Be open-minded and healthily skeptical
“Be open-minded and healthily skeptical,” I recommend my students in their pursuit of knowledge. “Open-mindedness and critical reasoning are your map and compass on your journey to knowledge, but without desire, as without a canteen, you won’t get anywhere,” I say to them.
Nós queremos protegê-los, que precisam mais, as nossas crianças e os nossos animais. nós queremos continuar a oferecer o "conhecimento para todos, em qualquer lugar", com cursos grátis e blogs. Junte-se a nós, compre "Cães e crianças" pelo preço de um café e um bolo. Ajude-nos a ajudar.
I do enjoy being kind to other animals, respecting them for what they are and interacting with them on equal terms (Picture by Lisa J. Bain).
I cannot argue with people who believe it right to bully others (including non-human animals) as, even though I can illustrate how bullying does not lead to harmony, I can’t make anyone choose harmony or define it in a particular way. I cannot argue with people who think it acceptable to hurt others in order to achieve their goals because such means are inadmissible to me. I cannot argue with people who deny or affirm a particular matter of fact as a means of justifying their moral conduct, because my mind rejects invalid, unsound arguments.
With time, the rational principles that govern my mind and the ethical principles that regulate my conduct may prove to be the fittest. Meanwhile, as a result of genetic pre-programming, social conditioning and evolutionary biology, I do enjoy being kind to other animals, respecting them for what they are and interacting with them on equal terms; I don’t believe it is right to subjugate them to my will, to control them, to change them; and I don’t need a rational justification as to why that’s right for me.
Animal Training My Way—The Merging of Ethology and Behaviorism by Roger Abrantes.
This book is about making simple things simpler but not simpler than necessary. It’s about knowing what you want and what you need to get it. It’s about training animals, changing their behavior and creating harmonious relationships, but it’s foremost about training ourselves and changing our behavior.
The biggest difference between us and them is not that we reason and they don’t.
The biggest difference between them and us is not that we can reason, and they can’t. If you want to see rational behavior, look at the dog. If you want to see emotional behavior, look at the owner.
Of course, some animals, other than humans, do reason. They have well-developed brains, are goal-seeking, and they acquire, store, retrieve, and process information. Research shows that other animals than humans also understand rules, i.e., that a series of events must happen in a particular sequence to produce a specific effect.
Animals of many species are capable of solving a wide range of problems that involve abstract reasoning. The problem is that most of our research projects into animal cognition have either been dominated by behaviorism—its conditioning methods almost turning animals into automatons—or have focused on particular human characteristics like speaking and counting.
The common depiction of the ladder of nature, on which the various species occupy successively higher levels, places humans at the top. However, animals have distinct kinds of cognitive processes depending on how they have adapted to their different ecological niches.
Which brings us back to Darwin—the difference between humans and other animals is “one of degree and not of kind.” (1871 in “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.”)
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