Scientific evidence suggests that some animals possess a moral code, some even having similar feelings of love, justice, and pride. Dolphins name each other and some bonobo chimpanzees can even speak to humans not only through electronics but with the English language. Elephants hold "funerals" and mourn the death of another like we do.
When conditioned to a specific environment, pets will often hide from their keepers when it has been discovered that they have done wrong. They seem to understand that the keeper is furious, and why. The hiding displayed will continue until 'judgment has been served', whereupon they will act as if nothing happened.
Pets craving attention will make 'begging' / whimpering sounds akin to an animal in distress. Is that because they know how they feel when another animal is begging, and deploy this as a tactic to manipulate the keeper? When a pack animal submits to the leader, similar behaviour?
Whenever a dog does something it knows it shouldn't, it shows that it did it in some way or another. The other day, my dog when through the trash and you could tell he did it just by the look on his face. You can't tell me that's just coincidence!
Humans just happened to be superior in terms of intelligence doesn't makes them that they are the only one who understand morality. Morality is fundamental and can be seen in most of the animals. Alas! we are not intelligent enough to understand the language of animals it would have been much easier. Anyways, my point being there is always "some-level of morality in animals" some animals have better understanding of it some don't. But you can't just bluntly say they don't have any sense of morality.
If they dont' have any moral -level then explain me why
-sparrow feeding her kids
-dogs being loyal
-ants being social
When you look at most animals in the wild and study them in their natural habitats, you will find them acting in very human ways, such as in the way that they handle their young, their elderly, and how leadership is handled. This can quite easily be translated into a moral or social responsibility, much like humans exhibit.
As a horse owner, I can tell you that I have personally witnessed the moral code/social responsibility in a herd. A horse that tries to shake up the ranks or generally interferes with the peace and well-being of the herd is shunned or shut out. Herd animals especially appreciate the need for a group mentality, one that generates the sense that they are far stronger in numbers than any single animal would be alone. And, as a result, they do adhere to a certain social responsibility.
Many animals also have types of moral codes or responsibilities. In a group of lions, for example, there are certain codes related to status and the leader of the group. Furthermore, there are different responsibilities in the group, based on a lion's status and gender. While they naturally have no written law or code, one still exists.
Quite often, I have seen situations where a sick animal is being accompanied by another animal, and also situations where a dog or cat is babysitting a child. Also, most of the animals, even in the wild, move in a group and try to be a close family. They also attack predators together. They also share common resources, like food and water.
I believe that animals do have some sort of social responsibility amongst themselves. We sometimes see the female animal take care of the baby, and the male animal hunt for food. We see them interact with one another, and they communicate in their special way. So, they might just live in a society very different from the human race's.
This is a tricky question. As with people, animals vary vastly. Some species are "loners", but for the most part an animal will display a certain loyalty to their own group. Whether this is a moral code or self preservation is as debatable as any moral a human will exhibit.
Even watching animals, you can see when they're offended by things. They nip and make noises at each other as if to say "why did you do that?". Their conduct is obviously a lot more lax then ours, but it's still there. They just aren't as easily offended by little things like we are.
I do believe that in certain animal groups there is a form of moral social order that is used to balance nature. Examples of this is most prevalent in countries where many animal groups are forced to co-exist together, such as Africa and Asia where oftentimes, lions, hippopotamus', and elephants all drink and feed from the same river, respecting each others right to survive.
While it is not true for all animals, nearly all have a moral code. For example, the wolf pack will adopt an "Alpha" male, which makes their choices, has mating rights, and is instrumental to the group's survival. It is this male's responsibility. In Gorillas and Kangaroo, we note the same traits; there will be a leading male, the strongest, governing the group. It is also noteworthy to point out that the females take care of all the children in the group.
If you have ever watched ants in their natural habitat, you will see them working together to accomplish common goals. This implies that they have a sense of responsibility to their group. Herding dogs seem to feel responsible for keeping sheep or their human families in a group. Animals take responsibility for their babies and have been known to show grief when a baby or parent dies. I think the fact that animals demonstrate emotions and a sense of responsibility indicate that they have a moral code.
Many animal gatherings like that of wolves or elephants always have some form of leader. This leader is at the forefront of decisions made for the pack and usually involves the lives of multiple animals. These decisions are made on a "fight or flight" mentality which can consist of defense or eating.
Animals have social systems which they live by. If you study a group of animals, you will see that they treat each other in certain ways based on their position, their gender, their age, and their status within the group. Animals definitely have a social order. They even exhibit use of a social system when living with humans.
The evidence of social responsibilities is most easily seen in domesticated dogs. A dog who believes itself to be the alpha animal in a household will exhibit many behavior "disorders" when the people around it don't follow particular rules. When someone leaves the house, the dog will become anxious, as it believes it's job as alpha is to keep track of and protect the other pack members. If it is aware that the people are above it in the hierarchy, it will be much less anxious, since it is acceptable for alpha pack members to leave at their own discretion. Among bonobo chimpanzees, we also see advanced social contracts, with the older members of clans taking responsibility for reassuring and nurturing the younger members, even those not directly related. Both of these examples are obvious social contracts, since in the wild, animals who do not follow them are ostracized or given much lower social status within the pack.
Anyone around a pack of dogs will see that sometimes the alpha ( leader ) will kill a challenger that tries to claim leadership of the pack. Cats will kill mice. Dogs will kill rats. Animals will attack and kill each other. They do not have a social agreement between themselves like humans do.
Animals were created by God to be lower than humans. They do not possess the ability to think and reason like human beings do. Therefore they can not live according to a logical moral code or have orderly social responsibility amongst themselves. That requires thinking capacity beyond what they have. Plus they don't possess the communication skills that humans have so they are very limited.
I believe that animals do not have any sense of morals or social responsibilities, because it is their main goal in life to mate and reproduce in order to carry on their species. Animals are driven purely by instinct, and in order to have a moral code, they would have to have a conscience, which I do not believe they possess.
While many people believe animals have a degree of social business, I do not believe they do. Animals are purely instinctive. They do not carry a moral compass, but rely on natural instinct to survive. It is not social intelligence that makes an animal playful, but it is more instinctive. Only humans truly have a social and moral responsibility that can be measured in my view.
How can animals have a moral code? What is a moral code? Knowing right from wrong? After all, who knows what is right or wrong exactly? It is only your personal definition, so ... do moral codes actually exist? and if so, the moral code of animals may be vastly different from ours!
I believe that any animal behavior can be easily explained by the need to propagate its genes, and assure the survival of its species. Some animals have behaviors that may look like they're socially aware, like monkeys sharing food. But it's often justified by the need of becoming accepted in a group in order to mate.