543 Day Writing Journey

Ship of Theseus. Day 167.

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

Here is the Wikipedia explanation of the Ship of Theseus: “In the metaphysics of identity, the Ship of Theseus is a thought experiment that raises the question of whether an object that has had all of its components replaced remains fundamentally the same object.”

This concept is newish to me, and it had us talking about what it means for something to be original or the same. Because it’s a thought experiment, there’s no right or wrong answer so your answer is correct, but it’s also wrong.

According to my newborn understanding of the Ship of Theseus, I have come up with a few examples. (One I must offer credit to Marvel’s WandaVision.) Here are a few:

  • If you have a boat and name it Jennifer, and through the years you replace damaged parts until there is nothing original left, is it still Jennifer?
  • If you have a house and it is rebuilt due to a fire or flood, is it the same house?
  • If a synthezoid who is made from vibranium is replaced with shiny new parts, and his or her memory has been transferred from the original synthezoid, is it still the same synthezoid?
  • If a brain is transplanted into another human, who is that human? Is it the brain or the body?

Is it so complicated though? Simplicity has been pushed aside in history for the sake of confusing others and spewing out narratives that are above another’s mental understanding. Educated people like politicians and world leaders will use complicated theories, which when peeled apart, are not so complex, simply to confuse.

In my opinion, this concept, or experiment, is quite simple which almost makes it more complicated. Most importantly though is that it’s fun to debate about.

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