Saturday, October 27, 2007

Maintain the Quarantine



So I'm sitting here in Drury's library in beautiful Springfield,MO... I'm supposed to be working on a book review due next week, but instead I've been busy playing addicting online games, facebook stalking and watching Mark write his Leibniz paper for Modern Philosophy. I decided to take a momentary break from the mind-numbing to blog.

I've been neglecting this thing, but it hasn't been for lack of ideas. I wanted to make a great post on torture and the ideas I'm learning in my Religious Perspectives on War and Peace class. I

I also really wanted to write about this new Planned Parenthood blog, I Am Emily X, which has entries written by Planned Parenthood workers and allows you to pledge a certain amount per every protester that shows up outside of a specific PP during the anti-choice groups' "40 days for life campaign".

But alas, papers and classes have kept me away from my beloved blog. Silly grad school.

All that aside... I'd like to pose a question to you, my loyal readers-

Last weekend Mark and I watched "28 Weeks Later", the horrible sequel to "28 Days Later". Though some people classify the two as zombie movies, they're really not. Zombies are the undead, reanimated to life by some sinister force or virus or whatever...point is- zombies are dead humans brought back to life. In the 28 series, the so-called "zombies" are actually just humans who have contracted the "Rage virus" which makes them lose control and mercilessly tear other people to bits and/or gouge other people's eyes out with their thumbs. (Was that really necessary? Ugh.)

Watching the sequel prompted both Mark and I to promise each other that we would shoot the other one if for some reason they ever contracted such a virus. (And trust me Mark, I will definitely shoot you before I have to die bleeding out of my empty eye-sockets. ) As Mark put it- "It wouldn't be me."

So here's the question- What makes you YOU? How do you identify what is you and what is not? If I contract an illness that causes brain damage and experience a personality change (I start acting like I'm "not myself") am I a different person?

If you identify yourself simply with your body, then what about zombies? Is a dead person reanimated still that person, even if their desires have changed? (i.e. BRAAAAAAAIIIINNNNS!)

Perhaps I'm putting waaaay too much thought into silly zombie movies, but it's Halloween! :-)
And I'm curious to hear what you think...

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go dig up Drury's copies of the Dianetics. My Thetan levels are too high. ;-)

1 comment:

Eli said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but we're just wrapping up personal identity in class, so I felt like I should wait to hear more about the theories before I try to define my own position.

I think I'm a type of brain theorist that combines elements of psychological continuum theory. Essentially, that means I consider both a consciousness AND a physical existence that continue (more or less) the same over time in order to be "me".

A lot of this feels like it's over my head, but what I think I mean by "more or less the same" over time is that I have memories of doing things from the past. If I can remember (with a high degree of accuracy) doing something in the past and identifying that with
"me", then that creates a bridge between the me of the past and the me of the present.

This isn't a critique, but to analyze your language, I feel like a complete "personality shift" would necessitate the separation from "who I am," because it's my PERSONality that's shifting. If I am no longer the same person, it's obvious that I'm not who I was a little while ago. For an animalist, that argument wouldn't stand, but that just serves as proof to me that I need more than a continuing physical body for my personal identity.