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Morality in apes.

Discussion in 'Religious Issues' started by Gunhaver, Apr 19, 2012.


  1. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    the wrong hands

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    Not that we came from these apes,

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m_192a6kLg&feature=related"]chimp empathy & morality, sans religion (Frans De Waal) - YouTube[/ame]
     

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  2. Geko45

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    #4 Geko45, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  3. IndianaMatt

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    I didn;t watch the vid because I'm currently slacking at work. But I'll say that morality in animals is a problematic concept. Animals don't seem to have a developed sense of abstract reasoning (the ability to think of concepts such as the "self" vis a vis the greater world, for example), and so it would be hard to say they possess "moral" analytical thought processes.

    But yes, we did evolve from apes.
     
  4. Geko45

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    From the wiki link:

     
  5. IndianaMatt

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    I stand corrected. My knowledge is limited.

    It seems there is probably a vast world of things within the animal psyche - especially animals as closely tied on the evoltion scale to us - which we have yet to learn.

    I will allow that apes, so closely resembling us is so many ways, probably think more like us than we know. It is certain to be a fascinating study as it develops.
     
  6. Geko45

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    What's even more fascinating is that the researchers weren't teaching Michael how to sign. They were teaching Koko and she taught it to Michael.
     
  7. Kingarthurhk

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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    We did not, nor is there any evidence to substantiate that claim.
     
  8. ArtificialGrape

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    More accurately we share a common ancestor with apes, and the evidence is abundant. However, given how you've raised denial of science (physics/cosmology, chemistry, biology, botany, geology, paleontology, anthropology) to an art form, we would not expect anything to the contrary.

    -ArtificialGrape
     
  9. steveksux

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    Not completely true, he did endorse a small sliver of archaeology that he claims "proves" the bible was true. He only ignores the parts that support evolution. Which is nearly all of it, but still...

    Randy
     
    #11 steveksux, Apr 20, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  10. vikingsoftpaw

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  11. juggy4711

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    What the heck have none of the "animals don't have emotions/thoughts like humans do" crowd ever had a dog? If so they were not paying attention. I don't have to witness my dog do something I have taught her is wrong. She's guilty enough when she does, and must feel bad about it because she gives it away the moment I lay eyes on her. Anyone that can deny our relationship with apes is willfully blind on many a level.
     
    #13 juggy4711, Apr 25, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  12. randrew379

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    We are apes-with very dangerous knowledge.
     
  13. Javelin

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    Only man can come up with something so stupid and inane as to think we are the only species that can possess emotions.
     
  14. GreenDrake

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    Always good for a laugh. Thanks King. Tell us about the beautiful garden and the talking snakes again.
     
  15. Bren

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    As best I can tell, all animals have virtually identical basic morality. The more complicated the animal, the more complicated the ways they act on that morality become.

    A wolf does what benefits the wolf, but even the wolf knows, instinctively, that some of his benefit comes from staying in the good graces of the pack and he acts accordingly. Humans are the same, but with morality so complex they have learned to lie about their motivations - even to themselves, on a certain level.

    The fundamental moral rules for humans and animals is: What is right is what benefits me.

    "Benefit" is where it gets complicated. That, and the fact that there is a large gap between the thinking of people at different levels of intellect, experience and need.
     
    #17 Bren, Apr 25, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  16. Altaris

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    I agree, Benefit is the complicated part. When my dog gives me her guilty look because she picked trash out of the garbage can, or peed on the carpet, it is not because she thinks those things are morally wrong. She looks guilty because she knows it will have a negative benefit to her(me yelling and not giving out a treat). Her doing the right thing is because she knows I will praise and reward her(benefit), not because she knows it is 'the right thing to do'.

    That is one of the problems I see with religion as well. People doing it for the praise and reward of god, and not necessarily because they know it is just the morally right thing to do.


    That monkey video is where it gets more more complicated for me. Was that monkey really passing out the extra food because it knew it was the good thing to do for others? Or did he really have a selfish motivation and knew that if he helped them, it would benefit him by them helping him in the future.
     
  17. Gunhaver

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    the wrong hands

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    Even if we do something for someone else that we'll never see again and nobody we know will find out about it we still get a good feeling from that and that's our reward and motivation. I like to feel like a good person but I'm also somewhat subconsciously aware that I want some people to also feel the same way about me while others I don't care.

    Ever stop to help a pretty girl with a flat tire where you might assume a grown man has it all under control? We all do that. I don't think any of us are fooling ourselves into thinking that the girl will be so grateful or think we're such a nice guy that she'll throw herself at us and most of us have someone else at home and it would make us very much not a nice guy to take the pretty girl up on her offer even if she did. It doesn't matter. That drive to be nice to the pretty girls is ingrained in us by evolutionary psychology. The men that do that do better with the women and pass on their genes that push them to do that.

    There's another monkey experiment where 2 monkeys are placed in the same cage with a divider between them. One monkey has a choice to hand over one of two tokens. One token gets a grape for him and one token gets a grape for him and his friend. Most monkeys will always choose the token that gets a grape for him and his friend even thought there are a finite number of grapes in a bowel they can see and the chooser knows he's loosing out by being generous.

    Interesting things happen when the experiment is run different ways. If the friend monkey is new and doesn't understand the way it works the chooser monkey will be less generous because he knows there will be no resentment. When a friend monkey is introduced that does know the game the chooser will change behavior. If a fight has recently occurred between 2 monkeys the chooser will be less generous even if the friend monkey knows the game and even if he protests as if to say, "Too bad, maybe next time you won't be such a jerk".

    It's all very human, or more accurately, very primate behavior.
     
  18. Kingarthurhk

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    Isaiah 53:4-9

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    My dog has emotions. When she is in trouble is sheepish and cowers. When she is being petted and loved she is happe. When she chases squirrels she is excited. When its time for bed, she's sleepy. When she wants to go outside to defecate or urinate, she's anxious. When she wants in the house, and she isn't allowed in, she's stubborn about insisting to come in.

    She feels a special bond toward me, because I raised her from a puppy, and I also am in her mind the pack leader.

    She knows when she does wrong, and she knows what wrong has been defined to be from experience. She knows when she is right, because she is rewarded with affection or a treat, and that makes her exicted and happy.

    So, yes, animals have rudimentary feelsing and perceptions.

    There is a hiearchy of beings in the Universe. To name a subset Angels, People, Animals.

    It isn't a terribly new revelation to me. I am suprised it would be to anyone else. *Shrugs*
     
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