Your Youness:
Is There A You Independent of Your Brain?

 

The following scenarios offer you a chance to consider your notion of self.



Scenario 1

The ability to interface brain and inanimate computer has been long perfected. All your memories, learned motor responses, etc. (all kept inside you as so many synaptic junctions) are downloaded to inorganic computer memory. To this, a “blank” brain – that is, a complete brain less the synaptic connections, slowly uploads your memories, growing the appropriate junctions.
How do you feel about destroying your original brain and “rebooting” to the new brain?
Will you still be you in the new brain?
Keep in mind that someone who knows you will be unable to tell the old you and the new you apart.



Scenario 2

The ability to custom grow a brain to exacting specifications has been long perfected.
This process generates a brain complete with all synaptic junctions and receptors to tolerances within the width of a single atom. Growth occurs completely free of electrical stimulation, so the “developing” brain is completely off, asleep through the growth process. By this method your brain is exactly replicated. Your original brain is removed, the duplicate installed and opened to electrical impulses.
Are you you?



Scenario 3

As in scenario 2, your brain, complete with memories, motor skills, etc. is exactly replicated. But in addition, so is your body. You have been physically copied exactly. Your existing brain is connected to the new brain via a nerve bundle that interfaces all your major thought and motor centers. Through special instructions, you are able to see out of the remote body’s eyes; you are able to move the other body’s arms; you are able to walk around in the other body. After a while, your second brain and body “feel” like they are a genuine part of you. Your original body is destroyed. Remember, this second body was equipped with the brain in scenario 2, fully possessing all your experiences.
Are you you?

 

 

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© Dave Zes 2005