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Posted by Chuck Owens on May 2, 2002 02:43:55 UTC

Hi Scott,

You said "So you are saying that our ability to be rational makes us God's "favorites". Being rational is next to Godliness. I disagree."

Actually, I was just trying to say that the level of moral responsibility is greater for humans, in general, than for the animals. For example, animals usually kill prey out of raw instinct such as hunger or self-defense whereas most humans are capable of making a conscious decision to kill somebody in an assasination or terrorist plot. Of course I do believe there are instances when humans kill out of raw instinct, for example, some cases of self-defense. Our court systems and laws seem to be based on the idea that humans have a greater moral responsibility and a greater moral accountability than other animals, and on the idea that the more educated and "intelligent" a person is, the greater the accountability for the crime.
I agree with you in that being rational doesn't necessarily mean that we are God's favorite creatures. All animals, including humans, are interdependent on one another for their survival. We animals are also interdependent on the plants, the primary producers.

"As I have mentioned in earlier posts, our ability to think and reason is more than likely the cause of our high suicide rate and predisposition for depression. It isn't necessarily always a good thing!"

Here, I agree with you completely. Reasoning and deep thought can have a "down" side especially if one concentrates on the negative apsects of life.

"Love is a necessity of mammal existence. We expend a lot of energy on rearing our children. Does a mother reptile invest as much time as a mother mammal? No (for the most part). Your emotional attachment to your father is a choice that has been strengthened through his nurturing of you as a child. There is no nature versus nurture; it is both acting in unison."

I agree with you here also. I like the idea of nature and nurture working together in unison.

". Studies in the area of primatology are exposing the ability for chimps and bonobos to pass along learned behaviors. Medicine in certain leaves, ways to extract termites, mourning death, ritualistic behaviors, dominance and submission amongst groups."

Wow, I didn't know that chimps shared that much info with succeeding generations. If you don't mind me asking, from what source did you find this info?

Regards,

Chuck

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