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General agreement here, though in order to be accurate we need to specify that we talk of certain animals and not all, as some have proven to have a self consciousness- primates, dolphins, elephants, for example.....
Sense we agree on this, then surely you have no more argument with the person who is refering to the existance of a "sense" of justice? Because they are obviously talking about that, using that term.
Of course, one may rob a uniquely human phenomenon such as conscience of its humanness. One may conceive of conscience merely in terms of the result of conditioning processes. But actually such an interpretation is appropriate and adequate, only, for example, in the case of a dog which has wet the carpet and slinks its tail between its legs. Does this dog actually manifest conscience? I rather think that it manifests the fearful expectation of punishment – which might well be the result of conditioning processes.
Reducing conscience to the mere result of conditioning processes is but one instance of reductionism. I would define reductionism as a pseudo-scientific approach which disregards and ignores the humanness of phenomena by making them into mere epiphenomena, more specifically, by reducing them to sub-human phenomena. In fact, one could define reductionism as sub-humanism. – Viktor Frankl, The Will To Meaning, pg. 18, meridian books
If you will, I percieve that animals have the same type of consciousness we call our "subconsciousness", in which the separation "self-not self" is blurred or non existing.
I heard that. I disagree. I do not think that acknowledging our animal nature takes away our specialness as an entity.
Originally posted by luciddream
Many think, especially Abrahamic doctrine, that animals were put on this earth to be food for humans... so go figure.
btw i love meat... i just don't agree with that animals are just walking food... and people with pets, esp dog, can see something when they look into their eyes.edit on 11/28/2012 by luciddream because: (no reason given)
For all your pompous diatribe (if you don't know what that word means, look it up)
Can you explain WHY you are so adamant about dismissing the sensitivities and intelligence of animals? WHY so bent on making "humans" out to be so superior and terrific?
Humans are, by very virtue of having "self-awareness", capable of being the most vile creatures on this planet.
But they know guild, they dream, they fear, they cry (but without tears). They know often more many things faster then we do, since they often feel things much better then we can.
Beyond that you seem to be coming from the point of view that morality is a man made thing?
I can only consider true morality as that which exists in nature without the interference and twisting of man.
They do not try to beat the system with their intellect.
The examples you gave of immoral behavior on the part of animals confuses me because how can you call them immoral when they are behaviors that fit within an ecosystem that works??
We do have the ability to construct our own conceptions of morality, that does not mean it is "superior"
Originally posted by dontreally
The pangs of conscience are not "man made". If I steal, or kill, the genuinely natural response arising from the theft or murder is guilt, shame and regret. It weighs heavy on my heart and mind because I am aware of the cosmic wrong I committed against another being.
It arises from early education, it does not exist without that education and training.
When I was two (strangely enough I remember the experience clearly!) I walked by myself to the store (my parents were apparently not so responsible ) I was looking at the candy, and I took some that looked good. I had observed that adults put thigns they want on the counter first, before they leave, so I did that. The man on the other side leaned forward and looked over the edge down at me and said "You need money for that." I remember images of coins in my head- I knew what money was! Okay! I'll go get some! I headed home, seeing in my head places in the house I had seen coins.
But that was AFTER I was taught the moral- it was not inherent. Other acts which I feel repulsed to are ones that I experienced being on the recieving end of, and found to be painful or uncomfortable, so I naturally feel repulsed to them, no matter who might be doing it.
But social animals also have morals and rules they are taught in their groups and they exhibit similar behaviors. Two dogs that live together- if one does something they know is not allowed, they both act guilty and shamed (happened with mine yesterday). They feel bad inside if they accidently cross into the alphas spot, you can tell by their behavior.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" well, I've started threads on that one, as I think it is NOT a reliable axiom- though I think it is a common instinct, which arises from our natural empathy. Animals have that too.
I just don't see it as anything that makes us superior- no more than the ability to fly makes birds more special than other animals.