We’d all like to feel like we’re conscious, more so than the next guy, even if we’re not. Consciousness is a relative term. The next guy is just as conscious as, or more so, than I am, but in his own way, by his own experience and understanding. His consciousness is uniquely his own, as is yours and mine. One mans consciousness is another mans confusion.
Consciousness has always been relative, and that’s why it’s so easy to proclaim yourself to be conscious when those around you might consider you not to be. By the same token you might consider them not to be. They measure your consciousness by their own, as you do theirs by yours, whether anyone is aware of it or not. And furthermore, theirs might be measured by a different standard -even apart from themselves- than you might measure yours by, a different standard of criteria, and by an innate personal bias that they are intrinsically incapable of taking into account in any self-assessment.
So rather than arguing consciousness, degrees of, or ownership of, let me just suggest that beyond any intellectual measure, emotional connection to, or conceptual ideation, a persons life will always be the best indicator of consciousness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . or lack thereof.