June 11, 2012

Better than animals

“Even when they don’t know much—or not at all—about Americans, many Indians think that Indians are generally better than Americans.  Do you think it’s correct to think that way?”  When I ask people this question, they almost always say “No, it’s not appropriate to think ill of others without knowing them well”.  Or they’d say “It’s incorrect to generalise all Americans or Indians that way”.

However, when I discuss morality with them, an argument they love to put forth is that “We are humans, shouldn’t we be better than animals?”  I just don’t understand why.  Vast majority of us don’t know much about the lives animals live.  We don’t know why individual’s free will should yield to society’s morals.  We can’t be sure if we are actually better than animals to begin with.  But somehow we as a society have to live “better” than animals!

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