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Why Do Humans Seem To Be The Only Life-Form On This Planet Which Really Enjoys Inflicting Suffering On Other Animals (Usually Of Their Own Species)?

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Atheist | 21:09 Wed 21st Feb 2024 | Science
37 Answers

Many animals kill to feed themselves, but they don't do it for pleasure (of course it could be argued that they do it for the pleasure of filling their bellies, but on the whole they don't  go beyond that). And they don't declare war or execute (without eating) non-believers or those of the wrong shape or skin-colour, nor do they inflict deliberate pain such as burning or flaying alive.

It seems that the higher the 'intelligence', the more gratuitously vicious they become. Domestic cats can appear to enjoy playing with a mouse, but I suspect that 'playing' is simply practising for when they are grown up and need to be adept at obtaining food.

Chimps and some marine predators seem to display more 'vicious' behaviour.

It seems to me that the higher the intelligence the more cruelty enters into it.




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Many species does. Cats play with mice, dolphins attack porpoises, chimps battle other chimps.

You're joking?

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OG: see above. Maybe read before you post.

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Roy; You've called me a clown in the past, so I can see why you think I'm joking.

You didn't see the blue whales tormenting dolphins on the Attenborough show? 

Male lions kill cubs. Nature is cruel

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I hope my readers realise that I am not attacking them or their beliefs. I am hoping for some interesting responses.

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Barry; I'm not sure that cruel is the right word. I do suspect that much bad behaviour is simply 'play' as the young learn to grow up and fed themselves.

But I do feel that higher intelligence leads to higher cruelty.

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Barry, I have seen marine animals behaving badly, and I think they are pretty intelligent.


And are Humans the only creature on the planet that help other Humans when they are hungry or ill or dieing ?

Chimps are surprisingly evil.  They kill intentionally.  They are very much like heir cousins - Humans.



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Barry; I don't think that male lions kill cubs for the fun of it.

The 'fun of it' is what I am talking about, not natural survival behaviour.

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wolf: I'm not sure that religious people would agree that animals can be evil.

Barry - Male lions kill cubs to prevent them growing up and challenging dominance, and with it the chance to further genetic domination of the pride.

More sophisticated behaviour may equate to more 'cruelty', but we should be aware of attributing animal behaviours as comparable or equivalent to ours by anthromorphipication.

what about some species of ants who kill the adults and then enslave the young to work for them?

Where have I called you a clown?

Male lions who have found a new mate will kill all existing cubs.  This ensures that the lioness goes into season and have his babies.

I think that the difference is that humans decide to do something cruel whilst knowing it is wrong.

Domestic cats are an oxymoron.  They are intelligent enough to manipulate humans and live in our homes.  But they still have a really wild side and can be unpredictable.  They are also highly entertaining.



Cats are also murderous b@s....

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Roy; I can't remember, and I might even be wrong. But there was a time when I think you were very rude to me (I think based on a misunderstanding on your part). I don't hold it against you and if I am wrong, I will gladly apologise.

I don't need to read further. If you already know the initial statement is false then there's no point.

just so, wolf, that's about genetics, not fun: kill your predecessor's kids to make room for your own. Sometimes when I read news stories of men killing stepchildren I think the same principle is at work; the men are just more primitive than most.

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