What do I owe to you?
If you’re a realist, the answer is nothing. I owe you nothing. I am a singular consciousness, trapped in this body and this head, and my prime directive is survival and procreation. I want to continue breathing, for this consciousness to continue operating, hopefully until the machinery breaks down from natural causes, and I want to pass my genes along to another generation, to continue the survival of my genes.
I’m not interested in your genes.
We’re all in the same boat, provided with the same set of evolutionary directions, and while it is helpful if we cooperate around certain things, my main goal is me.
At least, if I’m honest, this is how it feels.
My conscious experience is the only thing that is really real, substantive, present and verifiable, to me. Yours can be explained to me, and because I have an innate sense of empathy, I can try to relate, to listen and understand and express care and concern, but the truth is, your experience is entirely alien to me.
And, the truth is, you could be lying to me, creating an entire fiction and facade, just for me, and it seems, this is what a lot of people do, they just try to please me, show me what they think I want to see, tell me the sorts of things they imagine will be pleasing to me, because they are mostly interested in making sure that I like them, that I approve of them, like a little dog licking its master’s hand after just having shit on the floor.
Please like me, everyone seems to be saying.
It all seems fake.
It all seems alien.
Mine is the only consciousness that seems real.
So, what do I owe to all these strange, untouchable, alien consciousnesses out there?
Well, each of these singular consciousnesses have just as much right to experience their life unimpeded as me.
I am not special. You are not special, just another random creation in the species of homo sapien.
I feel like I owe it to you not to step on your toes, and likewise, you owe it to me not to step on my toes, which is to say, I will stay out of your business if you stay…