Saturday, August 16, 2008

Regressive self-transformations

A movie you might find eerie at first, it shows a boy who wants to transform into a mouse because this would save him money on renting a living space. But seen the developments in genetic engineering, something like this may well be possible one day. But the question that radically challenges self-concepts then is; is this new form then still the same 'person' it used to be? According to me, a self-concept, probably including a name, is just a social construct. When it is not useful anymore, we might as well treat a new embodiment as a new person. Did the old person die, then? Yes, if people's concepts about that person are not relevant and useful anymore at all you could say he died.

In my opinion,  people inherently live by concepts and nothing but concepts, which are illusions. We have no truth; truth is constituted by the illusions that are most useful. This is a pragmatist stance, but in a world so complex as it will be, this is the most useful stance according to me; it makes you flow along with these developments instead having to go through clash after clash with internal beliefs you try to maintain.

Now we have rather static implicit conventions on this, but these sort of developments will make the world so complex that we need to explicitly start discussing these now perhaps seemingly absurd topics. We need to develop an intelligence based not on old, rational, science, but on practical embodiment theory. We need to learn and get a feeling for the relationship between bodies and their environments, and how the two can be attuned to each other to result in the most meaning, or happiness for the individual. Then, we will be able to think more creatively and analytically about how our bodies should be constituted so we feel at home with them, rather than regressing to static images already present in the mind, like that of a mouse in the case of the Halifax commercial.

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