Rather an effect

What makes a human a human? Is it a heart? Skin? A functioning spleen? Legs which take you walking through the fields? Fingers which clutch and caress? Eyes which see the heavens, and weep when they lose a dear, dear friend? I have often pondered this question as I walk my dreamy death through life. We are such a strange and wonderful species that I'm sometimes lost for words to describe us. Though not often.

Also then, so long as I have you here, answer me this: if it is true that the human creature has no eternal soul, if she is but a brief blink in existence, if she is nothing more than the sum of her flesh parts, and if those parts can be replaced with mechanical pieces, then what is she? Her memories? Ah, but her memories are fragile fictions. Is she then the choices which will compose her natural life? Possibly. But if she is just this and no more—a fleshy decision-making machine, something born only to die—then what makes her decide to rise from her bed each day? What gives her life purpose? And what compels her to make her choices good? Perhaps, in the absence of any immortal judgment—or perhaps even in the presence of such judgment—she must become her own pure idea of what is right, and what is wrong. Perhaps in this sense she becomes not a "self" at all, but rather an effect. Perhaps rather than being defined by the physical object she seems to represent, this raw lump of meat and metal she is for the brief time of her life, she can be defined simply by what she leaves behind when she departs the stage for ever.

Theatre of the Gods