Atheism, New atheism, philosophy, religion, science, science fiction movies


I had a little spare time Last week. Some period away from the stress of my place of work. Thus, I decided to engage in one of my past times (watching movies). It was one of the famous movies making grounds in Neuro science and philosophy because of its seeming novel scientific insights. It is titled SELFLESS. An American science fiction thriller produced last year. The film was written by David and Alex Pastor and directed by Tarsem Singh. In the movie, we see Damian a business tycoon who was diagnosed with a terminal illness but discovers a radical novel medical procedure called SHEDDING which gives room for the transfer of consciousness to an artificially grown healthy body. Interestingly, Damian decides to undergo this procedure and fakes his death. His body was successfully transferred into a new body and drugs were given to him to prevent hallucinations which he claims are side effects of the procedure. After some time, Damian begins a new life in New Orleans under the name Edward Kidner and the story continues. My interest here is not to unravel the whole plot of the story, mine is more of a reflection and also to draw our attention to the rising issue in science, the possibility of the transfer of consciousness to the human person and its devastating effects to the future of man. Is it right for shedding to take place under any guise even in the case of death as we have in our selfless movie?  Living in a techno-scientific world, man is faced with the nagging tendency of making technology the be all and end all of our existence. As we move towards a De-Godment(doing away with God) and a relativization of morals, everything gradually becomes permissible. This earthly existence is now held tenaciously and vain efforts are made to enthrone immortality to an ever frail mortal nature. It is within this spectrum that we can understand the efforts made to promote scientific novelties like Shedding while depersonalizing the human dignity. While the movie makes it seem like it is very easy to swap memories between two people, one should be aware of the severe difficulties involved According to Wolfgang Fink a Neuro Scientist, “the reason why the selfless-style body procedure is not possible is because, everyone has a different brain. Here one would have to transfer not just memories but the same generating process”. Besides what about the dangers and unknown side effects of such procedures? Surely a human consciousness in an artificial body calls into serious question his humanity and dignity. He or she is more like a walking robot. What’s more, there is no assurance that the so called artificial body can live longer. It will get to die one day. Thus, why the unbridled quest for immortality? It all boils down to the fact that we are gradually loosing the sense of the absolute value of the human person. A bizarre world indeed!  Technology and science should not blind and enslave men despite its positive effects. We do not live for the sake of technology. We cannot loose our humanity because of science. Science must be subject to right reason. A future that shedding or the transfer of consciousness will take place spells doom for the human race. The sacredness and inviolability of the body must be respected and should not be sacrificed on the altar of science and technology.  A BLISSFUL WEEK TO ALL OF US! 


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