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Animals are not moral, aesthetic, idealistic, or religious (Talk.Origins)

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Response Article
This article (Animals are not moral, aesthetic, idealistic, or religious (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.


Claim CA630:

Evolution says humans are animals, but humans are moral, esthetic, idealistic, and religious, and animals are not.

Source:

  • Morris, Henry M. 1985. Scientific Creationism. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, p. 196.

CreationWiki response:

(Talk.Origins quotes in blue)

1. It is not just evolution that says humans are animals. Any basic biology says that.

Talk Origins is taking this out of context. Morris is not speaking biologically, but philosophically and spiritually.

While biologically we are animals, in many ways, (as stated in the claim) we are more than animals. Furthermore what Evolution says is that humans are nothing but animals.

2. Who says animals are not moral, aesthetic, idealistic, or religious? Many animals show altruistic behavior..

Talk Origins is confusing biological altruism for true altruism. Biological altruism is any behavior of organism that benefits other organisms, at a cost to that itself, while true altruism requires a conscious intention to help another.

Others show respect for their dead

This is a baseless statement. No references or examples are given by which its validity can be evaluated.

Some writers have claimed, not entirely in jest, that animals are more moral than humans.

This is confusing moral activity with a sense of morality. In other words, some animal behaviors appear to coincide with humankind's ideas of moral behavior, but there is no evidence that animals themselves behave "morally" or according to any code of conduct. Further, it is only man's sense of morality that would interpret some animal behaviors as somehow "moral." Without that human interpretation, no one would consider their behavior moral. In referring to man as moral, Morris was referring to man having a sense of morality and not necessarily behaving morality.

Evolution would suggest that humans are not any more special than any other animal. (This is the position taken by Richard Dawkins, for example[1].) But humans are unique in their sense of morality and moral behavior, and this remains a problem for evolution. Evolutionists themselves admit that "A central problem for evolutionary biologists interested in animal communication is to explain why animal signalers generally are truthful."[2]

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