Very good questions.

I think you can answer the them yourself, though. How do you feel about the chickens? Would you ever be concerned about them? Would anybody be? Maybe it is a test? Maybe it’s just simply a true reflection of ourselves, and our own predicament?

These issues do not bother us because we have the illusion that we are the dominant species. But, what if we are not? True reality is just hidden from view.

I say all this, half jokingly, knowing something that you don’t know yet. We are not the dominant species, and the chicken parable is really about human beings.

We live in a factory. The factory churns out widgets. The widgets are us. In the future they have the ability to transmit cognitive qualia such as emotions, etc. You may not believe it, but it’s true. In the future they have the ability, also, to replay recorded memories that are indistinguishable to “real” life. That type of technology requires qualia and plenty of it. So, it is possible in the future to create a factory that churns out widgets where the widgets are living in a replay of memories that are created by other widgets. This is our predicament. The only way out of it is for the widgets to wake up, but because they are made so comfortable it is not an easy thing to do… and thus takes a long to achieve.

Maybe we do care about chickens after all.