Author to materialists: Are too!
Materialists love to diss Earthlings. They’re constantly reminding us that we’re nothing special in the great scheme of things.
“Hell, our Earth ain’t the center of no universe! Heck, even our Sun ain’t the center. In fact neither our solar system nor our galaxy are the center of the flippin’ universe, ya hear? So there! So check your privilege at the stratosphere and reflect on your cosmic insignificance as a species!”
To which, I reply:
Hold on a minute. The very word “special” is a human creation. It’s a product of human consciousness. And as far as we know, humans are the only creatures in the universe to ever consider ranking themselves (or their potential neighbors) according to this subjective quality we call “specialness.” That makes us pretty special indeed — we invented the very terms according to which the universe is to be ranked for specialness — unless, of course, there happen to be other conscious creatures out there in the universe who also both acknowledge a quality called “specialness” and happen to define it in the same subjective way as Earthlings do. Only then could we both agree as to the rank of Homo sapiens “in the great scheme of things.”
Of course, it’s possible that consciousness pervades the universe, and in that sense, we humans are nothing to write home about. But the concept of a universal consciousness is scarcely a proposition that materialists would like to embrace. That’s why materialists are obsessed with SETI. They’re always hoping to find super-smart aliens out there, to prove to us human beings once and for all that we ain’t jack sh — .
Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like our human “specialness” is flawed, in that the same consciousness that led us to postulate the existence of such a quality has also led us to the hate-filled brink of Armageddon. If that’s the case, then we’re probably indeed alone in the universe as super-conscious beings, since our potential rivals have probably already blown themselves to smithereens many aeons ago.
Yet until I learn that human beings do not have a universal copyright on the very word “specialness,” I’ll continue to consider my species to be special indeed, thank you very much. Should some effete and recherche alien arrive tomorrow and tell us human beings otherwise (in a no-doubt intolerably smarmy voice), no problem. We humans can just respond in the manner of Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun 2 1/2:
“It’s a topsy-turvy world, Klaatu, and maybe the ‘specialness’ of Homo sapiens doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans!”