Can animals be evil?

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Nature of a Man
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Can animals be evil?

Post by Nature of a Man » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:49 pm

So I was dreaming tonight, and recalled a childhood memory. Typically we think of animals as driven solely by instinct and incapable of human concepts such as "free will", but sometimes I wonder if animals have a degree of will or control over their actions.

One time, when I was young, I was with my parents at a local park, watching a group of ducks swimming in the pond nearby - suddenly, I saw a duck in pitch black feathers grab the neck of a white duck and attempt to drown it by dunking its head under water, however the flock of white ducks nearby saved it by chasing the black duck off. This memory stayed with me, and I still think of the black duck taking an "evil" and more destructive path in its comparably simpler live than ours, and a good metaphor for the destructive paths which many humans take in theirs.

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Onyx » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:08 pm

Nature of a Man wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:49 pm
So I was dreaming tonight, and recalled a childhood memory. Typically we think of animals as driven solely by instinct and incapable of human concepts such as "free will", but sometimes I wonder if animals have a degree of will or control over their actions.

One time, when I was young, I was with my parents at a local park, watching a group of ducks swimming in the pond nearby - suddenly, I saw a duck in pitch black feathers grab the neck of a white duck and attempt to drown it by dunking its head under water, however the flock of white ducks nearby saved it by chasing the black duck off. This memory stayed with me, and I still think of the black duck taking an "evil" and more destructive path in its comparably simpler live than ours, and a good metaphor for the destructive paths which many humans take in theirs.
This is freakin' gold.
The black duck. hee hee hee.

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Nature of a Man » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:29 pm

lol, sorry if that freaked you out, but that was my honest thought at the time - I've never seen a duck be that profoundly destructive, so it honestly makes me wonder whether or not even animals have a small degree of 'free will' over their actions, and whether or not they can choose whether or not to take good or wicked paths in life. Definitely never seen a duck or any other animal go out of their way to mame or harm another one of their own kind (If I were Buddhist or Hindu, or something, I probably would have assumed the black duck was a murder reincarnated into a lower "caste" as punishment for their evils in their human life, lol).

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Onyx » Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:47 pm

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I read a great book - A Primate's Memoir, by Robert M. Sapolsky. He studied baboons over a long period of time, and wrote a hilarious account of his work. Although he never comes out and says it, the obvious reality through every page of observations about these baboons is that they are NO DIFFERENT from humans in any aspect of their treatment of each other, their factions, ambitions, scheming, some are selfish, some are altruistic, some are remorseless... Page after page I'd gasp at the realization that baboon society is the very same thing as human society. Especially when it comes to political leadership of the troop.

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Roadmaster » Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:45 am

I tell Mrs R I used this principle to land her.
She doesn't correct me.
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by coco » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:17 am

Goats are.
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Del » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:45 am

Roadmaster wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 6:45 am
I tell Mrs R I used this principle to land her.
She doesn't correct me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1zmfTr2d4c
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by DAN » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:11 am

Your cat is plotting to kill you.
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Thunktank » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:16 am

No.
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by UncleBob » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:28 am

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by UncleBob » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:31 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSKQ3ZNQ_O8
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by FredS » Mon Aug 27, 2018 12:25 pm

coco wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:17 am
Goats are.
Cat's too.

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by durangopipe » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:49 pm

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coco wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:17 am
Goats are.
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by DepartedLight » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:57 pm

Thunktank wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:16 am
No.
DL Jake

Feel free to use that quote in your signature. Stanley76 » 22 Feb 2019 21:50

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by CodeMonkey » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:18 pm

I don't know if they are evil, but they sure make a lot of people look like idiots

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Sir Moose » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:50 am

Animals evil? No.
Animals act in a way that if a person acted the same way we would consider the person evil? Yes.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Onyx » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:14 am

Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:50 am
Animals evil? No.
Animals act in a way that if a person acted the same way we would consider the person evil? Yes.
That’s pretty interesting. What if the animal is thinking basically the same thing as the person, with the same motivation as the person when he does it? Is it still not evil?

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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by Sir Moose » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:36 am

Onyx wrote:
Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:50 am
Animals evil? No.
Animals act in a way that if a person acted the same way we would consider the person evil? Yes.
That’s pretty interesting. What if the animal is thinking basically the same thing as the person, with the same motivation as the person when he does it? Is it still not evil?
‘Evil’ requires a moral/spiritual component that animals lack.


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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by tuttle » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:55 am

Onyx wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:14 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:50 am
Animals evil? No.
Animals act in a way that if a person acted the same way we would consider the person evil? Yes.
That’s pretty interesting. What if the animal is thinking basically the same thing as the person, with the same motivation as the person when he does it? Is it still not evil?
This is a good question. The problem is how do we figure out if the animal is actually thinking/motivated as a person in their theoretically evil act?

I recall reading a story about how a gang of chimps more or less ambushed and killed another chimp. All indicators pointed to this being premeditated. Placed in human society, that's seemingly an act of premeditated murder, not unlike what we see in human 'gangs'. But how do we figure out the chimp's motive, especially without falling into the temptation to anthropomorphize them?
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Re: Can animals be evil?

Post by coco » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:29 am

tuttle wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:55 am
Onyx wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:14 am
Sir Moose wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:50 am
Animals evil? No.
Animals act in a way that if a person acted the same way we would consider the person evil? Yes.
That’s pretty interesting. What if the animal is thinking basically the same thing as the person, with the same motivation as the person when he does it? Is it still not evil?
This is a good question. The problem is how do we figure out if the animal is actually thinking/motivated as a person in their theoretically evil act?

I recall reading a story about how a gang of chimps more or less ambushed and killed another chimp. All indicators pointed to this being premeditated. Placed in human society, that's seemingly an act of premeditated murder, not unlike what we see in human 'gangs'. But how do we figure out the chimp's motive, especially without falling into the temptation to anthropomorphize them?
Start as an atheistic Darwinist, and then anima-pomorphize humans.
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