Continuity – a fictional article by Mike Neumeyer
So, I was driving down the Autobahn and lost control of my Corvette. This ended up causing me to get into a terrible accident, which destroyed my body. Luckily, the doctors were able to hook my brain up to Chuck Norris’ body. Am I the same person that I used to be? In this extreme case it’s hard to convince myself of that, seeing my new face in the mirror everyday. Also, my new body can do some pretty intense roundhouse kicks that my old one could not. One thing I do have though is my old internal identity, including personal psychological states and memories. What it feels like in the end is that I’m myself trapped in Chuck Norris’ body. Therefore, I.am still myself.
I still think I am myself even though I have a different body, but if we evaluate this view in the context of “Continuity of Soul/Spirit” there are some problems. First off, the opinion I have melds with the “Soul/Spirit” view. The same soul with which I drove that Corvette off the road, still exists in my new, red bearded body. Therefore, I am still “I”. The problem is that we can’t ever perceive anybody else’s soul or spirit from the outside. Sure, Chuck Norris could take whatever body he has now (I heard he got the body of James Sage) and try to prove to the cast of “Walker: Texas Ranger” that he is still the same person, but they could not perceive if he is right or wrong by merely looking at him. There is no way to prove the “Continuity of Soul/Spirit” theory.
The “Continuity of Body” is another theory to consider. This doesn’t agree completely with my opinion. What it is to be “me” would be to inhabit the same or close to the same body. So, if Chuck Norris’ body was given my brain, in the view of the “Continuity of Body” theory, I would then be Chuck Norris’? I know I would not be myself. This is because what people will directly perceive is the most believable. They don’t care what I tell them, they just know that they recognize me as Mr. Norris. There are some arguments against this theory like if our body changes in a less drastic way, losing a limb perhaps, our personality doesn’t change. We remain the same person although the body we possess changes. Another thought is that we can separate our minds from our body, like when we wake up without opening our eyes. We know we are there, but we haven’t recognized that we have the same body yet. Ifl woke up in Chuck Norris’ body, I would start to have doubts.
One more theory to touch on is the “Continuity of Brain”. The importance of the brain as an organ compared with others is stressed in this idea. When one imagines how much a personality can change under great brain trauma, they can get to thinking that our identity is counting on the brain. In other cases, the personality is not effected at all.
Therefore, the most important thing in this case is what intangible things a brain helps us have: memories, goals, desires, and beliefs. In this case, I have all the same internal identity traits along with my old memories. I just have Chuck Norris’ body! Well, then I’m still the same person.
Well, I hope Chuck Norris never finds me in his body, while on the other hand we could join together for some very good philosophical conversations. I believe that I would still be the same person, just not having the same body. Some people and theories would disagree with that, but at the same time no theories are guaranteed. All I know is Chuck Norris is supposed to be dead; it’s just that death himself is to chicken to confront Mr. Norris. I hope he doesn’t come after me…
Response from “Chuck Norris:”