Knowing what is wrong is not enough to stay away from making mistakes like lying, cheating, hurting, taking revenge, punishing, and offending. However, why do so many people pleasure themselves in taking revenge? Every single one of us is aware that doing this is wrong and bad, and it is going to hurt someone, yet we still do it. We are self-centered; we are allowing ourselves to judge and decide what is fair and what is not. Indeed, humans can harbor insults or offenses and then wait (D) for the best chance to take revenge.
We do unnecessary things we could avoid doing just because it is pleasant for us to see someone else suffer. This is just one of many peculiarities of the human mind (DI). Unfortunately, the only power able to stop humans from doing bad things in their mind (1), which is considered much more powerful than the minds of all other animals (2), it is the source of the best decisions and achievements as well as the most horrifying disasters (3).
The well known American writer and author of great novels Mark Twain has demonstrated a new side of himself in this essay called “The Lowest Animal.” Twain is known for his sharp philosophical mind and clever ironical humor. His works are loved and admired by people all over the world; both children and adults read his books and enjoy them.
“The Lowest Animal” Is different from other works of Mark Twain. It appeared after the death of the author in 1910 to show Mark Twain’s readers that the writer had a darker side (Nordquist, par. 1). The essay was written as a reaction to a conflict between Muslims and Christians in Crete, the abuse of morals and judgment. Human minds are impressive and dangerous, they make us stand out in the world of animals, and they also make us worse than animals in some aspects.
Avoiding the temptations and leading a proper forgiving and peaceful lifestyle is considered extremely difficult; this is why only a few people choose to walk this path. We call them monks. Monks live in groups or alone far away from the rest of the society, restricted by many laws and rules, and avoid penetrating the society in order not to obtain the wrong morals by mistake. In his article, Mark Twain sees religion as an aggressor, creating more conflicts on a moral basis (3).
Some monks punish themselves and create artificial difficulties and sufferings for their bodies and minds to train themselves to be more resistant. This example is perfect for demonstrating (D) that even the most religious people are unable to control their human minds fully and avoid letting their emotions take over.
Animals are widely considered a more primitive form of life than humans. Their brains are less developed, their range of emotions is smaller, and their thinking is very simple. However, in most cases, animals make right choices simply because their minds are not bothered by the huge range of confusions and temptations humans can feel. In the animal world, everything is simple; there are no mid-tones (C).
When there is a fight, there is no unnecessary cruelty; animals kill to eat or because they protect themselves. Humans kill for multiple reasons: for power, for fame, for authority, for revenge, and of course, for pleasure.
Humanity is complicated and multi-layered (IC). As soon as someone invented a form of cheating, others have to adjust and avoid becoming the victims of the cheater (DC), they come up with a more skillful way to cheat. Faulty development of one mind leads to the faulty development of the surrounding minds in response. This has been going on for centuries.
Human minds are brilliant. The human brain is the only organ that studies, changes, and analyzes itself (Sirota, par. 2). There are so many features that distinguish our minds from the minds of animals: humor, appreciation of beauty, self-consciousness, awareness of death, the meaning of life. Furthermore, the development of tricky minds has probably become the main force of the human mind evolution. We had to become flexible (C) and inventive to survive not only in nature but in our society.
The human mind games (C) were turning more and more complicated and cruel, civilization appeared thousands of years ago, but civilized ways of co-existence are still hard to maintain. This is how human minds turned out to become the sources of the best and the worst decisions and actions. The difference between human and animal minds is that the human mind is rational; it can analyze, predict, and prevent their own mistakes.
Nowadays, there is no explanation of the ways the human mind operates (Schleifer, par. 2). Evolution has no answers. However, our brilliant flexible minds are strong enough to rise above all the lower desires and temptations; they are skilled enough to judge between true values and faulty values.
If we are so embarrassed to be compared to the lowest animals, why do we still behave in the same way? A persistent tone of this paper works to encourage the thought process of a reader. It is aimed at bringing awareness of our strengths and weaknesses.
Nordquist, R. The Lowest Animal, by Mark Twain: the cat is innocent, man is not. 2014. Web.
Sirota, D. How Can the Brain Understand Itself? 2013. Web.
Schleifer, B. G. Human Mind vs. Animal Brain: Why So Different? 2014. Web.
Twain, M. The Lowest Animal. Web.