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Hasina

Animals are Moral, Scientists Argue

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Animals Are Moral Creatures, Scientist Argues

Written by: Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer

Does Mr. Whiskers really love you or is he just angling for treats?

Until recently, scientists would have said your cat was snuggling up to you only as a means to get tasty treats. But many animals have a moral compass, and feel emotions such as love, grief, outrage and empathy, a new book argues.

The book, "Can Animals Be Moral?" (Oxford University Press, October 2012), suggests social mammals such as rats, dogs and chimpanzees can choose to be good or bad. And because they have morality, we have moral obligations to them, said author Mark Rowlands, a University of Miami philosopher.

Source: http://www.livescien...orals-book.html

Edited by Hasina
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Animals have complex emotion and reasoning, sure. But "morals"? I think not. What has to be understood is that within an animals framework, their instincts and actions are those that best result in their survival and ability to reproduce. Everything stems from that. Sure my cat can exhibit complex emotions, but when he goes outside, he still kills a bunch of birds and mice for no other reason than to kill.

Morals are simply cultural constructs that we have created with arbitrary rules as "don;t eat this" or "don't do this in these days".

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did you know that the baboon beats its females to keep them loyal and from straying? the black widow female eats the male after copulation? A lion when taking over a pride will kill all the cubs and then have its own with all the females of the group. rats will eat there young when hungry. theres also a fish that can enter the uthera when you pee in a river and then inserts spikes into you to stay there. interesting but not moral, animals can be affectionate but cant aspire to be greater than they are.

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animals can be affectionate but cant aspire to be greater than they are.

Maybe it's an illusion that humans can.

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Perhaps (Purrhaps?) animal morals are different then human morals. Heck, even humans have varying moral codes, who's to say animals have to have morals that are similar to our own?

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I know my dog does. If she hears cats start to fight, she rushes to brake it up. She has defended my cat many times. She will also stop a cat from stalking another animal. When she was doing therapy dog work she would seem to find the person who needed her most. One time she went up to this old guy in a wheelchair who hardly ever moved and ask to get up on his lap, I put her up there and the guy started petting her, his nurse was amazed, because that was the most reaction she had ever seen from him. She just always knows who needs her. She is a remarkable dog.

Edited by Darkwind
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Maybe it's an illusion that humans can.

organised society with laws and order begs to differ, there may have been many tyrants in history but they wouldnt be so bad if we didnt have something good to compare them to.

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I know my dog does. If she hears cats start to fight, she rushes to brake it up. She has defended my cat many times. She will also stop a cat from stalking another animal. When she was doing therapy dog work she would seem to find the person who needed her most. One time she went up to this old guy in a wheelchair who hardly ever moved and ask to get up on his lap, I put her up there and they guy started petting her, his nurse was amazed, because that was the most reaction she had ever seen from him. She just always knows how needs her. She is a remarkable dog.

remarkable dog? or a reflection of the owner?, a wild dog wouldnt have been so kind.

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I believe that most of the morals seen consistently across human societies are adaptive strategies that help us survive in groups. I think it could be argued that dogs and wolves, cetaceans, as well as higher primates such as gorillas, bonobos and chimps can learn social rules and internalize them to the degree that they feel good or bad about performing a particular behavior--even if only to a limited degree when compared to humans.

Any dog owner can tell you that their pets have some sense of social expectations placed upon them, hinting at perhaps a limited theory of mind.

A not so serious illustration:

Edited by Cybele
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A wild dog will defend it's pack mates, even wolves have pack ethics. I don't think animals have the same kind of moral standard we have, but they do in the construct of their species' culture. I remember reading about an elephant up putting poles in holes, when it came to one hole it wouldn't put the pole in. The mahout tried to get the elephant to place the pole, but it wouldn't do it. When they looked in the hole there was a dog sleeping in it. Humans do a lot of amoral things in the construct of their culture. How many time on this site we have been shocked when some poor women is stoned to death because she was accused of witchcraft or adultery. Is that moral? It isn't in our culture, but in her culture it must be, because they did it.

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remarkable dog? or a reflection of the owner?, a wild dog wouldnt have been so kind.

I didn't train my dog to do any of those things. I got her when she was three, she just did that stuff on her own from the start. She had come from a breeder, I don't they trained her much at all other than hiting her with a paper. Everytime I picked up a news paper she would duck and run. I know the lady who gave her to me didn't think they were nice people.

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A wild dog will defend it's pack mates, even wolves have pack ethics. I don't think animals have the same kind of moral standard we have, but they do in the construct of their species' culture. I remember reading about an elephant up putting poles in holes, when it came to one hole it wouldn't put the pole in. The mahout tried to get the elephant to place the pole, but it wouldn't do it. When they looked in the hole there was a dog sleeping in it. Humans do a lot of amoral things in the construct of their culture. How many time on this site we have been shocked when some poor women is stoned to death because she was accused of witchcraft or adultery. Is that moral? It isn't in our culture, but in her culture it must be, because they did it.

Charity isnt a moral in animals, animals protect family but not outsiders (preserving their own genes). giving to someone you will never meet is something that cant happen except in humans. the elephants kindness is a reflection of man as dogs are mans best friend. am i wrong in assuming that you believe in magic and that it can be used for good and evil? if some one chooses to become a predator in their society, would it be wrong to punish them? im against killing in general and even more so with murder.

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Does that mean my father's pet cockatoo that tried to kill me is evil?

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From the wiki entry for Morality

"Human morality, though sophisticated and complex relative to other animals, is essentially a natural phenomenon that evolved to restrict excessive individualism that could undermine a group's cohesion and thereby reducing the individuals' fitness"

That's my view as well. And since there is no clear cut division between between humans and archaic hominids, it stands to reason that you would expect to see reciprocity, altruism and selfishness and deceit in non-human animals. Of course, if you believe in Special Creation then only humans are moral.

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Of course, some animals exhibit morality, just like most humans attempt to do.

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Does that mean my father's pet cockatoo that tried to kill me is evil?

More likely that he's threatened by you or jealous of you.

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i doubt it ..there is extreme cases but it's not regular everyday you see a cheetah kill mother monkey and pet the baby monkey after

it happened but is it common ? nope extremely rare and circumstances involved much

animals rely on instinct mostly some times their behavior differ and becomes complex

but it wouldn't rise to level or morals

a dog would defend his master even if that master was a wicked evil man

does that make a dog evil ? or does that make the dog loyal and good on morals for standing up for his master ?

or is it because the dog became accustomed to certain enviorment involving this master ?

personally i don't think animals are intelligent enough to make them considered moral

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animals rely on instinct mostly some times their behavior differ and becomes complex but it wouldn't rise to level or morals

Morality includes not just the rare example of ultimate altruism, but also the everyday norms that guide societies. Chimps exhibit behaviours that mirror that of humans. I'm thinking of things like violating a norm for chimp culture, expressions of shame/guilt and punishment by the group for breaking these norms.

What makes humans a special case? Until 12,000 years ago we shared the planet with Homo floresiensis, aka the hobbit. 27,000 years ago Neanderthals still walked the earth. Did these hominids have "human morality"? If so, what about homo erectus? Where do you draw the line? What is the criteria for ascertaining morality?

personally i don't think animals are intelligent enough to make them considered moral

Intelligence is the criteria? So those poor unfortunate humans that rate low on the IQ scale are amoral?

There are several videos on the UM forums that show crows exhibiting very intelligent behaviour. Some videos show these birds figuring out Archimedes principle. There are people who can't figure this out. Yet they know when they violate societal norms and they express these emotions (shame, guilt) the same way other non-human apes would.

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Do animals exhibit morality?

Well, probably the conservative ones do.

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Morality is those actions and behaviors that lead to the good health and well being of individuals and communities. It does not matter that the individual is human, cat, dog, or any other living thing.

The concepts of good and bad are human ideas. However, health and well-being are enjoyed and appreciated by all living things.

We humans need to recognize the right of all living things to live healthy and with well-being.

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It's called love. An immeasurable current, that can only be felt. Some animals have this prominent in there nature, others need to be taught it, with a stick(if needed) hehehehe.

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Morality includes not just the rare example of ultimate altruism, but also the everyday norms that guide societies. Chimps exhibit behaviours that mirror that of humans. I'm thinking of things like violating a norm for chimp culture, expressions of shame/guilt and punishment by the group for breaking these norms.

What makes humans a special case? Until 12,000 years ago we shared the planet with Homo floresiensis, aka the hobbit. 27,000 years ago Neanderthals still walked the earth. Did these hominids have "human morality"? If so, what about homo erectus? Where do you draw the line? What is the criteria for ascertaining morality?

Intelligence is the criteria? So those poor unfortunate humans that rate low on the IQ scale are amoral?

There are several videos on the UM forums that show crows exhibiting very intelligent behaviour. Some videos show these birds figuring out Archimedes principle. There are people who can't figure this out. Yet they know when they violate societal norms and they express these emotions (shame, guilt) the same way other non-human apes would.

morals is not only expressed toward the same speices

you ever seen group of crows attacking a man for beating a dog or cat ?

now have you ever seen a man/woman stopping a person from doing that ?

i don't see cows and sheeps making safe zones for endangered babies ummm do you ?

it's not that complicated animals that work in groups .. such as crows and the like

it's normal for them to have rules . punishment and laws of their own

is that what morals stand for ?

i know some animals are intellgient they're just not intelligant enough to define " right and wrong "

when a " smart " crow peck your eye while you're playing with it you'd double question that moral or intelligence they have

the animals intelligence is enough for them to adopt and survive

and crows happen to live among people , houses , machines they learned to use them to their advantages

morals require intelligence but that doesn't mean every intelliegant human is moral

but that's because they " choose " not to

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I believe it..... I know it sounds bad, but here is my story.... I had this great dog for ten plus years, in that time we had two children. ( wife and I had the kids not me and my dog you sick people) My dog loved these kids. As a joke (I knew she would never do what I asked) I would say to her "get the babies, get em, bite em!!" and she would look at me with eyes like "are you serious? whatever!!" and would whine at me to stop, and when I would not she would come over and bite me instead. No one was allow to hurt her babies! She was a good dog, and I miss her.

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My dogs a lovely hound.

Sleeps next to me every night.

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All mamals have the capacity to love.

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