I put Squeaky Cat on the Computer and he Gazes at the Owner.
The Owner says she does not want to play. The Moral Dog has played for hours, she says. Now I need to work.
It is not me that wants to play, I say, it is Squeaky Cat.
You are hiding your desires behind Squeaky cat, says the Owner. You are to Blame.
How can I be Blamed for Squeaky Cat’s desires? I ask.
Blame is a reaction to behaviour of negative significance by comparison to Moral Norms, says the Owner. In this Case the Moral Dog put Squeaky cat on the Table and made him Squeak at his Working Owner even though his Owner had played with him All Day.
Blame is not a matter of judgment but of emotional response, I say. You are being Emotional about Squeaky Cat’s desperate wish to play. Wallace says holding others morally responsible is just a reaction to our own indignation.
On the Contrary, says the Owner, George Sher says that if I wish the Moral Dog had not put Squeaky Cat on the Table both through my Own Commitment to Morality, and my Hope that the Moral Dog would also behave in a Moral Manner then Blame is the Appropriate way to feel.
The Moral Dog was being Perfectly Moral, I say. Squeaky Cat has needs which the Moral Dog feels Obliged to meet. It seems to the Moral Dog that the function of Blame is Protest. In other words, what you are doing when you Blame the Moral Dog is protesting your Objection to my Sympathetic Character.
It is not Sympathetic to Blame Squeaky Cat for your own wish to play, says the Owner.
How could you say such a thing? I ask. It is Squeaky Cat that wants to play. The Moral Dog is just a Slave to the task of Finding Him when Hidden in Clever Places. It is not His Fault that he Cannot Hide without Help.
So whose Fault is it that I cannot do my work? Asks the Owner.
Blame is only appropriate when the Person Blamed is in fact Blameworthy, I say. To be Blameworthy one must both have the General Capacity for Moral Reasoning, but also to have Exercised Free Will. Squeaky Cat does not have the Capacity for Moral Reasoning, and I cannot Exercise Free Will. Noone is to Blame.
You exercised Free Will when you put Squeaky Cat on my Computer, says the Owner.
Squeaky Cat is Highly Demanding, I say. That was not free Will. He has an Accusing Look.
That is because he was made with Accusing Eyes, says the Owner. Look at Him. His Eyes look in Every Direction at Once. I am Taking No Notice. I am Working.
It is Fortunate that Squeaky Cat’s Accusing gaze looks in Every Direction at Once.
Ouch, says the Owner. What is that?
I retrieve Squeaky Cat with panache. This is interesting, I say. this is fun.
Squeak, says Squeaky Cat.
Did you just stuff squeaky Cat up my jumper when I wasn’t looking So the Moral Dog could find him? Asks the Owner.
I might have done, says the Man. But he has accusing eyes. I could not Take It Any More.
I cannot believe you did that, says the Owner. It is bad enough with the Dog, but you are Married to me.
I retreat to my bed with Squeaky Cat. We have had fun but Squeaky Cat says we should Quit whilst we are Ahead. And it seems there is now Someone to Blame.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.