5/24/2017

Do bugs feel pain? What do they experience when being eaten by a bird, or suffocated and drained by a spider? Are they afraid? What does fear feel like to something lacking a consciousness? Pure, natural fear. Fear is a survival mechanism. But fear to a human is just that: fear to a human. We have to worry about pain, the afterlife, loved ones, unfinished business, unaccomplished goals, etc. We learn that the goal of most (or all?) life on earth is to spread genes. But what does that mean to a beetle? They crawl around and eat and fight and sleep and mate. But when in the clutches of death, how do they feel about their failure? Are they disappointed? Anxious? Angry? Depressed? Scared? How many of these feelings and emotions are strictly human? Our cognitions are so complex and obviously unique, so where does it start and end? If a spider can evolve a poisonous venom to stay alive, and we can evolve the feeling of love to do the same, will spiders ever love? Have they?