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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Men and Animals

Men and Animals

It is commonly accepted that the human society has been constantly developing from

the ancient age, when man could only make small things of use, up until the modern

age, when he can now do and make everything including jet planes, man has been highly

valued.

He is an animal with a conscience and because of this, he has been able to push himself

to a higher level above other animals.

However, some philosophers do not share this concept. They think men are very bad,

even though they can think. In fact, it is because men can think that they can use

tricks, tell lies, betray the group or country, use power to suppress, threaten and

subdue the spirits of other men. As for animals, they have no conscience and therefore

cannot think. They live in accordance with their instinctive behavior. If they bite

each other, they will do it straight away without playing any tricks.

And they never bear any malice against one another. Men are very ambitious, whereas

animals are not: when animals are hungry, they eat until they are full and walk away.

"Men are naturally good, but the society changes their goodness, and if possible

we should go back to the primitive age," said 18th century French philosopher

Jean Jacques Rousseau.

In this context, he means that the primitive people live in a perfect society, but

later on, the development of thought makes them know how to use tricks, bear malice

and betray each other.

Therefore, if possible, we should go back to the primitive collective society.

Khieu Seng Kim is the brother of Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan.

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