This is part 1 of my post. Part 2 is here:
Hello. I’d like to ask a question about animals. After learning quite a bit about animal behavior and intelligence I was led to believe that not all animal behaviors are pure instinct or pure instinctive reaction. Chimpanzees for example have been shown to be able to learn somewhat more complex tasks than many other animals as well as play some memory games. Not only that, they also have a rudimentary form and sense of a hierarchy and they’re also known to sometimes kill other chimpanzees from other territories (and may even cannibalize them if they want to) and take over their territory and resources. Some pet gorillas have been taught sign language as well and elephants may engage in a behavior that resembles mourning when a fellow elephant dies. Therefore I concluded that at least some animals have a little of morality and logic. Therefore they CAN’T be 0% guilty if they do something bad. If I say that they are 0% guilty and their behavior is just instinct, I feel that I’m disrespecting the idea of morality. There is some guilt therefore. Even a cognitive scientist seemed to agree when he told me that he’s heard from primatologists that a zoo’s chimp can reach the logical capabilities (but not the linguistic ones) and moral culpability (when doing something bad) of a 5 year old child. So, either being in God’s image involves a little more than just being logical and moral, or their levels of logic and morality aren’t enough somehow. If I say the chimpanzees act badly, sort of immorally, and I still want to believe that they’re not in God’s image (I don’t believe that they are in God’s image nor want to) how do I do it? How do you people, knowing these things, deal with this?
Edit: in order to clarify things for those that didn’t understand my question well enough: I don’t mean they’re sinful (since they’re not aware of God and heaven), I mean they just do something bad when they know it’s bad and therefore are bad when doing it.