Originally Posted by 8Mile
It sure seems that way. But did you hear about that experiment where a scientist programmed little bots with very simple instructions and they appeared to follow the social behavior ants exhibit that we thought was complex? He programmed incredibly simple instruction sets, like, "turn left when you run into something." Yet by all appearances, there was this complex behavioral stuff happening.
I think us humans tend to find more than is really there sometimes.
Yep Larry, I saw that on YT (note increasing commonality of the neo-cyborgs' knowledge as the hive mind develops). If I remember correctly, the inventor of the swarm bots had built in some programming so the bots could "learn".
Are we assuming there's more to animals than there really is? Or do we underestimate them?
My view is based on the fact that I know what it feels like to be alive and I can't see why the experience of being, surviving, thriving, pleasure and pain, etc would be so different for other animals. Philosophers talk about "the problem of other minds", which means we cannot be sure than any other
person or animal is conscious or just programmed.
Our intuition says so but we can't know for sure, which was the thrust of a famous philosophical piece called 'What Is It Like To Be A Bat?" ... the answer, of course, being "dunno".
But do we really
not know or do we expect too much certainty? Life for me seems pretty well as other humans describe it. So I'll assume it's not The Truman Show and everyone else is conscious and experiences life in a similar way to me - trials and tribulations, health and illness, happiness and sadness etc.
Now all this appears pretty similar to my dog. Her behaviour suggests a mentality like a human child whose mental age will never advance beyond 6 years or so. Given our different senses, she seems to respond to stimulus pretty similarly to how I did as a child.
I suspect that all animals have a commonality of existence - just with different senses, capacities and general makeup. Certainly, an ant's capacity for pain would seem trivial as compared with the Shakespearean suffering we humans experience, but an ant's suffering may not seem so trivial to the ant concerned ...