"There is no right or wrong in nature, they are human concepts. We are moral creatures in an amoral world...it is only human feeling that is freakishly amiss." (Dillard)
The tiger may feel it's moral obligation is to bite off your freaking arm
Did I see you on a Robert Palmer video
But the tiger has no concept of what is right or wrong. It acts in instinct or hunger, practically without a choice. Humans can tell right from wrong and have a choice.
Disagree you do not try to steal a meal from a tiger
? What does that have to do with the question?
Disagree completely. Morals are transcendent and not of mans realm. They are not invented or shifting, they are a law, like gravity, and thus constant. Spiritually, I believe they come from God.
I think she was saying this as an argument for the existence of God, but then I haven't read her other stuff.
If that is the case, then I would have to read it a couple times again, and also some of her work. Either way, I believe that morals are God given, not man made (:
Society seems to be determining what is right and wrong for people and punishing them for noncompliance. But some types of animals do this too so I wouldn't say it's just humans.
But animals don't sacrifice themselves for others.
True. Good point.
We live in an objectively moral world which has been corrupted by sin and deceived into thinking it is subjectively moral.
You had me until "freakishly amiss." Everything to that point was spot on.
I love your polls!
You have no idea how happy that makes me.
I haven't read Annie Dillard for years; it's really lovely to see her surface here. Thank you for doing that.
I've never read her before. She was mentioned in Tim Keller's Reason For God which we're reading for a class. I really liked what she said.
Flipped a coin
I am not sure I agree, although I voted that I did. There is a difference between doing something because you find it morally "right," and doing the same thing because you have an instinct to do it. The difference, to me, is consciousness. There are
many examples of "altruism" in the animal world, where at least we humans aren't aware of animal consciousness, so it seems like instinct rather than something an animal chooses to do because they feel it is "right." We see some of those same
behaviors in ourselves as humans. It's not easy to determine which of them, or to what extent, they are instinctual, but I think we can see the underpinnings of at least some of them in the animal world.
I think what Dillard speaks of as "amiss" is the fact that humans have consciousness. Perhaps some other animals do too, to some extent (the chimpanzee who lies; dolphins, etc.). I see that as evidence pointing *toward* evolution, not away.
I completely agree, I had just never thought of it like that before. What reason would we have to be different if natural violence "survival of the fittest" works so well in nature? This is why I don't see evolution as a plausible theory.
The "fittest" doesn't always mean the most violent, though. It simply means the most likely to survive long enough to pass on genes to another generation.
But are they more likely to pass on genes because of their physical appearance (camouflage) or because of their inherent self-interest based nature that tells them to, say, fight for food when it's scarce?
That depends on environmental conditions at the time, which can vary from place to place, time to time, and with different players in the game. There's no single general answer.
But there is still no natural altruism as there is in human society. If evolution is responsible for us, the why are we so different than everything else?
I would like to see someone express why they disagree with this.