A few years back I wrote a sci-fi mystery short story about being able to delete unwanted memories with a pill. Last week, Popular Science published an article about how we are getting closer to that very reality.
As appealing as it may seem at first blush – the ability to simply rid yourself of some of your most unpleasant recollections – it opens up a lot of intriguing questions. For example, in my life, I have had some truly horrible experiences that I would rather not think about – really traumatic stuff. But those very experiences – those trials and afflictions – are an important part of what made me who I am today. So, if I decided to selectively erase those experiences from my mind, how would that affect who I am? Is not the entire composite of our past integral to who we are?
In other words, what might be the unintended consequences of removing the bad? Might it end up ruining the good? Would it possibly short-circuit the whole point of opposition? How could I develop and grow as a human being and gain strength from enduring difficulties, if those difficulties vanish from my brain?
Given these questions, I ask you: if there were a safe and effective pill for deleting specific memories, would you take it? If so, do you know which memories you would erase? Discuss!