If you could somehow make every living person have complete amnesia and lose their identity, would you do it?

Submitted by leftous in AskRaddle

Just a little thought experiment I was considering.

If somehow you could "wipe the slate clean" on every living human, and erase their memories and identity in terms of nationality, ethnicity, religious, and political identity, would you find this desirable?

What would the consequences be? And do you think humans would end up making the same mistakes over again?


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Trina wrote

Never. There's no point to living if we lose our experiential memory and relationships.



Since I believe that the fight against the capitalist system is mostly an ideological issue, it would be quite easy to build a better society when all minds are empty. I'm not a maoist but there is a interesting quote from Mao Zedong: "On a blank sheet of paper free from any mark, the freshest and most beautiful characters can be written; the freshest and most beautiful pictures can be painted."


jadedctrl wrote

That's basically murder… but honestly, it might be morally justifiable.

I'm kind of reminded of The Worthing Saga. In it, cryogenics is used so people don't die while traveling over long distances in space— but their memories are stored externally. The ship crashes, and all of the “memory modules“ are destroyed except for the main character's. He goes on to create his vision of a perfect world. Without conflict, violence, and of cooperation. Thanks to his guidance (and education), the society becomes such and develops rapidly and harmoniously.

If everyone's memories were wiped, then humankind would almost certainly fall into the same pitfalls we've experienced. But with people who have memories in-tact and have a vision of a better world to guide them… it would be possible. But it also could just degenerate into horrific tyranny. Utopia or dystopia, it's a 50/50 shot. :p


leftous wrote (edited )

That sounds like a very interesting read.

You make a good point that it would require someone who knew where this leads, and therefore could establish a "utopia". But even that itself would be risky since it would require the right person, and could devolve into something unintended. Even if there was no one to lead, it is possible that people could have access to info from the past and figure it out.

I think overall be worth the risk, even if it is 50/50, since our current situation is shit and accelerating in that direction. We also have a lot of the technology now to avoid many past mistakes e.g. where direct democracy can occur using decentralized technologies, rather than representatives in government where we put blind trust in hierarchy. That itself would be a game changer.