The Bonobo And The Atheist Frans De Waal

801 Words 4 Pages
Humans and animals have always been viewed as separate, but in truth we are one and the same. In The Bonobo and the Atheist Frans de Waal makes an argument about how are not different and that one trait many argue makes us different, our morals, is not just indicative of us. De Waal shows many examples of morals in animals, but it is apparent that there morals are still different then ours. Human and other animals share similar moral traits but they differ in their development, and scope of altruism. To begin let us look at how humans develop morals on an individual level, Lawrence Kohlberg looked deeply into this idea. He saw human morals develop in a series of stages, “Kohlberg and his associates defined six stages of moral development …show more content…
Humans and animals can both express and recognize altruism in an individual level, however humans use altruism in a more complex manner, to not just benefit themselves, but their environment as a whole, looking out not only for other groups of humans, but also for the physical environment and other species. Human altruism is pretty apparent, many people donate to food banks or spend time working in soup kitchens. Altruism is also seen in apes as shown on page 4 of The Bonobo and the Atheist,“apes will voluntarily open a door to offer a companion access to food, even if they lose part of it in the process.” The difference in altruism it seems is in scope. For example humans seem to be able to work in favor of the natural environment, for example in The Forest, Unseen, the author David Haskell is confronted with the presence of golfballs in his mandala, his “first impulse, is to restore the mandala, to “purify” by removing the plastic balls.” (p157) While individual acts of intra-species altruism have been recorded in other animals, there is no evidence of animals thinking so far as to improve their ecosystem as a whole, this impulse that Haskell had, seems to be a truly human

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