The Brain: The Hierarchy of Consciousness

I have been thinking about consciousness since I read Milan Kundera’s novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. I don’t believe that humanism is the atheist vision. I believe that humanism has failed. Homo sapience is inadequate. Natura sapience is necessary for us to survive and to thrive. Naturalism is the future of atheism.

Human beings do not have a monopoly on consciousness. Consciousness is a spectrum. The more complex the life form, the higher the level of consciousness. If we think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as differing levels of consciousness in living things and not simply in human beings we can think about what level of consciousness each form of life has managed to evolve into.

6 Responses to “The Brain: The Hierarchy of Consciousness”

  1. chris Says:

    It really is a great novel of ontology played out in real life existence. (some people hate the movie… but it does have actress Juliette Binoche ;).

    The early twentieth century Humanism gave rise not only agianst theocratic opression, but also against such doctrines as social darwinism. I think Humanism has not been a total failure. Today unfortunately, its become more of a lobbiest term for secularists, instead of the ethical mandate it was intended to be.
    I still think of its first Manifestos as an ethical agreement between humans. it gets us all to that “esteem” level.

  2. Catana Says:

    As a generalization, Maslow’s hierarchy can be useful, but it isn’t an accurate depiction of every human. Some people have virtually no need for approval from others, and even self-esteem may not be important in the sense in which it’s usually meant. And for some few, the need for self-actualization is at least as powerful as the “lower” needs. Risk-takers also have comparatively little need for safety, as we normally think of it.

  3. grant czerepak Says:

    Hello Chris,

    I think Humanism has taken us as far as it could. However, I do agree that served a great purpose. Have you ever come across a Naturalist Manifesto?

    Hello Catana,

    I have found that in systems what you describe is true, but in a slightly different sense. You may create a massive system that needs only one user. You may create a massive system that puts all its eggs in one physical location basket. What I am trying to say is that the scale of need at any level of the hierarchy can be met by very small provisions. It does not invalidate the hierarchy.


  4. grant czerepak Says:

    I looked for the first Naturalist Manifesto and it appears that the preface to Therese Raquin by Emile Zola contains it. It was penned in 1886.

    I’ve ordered a copy and will discuss it in a future post.

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