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Plant Therians
Der_Hyazinth_Ara
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Post: #31
RE: Plant Therians
This is why I don't like using words like 'therian' and 'otherkin'. They came from a time when we didn't have any words to describe ourselves and they served well in their time, but they are ambiguous terms. There are so many views as to the meaning of therian across the therian world from it being an identity to it being a spiritual connection. And ambiguous language is poor language. I prefer using 'species identity' and 'species dysphoria'. It's unambiguous, scientific language that is self-explanatory and makes debates like this unnecessary.

I suppose the ultimate question here is:
Does the species one identifies as need to be both real and conscious to be considered a therian identity, or does it just need to be both real and a life form?

I personally would argue for the former. I think that a distinction should be made between identities of species that are conscious and ones that are not. Bear's suggestion of having a new group, the phythanthropes, seems to be most appropriate. Classifying plantkin as therians just doesn't seem to fit because of the consciousness argument that people have already mentioned above.

To be honest I'd be equally convinced by someone who said they identify as a tree as someone who said they identify as a toaster because of the consciousness argument.

2018-01-06 7:25
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DustWolf
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Post: #32
RE: Plant Therians
(2018-01-06 2:02)WolfVanZandt Wrote:  But it seemed like this thread stated a forum policy and my question was, "should it be a forum policy?"

As a thread in the "Introduction to Therianthropy" forum, it was intended to be a simple statement that people who are not yet members of our forums, can look up, to get a vague idea regarding the general sentiment. The discussion that follows furthermore clearly demonstrates, that actual opinions on this topic are split.

Whenever we discuss a subject that deals with generalizations, we also tend to get this SJW aspect, where people start arguing for the "rights" of in this case plantkin, how they should be regarded as equals or whatnot.

Perhaps this debate went further, into the uncharted waters of "what therianthropy really is", if you will. Like I have stated many times, I see value in asking these questions, engaging in conversation about it and discussing it in rational arguments (admittedly @Kisota is much better at the "rational" part than I am). I am as capable as the next guy, of understanding that a delimiter here, might make plantkin feel excluded from our community. But I think that therianthropy is a specific experience, with specific reasons and the only way we can being to study it, is to define which experiences are therian and more relevantly, which are not. Without a defined population, you cannot even do a population study.

Or actually you can. You can be like that sociology student that visited us the other day and said that we are a subculture of people who call themselves "Therian". He wasn't wrong, but I don't feel like that is what Therianthropy is, we're not here to feel like a group and share a way of acting, we're here because we are Therians and we want to understand ourselves.

You've told me many times that you feel like the "Therianthropy has not yet been scientifically studied" argument is being reused to the point that you feel it's used more as an excuse, than an answer. Yet in this circumstance where I ask you to draw a line to let us begin, you confront me to stand down, while simplifying my argument to topics we both know cannot be argued and defending plantkin as if I am trying to ban them all from the site.

Therianthropy is a complex subjective experience. The only way I see we might go about defining what it's boundaries are, is by deep introspection and discussion of our experiences as therians. I am fully aware of the fact that subjective experience is unreliable and that my statement above that "it doesn't feel like this is what Therianthropy is" does not go well up against some of the broad generalizations presented here. But if you want to understand Therianthropy, you are going to have to dwell into it's ugly guts and try to understand why these feelings feel the way they do and what the subtle differences between us are.

But no, none of this should be policy. It was never intended to be any kind of policy. This is a discussion forum, we discuss.

LP,
Dusty

If you think I hold something against you, you probably misunderstood.
The only person I hate is myself.

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2018-01-06 15:10
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Kisota
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Post: #33
RE: Plant Therians
My point is simply that I think we have to compare the actual human experiences vs what we think is the "experience" or lack thereof of someone's stated "kintype."

I don't think our subjective internal experiences are really going to match up cleanly with established taxonomy and I think it's silly to draw lines based on THAT rather than what people are actually experiencing.

Obviously, opening our doors to absolutely anyone regardless of experience is risking the usefulness of the community by diluting and broadening its conversations and terminology to be almost meaningless. But I see that as more of a problem for when we're too inclusive of people whose actual experiences and form of identity is different.

For example - the "other-hearted" communities, furries, roleplayers, teen wolves. There's nothing WRONG with these communities or identities at all. But it's a filing issue with meaning, because there's a meaningful, established, accessible difference in the actual experience. Sure, sometimes lines get muddied, but the difference between identifying AS a thing and, say, roleplaying AS a thing, even if you get really into character, is still pretty clean.

Since regardless of our identity as a nonhuman... anything... that identity is still being processed by a human brain, I'm not sure any of this "but plants don't think!!" stuff applies. Plant therians think. It's easy to think "sure, but shifting as a plant person isn't actually getting into the mindset of a plant since plants don't HAVE mindsets!" I used to think that way myself.

But if shifting as a plant therian is experientially comparable to animal shifts... why should we call that identity something different? Why should that person's experience be excluded from our terminology?

If we accept that the community is based on like experience, then we no longer HAVE to argue all these semantics. And we no longer HAVE to bring taxonomy in at all. The community then becomes self-selective, because people whose experiences are like enough that they find these spaces valuable will stay, and people who don't really "fit in" because their experiences are so different will naturally tend to move on. (And if they don't, and their experiences really are too different, it's easy to say - hey, this space is centered on this type of experience, please keep it relevant.) It also lends people that personal freedom to choose their own labels, which is something I think is greatly superior than categorizing people against their will.

Let's say someone calls themselves a plant and later decides nope, those rooty, rushy, wavy feelings are actually, I think, my being a coral polyp!

Welp, now they're a therian, despite nothing in their experience having actually changed! Do we base a community defined by a subjective experience on the experiences themselves, or arbitrarily draw lines in the sand based on taxonomy? Human subjective experiences are not reflective of taxonomy. (And trying to establish therianthropy as having a 'type of some baseline intellect or cognitive capacity is just a totally sloppy, obviously untenable stance.)

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(This post was last modified: 2018-01-06 19:12 by Kisota.)
2018-01-06 16:43
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WolfVanZandt
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Post: #34
RE: Plant Therians
I'm, a functionalist so I believe that we need to define the mechanism before we start trying to grasp it's boundaries.

You should know by now that I'm the non-PC wolf. Although I do believe in freedoms, I don't believe in rights - or I only believe in the trivial version of rights as what your neighbor says he will tolerate from you without incident. I'm certainly not arguing for the rights of anyone. What I'm arguing for is the wellbeing of the therian community.

My focus has clearly been, "How do we answer questions that we need answers to?" Opinions are nice for a starting point but they won't work for long. Aristotle said that women had fewer teeth than men and people believed him all the way down to the Renaissance.

We have been trying to set the boundaries of therianthropy by Aristotlean means for decades. Now it's time to get serious.

Indeed, Kisota. Biological taxonomy may provide and analogy but again (and again) no analogy completely captures a reality (certainly not one as complex as therianthropy.)
2018-01-06 17:55
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