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  1. #11
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    I would. There are certain memories that I think make me weaker rather than stronger despite overcoming them. Grudges, anxieties rooted in things that other people had done. There things I think should be let go of. Other painful memories I might keep.

    For instance I might not erase all of a bad relationship but just certain things he said that pop up now when I trying to interact with new people

  2. #12
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Hm. Fortunately I haven't experienced any excessive trauma (such as living through a war or witnessing a murder or anything like that). My painful memories are related to breakups or grief after death. These are sad to contemplate, but actually the pain is fading with time. So for me I don't see the need to erase anything.

    However, I certainly wouldn't fault someone who wanted to erase the memory of a painful experience, since I'm sure other people have lived through sooo much worse.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Is that a good reason to suffer? Maybe they'd have less need of them.
    Perhaps I'm coming from the perspective that suffering is inevitable. I would guess that if one could eliminate unpleasant memories at will, thus not developing strong coping skills, people would experience greater suffering over lesser experiences. They would lack perspective. Life is not a purely positive experience. How much could a person "delete" and still retain their humanity?

    That being said, this is coming from my perspective of the human experience where I don't have the option of chemically deleting past memories/experiences. It doesn't work with how I know to be and how I've coped with my own suffering. I guess it's because I've worked hard to make something positive out of what I've suffered and I'm proud of what I've become in spite of what I've experienced. My opinion is based partially on my desire for that to mean something. If I could just get rid of it, perhaps I'm an idiot for not.

    Additionally, I value hard work, doing what needs to be done despite how you feel about it, etc. I perceive it as strength, which I value highly, and the ability to conquer the emotional in favor of the rational. However, I realize this is purely my value system, which is not everyone's.

    This technology would completely rock my value system, which is naturally objectionable to me, at least from surface evaluation. I'd have to think more about it to determine if this would truly be worth changing my perception of what humanity entails.

    In short, and superficially, I see it as weak. But I've thus far conquered my suffering. When faced with suffering I couldn't conquer, my opinion might change. I might want the option to spare myself extreme suffering.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    I meant more for the during and after.

    But you could be proactive too, in a variety of ways (tho I'm not knowing what it is you are referring to which is your most painful memories, if you use your imagination, I'm sure they are ways you can become part of the solution, so to speak. Or help prevent via some way some how the same thing you experienced)

    Regarding the during and after: Just knowing how someone feels is huge. And seems to be one of the most comforting things for people when they are suffering/struggling. Being honest about how it feels--in the gamut of possibly ugly, embarrassing, shameful, vile things--is very validating. Because many who suffer have never been validated ever, and are in a place of feeling completely isolated in their feelings. Another powerful way of helping is that you are on the other side!! And they see that if you can do/go through what you have and still become a survivor and thrivor, then there is hope. And we know how important hope is. So, it's not that you need to anything heroic even, it's just being honest and showing others you CAN have a life of integrity even if you've gone through or done heinous things that you would rather not remember.....

    Then there is always the more active listening/counseling/ministering if one feels called to such. There are no end to ways a survivor can help a victim. Anything painful enough you want to erase from your memory can be used to help someone else. And it's been said by other victims who have gone on to use their painful experiences to help others, that the end benefits to their lives in this new ability to sympathize/empathize/minister far surpasses any detriment they received or incurred in the thing itself.
    I'm not that nice a person. I don't care if it would make me less helpful to anyone else. Seriously, not important to me.
    I would never demand that anyone else go through something traumatic for my benefit, far less hang on to that memory so they can be more empathic. Shit, how selfish would that be?
    I'd rather everyone took responsibility for their own emotional and mental well-being.
    Quote Originally Posted by metalmommy View Post
    Perhaps I'm coming from the perspective that suffering is inevitable.
    Currently it is. This presents a paradigm where it might be less so.
    I would guess that if one could eliminate unpleasant memories at will, thus not developing strong coping skills, people would experience greater suffering over lesser experiences. They would lack perspective. Life is not a purely positive experience. How much could a person "delete" and still retain their humanity?
    You cope while you are enduring something. I don't see how painful memories make coping easier. Surely only joyful ones can do that?

    Additionally, I value hard work, doing what needs to be done despite how you feel about it, etc. I perceive it as strength, which I value highly, and the ability to conquer the emotional in favor of the rational. However, I realize this is purely my value system, which is not everyone's.
    There is something of the martyr about some of these sentiments. There are people who seem to enjoy suffering "on behalf of others".

    In short, and superficially, I see it as weak. But I've thus far conquered my suffering. When faced with suffering I couldn't conquer, my opinion might change. I might want the option to spare myself extreme suffering.
    Why is it any weaker than trying to completely remove a physical scar, say? Presumably you don't think we should walk around with unset broken bones just because "shit happens"?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  5. #15
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I'm not that nice a person. I don't care if it would make me less helpful to anyone else. Seriously, not important to me.
    I would never demand that anyone else go through something traumatic for my benefit, far less hang on to that memory so they can be more empathic. Shit, how selfish would that be?
    I'd rather everyone took responsibility for their own emotional and mental well-being.
    Currently it is. This presents a paradigm where it might be less so.
    You cope while you are enduring something. I don't see how painful memories make coping easier. Surely only joyful ones can do that?

    There is something of the martyr about some of these sentiments. There are people who seem to enjoy suffering "on behalf of others".

    Why is it any weaker than trying to completely remove a physical scar, say? Presumably you don't think we should walk around with unset broken bones just because "shit happens"?

    Oh, I'm pretty sure you are either misunderstanding me or misquoting me.

    But I have double church now, so I have to run.

    Ciao!

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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I would. There are certain memories that I think make me weaker rather than stronger despite overcoming them. Grudges, anxieties rooted in things that other people had done. There things I think should be let go of. Other painful memories I might keep.

    For instance I might not erase all of a bad relationship but just certain things he said that pop up now when I trying to interact with new people
    This is what I think. There are people I would dearly love to erase from my life and never have to think about again, because they are a waste of brain cycles, and I resent the brain cycles I have already wasted trying to understand why assholes exist.
    There are other losses that are painful (bereavements, say) that I would keep, in honour of the memory of that person and the love I still have for them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  7. #17
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    There are lots of reasons I wouldn't (they've already been listed by various people), but the bottom line for me is more that I wouldn't erase them because they actually happened. I will work to change the outcome of events in my life, but I simply feel as if I'm lying if I pretend something didn't happen / eradicate it from my mind forever. I'd likely feel this way even if we could erase the memory from everyone's mind so that no one could remember it and I'd be the only one to recall if if my memory wasn't erased; I'd still feel like I was disregarding the truth of what actually occurred.

    Eternal Sunshine was a great movie, btw.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  8. #18
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Does that mean when you don't know about something that happened you're lying to yourself?
    You can't know everything. What's wrong with being the editor of your own story?

    I'd even remove pleasurable memories, just so I could experience something again - for the "first" time.
    Brain-hacking. So many possibilities...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #19
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    I still wouldn't do it because judgment is a function of memory and I wouldn't want to presume that the erasure of any specific memory would affect my judgment positively (or not at all) just because it's one that's painful to me. Of course, I haven't had to endure too much suffering or trauma in my time, so maybe my opinion would be different if I had. As of now, though, I think I'm too greedy to give up anything that may play a part in how I evaluate the world, which is a faculty I prize in its current state and hope to build on with the accumulation of more experiences, negative and positive.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  10. #20
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmommy View Post
    Perhaps I'm coming from the perspective that suffering is inevitable. I would guess that if one could eliminate unpleasant memories at will, thus not developing strong coping skills, people would experience greater suffering over lesser experiences. They would lack perspective. Life is not a purely positive experience. How much could a person "delete" and still retain their humanity?
    This^.

    Part of me wants to say hell yes, that I would absolutely erase some memories if I could. I realize it’s sorta like doing liposuction- getting rid of fat the easy way, which doesn’t get rid of the problem that led to there being too much fat in the first place. It’s only a temporary solution and the faulty coping mechanisms which ultimately led to the distress I’d like to forget will only create more of the same painful results, so really it wouldn’t get rid of anything in the long run so much as putting that pain on hold for a later date.

    Even in cases where there is trauma to some extraordinary event- like people in service coming home with PTSD. That can actually be an opportunity to tap into extraordinary strength- not just for those individuals, but collectively- taking the longer route of figuring out how to heal would help us understand what we need to know to be more resilient to trauma in the first place. It’s like the difference between using a back support brace when lifting heavy things and doing specific exercises to make the back strong enough to be able to take on those heavier tasks without risk of injury: the former (using the back support brace) makes us dependent on something external, which I’m averse to because there’s always the risk of someone exploiting that dependence. Where and when people have it within themselves to tap into strength which gives them independence, I think it’s the best path.

    The only reason I’d be tempted to erase memories is that- unlike physical therapy to make muscles stronger, which is very tangible and there isn’t much wiggle room about what is effective and what isn’t- common ‘professional mental health’ at present is still a relatively new field of study. Psychotherapy is just over 100 years old. As it is, the ‘treatment’ most people get when they seek help for feelings of distress isn’t much better than analgesic anyway (pain relief, without addressing the source)- so if I were so sick of the distress I couldn’t stand it anymore (and analgesic was the only option presented to me) then the ‘most effective’ analgesic would probably be very appealing.

    But in the long run, I very much agree with what metalmommy wrote- coping mechanisms overall would atrophy and sooner or later people would be needing to ‘forget’ the painful experience of the hangnail they had that morning, or the unpleasant experience of testing a cologne they really didn’t like at the department store and they had to wait a whole half hour before they got home to wash the scent off.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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