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thinking a little less obscurely what an animal feels Options
vkhu
Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 1:18:58 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/18/2012
Posts: 590
Neurons: 4,337
Quote:
“But,” said I, “I still do not understand. Where is your justification for inflicting all this pain? The only thing that could excuse vivisection to me would be some application—”

“Precisely,” said he. “But, you see, I am differently constituted. We are on different platforms. You are a materialist.”

“I am not a materialist,” I began hotly.

“In my view—in my view. For it is just this question of pain that parts us. So long as visible or audible pain turns you sick; so long as your own pains drive you; so long as pain underlies your propositions about sin,—so long, I tell you, you are an animal, thinking a little less obscurely what an animal feels. This pain—”

I gave an impatient shrug at such sophistry.

~ The Island of Doctor Moreau


I's not sure how to understand the part in bold. Was Dr. Moreau (the one talking to the narrator) trying to say if pain is at the core of a man's life, then he's no more than an animal and what he thinks of as "thinking" is just a more complex version of "feeling"? Or was he saying as long as pain is core to a man's existence and the man stays an animal, then his "thinking" is actually animalistic "feeling"?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, September 24, 2017 3:14:41 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 26,892
Neurons: 146,885
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
You are right - it is (as the narrator says) tricky and plausible reasoning.
Whether it is wrong (sophistry) depends on your philosophy.

So long as . . . your own pains drive you, . . . you are an animal. . .

"thinking a little less obscurely what an animal feels" - this says that the 'human animal' thinks a little more clearly (less obscurely) than other animals - but only a little less obscurely.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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