📰 Morality for Exploded Minds
Full Title: Morality for Exploded Minds
My not-so-hidden agenda is to battle against the everyday notion of the self, the idea that at the core of a Person is something simple and unitary.
Social life requires and creates legibility. Thus, maintaining a self is necessary to be a social being. Everybody has to do it, it is a moral imperative of existing in society. The practicalities of daily life require creating roles, which harden into masks.
If Durkheim is to be believed, then the unitary self is more than a mere social convenience; it is a necessary feature of what it is to be human. The soul is the locus of everything that is sacred, that is, of our highest values. This makes deconstructing it even more problematic. Trying to reverse-engineer a wiring diagram of the self can be seen as a desecration, a violation of this most holy nexus.
Efforts to undermine the single self, then, are seen as subverting of morality. And rightly so! That’s not to say such efforts are actually bad, just that they interfere with standard moral reasoning, which requires there to be a self which makes choices, has some slightly magical qualities called “freedom” and “responsibility”, and is available to give credit or blame to as required. To undermine this is to shirk a duty.
Morality is tightly linked to the set of values defined by sacralization, with the consequence that persons are the definitionally the most important thing there is, with a transcendent value over the everyday. Theistic religion performs this elevation of personhood by means of a divine Person that humans are images of; secular humanism performs it more directly, but they both take the idea of personhood as both fixed and of basically infinite value.