Bioethics Discussion Blog: We Are Not the Only Animals Who Can Be Ethical: There is Also Lassie

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

We Are Not the Only Animals Who Can Be Ethical: There is Also Lassie

In the July 11 2005 edition of Time magazine an article by Michael D. Lemonick titled “Honor Among Beasts” describes current studies that suggest that other creatures in the animal kingdom besides us humans may have the potential for ethical consideration and behavior. Those who own dogs may have sensed this observation. The article describes the behaviors which have been studied.
Here is an extract of the article:

The idea of animal emotion is now accepted as part of mainstream biology. … ethologists are also starting to accept the once radical idea that some animals--primarily the social ones such as dogs, chimps, hyenas, monkeys, dolphins, birds and even rats--possess not just raw emotions but also subtler and more sophisticated mental states, including envy, empathy, altruism and a sense of fairness. "They have the ingredients we use for morality," says Frans de Waal, a professor of primate behavior at Emory University in Atlanta, referring to the monkeys and chimps he studies.

Any observations by my visitors of their pets? ..Maurice.

1 Comments:

At Sunday, July 10, 2005 8:23:00 PM, Blogger naturelover said...

Someone said to me recently that animals are high in emotional intelligence. I wholeheartedly agree. I have heard many stories of pets empathizing, sympathizing, and taking steps to protect their owners from harm.

 

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