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Thread: toldailytopic: Is lying to an animal immoral?

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    Over 3000 post club zoo22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traditio View Post
    To lie is to express a falsehood with the intention of deceiving (or something like that). In order to deceive someone, you pass off an untruth for truth. But in order to conceive of something is true, you must have an intellect, the very formal object of which is truth.

    Animals aren't rational beings. They don't have intellects. They can't be deceived in the strictest sense.
    Sure they are, sure they do, and sure they can.

    Obviously you can too. Be deceived, I mean. In fact, you seem to do it to yourself all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inzl Kett View Post
    [COLOR=seagreen]One has to be able to reason to understand the concept of lying, something that the animal kingdom altogether lacks. There is a qualitative difference between humans and animals, not just quantitative. They are made in the image of God, enabling them to understand concepts such as lying.
    Apes are quite capable of inferring mental states in others, and taking advantage of them. Apes having been trained to use sign language frequently lie when they think they might be in trouble.

    Carl Sagan recounts the chimp, who when asked who urinated on the lab floor, blamed a human researcher.

    And Koko, a gorilla capable of signing, once told a handler that the cat pulled a sink off the wall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knight View Post
    toldailytopic: Is lying to an animal immoral?



    you mean like telling a tiger you're going to push it out of an airplane to see if human morals apply to it and then not doing it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoo22 View Post
    Sure they are, sure they do, and sure they can.
    "Rational animal" is the definition of a human being. If you claim that animals are rational, have intellects, and can be deceived, you're basically saying that they're human beings. But maybe "rational" and "intellect" is ambiguous.

    It's come to my attention that, apparently, rational may mean "problem solving" in modern terms. Certainly I'll grant that animals have a problem solving capacity, and St. Thomas calls this "the estimative power," which is called "particular reason" in human beings, the power according to which we perceive particulars as particulars, and also as objects of appetition, avoidance or neither.

    Thus, if a dog jumps onto a person's lap, he perceives the person's lap as being, for example, "sittable," desirable for this reason, and seeks out the lap as an object of appetition.

    But "rational" or "intellect" in the sense that I mean it (and the two terms, I think, are not entirely identical) refer to the knowing faculty. It's that according to which we know the truth. The intellect grasps:

    1. What things are
    2. The "to be" of things that are

    So the formal object of the intellect is being. When the intellect is speculative, it conceives of being as true. When the intellect is practical, it conceives of being as good.

    When the intellect conceives of essences, it conceives the universal: "caninity as such," "horseness as such," "humanity as such." The universal is immaterial and only can be present in an immaterial intellect. As St. Thomas Aquinas argues, the intellect has a potentially infinite range of knowing; thus, the intellect can't be the act of a corporeal body, since this would limit the range of the intellect's act.

    Thus, we know that the intellectual soul is separable from the body (it continues both in its existence and its operation (it's act of knowing) even after the death of the body).

    None of these things are true of brute animals. A dog doesn't sit around contemplating "horseness as such," nor does a dog have an immortal intellectual soul.

    Obviously you can too. Be deceived, I mean. In fact, you seem to do it to yourself all the time.
    Are you sore with me for some reason? Have I offended you in some way?

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    How exactly does one 'lie' to an animal?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    Oh! You mean those kind of animals. Boy did I miss the whole point of this thread!

    Nah, I was just funnin! Umm, hurt your head?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inzl Kett View Post
    Unusual Question. One has to be able to reason to understand the concept of lying, something that the animal kingdom altogether lacks. There is a qualitative difference between humans and animals, not just quantitative. They are made in the image of God, enabling them to understand concepts such as lying. An animal, even a dolphin is not going to understand that you told it a lie. Animals live for procreation and eating. Smarter ones enjoy play. They are not emotionally impacted by moral concepts such as lying. Banjo the dog only knows you didn't put out his doggie dish. He doesn't know you promised to do it and didn't. Lying to an animal-loopy, but not immoral.
    Well said Inzl.

    Since animals don't understand words, only the tone of voice that those words are used in, you would only be lying to yourself if you made an animal a promise.
    My dad was a dog trainer, he'd shout out commands in Spanish and get the same results as when he did in English. (Maybe the dogs were bilingual?).
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemeorhateme View Post
    How exactly does one 'lie' to an animal?

    Example. Telling a dog it is cute when it looks like THIS:

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    Quote Originally Posted by vegascowboy View Post
    Example. Telling a dog it is cute when it looks like THIS:

    Whoa....I really don't think I could bring myself to tell that big a whopper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemeorhateme View Post
    How exactly does one 'lie' to an animal?

    You deceive them. Make them understand something that isn't true. Animals can understand things we tell them, and animals put their trust in us.

    I don't think it's immoral to lie to an animal unless the end result is immoral... Like, you can shake the leash to tell the dog you're going for a walk when you're actually going to the vet, but that's fine; there's not really much way to explain to them it's in their best interest. We can only communicate with them to a point. But if you're tricking them into like, going to the dogfights, that's getting immoral. If the intent of the deceit is to use an animal's trust in you as their caretaker to hurt them unnecessarily, I think that starts getting immoral.
    "There was so much handwriting on the wall that even the wall fell down"

    "In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. The surest path to wisdom is a liberal education." Alfred Whitney, Essays on Education

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    TH:

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    Quote Originally Posted by IMJerusha View Post
    Unusual question. Answer: Yes. All of my animals receive the greatest respect and consideration...including my husband!
    That's funny, I thought you were made to be his assistant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glorydaz View Post
    Whoa....I really don't think I could bring myself to tell that big a whopper.
    I don't even think I could talk to that dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoo22 View Post
    You deceive them. Make them understand something that isn't true. Animals can understand things we tell them, and animals put their trust in us.

    I don't think it's immoral to lie to an animal unless the end result is immoral... Like, you can shake the leash to tell the dog you're going for a walk when you're actually going to the vet, but that's fine; there's not really much way to explain to them it's in their best interest. We can only communicate with them to a point. But if you're tricking them into like, going to the dogfights, that's getting immoral. If the intent of the deceit is to use an animal's trust in you as their caretaker to hurt them unnecessarily, I think that starts getting immoral.
    Yeah, I hate to see people who call their dogs all sweet like and then they beat them half to death. That's just plain evil. Course, if the dog had just bitten your baby and the only way you could lay hands on him.......well, sometimes extreme actions require extreme measures. I love my dogs, but sometimes I've had to give them quite a lickin' for their own good. Poor things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I don't even think I could talk to that dog!
    Probably the hardest thing would be keeping your stomach settled while you did it. Poor little thing.

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    Lies you don't want to tell animals:

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