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Mechanical bodies and body image
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Epiphany



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 260
Location: South Florida

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just watched a show on discovery about "Revelations and the coming of Satan" I happened to be reading some posts here at the same time. So me being me, my head filled with some strange thoughts. How would the religious commuities deal with it? Would the Pope be eternal? Would televangilists be beaming their "Send me money messages into our heads constantly"? If there is a god would he/she say "Well, to hell with you"?

If mechanical bodies do become reality, would that be the mark of the beast ( 666=mechanical bodies )

I know that we will have mechanical bodies in the near future. They have a hand at M.I.T. that can be worked by a surgical link to a human brain. They also have computers that are surgicaly linked to a human mind.

I think my question is. Not can we but should we?
I'm not sure what I believe in as far as religion goes.
I know this was a lttle off topic. Somehow in my twisted and often confused mind. It seemed to sorta fit here.
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Phalanx Observation



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How would the religious commuities deal with it?

I dare say they would be outraged, much like how they usually react to new, unconventional and progressive ideas.

Quote:
Would the Pope be eternal?

Wow...that would indeed be a frightnening reality, we must immediatly halt our progress and inovation due to this query. I'm sorry, that was loaded with sarcasm. Smile Twisted Evil However, In regards to the Pope using cybernetics, I doubt that his beliefs and that of most dominating religions today would allow the use of them, therefore the changing of the Pope (not sure of the correct terminology) would still be possible. That answer your question?


Quote:
Would televangilists be beaming their "Send me money messages into our heads constantly"? If there is a god would he/she say "Well, to hell with you"?

I think it would be safe to assume that their would be more than just Televangelists and ...er... God (which I'm not quite sure would directly make contact with us) sending us messages--possibly spam. That is, only if everything (including inanimate object, AI, and I suppose dieties) were able to send them. I'm not sure if that would be the case, however. Once again, this is how I envision it and seems most ligcal, but in order to "message" someone, the sender must have a valid IP Address that is based on an autonomous human being. In other words, unless the televangelist was right in your proximity, spamming you over and over, you would not be sent any messages. Now that would be heaven, no spam bots... Smile

Quote:
If mechanical bodies do become reality, would that be the mark of the beast ( 666=mechanical bodies )

I'm not following this correlation. . . is that from a Biblical citation from Revelations or something? If it is, I would like to know the extent of it's definition of "mechanical bodies." For all we know, taking the literal example of mechanical and bodies respectively, it could simply be refering to something like an automobile or a bicycle, or perhaps even a person using a leg brace. Once again, without the complete citation it's difficult to base an arguement on.

Quote:
I think my question is. Not can we but should we? . . . I know this was a lttle off topic. Somehow in my twisted and often confused mind. It seemed to sorta fit here.

Your last question, it seems to me does belong on another topic thread, and I'd be happy to debate that there. But I'm sure someone has alreay made that topic. However, I'm not the Mod, an if she has no problem with setting the debate in this topic, than neither do I.
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Lightice



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If mechanical bodies do become reality, would that be the mark of the beast ( 666=mechanical bodies )


I can see absolutely no connection with the two concepts, in themselves - incidentally, the Mark of the Beast and the Number of the Beast are two different matters.
Lots of Evangelists and other fanatics believe credit cards to be the Mark of the Beast. Others believe it's going to be microchips implanted under the skin. I imagine that they'd consider mechanical bodies even more drastic, as they tend to take the "man is the image of God" isssue quite literally.

But aside from a relatively small bunch of fanatics, most people, even religous ones do accept new technology as it becomes everyday part of their lives. Some slower than others, ofcourse, but only five years ago I wouldn't have imagined Internet to be so mainstream as it is now - similar changes in attitude can be expected to repeat themselves.
Undoubtedly some fanatics would actually embrace the new technology to produce even more bizzare versions of religion than we've seen until today. It's not like Evangelists shunned the TV or the Internet, either. Brain-communication will propably make some of them wet their pants.
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Jeni Nielsen



Joined: 27 Nov 2005
Posts: 405

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phalanx Observation wrote:


Quote:
I think my question is. Not can we but should we? . . . I know this was a lttle off topic. Somehow in my twisted and often confused mind. It seemed to sorta fit here.

Your last question, it seems to me does belong on another topic thread, and I'd be happy to debate that there. But I'm sure someone has alreay made that topic. However, I'm not the Mod, an if she has no problem with setting the debate in this topic, than neither do I.


It's fine with me as long as you think it's fine. If you want to make another topic that's fine too. These philosophy topics do tend to get a little crazy once they get this long though...
Yeah go ahead and make a new topic. (or I can split it off for you. It's nice to be doing some moderating that isn't just deleting spam. ^__^)
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skoobydoo



Joined: 06 Apr 2008
Posts: 3
Location: Venus

PostPosted: Sat Apr 26, 2008 2:32 pm    Post subject: Yea of little faith in personal coherency! Reply with quote

I'm a little shocked at some of the comments in this thread. People appear to have serious problems with their personal identity, especially when their physical body is somehow altered. Is it really that important to you? I mean, the part of you that is capable of expressing thoughts and emotions, the part of you that is capable of communicating with others is simply using your body as a tool. You "think" something and then you use some part of your body (e.g. facial expressions, voice, typing with your fingers) to communicate with others. I think of my body as much more than just a tool. I do associate it with "me". I am attached to it, but I'm attached to it because its been with me for my entire life and everything I have experienced has been through this body.

But I have no trouble imagining what "I" would be like if I swapped bodies, if I altered my body, if I linked external sources of information to my body. At the end of the day, the thing that housed my thoughts and memories would be "me", I wouldn't care much what it looked like.

I'm not trying to advocate body modification, I'm wary of it for several somewhat nuanced reasons, but I have a persistent identity that exists separately from my body. Infact, even though I associate certain people as "my" friends, certain people as "my" family, and certain people as belonging to "my" society, I would be the same person with different influences and therefore a slightly different adaptation or version of me might exist if these factors were changed. But as long as I have memories, as long as I have the same analytical thought process, and as long as I have the same basic values (which arise from memories paired with thought process) I cannot be someone else unless I swap memories and thought processes. Whatever I experience is "my" experience and is added to whatever constitutes "me". Whatever I do or think alters me just a tiny bit. I suppose I believe that we are never exactly the same person from moment to moment, but seeing as we can only be one person at one time in one place and make only once choice in any given situation in life (even if that one choice is no choice or multiple actions, it still counts as one course of action). Individuality arises from the collection of and personal analyzation of our previous actions, thoughts, and states of being.

I think that it would be nearly impossible for someone to cease to be themselves.

POST SCRIPT:

The above statement may, however, lead to people questioning brain enhancements or alterations. At least on this forum, brain enhancements or alterations could mean one of two things.

1) The brain is left essentially unaltered but gains more efficient means to store information, is able to more efficiently gather information from various extra personal sources (popular e.g. Wikipedia), and/or is able to more efficiently communicate with others (e.g. GitS "telepathic" link where information is sent directly from one person to another without traditional forms of communication). I doubt these types of enhancements would change anything at all regarding personal identity as such things already exist in their less efficient forms now (e.g. I can already access and analyze Wikipedia, can already store my old thoughts more accurately on paper or hard drive [albeit in written form], and can already communicate fairly efficiently with others).

2) The brain is significantly altered in some way, e.g. person is altered to possess a "smarter" way of thinking, is altered to become more focused, or is altered to become "happier". This is where problems arise and this is where one can make a decent argument for these actions actually screwing with your personal identity. You are who you are unless you can change the way that you exist. All of these examples tweak your thought process or memories in such a way that, were this process to be performed in a test where the person were observed, then altered, then observed, then reverted back to original, and then observed again one could clearly state that there were fundamental differences between these two people and that an artificial stimulant was the reason. A common modern day example would be antidepressants. Lots of people go on antidepressants because they are unhappy with their current mindset, feel like the drugs artificially alter them in some fundamental way, get creeped out, and, when they come off the drugs, will later describe the ordeal as making them feel like as though they "weren't themselves".

In conclusion, the only way that external enhancements could alter who you "are" or "were" would be if it artificially altered your thought process, memories, or values. Most proposed technologies would not do this.
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Allibon



Joined: 31 Jul 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I completely agree with the above. Our bodies do not form a sense of who 'we' are. The thoughts, actions and movements performed by the body are who we are.

Take the internet for example, most communication is via an avatar or username. By no means can anybody make a correct judgement of who or what you are like as a person, physically. Therefore, they judge or form a perception of who you are by the contents of your posts; your opinions.

In the case of brain enhancements or alterations, the first case is spot on.
The means of communication in GitS are basically the same as present technology, they are just more personalised, i.e, inside the persons conscience, rather than hand-held devices.

How much easier would life be if we could process and recall information quicker, never worry about sickness and health problems in the biolgogical sense and function more efficiently in terms of performance?
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