Cuerpos sin alma

El principal experto mundial en inteligencia artificial calificó en cierta ocasión a las personas de máquinas hechas de carne, lo que expresa perfectamente el consenso en los ámbitos de la psicología y la neurociencia, según el cual nuestra vida mental es el producto de nuestro cerebro físico y éste no es obra de un creador divino, sino del ciego proceso de la selección natural.

Pero, si exceptuamos una pequeña minoría de filósofos y científicos, nadie se toma en serio esa concepción. Es ofensiva. Viola los principios de todas las religiones y está reñida con el sentido común. Al fin y al cabo, no tenemos la sensación de ser tan sólo cuerpos materiales, mera carne. Al contrario, ocupamos nuestro cuerpo. Lo poseemos. Nos sentimos atraídos espontáneamente por la opinión sostenida por René Descartes: somos dualistas por naturaleza, por lo que vemos cuerpos y almas separados.

Ese dualismo tiene importantes consecuencias para nuestra forma de pensar y sentir. El filósofo Peter Singer habla del concepto de círculo moral: el círculo de las cosas que nos importan, que tienen importancia moral. Dicho círculo puede ser muy pequeño e incluir tan sólo a nuestros parientes y aquellos con quienes nos relacionamos diariamente, o extraordinariamente amplio e incluir a todos los seres humanos, pero también los fetos, los animales, las plantas e incluso la propia Tierra. Para la mayoría de nosotros, el círculo es de tamaño medio y la determinación de sus límites precisos –¿incluye las células madre, por ejemplo?– puede ser una causa de angustia y conflicto.

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