Are we better than animals?

guards and prisoners - a psychological experiment
@bounce58 (17524)
Canada
November 12, 2010 3:30pm CST
I just saw a movie called 'The Experiment'. It was about a psychological experiment where people were put in roles, as prisoners and as guards. The premise was that even though we consider ourselves above animals, if we were put in cages, the animals within us would still come out. It was very interesting. Specially when it became violent after a few days of the experiment, and how everybody calmed down when they were let out. So, do you think we're better than animals? Or is there an animal deep within us if we get caged for some time? Would you survived being imprisoned? Or do you agree with the lead in the movie where he said that we're better than animals because we could always do something about our situation?
16 responses
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
15 Nov 10
I really don't think that we are any better than animals when it really all comes down to it. Though in many ways our brains are more well developed than the brain of a lesser animal, genetically there are far more similarities between all species of animals than there are differences. That is the reason that we behave the way that we do when we are subjected to a primal type of situation. When we are deprived of our autonomy, we will behave as an animal would, but as long as we have freedom we behave differently.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Just like in the movie, autonomy and freedom seem to be the trigger in the changes in behavior. When it was taken away, they started to act like animals. And quickly change back to being more human just as soon as the gates were opened and had their freedom back. Thanks.
@Christoph56 (1508)
• Canada
13 Nov 10
Did you just see the newer, American one? I saw the original, a german movie (which takes place in the US, but they still speak German) which I felt was way better then the american version... some of the pieces of plot in the american one were just so bad... the german one focused much more on the concepts at hand. But, if you found the concept intriguing, then you should look up the Stanford Prison experiment through wikipedia. The true story of the whole event is, in some ways, even wilder then what they had shown on the movie... really crazy concept.
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Actually, the first response on this discussion did mention the Standford Prison experiment. And I did went on to wiki to read about it. It is very interesting. I might even go looking for that German version, which I found is called 'Das Experiment'. I wouldn't be into the violence too much but I would like to see the changes in the behavior of the actors. Thanks.
@Galena (9123)
13 Nov 10
I haven't seen this film. it seems a shame that people only see the connection between us and the rest of the animal kingdom when we behave agressively. like all animals we are capable of acts of great love, and acts of great violence. the only way that we are truly different to other animals is that some of us think we are not animals. even go so far as to consider it offensive to think of themself as an animal. what is so offensive about this idea?
1 person likes this
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Hello Galena. Great response! And I like your perspective. That in so much we could be animal-like when exhibit aggression, we could also be 'animal-like' when we show love and compassion to other animals. And you're right. I think there is nothing wrong with being considered more like animals. Thanks.
@emerillus (477)
• Philippines
13 Nov 10
We are like animals..in some ways because we have instincts that come out especially if we are in danger, but we as humans are intelligent so we handle such situations well and not act like animals at all.
• Philippines
13 Nov 10
Despite the fact that we, as a species have developed significantly, there is still much of the animal in us. We still are often overwhelmed by primal compulsions and irrational drives. It would still take several generation more before we have refined ourselves completely.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Hello emerillus. I agree in what you are saying that our reactions are a bit more intelligent than animals. But I also agree with PSTordilla that when push comes to shove, we are still overcome by primal compulsions and irrational drives. So, we are different. But not too different from animals. Thank you both.
• Philippines
13 Nov 10
God created us with His own image and likeness. He also gave as the intellect and freewill which he doesn't give to the animals therefore we are better than the animals.
• Canada
13 Nov 10
But, animals have intellect... when it comes down to living the harsh lives they lead, they have a greater intellect then us... humans could easily die being out on our own with nothing in a place like the heart of africa, or up in the Canadian arctic... Animals also have free will, they absolutely do, an animal can do anything that they want. Haven't you ever gotten to know animals like dogs and cats? They all have their own moods and ideas, and they do what they want to do. I say we're equal to animals, we're just all different.
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@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
I agree with you both Mackenzie_jad228 and Christoph56. I believe that God created us in his own image, and that we are just like animals but in some ways different. I think this movie and experiment showed this. There is an animal in all of us. Thank you both.
• United States
13 Nov 10
I think we would. Since we evolved from the Chimpanzee side, we have a subconscience mind. So, when we become caged, we will panic like regular animals, we all have emotions, and our survival instincts will come straight out. Thus, VIOLENCE.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
I'd hate to admit that my great, great, great ancestors were Chimpanzees. Still I agree that within us are survival instincts that pushes us to violence when caged. Thanks edwarthefamily. And welcome to myLot!
@siliguri (4224)
• India
13 Nov 10
though i havent see this movie but i like to make the statement over your question by seeing the behaviour of human beings today towards each other seems animal is better than us. Human beings have got many bad things may animal doesnt have and becoming more cruel day by day
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Hello siliguri. Nowadays, there are people who behave more like animals. It may be their circumstances that makes them cruel day by day. Thanks.
@visavis (5945)
• Philippines
13 Nov 10
I saw that movie although it is psychological experiment and that is beyond director imagination and experiment. But for me human is beyond and higher than animal in all aspect of life and inteligent and base on the bible human created according to God's image... so we are diffirent from animals. see you around
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Hello visavis. I hope that you are right. That as humans, we can always rise above whatever struggles we have and act as intelligent as possible. Even if we are caged for sometime. Thanks for the response.
• Indonesia
13 Nov 10
you must believe that, if you don't believe.. well.. it seems you are animal..
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
I don't deny that there is an animal in me. And it sometimes comes out at the worst times. And I can accept that. Just part of being human. You should too!
• Indonesia
13 Nov 10
yes.. i believe that we're better than animals.. that's a simple anwer.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Hello dark_cloud. I wouldn't be too sure about that. There are definitely times where we can say that we are better than animals. But there are also dark hours that we can be worse. Thanks.
@Diddaka (90)
13 Nov 10
I am shamed to write you this but think for something.In some situations the animals are better than us.And that is really disturbt.I have seen such a people who are absolutlly like animals.They don`t think,do what they want and don`t care about the others.But the good thing is we are not everyone like them.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Yes you are right Diddaka. There are some animals who behave more like humans, and there so-called humans who behave like animals, and give the human specie a bad name. Maybe they were caged in some point of their lives, just as this movie and experiment is. Thanks.
@clocks123 (1228)
• United States
12 Nov 10
i don't believe we are animals at all. we were created by God in His Image. i do not believe in evolution either. i don't think we were apes. i believe in strict creation. i understand why those people in the movie who were caged would behave as they did. we aren't made to be caged.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
Hello clocks123. I gues you're right. That people behave in such ways because we are not meant to be caged in the first place. And that if we were, it will just bring out the animal in us. Even how hard we try not to be. Thanks.
@Lore2009 (7389)
• United States
12 Nov 10
We are animals. I think we can find ways about our situations because we are animals. Is that real experiment they did with the psychology class?
• United States
12 Nov 10
I have never heard and or seen this movie, but I believe that although, sometimes people behave like savages.. LOL. We as humans sometimes lose of sense of thought. Whereas being in a tough situation we really in state of panic cannot control our correct way of thinking. I as a human can not be caged, oh no I have to feel free.. heck even being smothered by a partner would cause me to want to break free.. LOL.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
15 Nov 10
That's why I think that the movie, and thus the experiment is believable. I also would like to have my freedom. To see the sunlight or the outside regularly. So, I am not sure how I would behave if I were put in a cage for a long period of time. Maybe I would act like a savage. Thanks.
• Philippines
12 Nov 10
I don't agree with what he said. Animals can do something about their situation as well. The only difference is we do it better and more sophisticated than animals. I can't be caged. I'm very strong. I can get out of any cage made by men.
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
13 Nov 10
If you put it that way, I guess I agree with you. That's why there are white-mice experiments. Sooner or later, they learn and follow what is supposed to if they are put in cages, or mazes for that matter. I think you just have a strong spirit, that's why you think you can't be caged. Thanks for the response.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
12 Nov 10
Wasn't there something like this called the Stanford experiment? anyway, my answer is, I really do not want to find out!!!
@bounce58 (17524)
• Canada
13 Nov 10
I read up on the Stanford experiment (from Wiki). And it does sound the same. I think the movie I watch was also based on another German experiment. It's interesting, but I also don't want to find out for myself.