A very odd random thought...

@foxyfire33 (10007)
United States
March 5, 2007 10:10am CST
Imagine that doctors have found a way to successfully transplant the human brain... Now imagine that you've been told you have an inoperable brain tumor and you will die unless you have a transplant... Would you do it? Everything you know, everything you've experienced is stored in your brain. You are who you are because of where you've been, what you've done and who you've known. If your brain was replaced with someone else's, who would you be? You would be the same physically but mentally you would become the other person. Wouldn't it be like dying anyway? You're body would still be alive but "you" would be gone. Would it be worth it, to lose all of your memories and your identity to keep your body alive? Or is being alive more important than "who" you are? I have no idea how this thought popped into my head but thought it would make a good discussion. I'm honestly still undecided about what I would do although I'm leaning towards having the transplant. I wouldn't be "me" anymore but could spend the rest of my life learning about who I was. But at the same time I think it would be really hard on my family. I wouldn't know them anymore, they would be strangers to me and I to them...what if the "new me" didn't like children! There are no wrong answers so let's just discuss it and see where it leads!
4 responses
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
7 Mar 07
What an interesting dilemma. Suspending all disbelief and assuming that this is all possible, do I really want to live with a different brain? But then would that still be me? We are not talking of a portion, we are talking of the whole brain. So that would mean, that in totality everything will be gone. Unless you subscribed to the notion that there is something within us that is not tangible that makes us who we are, the soul. For it is believed that our cells die and regrow in different stages but we retain who we are because of the presence of something that is not based on the material world. This experiment of having your complete brain transplant might be a good way to ascertain if these claims are true. If our brain has been removed and replaced totally by a stranger's, would we still be who we are or would we start to live another person's life? I guess, instead of answering your questions, I've just opened more.
@foxyfire33 (10007)
• United States
7 Mar 07
But by opening more questions, you've expanded on the dilemma. It makes one wonder how much of a person's being is stored in the brain and how much is contained elsewhere. It reminds me of those situations of identical twins separated at birth having the same personalities and traits. If they were not raised together then surely these things were not learned but encoded in them in some other way. But then does that prove the existence of a soul or a genetic predisposition? Once genes are brought into the discussion it brings up even more questions. Some people say obesity is genetic, others say it's caused by the person's lifestyle and how they've "wired" their brain. I am genetically predisposed to have a small body, if I received an overweight person's brain, would it over ride my genes and cause me to be overweight? Thank you for putting so much thought into your response. Since there are no sure answers, I was just hoping to get people thinking. By presenting your own questions, you showed it worked.
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
14 Mar 07
Thank you for selecting my answer as best response!
• Australia
5 Mar 07
Are you actually sure about the consequences you posit?
@foxyfire33 (10007)
• United States
5 Mar 07
Well there's a reason I said "imagine". This is a purely hypothetical situation. It would be impossible to be "actually sure" of any of the consequences unless this became a reality. Common sense however, tells me that these would most likely be the consequences.
@decimus785 (1419)
• Aruba
5 Mar 07
Will the brain transplant make an effect on our heart?
@foxyfire33 (10007)
• United States
5 Mar 07
In my scenario I'm assuming it would be the same as any other organ transplant. The new brain would work with the rest of our body just like in actual transplants of organs being used now.
@imsilver (1667)
• Canada
5 Mar 07
I really wish I could remember the title of the book but it's just gone. I believe though that it was an Issac Asimov book I read one time at a friends place while I stayed there for a couple of weeks. It was on this subject. This old rich guy has his brain transplanted into the body of his young secretary. It was really a great book. I was a little iffy about it when I read the plot on the back but I really enjoyed the story. It was so well written. And it's really annoying that I can't come up with the title of the book.. LOL..