Originally Posted by listopencil
We didn't diverge from all animals in this. Here's and easy example. Your dog knows that it's not supposed to get into the trash can. You come home from work and your dog has knocked it over. Big mess in the kitchen. Look at your dog. Some dogs are stupid and will just look at back at you with a "Derp?" face. Otherwise you will see remorse, guilt and fear. The dog knows it has done something wrong. If you treat it in a certain way you can train it (most dogs) not to knock over the can anymore. In effect you instituted morals in your dog. He knows right from wrong and makes the decision not to "commit evil."
I could give you a lot of examples of moral/ethical behavior in animals but I have to go to bed. Work in the AM. I'll be back tomorrow.
Two issues come to mind. 1) Supposing the dog knows he does wrong, that feeling is still taught to him by humans. Had it not been for training, that dog would have made a mess in the kitchen and gone about his day no matter how intelligent of a dog he is. 2) The dog knows he did wrong because of the reaction from the human and the poor consequences that follow. Human gets angry; dog gets put in kennel or outside or hit w/ newspaper or whatever standard dog training is; kennel/outside is not comfortable, human angry voice is disturbing, and hit w/ newspaper feels bad.
But a dog cannot tell you why it is bad to make the mess in the kitchen. He has no idea the values that are associated with whatever it is humans think bad, whether it be making a mess in the kitchen or eating the 2 mo old child.