What is human life? Easy question isn’t it. Should this even be a question? Now you’re wondering what this article is trying to achieve. Well, currently, the concept of human life is hardly in doubt. But let me take you into the future.
We all know how prostheses have improved the quality of life of some disabled folks. Now, losing a limb, or two, isn’t as bad as it once was.
There are even international competitions for the disabled like the Paralympics.
As technology has progressed, so have the non-organic attachments. Now we have some devices that not only serve for motion, they can serve sensory functions as seen here. Following this progression, it doesn’t seem to be abnormal to picture a society with a lot of humans with non-organic parts.
Presently, we are familiar with many virtual reality programmes that allow the user to create a version of themselves for the virtual world to interact with other components.
Those versions of us, that represent us in the virtual world, go through various stages of the programme making decisions we would make in certain scenarios.
Over time, there is a good chance a significant part of us is embedded into those characters we have created. All that information is stored, and with some tweaks, the character can be simulated to continue their life journeys without our knowledge. It would carry-on its tasks similar to the way we would. The only problem that might occur is if the character faces a scenario it has not encountered before, and has no decision or reaction to exhibit because the user has not inputted reactions to the new scenario. However, the character can be said to behave like us in some ways. Can we say such character has human life? As far as the virtual world is concerned, it can eat, excrete, reproduce, react, move, breathe, grow (all these can be inputted into the systems with a few tweaks) and other basic functions of life. The character is also much more than that, it looks like you, thinks like you, and has feelings like you. So how different is it from you?
Many people spend hours in the virtual world, and even show signs of addiction to it, the environment serves to fulfil some fantasies that the real world can not fulfil, from winning trophies as a football manager, to being the best player in the world on Pro Evolution Soccer, from being famous and rising to be an A-list celebrity on the Kim Kardashian: Hollywood game to become a WWE superstar. The virtual reality have given a sense of satisfaction to some people that the real world hasn’t given. Where do you think such a person lives?
There is some research going into connecting our minds to Internet. A future where the bridge between reality and virtual world is indistinguishable isn’t far-fetched. Some Transhumanists believe the future of the human race lies outside our physicality. Would you consider human life the same without a leg? Without both legs? Without any limbs? Would you consider the human life the same without a body? Isn’t it a human life if it lives like humans, feels like humans, thinks like humans, and acts like humans? If you do not agree, where should the line be drawn?
all images are from the internet