Enlightenment and Destruction Essay

Enlightenment and Destruction Essay

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Welcome to the year 2009 where technology and science are continuing their exponential growth as scientists come up with bigger (sometimes smaller) and better things. One of the quest that scientist have embarked on since the beginning of time is understanding and manipulating the human body, from learning how to treat illness and disease, to improving its capabilities with pills and drugs. On top of trying to improve the human body, scientists still work tirelessly to recreate the human body, and the process of its creation. This journey has met religious and ethical obstacles; with religions screaming that only God should be the creator of life, and ethics of creating life in a “test tube” being challenged by activists day in and day out. The tale of Victor Frankenstein and his Monster are used as a word of caution to our scientists and their quest. Frankenstein displays how our quest to create life and play God could lead to our own enlightenment as a human race, but our destruction as well.
In today’s society scientists are receiving criticism for their work in the genetic, atomic, and other fields from both scientists and the general populace as they grow more and more aware of how important the sciences are to normal daily lives. Back in the Romantic period, our modern day sciences were starting to develop while others still dabbled in the old arts of alchemy and used electricity to reanimate the dead flesh. These select few scientists, Frankenstein being one of them, received much criticism. Frankenstein was raised in a nice family that gave him a very rich learning environment, which is where his fascination with the sciences was born. As he began reading books over scientists whose teachings were being discredited by pro...


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... these Humanist followed was that “the proper worship of God involved admiration of his creation, and in particular of that crown of creation: humanity” (WSU). The humanist said that the way we should worship God is to use the same creative power that God used to create humanity. It is this same thinking that influenced Shelly when she was writing Frankenstein. When Frankenstein is creating his Monster he is following the humanist philosophy of worshipping god through creation, though his creation doesn’t turn out the way he intended. It is the humanist philosophy that was created during the enlightenment that has carried through the centuries, which Mary Shelly is trying to warn about. Though the Enlightenment served as a major influence in the writing of Frankenstein, may critics have thrown in their own “two-cents” of how the book serves as a cautionary tale.


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