How do we decide on what does and does not experience consciousness? If we try to decide based on what we know, then we might say of course that humans are conscious and perhaps by extension that all animals have consciousness. But how do we come to that conclusion?
What about plants and trees, they are alive so do they have consciousness? And what about other objects around us – inanimate objects – do they also have consciousness? We might easily assume no, but then again, how can we be sure? Ultimately we all come from the same place, we all come from the same matter so perhaps we share our consciousness, and our minds, with the rest of the universe and all the objects within it.
Take a table for example, it is made out of a tree, so it was once a living thing. Could it still have consciousness because of that? This seems very far fetched but it is possible. There have been plenty of discussions on the topic – in fact it even has its own name – Panpsychism.
And when you think about it, it does sort of make sense. How about the human body for example – we are alive and we have consciousness – we can experience life, we can think, feel and touch. But what about the cells within our body, they make up our being, are they all alive? Do they also have consciousness? What about the Earth, does that also have a consciousness? it is made up of living beings just as we are made up of living cells.