Nils wrote:Concerning animals:
Ken writes that People don't generally apply morality to animals. This is as usual a matter of definition. To me morality is a set of rules of conduct and animals have those also. Most have for instance instincts that prevent them to eat their offspring but animals that live in groups have also advanced behaviour to the benefit of the group that in some cases can be compared to the human instincts. This has been studied on apes and dog animals for instance. To me it is natural to call this behaviour morality. Most persons that have had a dog can tell how they can see on the dog if it has done something that the dog knows it shouldn't do. It feels ashamed. If that is not an evidence on morality, what is it then.
There may be a form of morality animals apply to themselves, but I don’t see humans applying morality to their actions for the most part; especially animals in the wild. When a male lion approaches a female lion with cubs, and he wants to mate with her, the first thing he does is kill her cubs; then force her to have sex with him. People aren’t outraged by this action, we just call it standard procedure for lions. There are many instances of animals behaving in a moral fashion, but this is a standard they impose on themselves; not a standard imposed by people. That is the point I was trying to make.