Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Different Minds I

All children wonder: "Is the red that my friend sees the same as the red I see?". "How would we ever know if he saw green where I see red and red where I see green?"

Partially this question is answered by colourblindness. If you see red and green as the same colour, then your experience of the world can't be anything like mine!

So I think we know that it doesn't necessarily 'feel the same' to different people to be human. And the Lord alone knows what it is like to be a pigeon, with four-colour vision, or a bat who sees with sonar.

I always thought that the biggest differences between human experiences would be between men and women. I notice that at least as far as anything to do with sex goes, women act completely differently from men, and I find it very hard to imagine what it would be like to be motivated in such a way that I would produce the observed behaviour.

But I can at least imagine what it might be like to be a woman. I don't know if my thoughts are anywhere near the truth, but at least I can think them.

Talking to various people over the last couple of months, I've begun to suspect that the differences between the experience of being between me and some of my closest friends are very much greater than the male/female differences.

Some of my friends claim that they don't have anything like what I'd call thoughts at all. And I really cannot imagine what that might be like.

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