From The Onion: Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla it Will Die Someday

In light of my recent series The Slavery of Death, particularly our discussions about "slavery to the fear of death," you might enjoy this piece from The Onion (h/t Steve): Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla it Will Die Someday.

Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla It Will Die Someday

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15 thoughts on “From The Onion: Scientists Successfully Teach Gorilla it Will Die Someday”

  1. "We did it," one scientist says.  Since the sound bit was cut off, I don't know if this was a statement of accomplishment or in, "Yay, we did it!" or, "Wow, we did that to him."  I find this horribly depressing.  Is it not enough that our knowledge shackles us?  Do we now need to shackle primates?  Eve gave the fruit to Adam, and now we've given it to a gorilla.

  2. This is one of those things where you laugh and feel ashamed of yourself for laughing! I suppose your interpretation of this is now this gorilla is capable of true sin :).

  3. You do understand that "The Onion" is satire, right?  Or perhaps I am too dense to see the hyperbole in your comments?  Having said that, I find myself observing the "scientists" as proxies for most of the religious folks and theologians I have known.

  4. Despite its morbid, black humor this piece really is a great commentary on how mortality fears create the "neurotic animal" known as Homo sapiens. This neurosis is a large part of what I mean by "slavery to the fear of death."

    How then to be set free?

  5. For the life of me (sorry), I cannot seem to remember fearing my own birth.  And I have yet to hear anyone speak of having a "near birth experience".  Since I have never had even one glimmer of awareness of any thing or event which preceded my own birth, I am not convinced that once my brain has died I will still have some metaphysical "awareness".  So, why should I fear?

  6. Actually, the one thing I can't even imagine is NOT BEING. I find the idea of non-existence much more terrifying than any punishment in the afterlife might be. 

    Maybe I would have been scared of my own birth if I had known it was coming. But, I am pretty neurotic. Actually, my own mother is a LOT more anxious than I am --- and before birth I was probably pumped full of the cortisol and norepinephrine she put out. So if I had known it was coming, I probably would have been terrified. 

  7. I can't imagine not being, either, but it doesn't terrify me since there isn't going to be any me there to be upset about it.

  8. So we agree that before you were born you were not aware.  Or else you would have "known it was coming".  Therefore, it seems as though it is awareness (being conscious) we should fear, not death.  And yet, every time we lay down to sleep we understand that we are going to slip into "not being" for several hours, and that doesn't bother us at all.

  9. Mmm ... I like consciousness. It doesn't inspire my fear, although perhaps it should. But we don't exactly choose what scares us, do we? It either does or it doesn't. 

  10. I just feel stupid.  I guess that if you can't laugh at yourself, what you gonna do?  Yes, there is a "G" on my forehead for "gullible."

  11. i was not aware that The Onion was satire, and so the report did seem in terribly bad taste to me.  And i'm still confused, does that mean the story is false and no gorilla ever learned such a thing?  Or is the tongue-in-cheek bit just the fact that it's reported as a notable achievement?  (Though, i honestly don't see the humor in it either way.)


  12. The story is false and no gorilla ever learned such a thing.

    I highly recommend the Onion, if you're not familiar with it. Most of its pieces aren't quite as "dark" as this one.

    "Cackling Warren Buffett Burns Entire Fortune In Front Of Nation"
    "GOP Supports Obama For 2012: 'We Need More Time To Completely Ruin His Life'"
    "Whiny, Selfish 8-Year-Old Always Wants His Parents To Stop Yelling At Each Other"

  13. I noticed that the signing gorilla on the TV screen in the clip was very similar to the "message from Koko" at The Gorilla Foundation, under "Koko's World."

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