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Shellys Frankenstein and the search for immortality in 21st century science through transhumanism - Research Paper Example

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Summary
The novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a story about a man who is a monster because he plays with science as a way of exploring his own arrogant belief in his ability to create life. Because he believed that he had a right to interfere with nature, Dr. Frankenstein unleashed a creature that was both sentient and without the morality and control of most human beings. …
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Shellys Frankenstein and the search for immortality in 21st century science through transhumanism

Download file to see previous pages... “What is the difference between God and a doctor: God doesn’t believe he is a doctor”
This old joke creates a sense of the problem that is sometimes perceived about the medical and research establishment. It also suggests something about society and religion. It is believed sometimes that the pursuit of knowledge is not enough to justify playing with the natural cycles of life that God has created. In the pursuit to discover the mysteries of the world there is a violation against the God that is believed to have created them. Mary Shelley, in her novel Frankenstein, discussed the concept of the monster, creating a creature that could be conceived of as the monster, but relating the arrogance of Dr. Frankenstein in such a way as to suggest that his actions were more monstrous than those of the creature that he created. Shelley created a discourse on the monstrous, placing the academic at the center of a debate on the rights of man to pursue the unnatural for the sake of science.
Morality is often interchangeable with the idea of God. How God is envisioned is central to the discussion of the monstrosity of some scientific inquiry. Moral judgment against science has come in many forms, some of them based on beliefs that science has no place in the story of creation, while others are based on the arrogance involved in making what God has created better. The theme of improving on nature has been a long standing theme in literature, with stories revolving around the arrogance involved in trying to create as God or reinvent nature. Methods to prolong life for the vanity of extending what God has naturally given limits is one of the controversies that invoke the ideas put forth in Frankenstein. The question involves the right that humankind has to challenge the nature of life and the hubris involved with challenging the limits of nature are often met with literary consequences that thrill and excite the reader. The real life consequences are a more realistically frightening prospect. In examining current trends in scientific study towards the extension of life and the possibility of its immortality, the morality and commentary of Frankenstein can be used in order to examine the wisdom of both constraints put on scientific discovery and the freedoms that exist for research at the expense of nature. One of the ways that 21st century science is imitating something of the hubris of Dr. Frankenstein is in pursuing immortality through the idea of transhumanism. Transhumanism means that the mental processes that are defined as the individual, all thoughts, capacities, and potentials, are transmuted into a form of artificial intelligence in which the person is then uploaded into some form of mechanized life. During the M.I.T. project, God and Computers Project, Anne ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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