Philip K Dick’s ‘Do Android’s Dream Of Electric Sheep’ is the earliest work I can think of that asks what form consciousness has to take before we warm to it and recognise it.
What about the reverse? How inhuman do people have to be before we cease to view them as human?
Quite often I hear, especially in crime shows, they refer to awful criminals as animals. I find that being offensive towards animals.
Apparently they can go quite far, and we still regard them as humans.
You know, I never got that book.
The idealist’s answer, I suppose, would be that we should always view the other as human. For no matter how inhuman they act, part of our humanity is that we view them as human regardless, and in viewing and treating them as anything less, we become less ourselves.
I’m not entirely sure that even makes sense. It’s rather late 🙂
It makes sense to me. We cannot help being as good as we can or at least wanting to be as good as we can. And part of that is to look benevolently on other people – no matter who.
Thanks for commenting – much appreciated. 🙂
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