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Perfecting the Human race: Creator, thy name is Man

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Sundance Montessori School
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  1. Introduction.
    1. The notion of a higher power than man.
  2. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein - classic example of the Promethean myth.
  3. Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini - more frightful depiction of scientific experimentation.
  4. Dr. Eldon Tyrell of Tyrell Corporation's attempt at ?playing God? in Blade Runner.
  5. Gothic literature and film.
  6. Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche - human existence is good, but it can be made better.
  7. Conclusion.

Since many believe the notion that a higher power than man, ?God,? created mankind, it is assumed that this undertaking can only be performed by God, and therefore anyone else attempting such a task would be blaspheming his efforts. The Promethean myth challenges that the creation of humans can only be done through divine efforts. When Prometheus stole fire from Zeus, he was in fact, stealing knowledge from Zeus. Scientists have been performing Promethean feats since this myth began. The Prometheus myth proves that another being other than a God can recreate a living being, but the results may be different from the original created.

[...] The task of duplicating a simple organism is one thing, but duplicating a complex human is more involved and includes a certain level of moral responsibility. This moral responsibility is presented to us in Frankenstein, Rappaccini's Daughter and Blade Runner. The main problem with man ?playing is that he often does not think beyond the initial act of creating; this requires a parent-like level of responsibility that a scientist is not committed to provide. Creating a human-like being involves becoming a parent figure to that creation. [...]

[...] When presented with the ?apple of knowledge,? temptation is too great to resist and that curiosity was enough for Frankenstein to delve into his grand experiment without ever once questioning what moral dilemmas his work would pose. Frankenstein's pride exceeded any rationality he may have possessed. He believed he could usurp God by creating life, but instead he undertook the gruesome task of resurrecting a creature piecemeal. Yet, even in all Frankenstein's negligence, his creation found a way to become more human than Frankenstein could have imagined. [...]

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