Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
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18-02-2012, 04:41 PM
Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
We are human beings.....We are "unique"........we "rule" this earth.....but we are but one of millions of different species of life on this planet.

Our closest ties lie with apes, these creatures mirror a lot of human characteristics but obviously they live in the jungle. They are considered "animals".....but yet they can learn, show emotions, be creative, adapt to new situations etc etc.

Some of the attributes ive mentioned and others can be applied to all sorts of different animals throughout the world.

So is there a limit to what you would call "conscious life" and what would they be???

I know that us homo-sapiens seem "unique" with our brain power and reasoning and self awareness, that we have language and writing and are much more advanced than everything around us.....but if you believe in evoloution then at one point we would have been similar to a lot of creatures. We have one close thing in common with everything else and that is we have scrapped life together and have a place in the food chain.

So in acknowledging that our ancestors were possibly like apes could we be considered more alive, different and unique as we consider ourselves and our seperation from nature today......as we were back then???

Everything has different "apparatus" to handle this experience from your eight eyed spiders to your birds soaring in the skys to the fish deep down in massive pressures that can never come up to the surface. Everything is responsive to stimuli and its surroundings and all are built in with a desire for self preservation....so no matter what the input there is allways some "output" from whatever and its this "output" I suppose is what we could call "life".

So is this "output" equal to all others???.....nature aside as "sentinent beings" we often cull creatures for no reason either directly or indirectly, we can regard them as lesser creatures having sometimes no regard about squashing an insect or seeing an animal as "kinda stupid" in relation to ourselves.

As children and adults humans can inflict the harshest cruelty and suffering upon other living creatures......this is totally outside of the food chain system and in a more primitive world (without humans) wouldnt happen.

Sometimes I just think its mad how I (and you included) are sat here now self aware and communicating on this forum......wether you believe in random infinity or some sort of "destiny", luck, reincarnation or whatever.........we are all alive and have what I called an "output"........Given all of the madness behind all that thinking I suppose it could be fair to say that given the unknowns of life we could have all ended up as something else.

So if I had ended up as a animal or an insect.....given that I lack the know how of how to acknowledge my own existence.....am I considered more "alive" over everything else as we as a species consider ourselves. I still would be responding to life somehow with some sort of nervous system and brain....or I may not as being the case with plants, which are another ballgame entirely as we also match the same principal characteristics of scrapping some sort of life and part in the food chain and having what could be deemed as the same basic desire for self preservation/survival.

It just makes me wonder what part my "empathy" plays in life Confused

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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18-02-2012, 05:31 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
I could swear my broccoli was screaming when I bit down on it.
Could have been the scrooms talk'in though.

There are plants that can sense their surroundings. Some trees release a sent when they are attacked by insects and the other trees in the area react with bad tasting sap to their leaves.

…or something like that.

We are unique only because we advanced this far and we do not believe that any other species have come as far on this planet, which could all change tomorrow.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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18-02-2012, 07:45 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
The fact that trees react to their surroundings is hardly evidence that they're conscious. The laptop I'm typing on adjusts its screen brightness based on the ambient light. Is it conscious?

Whatever causes consciousness, it's a lot more than simply reacting.
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19-02-2012, 12:16 AM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
Also people who are born with disabilities.....who may not be fully capable of living there lives solo......they can maintain a certain standard of life like everybody else but are hindered and do not see life like a "normal" functioning person......If we put a scale of "life" to our existence with us homo sapiens being at the top......then below us we see other creatures who do not share our understanding and our brain/nervous system but are seen as experiencing life less somehow compared to us.......slightly inferior sometimes.

So would we put disabled people in this same view.....even though they are homo sapien except they dont have proper use of there functions.......there concious is merly limited but it is still conciousness all the same.

Maybe some animals dream.....Ive seen dogs look like they are dreaming so who knows that may even possibly say they have a limited "imagination" or be recalling/putting together memories......if a creature can have memories then I imagine it must have a sense of the "now" exactly like we do but it is prioritised differently to us due to living within its enviroment.

If some animals have imaginations and a sense of now then combined wouldnt that possibly say that they could think......just like us but again limited to enviroment.......yet we look at them as "simple" but in there own way they are "experiencing" or putting out an "output" in there own way just the same as us. Are we holding our own concious prematurely above everything else when possibly there is no "greater" or better and everything alive is equal if you could remove your human conception and see it in a neutral way???

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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19-02-2012, 12:19 AM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
(18-02-2012 04:41 PM)bemore Wrote:  So is there a limit to what you would call "conscious life" and what would they be???

I know that us homo-sapiens seem "unique" with our brain power and reasoning and self awareness, that we have language and writing and are much more advanced than everything around us.....but if you believe in evoloution then at one point we would have been similar to a lot of creatures.

The one thing that separates us is "sentience". It's possible that other life forms have it, but they don't display the symptoms. To understand what it is, why only humans are assumed to have it, and why it evolved in humans (and only in humans) I would recommend the book "Kinds of Minds" by Daniel Dennett.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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21-02-2012, 09:27 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
(18-02-2012 07:45 PM)Ben Wrote:  The fact that trees react to their surroundings is hardly evidence that they're conscious. The laptop I'm typing on adjusts its screen brightness based on the ambient light. Is it conscious?

Whatever causes consciousness, it's a lot more than simply reacting.

I didn't say the trees were having a conversation about when it might rain again.
It's just interesting how many species have evolved communication techniques that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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21-02-2012, 09:40 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
(21-02-2012 09:27 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(18-02-2012 07:45 PM)Ben Wrote:  The fact that trees react to their surroundings is hardly evidence that they're conscious. The laptop I'm typing on adjusts its screen brightness based on the ambient light. Is it conscious?

Whatever causes consciousness, it's a lot more than simply reacting.

I didn't say the trees were having a conversation about when it might rain again.
It's just interesting how many species have evolved communication techniques that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation.

What animals have communication that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation?
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21-02-2012, 09:55 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
(21-02-2012 09:40 PM)Ben Wrote:  
(21-02-2012 09:27 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(18-02-2012 07:45 PM)Ben Wrote:  The fact that trees react to their surroundings is hardly evidence that they're conscious. The laptop I'm typing on adjusts its screen brightness based on the ambient light. Is it conscious?

Whatever causes consciousness, it's a lot more than simply reacting.

I didn't say the trees were having a conversation about when it might rain again.
It's just interesting how many species have evolved communication techniques that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation.

What animals have communication that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation?

Honey bees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alarm_signal

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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21-02-2012, 09:56 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
(21-02-2012 09:55 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(21-02-2012 09:40 PM)Ben Wrote:  
(21-02-2012 09:27 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(18-02-2012 07:45 PM)Ben Wrote:  The fact that trees react to their surroundings is hardly evidence that they're conscious. The laptop I'm typing on adjusts its screen brightness based on the ambient light. Is it conscious?

Whatever causes consciousness, it's a lot more than simply reacting.

I didn't say the trees were having a conversation about when it might rain again.
It's just interesting how many species have evolved communication techniques that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation.

What animals have communication that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation?

Honey bees.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought bees communicated to tell the rest of the hive where all the good flowers are.
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21-02-2012, 09:57 PM
RE: Animal/Insect/Plant Consciousness.
(21-02-2012 09:56 PM)Ben Wrote:  
(21-02-2012 09:55 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(21-02-2012 09:40 PM)Ben Wrote:  
(21-02-2012 09:27 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(18-02-2012 07:45 PM)Ben Wrote:  The fact that trees react to their surroundings is hardly evidence that they're conscious. The laptop I'm typing on adjusts its screen brightness based on the ambient light. Is it conscious?

Whatever causes consciousness, it's a lot more than simply reacting.

I didn't say the trees were having a conversation about when it might rain again.
It's just interesting how many species have evolved communication techniques that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation.

What animals have communication that seem to have nothing to do with self preservation?

Honey bees.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought bees communicated to tell the rest of the hive where all the good flowers are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alarm_signal

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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