I've been thinking about my own mortality. I realize this is a strange pastime for someone who's not yet 30.
Specifically, I've been thinking about what should happen to my remains. I want to be cut up and parceled out, watching House as gotten me thinking it might be nice to be used for research -- although, as I'll get to in a moment, it's not me per se, just my corpse. For once everyone's finished with me, though, I've been looking into "green burial."
Green burial sounds like a great idea. The trouble is that they still bury you in a remembrance garden or whatever, only under a tree instead of in a concrete vault under a block of stone. The environmental problem with traditional burial, however, isn't granite. It's ptomolatry. We as a culture have decreed that once the rotting organic matter that used to be someone's loved one is put under a patch of dirt, that patch of dirt is barred from any practical use without end forever and ever amen.
Well, shit, I'm useless enough now. At least I should be able to give something back after I'm gone. That's why I want to be sliced up for parts or reverse-engineered or both. And then I want to be returned to nature. I'm only organic material. Right now I may be thinking, feeling organic material, complete with will and agency and personality -- all of which some would attribute to a soul, and I can't prove them wrong -- but at some point I won't think, I won't feel, I'll have no will, I'll have no agency, and I'll have no personality. I will be a collection of organs, a 100%1 accurate (well, almost) model of human anatomy, a bunch of molecules with carbon in. And just as we as a society have a use for organs and for accurate models of human anatomy, nature has a use for molecules with carbon in.
I see no reason to deprive it of them.