I found Melanie’s SYW questions today to be very interesting…
What do you believe but cannot prove?
That Gatsby loves me.
Do animals have morals? Exclude human beings from the equation please.
We can’t exclude humans because humans are the ones to define morals, but even given that, I think we can observe animals behaving in ways that may not benefit them personally or may even hurt them, but are good for their community as a whole. Elephants will stop what they’re doing to help a stray calf, for example. On the other side of the spectrum, a polar bear may eat her babies if she perceives there isn’t enough food for them all, since the babies would die anyway, and now she has a chance to live to reproduce again. But that’s what she’s programmed to do and she is following Polar Bear Rules, which benefit them as a whole though not necessarily one particular bear. We might applaud an action that breaks a rule and label it moral, but what if it ends up destroying the entire community?
I think we often delude ourselves that animals are so different from us in order to justify hunting, killing, eating, and otherwise exploiting them and ruining their habitats. But they may not be so different from us. We do that to people too, don’t we? Oops, I mentioned people, my bad.
Of course, even getting people to admit this about animals might not change much. I’m still eating meat on occasion, so there you go. I also eat eggs frequently and drink milk, which are just as bad. It’s hard to live in accordance with all our beliefs sometimes ~ Mark Manson says that people angst too much over chicken sandwiches, which is a form of “moral masturbation” and can prevent us from making any progress. Chickens may disagree however.
Is there inherent order in nature or is it all chaos and chance?
Both! Look at leaves and flowers and beehives to observe the beauty of natural order. But then comes a tornado to destroy it all. The universe was born in chaos, if you subscribe to the Big Bang Theory, and then sorted itself out according to the laws of physics. But what are the chances we’d end up exactly where we are right now, with me writing this reply on my lunch break? So random!
Where is your least favorite place in the world?
I’ll stick with places I’ve actually been, as opposed to ones I imagine are terrible… so I will say in a car on a curvy, narrow mountain or cliff road. Shudder.
Image from Melanie.
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