Posted by: zyxo | November 7, 2009

Extreme torture : do you chose the real thing or the memories ?

Image via Wikipedia

Ben Goertzel tweeted the following 3 tweets today :

  • Option A: you are tortured (with no permanent damage) and then the memory of the torture is erased.
  • Option B: you are not tortured and then a false memory of torture is programmed into your brain.
  • Which do you choose, A or B?

No funny thoughts, rather one of those choices you really prefer to never have to make. But if YOU had to chose, which one would it be ? A or B ? Let me know please !

His first 9 responses were : A : 7, B : 3
My own response : B (no actual pain) but afterwards I would go to let myself hypnothize to remove the awful memories ! 🙂

Makes me wonder : After the facts : what is real ? The memories you have seem to be real, but if there is a way to put memories there without having experienced the real situation, for you there memories correspond to the real situation.
I am sure there are ways to put memories in someone’s head ! A tough interrogation may result in the subject actually believing he was there, he saw this or that or he actually did it ! (see these articles : (1) (2) (3)

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  1. Hum… it’s almost going back to the traditional debate : “should we allow spanking [our kids] ?” with a certain twist. It may be a less radical example though i believe similar.

    I’d like to quote “Mr. Dubois” on that : “… pain is the basic mechanism built into us by millions of years of evolution which safeguards us by warning when something threatens out survival. Why should society refuse to use such a highly perfected survival mechanism ?” – Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein.

    I think i’d go for A.

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