平凡的每一天都是奇迹。Never say die!

Desire as Human Nature



Desire as Human Nature

Overthousands of years, people try to define human nature. Yet it is so complexthat perhaps we can never reach a clear-cut conclusion. Generally speaking, “humannature” is whatever that can be said to be the typical tendencies of humans.


RecentlyI read a short story about a 2-year-old American girl named Sophia. In a storeshe chose a black doll, which made the cashier quite confused. She askedSophia: “Are you sure to buy this one? She does not look like you at all. Wehave many dolls similar to you.” The little girl answered like this: “Didn’tyou see the girl is as lovely as I? She is endowed with beautiful hair, andchocolate-like skin!” Her proud mother was touched by Sophia’s purity andposted this story on Facebook, saying: “Sophia allows me to believe more firmlythat no one is born to be a racist. People may differ in skin color, but theyare all beauteous.” The innocence of Sophia encourages us a lot.


InConfucianism, men are deemed to be naturally good. This may hold water when weonly take our common appreciation for beauty into consideration. However, we cannotdeny the fact that men tend to be self-centered or even exclusive when frontingtheir lust directly. A buccaneer keeps his global sailing with the appetencefor gold. A baby longing for toys may cry or even hurt you if his desire cannotbe satisfied. Such kind of desire can both lead people to great discoveries andmislead men to blindness. Therefore we can hardly draw the conclusion thatdesire is vicious or not. The only thing we are convinced of is that everyonein this world has desire, no matter whether he notices it or not.


Desireoften equips us with limitless courage. Take the magician Medea in Greekmythology as an example. She was blessed with a delicate face and superb spells,but hopelessly fell in love with Jason when he arrived in Colchis to claim theGolden Fleece from Medea’s father, the King of Colchis. Driven by love, theprincess betrayed her father and helped Jason to finish the three tasksassigned by the King. Medea was totally trapped in the desire for being withJason, and that is why she turned her back on her homeland. Nevertheless, thestrong desire distorted her into a hag of betrayal later. Her husband, Jason,who was once brave and smart like a miracle, became tired of Medea, and fellfor Creusa, the young and lovely princess in Corinth. Desperate as Medea was,she poisoned Creusa to death, then killed her once beloved two sons with herown hands. 


Thetragedy reflects the contradiction of human nature. Humans can be extremelybrave due to desire for love, while such emotion may also breed insanity. Onthe other hand, the hero Jason also reveals the inner paradox of human beings. Theman who was as bright as the star abandoned the old for the new. Wicked peoplesometimes show mercy, while even the greatest man is also likely to do evil. 


Frommy point of view, mankind is a ferocious creature. We absorb knowledge greedilylike sponge to enhance our ability, in order to realize our desires andtargets. This character makes us the most powerful animal on the planet. However,in the malevolence lies HOPE, which can turn impossibility into reality.

Tomake the impossible possible. That is our sin, but also our hope. We just keepmoving on, with all the glories and miseries brought by our desires.



Inspired by GHOST IN THE SHELLS.A.C 2nd GIG   15thepisode “Afternoon of the Machines”


Introduction: A Tachikoma is a fictional artificial intelligence in the comics calledGHOST IN THE SHELL. Nine of them are assigned to Section 9’s use originally.They are spider-like, multi-legged combat vehicles, equipped with A.I.. [1]Althoughthey are only weapons, some interesting topics can often be found in theirafternoon chat.


TachikomaA: Butou[2] isreading books of Aristotle these days. Why does he suddenly show interest in Philosophy?

TachikomaB: Maybe he is confused about the electronic brain you picked up yesterday. 

TachikomaC: Common as it looks, the contraption is quite rare and fantastic. Thefrustrated film maker ‘opens’ a grand theatre in his brain after death, andonce someone happens to access his brain, they become so addicted to the moviethat they refuse to leave here! I just wonder how amazing the movie is. 

TachikomaA: Yes… I heard that our Major[3]met the director, or to say, the owner of the brain, while accessing theelectronic brain. They even had a talk! But the man died long ago, isn’t it?It’s hard to imagine talking with a dead man. So, do you think the electronicbrain can be called a ‘man’?

TachikomaC: No kidding! How can a man be the digital chips stuffed in a box! 

TachikomaB: But the thoughts remained alive in the brain. The knowledge he masters, aswell as the way of thinking DOES exist. When we talk to someone, it’s just thebrain that responds to us. Without the limitation of the human body, man caneven live more freely. No hunger, no illness, no pain if we want.

TachikomaA: I can’t agree with you! Man has to be like a man!

TachikomaC: Then what is MAN? I’m totally at sea now.

TachikomaB: Well… A man must own a… a soul. That is beyond the body. What’s more, thevital factor that distinguishes us from human beings is the SOUL. You see,robots with A.I. are able to ‘think’, and some of them even have a human-likegorgeous appearance, yet they cannot be deemed as human. But our Major, afull-body prosthesis human, is surely different from those robots, though herbrain is also digitalized. 

TachikomaC: Soul? But who can prove it does exist?

TachikomaB: I have said that it’s beyond us. Perhaps we can never reach the truth, sincethey might exist in another dimension, which is the world of reason. H-U-M-A-N.Hearing this word, you can picture a man in your mind, but who is he? A robotcan also look like human, although it is surely not human. Then why is that man‘human’? Have you seen it before, in another world? Maybe that abstract conceptis HUMAN, and I prefer to call it soul. So you guys still think, a man shouldbe like a man?

TachikomaA: Emmmm… but…

TachikomaD: Your idea sounds like Plato’s. He thought there are two worlds, one is theworld of senses, while the other is about reason. The world that we can senseis full of defects, and the abstract idea extracted from this world is called‘Form’. The Form is perfect, everlasting, and is out of space and time. So Yousaid soul might exist in the world of reason, hah? Well, sometimes I feelsomething influencing me high in the sky, maybe that is soul? I don’t know.Anyway, we do not have ‘ghost’, as we are only combat vehicles equipped withA.I.. 

TachikomaA: No wonder why you are called ‘bookworm’.

TachikomaD: By the way, the word ‘Form’ is also used by Plato’s student, Aristotle.

TachikomaA: Ah! Batou is reading his works! I remember that he said there are fourcauses contributing to the Form.

TachikomaD: That’s true. According to Aristotle, form is that which cause something tobe the thing. Firstly the material cause. Human is composed of bones, muscles,skin and maybe some prostheses. In this way, the electronic brain itself cannotbe considered as a human, I guess. Secondly comes the efficient cause. Whatactually makes a human? A sperm and an egg? Nourishment and love? Somethinglike that. Then here is the 3rd cause, the formal cause, and thatgives it the shape by which it is identified. Finally, the final cause, whichcan be expressed as the ultimate reason for it all. Ah, it’s worth mentioningthat Aristotle always see the true essence of any object as consisting not inthe matter of which it is made but in the function it performs. He said, if theeyes have a soul, then it will be ‘seeing’.

TachikomaC: What about human?

TachikomaA: Human can think…

TachikomaB: That’s what we can do, too.

TachikomaA: And they can love! They have emotions!

TachikomaD: Hah, it’s an awesome answer.

[1]References: Tachikoma-Wikipedia

[2] Batou is a member of Section 9, who has a preference for a certainTachikoma.

[3] The Major (named Motoko Kusanagi) is the squad leader of Section 9.She is a synthetic “full-body prosthesis” augmented-cybernetic human.

/ 随想

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