THEY Vs. WE- Who is better?

In the 18th century, Rene Descartes, a well-known philosopher and mathematician remarked- “Animals are just automata red-blooded machines without thoughts or wishes.” Now, in the parlance of the 21st century, if a remark has to be given about “human beings- the so-called advanced beings at the apex of the creation pyramid.” What do you think it would be? Perhaps, an enhanced version of the above statement, also encompassing the traits like feelings and emotions! In your perspective- animals or humans- which category will score more when it comes to care, concern, loyalty, understanding, selflessness etc. in relationships? To deduce the answer, just ponder over some of the startling facts mentioned below.


An experiment was conducted in 1958 on rats. The set up was such that the hungry rats were fed only on the condition that they pull a lever which would risk the lives of their fellows. What do you think the hungry rodents did? Well, they ‘didn’t’ pull the lever even though it was in their interest! Yes, they have a sense of empathy for their fellow beings. A similar study came up with similar results in 1964 by Psychiatrist Jules Massetman. In this, the monkeys were supposed to pull a chain that on one hand delivered food, but on the other hand hurt another monkey. The surprise was that one monkey in that group did not pull them even after 12 days, and preferred to starve for saving the life of his companion. Surprising, isn’t!

Now take a look at this statistics. Today on the basis of the data collected by the eastern University Criminologist, Alan tells the number of children killed by their own parents. Yes, you read it right! Unlike the rodents and monkeys of the above-mentioned studies who were reluctant to kill their fellow-being;, these human beings do not hesitate to smash down their own off-springs!

The following incidents taken from the same report, along with other sources, reveal the prominent reasons as to why parents kill their children-

  • A 39-year-old mother in Utah strangled her six new-born kids because (as stated by police) she was addicted to drugs and could not take care of them.

… This is just a sample… there is an endless list of such causes! Ghastly, isn’t it?

Wait! That was parents killing their children; there exists a flipped version as well, i.e. children killing their parents! Owing to this grisly act of human beings only, terms like parricide (killing one’s own father or mother), patricide (murdering one’s own father) and matricide (murdering one’s own mother) find their existence in the dictionaries! These terms were coned by ancient Greeks and there are stories associated with them. …

Over a period of time, several researches have been done in order to trace the root-cause behind such grisly acts. It was a notion earlier that those who commit such acts suffer from a specific mental disease. However, the reality was poles apart! Ley ton, 1990 brought to light the fact that “mental patients are rather less likely to be homicidal than the normal ones!”

What actions should be taken in order to recourse such kind of inhuman behaviour, read the complete article in Feb’18 edition of English Akhand Gyan Monthly Magazine.

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