Poem #118: “A Zombie’s Argument”

I think this is a fitting poem to end the year… 🙂

A Zombie’s Argument*

It is not my lot in life
to be happy,
to feel unbound joy,
to savor the moment
as if it is all there is—
as if that moment
will never return.

It is not my lot in life
to feel sorrow so deep
it drowns me, so pro-
found it shifts the
molecules of my soul
and changes me
forever.

It is not my lot in life
to be wrenched by love
or hate until they con-
sume me, until they
transform me into
something that needs
to shed its skin before
it can live again.

For I am not alive; I am
an automaton, a robot,
a zombie going through
the motions without thought,
without feeling, without
substance.

*In the philosophy of mind, a Zombie Argument posits the existence of a parallel world in which every physical action that is happening in our world is happening there—e.g., my typing this sentence and revising it, and you reading it—but the parallel world is inhabited by zombies who lack consciousness. Thus, in the parallel world, the zombie who typed this and the zombie who read this have done exactly the same physical actions as we have here, but that zombie did not have any conscious awareness of the poem. Assuming that you are not a zombie yourself, if you’re interested in finding out more about this, the Wikipedia article “Philosophical zombie” is a good place to start.

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