Friday, May 9, 2008

Reverse Anthropomorphism...

Frans de Waal speaks of anthropodenial: a blindness to the humanlike characteristics of other animals, or the animal-like characteristics of ourselves. Surely this is a condition endured by the hunter, the politician, the whaler, the exterminator, the butcher, the fly swatter maker, the angry zoo keeper, the dog kicker... really anyone who disobeys the golden rule in dealing with animals.

De Waal emphatically states, "...what philosophers call moral sentiments can be seen in other species. In chimpanzees and other animals, you see examples of sympathy, empathy, reciprocity, a willingness to follow social rules. Dogs are a good example of a species that have and obey social rules; that's why we like them so much, even though they're large carnivores."

There is a way of organizing the human psyche - "Chainism" I call it - whereupon man sits the top of a divine power pyramid (i.e. the food chain) and exerts his superiority over anything below him, in part, owing to the oppressive fear of what does or does not sit above him.

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