respectful to defend yourself in a life-threatening situation. But how much respect does one even show for oneself when a mere unpermitted touch is cause for violence? On the other hand, I guess anyone would "respect" a person such as the Godfather, who they knew was very powerful and could easily snuff their life out if he wanted. It's just that in most cases, I associate the word "respect" with being nice to people. You know, acknowledging their feelings and expressing common ground?
Re: touch ... it is surely more *common* for both humans and animals to react to "unpermitted touch" peacefully, perhaps (as in the wolf example you cited in your earlier post) a warning snarl at most. I mean that even makes sense. Evolution tends to imbue group animals with traits that will help them live together and get along. Even solitary animals, at most "touch" is a trigger of fear for them; that is, they're more likely to run away than they are to attack the toucher. Doesn't running away offer them the better odds of survival? Almost every animal, both meat-eater and plant-eater, lives in natural fear of predators (or fellow predators). It's not like they're on some mission to "kill all their enemies." (Whereas in the Godfather movies, the main character was indeed on a mission to kill all his enemies. Hey like I said, *humans* are the truly violent species, compared to all other species.)
The most "touchy" issue surrounding touch that I can think of in the animal kingdom is between mating spiders. The male has to be really careful about how he touches (or even approaches) the female, lest he become her next meal before he can even perform his reproductive duty.
But even going back to humans, the most violent of all animals: in *most* cases, humans do tolerate touch between one another. (Humans are, after all, ultimately social/group animals.) Just think of a subway in New York where people are constantly bumping up against (and crowding) one another. They tend to patiently endure that invasion of personal space. Most humans do have an understanding that we don't attack each other just because someone didn't get our permission to touch us. We may be annoyed by the unwelcome touch, but we don't go all postal on the other person.
But as all humans (and animals) are unique (with unique backgrounds), there certainly *can* be such a thing as, "Look out, if you touch that *particular* person or animal, you are likely to suffer a viscious punch or bite."
By the way: what on earth does all this touch/violence stuff have to do with the thread topic? I think it relates because it was once mentioned that "morality" was a fallacy as a concept and that (for example), "Hey, *this* animal will go apeshit on another animal if touched without permission, and that has nothing to do with morality, it just has to do with respect." Not sayin' I agree obviously, just observing that the subject arguably isn't a total hijack.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
Last edited by kdt26417; 10-30-2013 at 09:58 PM.