That begs the question: Is quantity better than quality? Goliath or David? A smart "small" brain (female) or a stupid "big" brain? [Post #9]
The quantity issue – how many million metric tonnes – was related to the “success” of the species, its dispersal and the frequency of occurrence; my question was related to the opportunities and capabilities of one individual in those different species.
And in the latter case it seems to me that one of the distinguishing characteristics of humans is the rather well developed sense of consciousness, of self-awareness, which very few other species seem to exhibit, at least to the same degree; most other species seem to have no more of that attribute than a mechanical pocket watch despite being substantially more complicated than one.
In which case my question essentially boils down to whether one wants to be conscious or not. Or, equivalently in my view, whether one wants to be alive or dead.
Choice? Methinks "free will" is overrated as a useful concept. Ya gotta use what ya got if happiness is a goal :-)
Definitely agree with you about the “free will” issue, generally in any case; seems it is rather imprecise which tends to make discussions of it a little ambiguous. But happiness seems to be practically synonymous with goals – that which we desire to have. Although many seem to find, in some cases anyway, that the pursuit is more of a pleasure that its attainment.