David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Zygon 44 (3):613-624 (2009)
Recent advances in evolutionary biology and ethology suggest that humans are not the only species capable of empathy and possibly morality. These findings are of no little consequence for theology, given that a nonhuman animal as a free moral agent would beg the question if human beings are indeed uniquely created in God's image. I argue that apes and some other mammals have moral agency and that a traditional interpretation of the imago Dei is incorrectly equating specialness with exclusivity. By framing the problem in terms of metaphor, following the work of Paul Ricoeur and Sallie McFague, I propose that the concept of the imago Dei could be extended to accommodate moral species other than our own.
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References found in this work BETA
Marc Hauser (2006). Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong. Harper Collins.
David Hume (1739/2000). A Treatise of Human Nature. Oxford University Press.
David Premack & G. Woodruff (1978). Does the Chimpanzee Have a Theory of Mind? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (4):515-629.
Amanda Seed & Michael Tomasello (2010). Primate Cognition. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):407-419.
Citations of this work BETA
Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (2014). The Imago Dei as a Work in Progress: A Perspective From Paleoanthropology. Zygon 49 (1):135-156.
Alan M. W. Porter (2013). Do Animals Have Souls? An Evolutionary Perspective. Heythrop Journal 54 (2):533-542.
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