letters to surfers

how do we differ from the other animals?

by robert brow

Dear V.,

 You asked what made us any different from the other animals. I did not say we are "above" the animal kingdom. But I do believe we are different in the way we respond to what hits us. Animals have some built-in instinctive reactions, as we do. And some of them use vast amounts of intelligence (bees, dolphins, chimpanzees). For all I know they may discuss and argue about the proper response among themselves.

 What characterizes the human animal in all races and countries (I have worked in three continents) is that he and she make moral judgments, discuss moral situations, and make moral commitments which vary immensely depending on the inner logic of the religion or ideology to which they are committed.



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