If someone loses limbs, they’re still who they are. If major organs are replaced, they’re still basically them. So at what point do they stop being themselves? Even if they could respond with only beeps triggered by brain-waves, we’d still probably consider them present. There seems to be an essence that defines them, and if they are unable to express that essence, then perhaps at that point they’re no longer themselves.
Something that seems crucial, is the ability to recognize others. Look at non-human entities for instance. We love that animals recognize us and actively display that recognition. If a robot were to recognize and specifically acknowledge us, then we would likely develop an affinity for it, seeing it as human-like. If at any point the recognition ceases, we’d likely sense an empty feeling within ourselves, a lonliness.
What we need from our exterior world is recognition that we exist. For some reason we doubt, then we seek a means to relieve that sensation of not-being. Sometimes we attempt to leave a mark, a graffiti of sorts. We oftentimes want to poke some aspect of the world and get a reaction. If we’re in front of a desktop-computer for instance, how do we know it’s responsive unless we wiggle the mouse and witness the moving cursor.
Yet to think about it, we appear to be watchers of our own lives, often recalling aspects that happened in our personal history. There’s self-recognition by our consciousness. And without this self-awareness, we’d be automatons never noticing ourselves — it is recognition that makes existence worthwhile. What use is anything without some form of appreciation? And so it is our role to appreciate our own existence.
But what exactly do we want to watch? It seems that we’re tuned for observing ourselves expressing our essence. In fact we tend to feel an angst if we fail to witness ourselves expressing our underlying inclinations. We enter life as if programmed for a particular path. This is the channel we’ve turned to and we really want to see the expected outcome — we want authenticity. So let’s give ’em what they came for.