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Monkeys have a sense of morality, say scientists

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posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:40 PM
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Monkeys have a sense of morality, say scientists


www.timesonline.co.uk

Monkeys and apes have a sense of morality and the rudimentary ability to tell right from wrong, according to new research.

In a series of studies scientists have found that monkeys and apes can make judgments about fairness, offer altruistic help and empathize when a fellow animal is ill or in difficulties. They even appear to have consciences and the ability to remember obligations.

The research implies that morality is not a uniquely human quality and suggests it arose through evolution.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:40 PM
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Do these monkeys read the bible or go to sign-language sunday school? ... or could it be that morality is not divinely inspired and instead part of our genetic makeup? When times get tough, cooperation becomes a necessity. Those who are genetically wired to work as a team are more likely to survive and procreate.

If we were honest with ourselves, we could see mostly similarities, where we differ you are left to question what makes us crueler then monkeys?



www.timesonline.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 17-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:43 PM
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Oh SNAP! lol

Kinda takes the wind out of the sails for the whole "without jesus, we'd all be amoral bastards" arguments doesn't it?

Nice find! I'll be adding this to my growing list of "ammunition"

(did I just say "Oh SNAP?" what was I thinking....)


+1 more 
posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:46 PM
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We need to get these monkeys jobs in the banking sector. At the very least they would have better morals then those currently occupying these positions



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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my uncle had a pet chimp and I'll tell you what if she wasn't the sweetest site this side of the Chesapeake



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:48 PM
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I knew it.
And so did my avatar.
Great find!



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:56 PM
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Chimps, Dolphins, Ants, Wasps, Bees and Humans also wage war.
It seems that the highly evolved species on Earth all do it.
This is almost like the scene from 2001





[edit on 17-2-2009 by SLAYER69]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


I would like to disagree with the comment in the video.

Since chimps can display ethics and other human traits and the attack showed planning and tactics, then the cannibalizing of the dead enemies may have nothing to do with extra protein but have everything to do with gaining the spirit of the enemy. Which is no different than human tribes of cannibals today. The open sharing at the end when the other chimp requests a piece might back that idea up.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:17 PM
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Slayer... i do stand corrected.

We have also been known to eat those we conquer. Though now we consume those we conquer in symbolic ways, ie financially, emotionally, politically etc.

So there you go, we aren't any different then our ancestors, we just have the mental capacity to retain and process more information in an effort to more effectively and efficiently manipulate our environment, for both selfish and selfless gains.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:26 PM
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Our cousin is a bonobo chimp, not a warrior, but a hippy lover amongst the chimps and a very delightful with advanced social skills. Looks like someone messed with our dna!



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:36 PM
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Beautiful article OP. It really provided an insight into the primate world. This goes on to show that animals have their own level of conscience and understanding of their habitat and peers.

I remember watching on television some years back, how monkeys who live near hot gysers in Japan have adpated themselves to warming up in water in winter. This trait is now passed on in genes to younger ones.




posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:44 PM
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Whoa, very interesting! The only problem I have with this is that a standard of morals has to be universally accepted in order to judge if these monkeys/apes really do conform to such things. Simply saying that they can understand the difference from right and wrong is not enough, as what one is really saying when he/she says this is that they conform to our versions of right and wrong. This research can bring about dangerous implications, such as universal morals. The article, from the quoted text, is already beginning to state such things. Personally, I think that morality is a completely subjective thing.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:47 PM
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reply to post by sunny_2008ny

Ah yes... the monkeys of the aquatically inclined caucasian variety





[edit on 17-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:54 PM
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I'm sorry....I don't understand the question.

Why wouldn't any creature NOT understand morality or .....hhmmmm.....right behavior?

Of course chimps have morals, so do elephants, bears, lions, baboons.....dogs, cats....damn, I can't think of anything living that doesn't.

Usen gave to all both self-awareness and a unique power. We are all equal. This is something only Jews, Christians, and Muslims would think strange or remarkable.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by apacheman]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by they see ALL
 


I dont understand. You are saying that in order to say apes have morals, that we have to have universally accepted morals, and that morals are never universal but always subjective and individual?

So if there is no such thing as "universal morals" and without "universal morals" we cannot judge ape morality, you are essentially saying nothing apes could ever do could be called moral simply because universal morals dont exist.

??


Edit to add;

If you guys are interested in this type of thing, I highly recommend reading the work of Frans de Waal. Science can sometimes be very dry but he is an engaging writer and the subject really is fascinating.

en.wikipedia.org...


"The possibility that empathy resides in parts of the brain so ancient that we share them with rats should give pause to anyone comparing politicians with those poor, underestimated creatures."[2]

"I've argued that many of what philosophers call moral sentiments can be seen in other species. In chimpanzees and other animals, you see examples of sympathy, empathy, reciprocity, a willingness to follow social rules. Dogs are a good example of a species that have and obey social rules; that's why we like them so much, even though they're large carnivores."[3]

"To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us." from "Are We in Anthropodenial?"




[edit on 17-2-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]

[edit on 17-2-2009 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by apacheman
I'm sorry....I don't understand the question.

Why wouldn't any creature NOT understand morality or .....hhmmmm.....right behavior?

Of course chimps have morals, so do elephants, bears, lions, baboons.....dogs, cats....damn, I can't think of anything living that doesn't.

Usen gave to all both self-awareness and a unique power. We are all equal. This is something only Jews, Christians, and Muslims would think strange or remarkable.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by apacheman]



The real question is, why humans can't while animals can??? We had to have laws and law enforcers to make as act socially moral, while animals don't.

People will try to take advantage of you when they think they can't be caught. Sometimes I had to think on who really are the rightful owners of this planet.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:09 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander

Maybe you couldn't pick up on my satire. Obviously monkeys can't read and there are no sunday schools designed for monkeys. The point i was trying to make was quite simple... with religion out of the picture we can see that humanity is built in monkeys, much like it is in us... and as the last note made in the article reconfirms, just the opposite is true, bad morals also have a genetic basis:



Other studies have confirmed that the strength of a person's conscience depends partly on their genes. Several researchers have shown, for example, that the children of habitual criminals will often become criminals too - even when they have had no contact with their biological parents.


Fortunate for us and the rest of the animal kingdom this is the exception and not the rule.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by The All Seeing I]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:10 PM
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reply to post by ahnggk
 


Not all humans will try to take advantage of you. And not all humans need laws to coerce good behavior from them.

Laws have evolved for a completely different reason than to tell all humans how to behave. I would argue that they have evolved primarily to allow some humans, (those in leadership roles) to behave one way, while compelling others (those in subservient roles) to behave another.

In nature, there is one set of rules, natures, and leadership/power is a very tenuous thing. In human society, a few smart people have figured out a way to hold onto power over multiple generations, (something nature does not allow) by encoding their right to power into "law." They then use other "laws" such as property laws, to ensure they can hire armies to compelling others not to overturn them when they deserve to be overturned.

Our laws are not put in place to ensure people treat all other fairly. At their heart they first and foremost ensure inequity.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:19 PM
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Monkeys have morals?

Too bad Congress doesn't. Let's get some apes in the government. They'd probably be smarter, too. The only sign language my representatives seem to have been able to learn involves giving their electorate the finger.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


I do believe you may have just opened a can of worms.

The "only humans have a soul" group will be in here rather quickly to begin bashing you in any way they can think of.

That is, given that they adhere to their own definitions that the defining point of a soul is the ability to tell right from wrong.



On that note...

GOOD LUCK!

I'm out of here.
I prefer to get out before the crazies get in.



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