Philosophical materialists tend to implicitly suppose I believe only human beings survive their deaths and no other animals. But I do not view this as being remotely plausible. I presume a dog's brain is very similar to a human being's, albeit less complex. If only human beings have an afterlife this means that a dog's brain produces consciousness, but that a human being's brain does not -- the human being's brain merely "filters" the self or consciousness (see my essay here on the notion of the brain acting as a "filter" for the self). But surely the similarity between our brains and dogs brains suggests they perform a similar function irrespective of whether this function is producing or merely "filtering" consciousness? Moreover, if one brain produces and the other brain merely "filters" consciousness, then it seems to me that it ought to be the more complex brain which produces consciousness!
is another consideration. If we exist both before conception and after
death (and I argue for this contention here), this at least opens up the possibility that there is some
ultimate purpose to our existence. By ultimate purpose I mean something
over and above the meaning we ourselves bestow on our lives. The word
"purpose" connotes the idea that we have some ultimate teleological
destiny (see here where I propose this).
But if only human beings survive their deaths, this
means only our lives could have this ultimate purpose, and that other
animals whose intelligence is not too far behind our own, for example
dolphins, apes and elephants, do not have any such ultimate purpose.
But why would human beings be special in this way? Taking both
considerations into account I'm afraid I can't make much sense of this
notion that only human beings survive their deaths and no other animals.
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