Essay of the Month: Animals

Issa #100, "8x8", 2007, Mark W. McGinnis

The development of consciousness in human beings have left most with what
seems to an incurable superiority complex in regard to the other creatures on
this planet. Because we have the capacity to hold and develop thought in our
minds, contemplate the past and future, and create tools which seem to be more
sophisticated than those of other creatures, we happily put the other beings in
an inferior to position to ourselves. This is one of the most glaring examples
of the arrogance of our species.

What makes us believe that we understand the consciousness level of other creatures?
The only way we can measure the level of other creatures is from our own level
of consciousness. We can study them physically and determine nervous systems
and brain capacities and development, but does that truly give us a sense of what
their conscious capacity is? I think not, not if we allow that consciousness may
take many forms of which we have no way to perceive or understand with our
capabilities. This seems true not only with mammals but with but with all
beings and may even extend to non-living matter. How all matter interacts in
our universe is symphony of mysteries of which we are just being to gain some
understanding and that understanding can only be gained from the limited
perception and consciousness that we possess as human beings.

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