Thursday, May 20, 2010

Diaries of an Uncertain Man. 2...

26th May 2565 AD Earth Time

It was the strangest moment anyone can ever experience. What was strange about it was not seeing my self dead. Even if I saw myself dancing it would have still felt weird, even weirder than seeing myself dead. What was unexplainable about this moment was that I can see myself. How can any one be able to see himself as if he is seeing someone else? I am supposed to be Faried Gaweesh. How can I still be Faried Gaweesh if I did see him right in front of me? I must be someone else. No matter how everyone including my wife treated me as if I was Faried, I am not him. Faried Gaweesh is dead. That's simply it. No one can ever convince me otherwise.

But, why am I so stubborn like this? Why Can't I be Faried? I feel like Faried. I have all of his memories. I think in the exact same manner like him. What I am doing right now is the same thing he was used to do whenever he faced a problem that seems unsolvable. I miss Maryem in the same way that her husband could have missed her. I was happy with seeing my parents in the same way that their son would have been. I know Faried's secrets more than any one in the universe. I know his fears, his hopes and his dreams. I am even lost right now in the same way that Faried would have been lost if he was in my place. Yeah, I did see Faried in front of me for a moment, but what is the big deal with that? After all every one keeps telling me that I am him. Why is it so hard for me to accept what I feel inside? I feel that I am Faried Gaweesh.

What determines the identity of any one? Is it his body? Why would it be? The cells forming our bodies change regularly. The organic body of any human being keeps changing all the time. Changing would be improper description of what happens to the human body. A more appropriate term would be substitution. Most of the cells of our organic bodies get substituted by time. Our bodies keep changing structurally and morphologically as we grow. So, even if the process of resurrection involved a substitution of the organic body with a Mecha-body this would not create a challenge for the identity of the human being.

If it is not the body that determines the identity of a human being, then what is it? Is it the soul? Dose any one still use this term after all? Back in history, people conceived soul to be related to vitality. With scientific discoveries, vitality was reduced to biological reactions, which were further reduced into chemical reactions, and those chemical reactions were then reduced to the physical laws governing the universe. Vitality was shown not to be any different from what goes on in the entire universe. The boundary between vitality and non vitality was proven to be illusory. Later, people identified soul with consciousness. Consciousness was and still is the most fascinating phenomenon for humans. Even though, consciousness is so unique, science managed to provide an explanation for it. In the beginning of the 21st century scientists such as Cristof Koch attempted to locate what was called the NCC or the neuronal correlates of consciousness. By the end of the 21st century science successfully located the seat of consciousness within the human brain. Dualism about human consciousness was rejected long before and with successful location of the NCC, monism became unchallengeable. Consciousness was proven to be a mere property that arises from a particular complexity of matter. Just like electricity rises from the movement of electrons, heat arises from the movement of molecules, consciousness arise as well from the function of the unique aggregation of neurons.  

In the beginning of the 23rd century, scientist identified how neurons and the synaptic connections between them store memories, information and concepts. That was what led to the resurrection technology. A resurrection replica is formed of a mechanical body which is made identical to the individual intending to undergo resurrection. However, the only organic part of this body is the brain. They would grow an organic brain out of the genetic code of the individual with the use of the stem cell technology, motivate its growth with growth enhancers, encode its neurons in the same manner that the brain of the individual is encoded, and finally implant it into the Mecha-body. Since consciousness inevitably arises from brain functions, this replica would be necessarily conscious. I didn't believe that such replica would be conscious till I was resurrected. I am conscious as ever. Nothing changed. Then, it can't be the consciousness itself which determines the identity of a human being.  If consciousness is nothing but a product of the human body, then there is nothing left to explain soul. Accordingly, soul can't be what identifies us.

Maybe it is still the body which makes the source of our identity. Even if our bodies keep changing continuously, the temporal and spatial continuity of the unity of this body might be what identifies us. After all, what makes me so reluctant to take myself to be Faried Gawessh is that there is no physical continuity between both of us. We are two separate bodies which have never shared the same temporal and spatial existence. I think this might be the cause why it is so difficult for me to accept the idea that I am Faried Gaweesh. However, this claim is still defeatable. I can argue against this claim through the following example. Let's think of someone who committed a murder. This murder was not caught. If this man lost his memory, and lived for long years after this murder, and during those years he managed to become a good citizen, would we still punish him or consider him to be a whole new man who can be allowed a new beginning. This man continued to have the same existing body. However, it seems that we can take his identity to change independent from his body.

I am realizing now that what identifies a human being is the coagulum of his memories, his personal traits and mental abilities, his perspectives, what he experienced and what he learned. This coagulum is what is so unique in each one of us. It is what makes me myself. I am now certain that I am Faried Gaweesh. I have experienced the world from unique perspectives. I have made mistakes and I have learned from it in a unique way. I am the net result of Faried's life and I am thankful to have the chance to go on growing and experiencing this life in a way that no one else can but Faried Gaweesh.                 

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