Programmed To Be Free: Exploring Andrew Niccol's Gatacca Essay

Programmed To Be Free: Exploring Andrew Niccol's Gatacca Essay

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Programmed To Be Free
Gatacca by Andrew Niccol tells the story of Vincent, a young man naturally and traditionally engendered in a world where genetic engineering is the followed pattern to have a child. Few minutes after his birth, Vincent’s fate is revealed through a DNA analysis. Two important facts in the analysis will mark Vincent’s life, a fail in his cardio system and his life expectancy, only thirty years. The film shows a world where life is highly determined by genetics, and happiness is mostly based on the quality of the genetic profile, a kind of identity card for people. Vincent, who wants to become an astronaut and work for Gattaca, a company that launches rockets to the out space, overcomes all the difficulties present in his way defying all the premises of the biology engineering. However, it is not so clear that only free will is which leads him to his dream, an important load of determination has to do with his success.
The main premise of determinism is the following: all events are caused and there is nothing that we can do to avoid it. There are several forms of determinism: social, religious, biological, psychological. B.F.Skinner, father of radical behaviorism supported the idea that “freedom is a myth” and tried to prove how behavior responds to natural laws and to a stimuli- response model. Skinner’s ideas are still a subject of study and neuroscientists have a lot to say about determinism. Recent experiments demonstrate “that the outcome of a decision can be encoded in brain activity of prefrontal and parietal cortex up to ten seconds before it enters awareness” (Soon). In other words, it is our brain who rules over us and not us over it. This distressing statement has been proved by many scientists su...


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...t time that he overcame the boundaries of his limitations. That way he became a free person. Defendants of free will and defendants of determinism will have to sign an armistice in this ideological battle and work together to get to know how the human mind really works.














Works Cited
Hallet, Mark. “Volitional Control of Movement: The Physiology of Free Will.”PubMed.com.18 May 2009.
Magistretti, Pierre. Interview.Redes. 5 Oct. 2008. 16 May 2009.
Niccol, Andrew, dir. Gattaca.Perf.Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law. DVD. Columbia Pictures. 1997.
Soon, Chun Siong. “Unconscious Determinants Of Free Decisions In The Human Brain.” Nature.com. 18 May.2009

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