Would You Erase a Memory?



Scientists here have discovered a way to delete your most painful memories. Like the movie, Paycheck, Ben Affleck’s character takes new technology and makes them better, earning millions of dollars per project, but it comes at a price. He signs an agreement to have that memory erased. If the procedure was risk-free and painless, would you use it to delete your most painful memories?

Pain is said to be the body’s indicator that something is wrong. Whether its pain we caused or caused by someone else, pain serves a purpose. What if you did what a couple did in a movie called, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” and, after a divorce, erased all memory of the marriage and of having ever met? So what happens next? You make the same mistake again by never learning from the pain caused by the divorce and a rocky relationship?

What of more serious pain like molestation, rape, or losing someone in a violent death? The cost of having those memories erased may mean losing the compassion and understanding learned from the pain that could benefit someone else. Pain and joy both add to character. Erase those memories and you lose pieces of your new character.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “A lot more work needs to be done. It isn’t clear whether the memory erasure is temporary or permanent. And while the technique might work for simple stories, it needs to be shown that it also works for real-world traumatic memories. Some researchers looking to move beyond ECT are now also experimenting with propranolol, which inhibits the actions of a hormone that enhances memory consolidation. This summer, Dr. Nader hopes to test the drug in about 50 patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.”

Ben Affleck’s character left clues for himself when one project proved to be unethical and he met a woman he didn’t want to forget. The clues put them both in danger when the CEO of the business proved to have a god complex. I think we also need to be aware of the price to pay for short-cutting. Pain has a purpose, though at the time, it may not seem like it. Pain is God’s way of making a piece of coal a diamond, of helping us learn from the consequences of bad decisions, embarrassing moments, or help us to be compassionate.

Ultimately, we need to go to God with our pain. Allow yourself to go through the grieving process for the heartache is not meant to last forever. One day the sun will rise and everything will be okay. Til then, have faith. Get treatment to cope, but ultimately have faith in the Creator of the Universe.

1 John 5:7-9

Living Bible (TLB)

6-8 And we know he is, because God said so with a voice from heaven when Jesus was baptized, and again as he was facing death—yes, not only at his baptism but also as he faced death.* And the Holy Spirit, forever truthful, says it too. So we have these three witnesses: the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the voice from heaven at Christ’s baptism, and the voice before he died.* And they all say the same thing: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.* We believe men who witness in our courts, and so surely we can believe whatever God declares. And God declares that Jesus is his Son.


2 thoughts on “Would You Erase a Memory?”

  1. Interesting question Nikole and I like how you integrate Scripture into the decision-making process. Yes, unfortunately the painful memories hopefully shape us in better serving Him.

    Now if I could go and delete some of my many embarrassing memories that would be tempting.


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