Re: mental and not physical modifications may create the most "alien" people...

Date: Sat Feb 12 2000 - 07:44:14 MST

In a message dated 2/10/2000 8:55:16 AM EST, writes:

<< To take an example that came up in my "Big ideas" sf campaign: a
 business leader being questioned about whether he had done some
 illegal things, and answered turthfully: "I have no recollections of
 ever having done so, and I consider the act deeply immoral!". But
 earlier he had been much less ethical, and deliberately created an
 ethical "Dr. Jekyll" personality that had no memories and had very
 different values, and a "Mr. Hyde" personality with no such
 inhibitions that appeared at certain points or in certain
 situations. So he could continue his unethical dealings without his
 conscious knowledge. Of course the real problem here is juridical: is
 he guilty of his crimes, or a victim of mental insanity? Is it a crime
 to do this kind of restructuring? Should Mr. Hyde be punished but not
 Dr. Jekyll? >>

An interesting example. However, if such a restructuring is possible in the
first place, then it is likely that other changes could be made. Offer Dr.
Jekyll the chance to rid himself of Mr Hyde. This is of course assuming that
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are still in essence the same person, but with
differing moral constraints. The real problem would be if they are truly
independent and individual personalities. Of course, given your example I
would guess that the Mr Hyde persona is somewhat underdeveloped (though
perhaps quite colorful) compared to Dr Jekyll since it is the Jekyll persona
that is best for handling the majority of the day's events. The more time he
spends as Hyde, the greater the chance of discovery, hence Jekyll is likely
the default personality. Now then, if Jekyll is merely a glib shell used
solely for public appearances, this would not be the case, but also it would
be less likely that there would be a true working personality there. Also a
question is "how bad is bad?" Has Hyde killed? Or does he just take in the
bribes to lose some of Jekyll's paperwork<g>. The three factors most
important in dealing with such a person would be:
1) How separable are the two personalities (are there really two different
people or just very different facets of one)?
2) How well developed are the personalities?
3) What kinds of crimes are being committed?

Glen Finney

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