10. The scientific pantheist’s position on the well-being of non-human conscious creatures.

Though the two systems of ethics (pantheism and utilitarianism) skew, and dangerously so, it is important to reiterate that the two systems  only skew; they are not diametrically in opposition. There are some profound reasons why an ethically consistent scientific pantheist should value non-human conscious creature’s well-being. The reasons are listed below, in no particular order:

A. On the left, subjective, side of the mandala a scientific pantheist comes to value non-human conscious creatures simply as the pantheist values all of reality. That’s because our hunter gatherer brains, evolved to function on a planet surrounded by other life forms, can (often, but not always) easily feel, when immersed in the natural world, that non-human conscious creatures are a mysterious, awe inspiring, and sacred part of nature as a whole.

B. On the middle right side of the mandala the pantheist values all conscious creatures well-being because, objectively, there is a reciprocal altruistic benefit to valuing them as part of the synergistic ecosystem that we need to maintain for survival, i.e. to be in accord with the definition/meaning of life.

C. To the scientific pantheist,

since we humans value our conscious selves,

and, since we recognize that other species have consciousness in varying degrees,

part of cultivating civilization enhancing concern for our fellow humans,

means that we need to work at cultivating empathy for consciousness, such that wherever we find it we value it.

i.e. There is a reason why psychologists tell us that  psychopaths, sociopaths, and narcissists are indifferent to the suffering of animals.

D. Beyond the immediate pragmatic justification of valuing of the well-being of conscious creatures, there is another reason why a thriving sustainable advancing human civilization is a critical part of caring about earthly life as a whole. It is that human civilization is surely earth’s best chance at earthly life staying in accord with the definition of life into the indefinite future, and it is kind of hard to imagine biological homo sapiens exiting in the universe without at least some of our fellow species. So, it is likely that, in earth’s past and future history of life, only humanity and our civilization may be able act as the ark species, that enables earth’s life to go off planet and into the galaxy. To be in accord with the definition of life, the scientific pantheist sees it as a mandate, therefore, to spread, not just humans, but earth’s life (potentially millions of earth’s species) gracefully and benignly in accord with the scientific definition of life, to worlds (preferably here-to-fore un-inhabited worlds) throughout the galaxy, and possibly beyond, even after this earth has been encompassed by the sun.

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