about  |   thinking allowed  |   contact  |   links  |   comments  |   homepage  |  


Essays on Issues, Ideas and Reflections on the Times. Published now and
then. Opinions pro or con are welcome.


North Miami Beach, FL 11-13-2005
A.H. Schectman

Philosophers and biologists have proposed that, although we humans sit on top of the food chain and have ruled and changed the world, lesser animals do, to a certain extent think, ask questions but do not rule and change the world.

I am thinking about the animal who poses questions.  That animal is you and me.  We ask questions all the time and sometimes involve a dialogue with others or with imaginary beings we have dubbed the “saints”, holy persons and last but certainly most important, GOD. But I have a question.  It involves the time before we humans invented the idea of GOD.  Where was God when the world was formed and evolved life in its most fantastic forms of living creatures that no longer exist? The dinosaurs and other animal precursors of those living today – most importantly the mammals – did not survive and our history is only a blip in the history of this planet.  But, I am thinking about other animals that do not have as grandiose thoughts such as we.  As we have just pointed out, they have not changed the world to suit themselves.  They just existed until we disrupted their routines.  But the QUESTION is, again, are we the only beings that are sentient and think of questions?

I would suggest that if you owned a cat or dog (or you were the pet of the cat or dog) you most probably have noticed that that while not exactly verbalizing, these “pets” certainly question us constantly.  I am not so sure about caged birds, lizards and snakes.  But dogs and cats ask questions.  They mostly concern when feeding time is (although they know this like the back of their paws) and if “trained” that it is time for their pet to get their leash and take them outside. Don’t forget the plastic bag.  Cats can take care of themselves and ask fewer questions if you provide the food and a litter box.

There are questions and there are monumental questions.  Ordinary ones are “Are we there yet?” or “What could you possibly had in your mind when you decided to do that?  Monumental questions have to do with something I do not think other animals have ever thought about. We, after all, have elections and must think about who we elect to work for us. We have forgotten about the work thing and just go along with the flow and then ask how we got into the mess our rulers have gotten us into.


            I like questions.  Maybe I like to hear my own voice.  But, I am puzzled about a lot of things and like answers to my questions if only I can articulate them properly. I like answers to my questions but like most things, we humans are not on the same page all the time and my questions are usually answered with a puzzled look and an explanation of what is it exactly that I want?



> 1999
> 2000
> 2001
> 2002
> 2003
> 2004
> 2005
> 2006
> 2007
> 2008
> 2009
> 2010
> recent