New research suggests that social animals such as dogs and cats can choose whether to be good or bad.
Scientists have often debated whether pets such as cats snuggle up to their owners because they are showing genuine emotion towards them or if their behaviour is driven purely to elicit food and attention. Researcher and author Mark Rowlands believes that animals are indeed capable of a sense of morality, can exhibit genuine emotion and are able to make a conscious decision on how to behave.
"Animals are owed a certain kind of respect that they wouldn't be owed if they couldn't act morally," said Rowlands. "I think what's at the heart of following morality is the emotions. Evidence suggests that animals can act on those sorts of emotions."
"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."
View: Full article
Source: Live Science
Discuss: View comments (43)