I want to start out this post by reporting that Ed and Eddy have been consistently climbing the stairs for about a week now. I think it initially started because they realized that each time they climb the stairs themselves I give them a treat. Duck treats are their fave but any will do.
A few years ago, in a philosophy class, a professor once told us that a dog’s happiness is less valuable than a human’s happiness. As an animal lover this theory doesn’t sit right at all for me. It came from one of those who believes that dogs (and all non-human animals) lack souls, this is the Cartisian view because while they say that logic is innate for humans it is not for animals. So to sum it all up, this is because a dog is not as smart as a human. This is a slippery slope though, with that line of reasoning a stupid or mentally challenged person’s life would also be less valuable than a smart person. To be fair a great many people do feel this way though. Hume was one philosopher to have a different opinion. While he did believe that our reasoning methods differ from that of our animal companions, he did also believe that we all as life forms use logic. He did however still doubt that animals have a capacity for moral reasoning.
It seems to me clear that an animal would have the capacity to reason. Perhaps their morals are different from human morals but if anything from what I’ve seen their logic is often better. They after all do run their own animal communities in the wild, and even domesticated animals ability to learn commands shows a degree of rationality. They make choices to get what they need and/or want constantly, as do we. Now is their reasoning moral? That’s a question I can not honestly answer. It is true that animals do not seem to have the same set of morals as humans but couldn’t it be that they make the best moral choices for their own kind. I know humans have always been inclined to think of everything in terms of themselves but this is yet another another flaw in the human design.
Humans all have different degrees of morality and so, reasonably speaking, it would seem as though dogs and cats and all other animals probably do too.