reply to post by Bluesma
I disagree. What I am proposing here is that an act could be called just EVEN if the actor did not choose the behavior consciously through reflection
upon an abstract concept.
Precisely what I am trying to point out: an act
may be called just, inasmuch as it outwardly conforms with what we would decide as being just.
But the actor - unless he willed and understood what he was doing was for the general good, and so acted out of principle - only then could he be
labeled "moral"; since to be moral means to comprehend the principle of morality - to recognize it, and most of all, to abide
An animal may do good, but it's not a good done with forethought - with planning, with rumination over their own
internal state i.e. I
recognize the presence of this being good, therefore, I will pursue good. An animal doesn't address it's inner states. It only responds to externals -
not internals. It doesn't know itself as self existing being.
I point out that a distinction could be made between a "sense" of justice, and an "abstract intellectual concept of justice".
A 'sense' of justice is nothing more than inchoate instinct; a drive without any intellectual substance providing it added security against external
distractions. A 'sense of justice' is feeble. And no creature with a mere sense could truly be called moral, since it acts only when it feels it need
act. And of course, animals are by no means consistent when it comes to moral patterns of behavior.
In any case, it should be understood what kind of sponges dogs are. They soak up whatever you tell them; above all, they imbibe the energies, or
general culture of the household and people who make it up: if you're a reasonable and well balanced person who treats their dog with love, respect
and discipline, than your dog will turn out as an exact reflection of that emotional content: loving, tame, disciplined. Likewise, the converse. A
unstable household turns out dogs that are undisciplined, rowdy etc.
You seem to be refering to "self consciousness" not "consciousness". Am I mistaken?
Let me clarify what I mean. When I say unconsciousness - I still mean consciousness. Consciousness is an awareness of being. Self consciousness is
awareness of my being aware of my being. Dogs certainly possess the former. I in no way challenged that. I didn't deny their aptitude in loving their
owners, and pugnaciously defending their household against suspicious characters. But I attribute that less to them but more to their particular
nature. It is a species thing. Yes, individual animals develop idiosyncrasies of their own, and this could be the incipience of what later on becomes
full blown individuality in human beings: but in it's state, it is far too primitive and far too removed from the abstract categories of existence to
be compared to man.
Like I said, we have to be careful not to let our praise of animals to turn into a depreciation and whitewashing of what makes human beings special
I percieve we are animals and our social animal instincts are intact and active, and yet we use our intellect to deny that and lie to ourselves.
Well, we disagree here, clearly.
Since this is a philosophy forum, I might as well expand on what I mean.
The category of existence in which we ponder the questions and mysteries of life are unknown to animals - to the laws which govern their relations,
the so-called 'law' of natural selection.
Thus, you can take mans ability as a testament to itself - in our unique vantage point in looking at the universe, or, you can ignore the ontological
essence of things - in being as being - and reduce man to the level of the actual, material world, with it's determinations in concrete laws.
edit on 4-9-2012 by dontreally because: (no reason given)