The Meaning of Life and Death

Powerful Essays
The Meaning of Life and Death

The abstract idea of life cannot be explained by such simple ideas as being animated, breathing, or speaking. Ordinary machines in this century can perform all of these basic functions. The quandary with defining death is not as abstract and elusive as that of life. The problem of defining life and death has plagued philosophers and the religious bodies for thousands of years for one reason; each philosophy or religion has tried to define the meaning of life and death from only their certain perspective. The seemingly appropriate approach to this problem would be to understand the ideas presented in various philosophies and religions and through this knowledge create a new definition for each idea of life and death. The movie Blade Runner has taken this exact approach in its attempt to finally define life and death in a logical and un-spiritual manner. By taking the position that death is a concrete idea that can be explained, Blade Runner accomplishes the task of interpreting the idea of life in terms death. Through this approach, the meaning of life is redefined to accommodate for the existence of the replicants. Also, as a result of this novel notion of life, it is apparent that humans and replicants never actually live, even though they are alive.

The idea of death in Blade Runner seems to be different for humans and for replicants, but it is indeed the same. When a replicant is killed, the characters in Blade Runner refer to it as, “retirement,” while killing a human is called murder. These two terms are actually synonymous. The term murder, in one of its definitions, means to put to an end, destroy (AHD). The definition of retirement is to stop working (AHD). If these terms ar...

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