AR Philosophy > Morality of AR > Biology - Index

Intellectual and Emotional Understanding of Consciousness

There is both intellectual and emotional understanding of the consciousness of animals. Intellectual understanding is the acceptance of the fact that all animals can feel pain to some extent, and that many animals are sufficiently developed to feel emotions and to have some degree of cognitive powers. Emotional understanding is the human bond between humans and animals. Almost anyone who has taken care of an animal, such as a cat or dog, can recognize and sense when the animal is happy or sad or distressed. Humans and animals are not all that different in emotions; I've met some dogs with more capacity for emotion than some people I've met.

Aside: In the same way, I would speculate that if statistics result in a few extremely intelligent humans, then there are a few extremely bright dogs out there who are smarter than the average eight-year-old human, and are capable of basic reading. I have heard that some people have taught themselves to read without any help. If this is true, then I would bet that some dogs have taught themselves to read. There is enormous resistance from the scientific community to the idea that animals could have such intellectual or emotional capacities, and resistance to the idea that animals have *any* intellectual or emotional capacity! This resistance is not based in science but in the common problems of human psychology and ego.

Humans tend to think of themselves as better than animals for religious, philosophical, and egotistical reasons. We may be the best at abstraction and logic and science, but can that alone make us better? I consider the human race to be emotionally and ethically deficient in relation to our "intelligence". We have the intellectual and physical capacity to solve all of our problems, but we are usually too selfish and greedy to even consider it.

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