How do atheists explain why we have consciousness?

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Other animals don’t need it, why do we have it?
Why would we evolve to have consciousness?

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Evil is an ABSTRACT!

to put it simply, just think of it like applejacks, we just do.

We Wish to Buy Your Shoes

You don’t think animals have a consciousness. I don’t think you deserve to have it explained to you.


Why must we resort to the bible because we don’t have all the answers yet?


evolution. and yes, other animals have it. my dog is clearly conscious, and intelligent. why would we evolve to have consciousness? just like every other natural selection – our having consciousness made us more likely to survive and reproduce to make other conscious beings.


Is it an advantage to have a conscience? You’d think that being totally emotionless would be much more suited for survival of a species. Goes against Darwinian logic, though.

I am THAT cat.

Other animals don’t have consciousness….?
Wait a minute there, buddy. You are wrong.
They taught a gorilla how to talk using sign language and she had a pet kitten and felt sad when it died.
Open your mind!


Gawd did it, Praise the Lawd.


We walk upright, other animals generaly don’t

No Chance Without 'Beetus

You think consciousness is a human-only characteristic?
Are you retarded?


What makes you assume other animals don’t have consciousness? I think quite a few other species have what should reasonably qualify as consciousness. We evolved to have a self-awareness and whatever you call consciousness because it had important survival value. Self-preservation is greatly improved by a sense of the individual self.


consciousness is the result of man being made in the image of God and his likeness. No other animal is valued to him more than us . This is what sets us apart and atheist will never understand this.

I’m pretty sure my cat is alive and knows it exists.


Animals are not conscious? Wow. One is never too old to learn.
Definition: “having awareness of surroundings and sensations and thoughts”
As to why, without consciousness you would not survive. You would ignore the animal and not hunt it. See, you don’t need an imaginary friend to explain this.


If it isn’t tangible then it has no conscience. XD


Animal have consciousness; all but the highest order primates lack self-awareness, which is different. You need to pay attention in biology this semester. Consciousness, by definition, is awareness of your environment. Since animals are trying to survive, they are very aware of their surroundings. That they cannot recognize themselves in a mirror is proof of their lack of self-awareness.


Dolphins, some apes, elephants and magpies have been demonstrated to have self-awareness. I would speculate that cockatoos from my experience also have self-awareness.
It is very useful in social creatures (including humans) to be able to differentiate yourself from others and to compare your own behaviour to that of others.


Back when we were psychologically healthy we acted on instinct. Consequently the good ( ie, the strong, willful, beautiful) lorded it over the bad ( the weak, stupid, ugly, etc). Obviously the weak stupid and ugly didn’t much care for this, so they invented religion, inverted natural morality so that they could call themselves good ( humble, meek, beloved of god, etc) and the began to call the good “evil.” Unfortunately, since the bungled and the botched always outnumber the strong, they managed to convince many that they were correct. Even the strong that grew up in this environment, had to question their birthright ( lording it over their inferiors). As a consequence, rather than acting according to their natures and expressing their exuberant will to power, the strong were tricked in to sublimating their drives and could no longer focus them outwardly. With no outlet for their passions they turned upon themselves. This was the birth of consciousness and of mental disorders.


I don’t know and that is Ok. Does everything I can’t explain need to be “god did it” We never used to know a lot of things and we attributed them to gods also.

So12G member since 2006

with that logic I can see why you call yourself the creationist


I disagree with us having consciousness… you’re implying that animals act on instinct and humans in a different way? No, I think it’s the same for all creatures.
Free will is very hard to explain scientifically, you’re right about this…! good observation! The lack of free will is very easy to explain with science, because science is only chemical reactions… Think of everything that happens in the world like many chains of dominos that cross and effect eachother… Once ONE domino is set off, the domino falling starts in motion and nothing can stop it.
For every action thére’s a reaction, which in itself is an action, right, on and on and on? Where does free will come into hand… because nothing can take place with out another action causing it, and another action causing that action, etc…Every thought in your head is caused by chemical reactions… Everything is like this… what really sets us apart from animals? nothing… We’re like robots and just respond to the stimulae around us, really complicated robots…
If you don’t get it… Imagine how the history of the world could be any different if it was repeated… it couldn’t! because there was a reason you do everything in your life, etc…
I’m terrible at explaining lol…
Free will is an illusion… BASICALLY: think of what I just explained as the science behind free will…
EDIT: again, if you believe in evolution, how are people any more special than animals? where does this instinct leave?
EDIT EDIT: btw, the bible says multiple times that there is no free will…


I don’t know why you all treat atheists like they are part of a religion that has a defined set of beliefs.
It seems like every 5 questions has one that starts with “why do atheists, how do atheists..”
Atheists just don’t believe there is a god. I don’t know why you all fixate on atheists.
But the main point is that atheism unlike a religion has no predefined set of beliefs. So contradictions between atheists is normal and doesn’t indicate that all atheists are wrong. So trying to lure an atheist into a trap about their beliefs is pointless because they don’t represent all atheists.
With a religion it is a little different because you don’t just believe there is a god (which nobody can prove doesn’t exist).. Religions have a predefined set of beliefs that can sometimes be proven wrong.
I’m not trying to say religions are wrong “haha we win” but to me it would make sense for you to fixate on another religion rather than athiests because with other religions you actually have something to prove wrong.


Sad to see your ignorance showing!!
Whales, dolphins and porpoises have been shown to be on an almost par with humans!
Many of the monkeys use tools and many have been found to act altruistically – do something for others that is only of benefit to the other and not themselves!!
You appear to be new here so please think of this biblical quote and then a test to see whether your posts will continue to harm christianity and make christians look ignorant and silly!!
“When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things.” I Cor. xiii. 11.
Consider: –
Do your posts draw people to christianity? HARDLY
Do they offend and drive them further away? HIGHLY LIKELY!!
God’s work? HARDLY
Seems you are in serious trouble at the final judgment then!!
GOOD christians are indignant that such postings as yours make all christians look so bad and intolerant – they will all be praying for your soul!!!

Michael Darnell

Consciousness is implied by self-recognition. Generally this is tested for by using the “rouge test” or “mirror test”. The usual test for this level of consciousness is to test if the animal can recognize it’s own reflection in a mirror usually by placing a dot of color of some kind (rouge in the case of children) in a place where they could not normally observe it (like on the tip of their nose). Many but certainly not all animals have been observed exhibiting self-recognition. Elephants, bottle-nose dolphins, pigs, magpies, barn owls, octopi and all of the great apes pass the test. In other words they -are- able to understand that the reflection is actually an image of themselves. Most human babies do not pass the rouge/mirror test until approximately 18-24 months of age.
Why does any creature (human or animal) need this capacity to model their environment and recognize themselves in relationship to it? Well the pigs are perhaps the most pragmatic — for them the test was slightly modified to motivate them – since they are not likely to mind a little mud or color on their face. A mirror is placed so that the pigs could use the mirror to see the hidden position of a food dish relative to their own place in a very simple maze. Seven out of eight pigs found it (the eighth pig looked behind the mirror) which means the pigs (or at least most of them) were using the reflection as an aid to mapping their own position in their environment…
For humans, having no claws or fangs of any useful sort – the kind of environmental hazards we face are somewhat more extreme than for many other species. Having a useful tool like a mental model of our place in the environment helps us to survive. The ones that survived were able to pass on the trait of self-awareness to their offspring. The ones who lack that ability would not have survived because they were not as successful at dealing with threats… and thus did not produce offspring.

Nurop Shnup

The mind is the result of the functions of the brain, and animals absolutely do have consciousness.
Having a brain, and using it, aids in survival.


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