Just a few days ago, I came across a picture at a social media platform that tried to explain what is ‘fictional’ and what is not in human personality.
Now let us read this carefully. It says (if I read it correctly) that someone’s NAME, RELIGION, NATIONALITY, and RACE are all parts of a FICTIONAL identity. Which is a very strange claim, regarding that all of us have a name, a race, at least some of us have a religion (if secular religions also count then all of us), and almost all of us have a nationality.
When someone asks me who I am, I reply ‘I am Tamás, I am a Christian, I am Hungarian’ and many other things. Maybe I am completely mistaken when I think that all these belong to my real identity, but I wonder what does if all these do not.
Yes, I may be someone else, but who is this ‘else’ or ‘my real self’? Is it my biological constitution? Is it my genome? Certainly not, because these are things that are even more definitely given than any of my ‘cultural’, ‘social’, or ‘political’ characteristics. The latter are not entirely impossible to change, after all, while the former – at the present level of biotechnology – seem at least postnatally immutable.
So what is my real self that the text suggests to be ‘non-fictional’? A self that I believe is there, before everything else. Something that doesn’t have a material existence, an empirical description, not even a name. A mystical entity that is nevertheless the ‘most real being’ (ens realissimum). I hope that all my faithful readers begin to understand now what I’m trying to say: that this is just one more example of a ‘secular’ idea that is impossible to distinguish from so-called ‘religious’ ones.