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What if we were the ants?

Ants are little insignificant creatures to us. Sure they serve their purpose in the ecosystem, but they don't impact our daily routines if we can help it. Whenever we aren't trying to get rid of them in our kitchens we generally don't think about them. Only children may play with them a little... and when I say "play" I mean "torturous genocide".

Now from the ant's perspective. I don't think that ants can comprehend us humans. I think that they don't look up and think "holy crap, what a giant being". We are beyond their comprehension. They cannot imagine what it's like to be us, let alone imagine what we would think of them, the ants. To tell you the truth, I think the ant's imagination is very limited.

Think about these examples. If it rains or if you turn on the sprinkler system in your yard, I don't think ants would know the difference. If ants were crawling over a natural rock formation or over your driveway, I don't think ants would know the difference. If there was a medium strengths tornado or you mowing the lawn with a gas powered lawn mower, I don't think ants would know the difference.

Now what if we were the ants? Sure we will know the difference between our sprinkler system and rain. But what about when it rains? Is that really always just rain or is it possible something else is happening that we can't distinguish from rain? That something else could be caused by some other thing. If we were the ants, who or what would be the humans?

Right away I want to stop you from assuming that I refer these higher creatures as gods but you are very free to believe that they are if you like. This kind of concept will quickly turn religious as it has done throughout history. What are gods after all? Does that make us gods to the ants? And now if we're on the topic of gods we'll have to talk about meddling. Our gods are generally very concerned or interested in us simple humans. It's almost as if they have nothing better to do. I bet there are a couple of humans who are quite interested in ants too. Some scientists or hobbyists with an ant farm may exact godlike behavior towards the ants. But do the ants realize that they are in a confined space under constant observation by beings they cannot begin to understand?

Just to quickly jump to my original comparison where we are in the place of the ants. Would they perceive it as a natural disaster when we clear out their nest from between the stepping stones? What kind of natural disasters could we or should we attribute to higher beings not because of justice or punishment but just to clean up or even worse, just by accident. Think of all the occasions where the ground you were walking on had ants crawling around and how little effort you put into not stepping on them. That was quite the wrath of the gods if we were in their place.

So next time you see a couple of ants on your kitchen table, what will you do to them?

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Comment by Nathalie van den Berg

Posted on 31 July, 2012
Ah I remember you talking about this on one of your minecraft videos! =] I like your question; What are gods after all? We've put them in a supernatural category but they might as well be just as you said, what humans are to ants. Maybe ants worship us and we don't even know it!

Comment by Ralph van den Berg

Posted on 17 August, 2012
I'm generally a pretty mean god. My desk and stuff... it's all "holy land"... Death to any who dare tread on the holy lands!

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