Of Beast, Men and Philosophizing -- A Potentially "Hidden Logic"
Updated: Mar 2
The justification for divinity in many minds is simple: The universe "must" have been created by design, and if it was not created, but "popped" into existence, then it would have no reason to exist, making it absurd.
Thus, in the minds of many, divinity exists because they are certain that existence can't simply "pop" into existence without previous design.
However, the fallacy in that logic, could be the fact that we are bound to human-scale logic. Have you ever wondered if (or why not) animals or insects think the same as us? I don't have an answer to that question because I've never thought of an animal or another lifeform that is not human.
However, when you put an animal like a cat in relative isolation from the world (as they are largely solitary creatures), they might not be bothered with philosophizing like we humans do.
As long as a cat has what they need to survive, and maybe even some affection, then they might not question their existence like many humans have, do, and will do.
I've observed the cats I've had throughout my life. When they are awake, they may simply lay somewhere for the majority of their awakening time, and stare blankly at stuff, or even at a wall. It is far harder for us humans to do so, and I'm talking from experience as well.
Have you ever thought about what goes on in an animal's mind? I am confident that animals have thoughts, and I'm also confident that they are capable of dreaming, but when it comes to the content of their mentality, I am far from certain.
Philosophy is mainly driven by words, something that animals often do behind our backs. They may understand words, but they are not capable of reading books or, I believe, having complex thoughts with the use of words like we do.
However, the reasoning behind one's existence does not necessarily require words. In theory, all it requires is the ability to inquire and the ability to have the concept of the self and the concept of existence. I believe even beings such as cats, therefore, can question their own existence, like we humans do.
Still, when you, like my mother's cat, are confined to a small space and do nothing most of the time, a human would go nuts if they were in that cat's stead.
The insight I'm trying to convey is this: Why is the need to justify one's existence, along with the existence of the universe, theoretically exclusive to humanity's logic, and not to the logic of other biological beings?
Why is it important for a human to doubt their existence, even if they have an overall good life, and not an animal, like a cat, who is much more limited than a human?
This is my theory. I think animals have a different kind of logic than us humans. They do not need to philosophize or have a religion like many of humankind, because it appears that they are not troubled by existence, if they get to survive another day.
As to "why" they must survive, they might have a different logic than us, a logic that they cannot communicate to us (or don't do so at all anyways), that gives them the will to survive, and the will to avoid death.
It's not necessarily exclusive to instincts that make a lifeform avoid death, even though they have the physical capacity to do so. We humans are technically animals, even if we are more "advanced" or "superior" than any organism that is not a human.
However, our humanity does not necessarily mean that our own sense of logic is the most superior or "correct" one. Perhaps some of us humans need philosophy and/or religion, as it gives us a reason to exist and see another day. However, it does not appear to be the same for lifeforms that many of us consider "below" us.
Can animals philosophize? I don't know, but if they have mentality, then I assume that they can philosophize by recognizing concepts as existing, like themselves, life, and reality, just like humans do. If so, then they see the necessity of their survival imperative in a way that we humans might not understand currently.
Remember that, ultimately, some animals surpass us in some areas. In speed, in strength, in having greater senses like smell, sight, hearing, and so on. Who knows, they might have a different sense of logic as well -- a different philosophy that prevents them from having existential crises.
Perhaps they believe in concepts that we do not, or even concepts that we OURSELVES are unable to comprehend. Know that some animals can even SEE colors that we humans do not; colors that the human mind is not developed enough to see!