Week 7_ Animal Consciousness by Jonah Batista

 

octopusConsciousness is a very interesting topic on any level. Whether we speak about it on a very analytical level or in discussion, it seems that the topic will always spark some type of interest. For me, this spark occurred twice. The first time was during discussion on tuesday when we spoke about consciousness and its relationship with humans. Of course it is quite easy to explain our views of consciousness, but for some unusual reason, we cannot easily define the word. Anyways, we then moved on with the discussion and how it is related to animals. What I found very realistic and interesting was that two students in my discussion had very opposite views on the whole subject matter. When we spoke about the “art,” behind the green bunny one student commented on how it was against the possible will of the animal, and how human consciousness varies compared to animals. On the other hand, another student commented on how we must sacrifice the use of on animal so we as humans can learn more. There are many different points, but this was the beginning of my thought process of consciousness and how we are aware of what is going on. Sometimes I even imagine if our consciousness is just a perception of what we want to see. In essence, I feel like sometimes we are surrounding ourselves in a fake environment. However, I began to think more in depth when our guest speaker presented a very interesting lesson. Siddharth had very interesting points throughout the lecture. I was particularly fascinated with the reasoning of consciousness and how danger can literally imply that a creature does in fact have consciousness. In actuality, I completely agree with Siddharth that animals indeed have a conscious. Just like humans flee from danger, octopuses, elephants, and many other creatures respond likewise. However, this again made me think some more. If we can prove that animals have consciousness, then maybe we should re-evaluate how we are treating them since they are obviously aware of what is going on in the world. I feel as if human kind literally steps over everything, animals included. But if we think about it, what if we were to be stepped on by some other creature. For instance, if there was a superior being in the world that treated humans the way that humans treat animals, what would we think? Obviously we would want to fight back and exemplify that we have a conscious and are human and have rights, etc. Perhaps we never get that opportunity? Honestly, I feel that is how we are treating animals. Maybe they have a conscious, and all we are doing is using them as test subjects and “art.” Is that really, truly, fair? In my honest opinion I think we are abusing what makes us superior on planet earth. However, if one was to ask me how we can take into account the consciousness of animals, I would not have a properly formulated answer. But I do believe that animals have a sense of consciousness.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-animal/

Jonah Batista

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