RE: Capuchin's show sense of justice/fair play

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Thu Sep 18 2003 - 07:16:39 EDT

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    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: []On
    >Behalf Of
    >Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2003 11:40 PM
    >As has been pointed out before, these experiments (and these days there
    >seems a report like this - supposedly linking human morality/language to
    >animal behaviour and vice versa - on a monthly basis) only show what
    >animals do in a _post-event_ situation. The behaviour is correlated to
    >post-event _results_ only, and is a post-cognitive phenomenon.

    I am not sure at all what you mean by this. Please define your terms. Are
    you saying that humans have precognition as opposed to animals who have
    post-cognition? What is that?

    >To conclude from an experiment like this that "human's sense of justice is
    >inherited and not a social construct" as these people are quick to do, is
    >misplaced. The only viable conclusion could be that animal 'morality' (more
    >accurately behaviour) is a results-based one.

    On a purely observational basis, I can't prove that you have any sense of
    justice at all. All I can do is observe your behavior. There is no
    difference between how we infer humans have a sense of justice and how we
    determine this for animals. Even language doesn't help us much here. Just
    because you say you have a highely developed sense of justice doesn't make
    it so. You might be a sociopath, you might be a robot who goes around
    proclaiming to all that you have a highly developed sense of justice.
    Behavior is all I can use to determine your value system, and you might be a
    robot programmed for the right behavior to fool me.

    >What these experiments can never do is to show the pre-meditative state of
    >animals and this is where humans come in.

    Shoot, I don't know if you have a pre-meditative state, whatever the heck
    that is. prove to this group you have a pre-meditative state--after you
    define your term.

    >Human beings seek justice for its own sake, not to get better quality food.
    >The sense of justice, real pre-meditative justice, can never evolve.

    Oh??? Have you ever compared salaries with your co-workers who are doing the
    same job? what do you feel like when you don't get as much as they?

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