reply to post by ofhumandescent
I just consider the thinking in this thread to be an example of crude sentimentality.
Nobody denies the presence of consciousness in animals. What I - and any sane person - challenges, is the idea that we and animals share a 'similar'
Animals are just not self conscious. Deal with it. They do not have the power to observe themselves: to go outside themselves - outside their
instincts - and watch themselves as they act. That is a purely human ability. This ability is what accounts for the ability to reflect - to make moral
decisions, to recognize humor etc.
Some extremely naive poster I was speaking to earlier in this thread had the naivete to think that her dogs were moral because of an "experiment" she
set up in which dog dog reacted badly to being given less than her fellow dog. Instead of reasoning what is obvious to any teenager - that dogs are
the most jealous creatures on earth, being scavengers, after all, she had the absurdity to think his baffled expression meant "He has more - that
isn't RIGHT!" and not the actual "I want what he/she has". The dog merely noticed that he had less, and, being able to compare to what he was given,
became jealous. This wasn't an example of reflection and awareness of equity - that he was entitled
to what the other dog was given, but a
crude, base and instinctual response to having less: his stomach - his/her lust for food, compelled him to respond. Not a sense of right.
This is so bloody obvious, so clear to any animal psychologist, to a philosopher, to anyone who has anything deserving of being called an education,
that it is nothing but sad that ATS has people here arguing inanities that animals are self conscious, moral, etc - and that I have to go through
rudimentary dialectics to explain how that isn't so. And then, to make it even more upsetting - or flabbergasting - instead of accepting my arguments,
more stupidity is retorted, of me not being able to appreciate the full depth of "animal sentience".
In fact, only a proper understanding of an animals sentience should be sought for. We mustn't be over-zealous, sentimental, and project onto animals
ideas which simply aren't present in their behavior patterns.
I love my dog - I know she loves me - but she is never going to be able to reflect upon that love and realize it in it's full meaning. I am fine with
that. I love that they are different. But they are NOT the same as man. Man is a superior being with abilities that obligate him to take special care
and love for animals and nature. But i never lose sight of the differences that exist.
Some of the worst violators of human rights have been animal lovers, nature lovers, vegetarians - such as the Nazis, who enacted laws against animal
experimentation, promoted vegetarianism - and yet - their own contempt for humankind led them to experiment on human beings, exterminate human beings:
why?? Because they never thought man was anything special - which contradicts facts of our everyday experience, of the wonders that man has
accomplished, of the amazing good (and evil) man can do. We are a powerful species, invested with powers no other creatures possess. We can make the
world infinitely worse, and likewise, we can make it infinitely better. Such is our condition. Animals make no difference. And people accord them
credit for this, when it is hardly meritorious.
I love man because of what he can do. He deserves condemnation for his moral laxity, and likewise, credit and praise for his goodness. It is easy to
get along with animals. Show them love and care and it goes smoothly. No effort need be expended. Its a cinch. Man on the other hand forces us to TRY
- to work on ourselves, on our egos, on our insecurities and beliefs. This very fact shows that man in his social relations is forced to go beyond
himself, to seek the other, God; it's not nature which forces this question upon us, but other men.
edit on 31-8-2012 by dontreally because:
(no reason given)