Animists

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Lazarus Lazarus's picture
Animists

This is an idea I've had kicking around in my head for a bit. Since Skie said that some of their players may have trouble with some of the transhumanist ideas I thought I would break it, both as a possible solution to their problem and for people to provide comments.

Animists feel that there is some essential indescribable component to the core of humanity. Not all of their members are religious. Some are people who just have difficulty with the idea that their brain can be copied into a computer, duplicated, and you can have two copies placed into morphs while a third copy runs as an infomorph and all of them are 'you'. As a result the movement uses the word 'Animus' to describe that essential core of self identity (and hence the term 'Animists'). That doesn't mean that none of them believe in souls. Many of them do. However the term they tend to use when they wish to be 'politically correct' is Animus.

The way Animists function is that the body they were born with, which they refer to as their Corpus, is the seat of identity. When that body dies they are dead and gone (or reincarnated into a new form with a new identity at the very least). Typically an Animist's Corpus is a flat or splicer since few children are born into more heavily modified bodies, but it is not unheard of for the children of wealthier parents to be born as biomorphs such as sylphs, olympians, or even mentons due to in utero genetic modifications and neonatal cybernetics.

Animists, while considered bioconservatives, have no real problems with using other morphs, even infomorphs. The difference is in how they use and perceive those morphs. When your average transhuman sleeves into a new morph that morph becomes them and most legal systems regard the new morph as the sleeving identity. The old morph is erased because of all the legal headaches, not to mention existential confusion, that two copies of an individual would entail. On the other hand an Animist views a morph as simply an extension of them. It is the same way that their image on someone's screen is an extension of them without actually being them or the way that a camera drone that a person controls is an extension of them without actually being them.

As a result an Animist, when sleeving into another morph, does not wipe their Corpus. Instead the Corpus is placed into what is essentially a medically induced coma. Animists maintain sleeving and medical facilities throughout the solar system for the long term storage and care of their Corpora (the plural of Corpus). Animists sleeving into an alternate morph for a short amount of time will often use reputable sleeving facilities which can maintain the Corpus for a modest fee.

In the case of short term use of a morph the morph's neural patterns are 'reintegrated' with the Corpus and the morph is wiped. While this can be viewed as the merging of an alpha fork the fact that the Corpus has had no new experiences greatly simplifies the process. This does not mean the process is completely stress free, however, and alienation and integration tests are still required.

Many Animists are not adverse to the more long term use of morphs. They will leave their Corpus in long term storage, preferring the enhancements of their morph over their own frailties, even while maintaining the concept that their Corpus is their 'true self'. From time to time they will have their neural patterns 'reintegrated' with their Corpus without awakening the Corpus, essentially using their Corpus in much the same way that other transhumans use computer backups of their neural patterns.

Animists, like any large group, are not absolutely homogeneous. The majority of them are quite happy spending the vast majority of their lives in forms other than their Corpus. They have no problem with ego casting or downloading the experiences of a cortical stack into their Corpus and are just as comfortable as infomorphs, pods, or synthmorphs as they are as biomorphs. A lot of Animists are even comfortable with the creation of Beta forks, though nearly all draw the line at Alpha forks (which some people find ironic as an Animist consciousness driving a morph essentially is an Alpha fork for all practical and legal purposes). However, there are more conservative Animists who hold to personal beliefs such as not creating any forks, not downloading from a cortical stack, not sleeving into synth morphs, and in some of the most extreme cases preferring to remotely jam their alternate bodies without sleeving into them (these individuals are of course limited in only being able to control morph bodies within very short solar distances).

One bit of irony is that some people view Animists as potential Jovian spies. This stems from the fact that the Jovian Junta employs agents who utilize an almost identical system to allow themselves to assume morphs not typically expected for the purposes of infiltration. This is ironic because most likely any infiltrating agent would hide the fact that they possess a Corpus and so would not claim to be Animists.

My artificially intelligent spaceship is psychic. Your argument it invalid.