We seem to crave privilege, merited not by our work, but by our birth, by the mere fact that, say, we are humans and born on Earth. We might call it the anthropocentric—the “human-centered”—conceit. This conceit is brought close to culmination in the notion that we are created in God’s image: The Creator and Ruler of the entire Universe looks just like me. My, what a coincidence. How convenient and satisfying! The sixth-century-B.C. Greek philosopher Xenophanes understood the arrogance if this perspective:
The Ethiopians make their gods black and snub-nosed; the Thracians say theirs have blue eyes and red hair… Yes, and if oxen and horses or lions had hands, and could paint with their hands, and produce works of art as men do, horses would paint the forms of the gods like horses, and oxen like oxen…

Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994)
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