From John Ellis at PJ Media:
The belief that inanimate objects, like rocks and tableware, contain consciousness is quickly picking up steam among respected philosophers and scientists.
The problem for these “credible philosophers, neuroscientists, and physicists” who take panpsychist seriously is, as Goldhill points out, “The materialist viewpoint states that consciousness is derived entirely from physical matter. It’s unclear, though, exactly how this could work.” She cites philosophy professor David Chalmers who noted, “It’s very hard to get consciousness out of non-consciousness.”
While this is an academic discussion on one level, there is another level that directly affects our ethics. The Judeo-Christian worldview and ethics that undergird Western society have as part of their core anthropology the recognition of a distinction between humans and the rest of the creation. The dignity and worth of humans, all humans, is rooted in the fact that we are created in the image of God. Take that away, and society’s ethics will drastically change. Either rocks and tableware will be afforded similar rights as humans, or humans will see our rights taken away. I mean, if there is no real ontological difference between humans and rocks, there’s little reason to treat fellow humans any better than you do the unwanted rock in the middle of your flower bed. More.
This growing consensus that everything is conscious and humans are not special may well underlie the flight from intellectual freedom at universities. People who think the mind is real face different issues with intellectual freedom than people who think that consciousness is an illusion anyway
See also: At Quartz: Materialists are converting to panpsychism
Nearly 50% Americans now think humans are not special
The illusion of consciousness sees through itself.