Monday, May 19, 2014

Downloaded

I know, I know.  As every good Wholigan knows, the proper term with cybermen is upgraded, not downloaded.  But the original question I was asked a while back was if I could be downloaded into a robot body so that my health issues no longer wearied me, would I do it?  I have to use the exact word from the question.  I am weird that way.  Speaking of weird, science fiction fans come up with some weird questions to ask, do they not?

The answer is no.  To the initial question, not whether science fiction fans come up with weird questions.  The answer to that one can only be yes.  

Just to get the least existential reason out of the way first, I am too much of a cynic to think nothing could ever go wrong with a robot body. Even if I wanted to be immortal, the odds are the body could eventually malfunction and be damaged beyond repair. In that case, I would be merely delaying the inevitable. Even worse, there is a possibility the body could be partially damaged, thereby giving me a disability for eternity rather than just by allotted three score and ten and some change if God has other plans. What is the value in that?

But for the rest of my argument, I will cast aside my cynicism--not an easy task, that--and assume the process of downloading my consciousness into a robot body works as planned and I become a perfectly healthy, immortal thingamabob. It does not sound like a good idea, either.

First, I have questions about my soul. I believe I have one, so skeptics need not bother calling me on it. I have heard your arguments from years of engaging in apologetics. You have nothing new to tell and I already know you believe I am ignorant. Save your breath. The human body is greater than the sum of its parts. Whatever that spark of life is, it has something to do with the soul. The consciousness is the closest way I can define it, so removing it from the body sounds like a no-no in the first place. I am not eager to house it in an immortal body, either.

Second, I am no hedonist, but I think I would lose a lot of human pleasures trapped inside a robot body. Even with emotions intact, there is the lost sensation of human touch, food, and drink, an afternoon nap, petting my cat, or a thousand other things I could come up with if I thought about the possibilities. The consequences that come right off the top of my head are the same day because I would not be able to create new memories. enough of a deterrent.

Third, I could not watch the cycle of life and death continue for all eternity, even assuming that would happen. Neurologists now theorize the brain only has the capacity to store about 400 years worth of memory. Assuming my mind in this robot body is still mine, I could wind up like Drew Barrymore in Fifty First Dates. Every day is But even assuming that does not happen, I cannot imagine forming new attachments over and over again, only to watch people I love wither away and die. I would eventually wind up an emotionally dead hermit.

Finally, who wants to live forever? Even Christians rely on the faith God has made heaven stimulating enough for us to want to spend eternity there because of doubts we would want to live anywhere forever. Things have to end, or else the experience gets stale as it becomes too familiar. A person can get bored with anything, but particularly when one has enough time to do everything.

There are too many con arguments with downloading my consciousness into a robot body to seriously consider the pro arguments valid. Near as I can tell, the only pro argument is getting rid of health problems I am currently suffering. That would wind up as temporary relief versus never ending negative consequences even if the transfer works perfectly. I do not see how any reasonable person would go for the option.

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