For those of you interested in the intersection between religion and pop culture, I have been posting a series of worldview analysis based on The Walking Dead and Philosophy, a book that looks at the deeper questions in AMC’s wildly popular series.
“Even before The Walking Dead and Jersey Shore became popular, the world had been introduced to the notion of philosophical zombies, theoretical creatures identical to human beings with one tiny distinction – they have no consciousness, qualia, or sentience. Imagine a twin who is identical to you in every possible material way but lacks any type of inner subjective experience. Clearly something is different between the two of you, but how and why?”
“Daniel Dennett says that ‘…mechanistic theories of consciousness…do, in fact, explain everything about consciousness that needs explanation.’ We may think we are conscious people with subjective experiences of rationality, self-awareness, thoughts, ideas, and emotions, but we aren’t. If Dennett is correct, then at some level ‘machines,’ ‘conscious beings,’ and ‘humans’ must have at least compatible, if not interchangeable, natures. But do we have compelling reason to believe that our subjective experiences can be reduced to emergent qualities of complex biological and chemical machinery?”
“Beneath this story line lurk several serious questions: Do people have rights? If so, where do we get them? Are they innate or contrived? And even if they exist and are codified, how are they best enforced?”
“If Camus and his disciples are correct, we have always lived in a post-apocalyptic world. Which is worse, I wonder – a world in which human are wiped out, or one in which human have always roamed an earth devoid of meaning, hope, morality and truth?”
“The subhuman zombies of AMC’s The Walking Dead have reanimated a hot philosophical topic: What does it mean to be human? It’s one thing to identify deviations from the norm. Clarifying the standard from which we are deviating is a bit more difficult.”