Re: virus: Abortion, etc.

John Steele (
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 19:47:21 -0600

John Aten,

>John Steele wrote that humans are "moral animals".
>My question is what about the other primates? There is new evidence that
>shows it is possible for certain other primates to think in terms of

If this is so then I'm perfectly willing to accept that morality is not
the sole province of humans. I'd hazard a guess that morality is more
highly evolved in humans though. The point of my argument in all these
postings has not really been to place mankind at the top of some
evolutionary ladder though.

>Primates are certainly more rational than the majority of
>organisms. Chimps can communicate original thoughts and emotions to
>humans through sign language; they can also do simple algebra problems.
>This would seem to suggest that humans are not the only organisms
>capable of rational or moral thinking. Aristotle called humans "the
>rational animal", but no organism, it seems, is by default rational or
>moral. Morality was created by early humans to stabilize our society,
>(as Nietzsche said "by the weak to suppress the wrath of the strong")
>which in turn made propogation safer and more secure than when the
>society of humans was an anarchic animal mess.

I agree with you, except that I don't believe "Morality was created by
early humans". I don't believe that humans had a role in creating
morality anymore than they had a role in creating opposable thumbs. These
two things evolved into their current forms, and they did so through the
process of natural selection.


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