What are we? What is the difference between a house-fly and us, or a moth and us? Or a bee and us?
A house-fly knows it has to eat, suckle, breathe, avoid danger, be safe. But does it know what it is? Does it have even a slightest idea of its being? Take a moth, which we have seen numerous times flying towards the light, or stumbling upon a glass window again and again, because in its genetic makeup through millions of years of evolution, it has learnt to go through anything that’s transparent. Glass windows have been in existence for a few thousand years. And hence the moth just does what its genes tell it to.
Take a colony of bees. The bees have evolved to sense scents and identify actions to be taken. When a particular bee dies, it emanates formic or ascorbic acid from its body and that how the other bees know that there is a dead body, and they have to push it outside of the hive. Even if I dip a live bee in that acid and leave it in the hive, the other bees, with no regard of that bee being alive, will still push away the live bee away from the hive, because millions of years of evolution has modeled bees like that. There is not a single reason other than being dead will a bee smell like that acid. Bees are doing what they “know” is right, but is it?
A rabid dog- which is put in a deplorable crazy state by the highly evolved rabies virus affecting its neurons and saliva ducts (to multiply the virus by contamination and increasing its chance of survival), does not know what its doing. The virus has affected it so much that it loses its will (so many hormones and other factors drive our whims too!!)
These beings, who are an amalgamation of live matter and genetic coding of doing what they have to in order to survive and thrive and sustain their species, and do pre-coded actions that look like to them as they are doing it willingly, must think that this is it. This is what there is at all.
If these beings, whose brains are only a thousandth or ten thousandth the size of our brains, how are we so sure that we are not anything more than a pre-coded robot, designed to do certain actions, designed to think certain things and that’s all? DO WE HAVE FREE WILL?
What is distinctively human? Kissing, eating, shitting, making enemies, making slaves, taking care of offspring, sacrificing, using technology, art? Not one of these things is one that is not done by another species. Evidences have been found that many insects, animals are capable of each of the things mentioned above.
Then what are we? What do we have? Is it just a neurotic need to feel special in this world? That’s all?