Skepticism is one of the major themes in the movie Dark City. Among the skeptical thoughts observed, four of them are especially significant. They include Allegory of the Cave, Descartes’ evil genius argument, omphalos hypothesis and simulation hypothesis.
1. Allegory of the Cave
Dark City is a perfect illustration of the Allegory of the Cave, which is presented by Plato in the form of dialogues between Socrates and Glaucon. By comparing humans to prisoners in a cave, Plato argues that what we see are shadows projected on the wall, only that we mistake them for real knowledge which are named “forms”.
In the movie, the city is the cave in which citizens are trapped. Most of them have never left or even thought of leaving the place because they do not realize that they are imprisoned. Only have they left the city, can they see the real objects, so the citizens are ignorant about their situations. Moreover, even though they wish to leave, they may not be able to. Detective Walenski tells John that he has once thought of leaving the city, but it is impossible because the city is a cave confining the residents.
As John Murdoch escapes from the city with the help of Dr. Schreber, just as Glaucon discovers the truth after Socrates has explained to him, he is able to gain knowledge of the things around him.
2. Descartes’s Evil Genius Argument
Descartes’s evil genius argument hypothesizes that an all-powerful demon misleads our perception, so that our knowledge through reason or sense are unreliable. This hypothesis is substantialized in Dark City, where the Strangers are the evil demons who control their subjects’ minds. This is done by injection which produces the illusion of fake experiences.
The point is, many of the reside...
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... have the tendency to behave in the way that they can obtain their best interest.
For moral subjectivism, we can determine whether the behavior is moral or not according to our moral standard. When we at risk, like the strangers are facing the danger of extinction. We should find some solutions to overcome the danger. But it does not mean that we can do something evil to others. If we take others as samples, we are putting them at risk as well. If we really success in saving our lives by using others as samples, we are just shifting the problem to others but not solving it. It is meaningless and immoral to do that.
As a result, it is immoral even though we want to protect our own is a natural behavior. Only concern on our own interest is very selfish. Egoism may suggest a way for us to protect our own interest but it is not the best way for people to behave.
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