April 25, 2020
Human beings are different than other living and non living organisms; however their physical matter has a link to other non living and living organisms. Humans behave more or less the same and their behavior like any other animal can be predicted. Replicants, used in the movie Blade Runner, are creatures that resemble human beings physically though some differences are brought out. This paper takes an analysis of materialism theory of the mind as well as the movie Blade Runner. I will go further and discuss why I believe the movie reinforces materialist theory of the mind.
Materialist theory of the mind
Generally it is assumed that everything that exists in the world is made up of matter. The material then combines in different forms and categories to form the entire creature that we find in the world. Matter is energy and energy defines what happens. It is neither created nor is it destroyed. Human beings being one of the things that are in the world are thus made up of matter; however they are different in many forms than other artificial, natural or organic matters. Materialist theory of the mind tries to establish a link between these two; the matter nature of man and the perceived difference that exist between him and other organisms (Armstrong,1993).
It is true that human beings have physical body that is the material that can be seen; on the other hand there is the mind that makes decisions and creates difference between human beings and other organisms living or non living. Human beings are differentiated from other creatures because of their complex physical organization. Materialist theory of the mind has two versions; one version argues that human beings are guided by their minds to behave or act in a certain way this is behaviorism version. The second version argue that there are certain physical events that happen in the brain that rise to mental events, this is called central-state materialism or identity theory. A theory of the mind is characterized therefore by the factions of the brain that trigger a certain action that human being undertaken. According to this theory, as much as human being brain can be taken as any other organ in the body, it is more superior than other organs since it is the one that controls the body; however there is another side of the same coin that all material components have similar attractions and movements and this is what makes a certain race of either animals or others material. The similar patterns of behavior that classify different things emanate from the similar mind activities (Armstrong,1999).
Why would Replicants/philosophical zombies raise trouble for materialism?
Replicants are bioengineered being that were created in the film Blade Runner in the year 1982. They have been thought to be genetically created as an advancement of robot technology. They are identical beings to human beings with either side having a certain level of superiority than the other. For instance they are created to operate in areas that human beings will be at risk, they have more strength, agility and variable intelligence though all this levels are dependent on the model that a Replicants is. Human being on the other hand has empathy; he has the feeling and can make decision not from a preset mode of doing it but as a reasoning of his brains. The mind is the major difference that the two have. This difference was first tested by Voight-Kampff test; the test showed that they could not respond to some tests posed to them. Although they are similar to human beings and physically one may not note the difference more so if they are a distance away, they do not enjoy human rights. There is no law in the world that so far has recognized them to have rights as human beings (Leong, 2010).
According to the arguments that is brought about by the materialism theory, then human being have a set of behavior that result from the functionalities of their physical bodies, however the Replicants which were presented in the movie have brains, they were seen to make some decisions despite the fact that their brains was developed as any other body tissue, they are of the opinion that the brain is not special in any way than any other tissue of the body (Sammon, 1996).
In the movie Harrison Ford, had arguments with Deckard as he would with any other human being and himself did not believe that he was talking to a Replicant. It is the director Ridley Scott, who gives the truth that Deckard is indeed a Replicant. The activities that human being do are the same that Replicants did. They would take photographs, eat and they even married. The only difference that was there is that they had some parts of their body that caused alert to a viewer. For example Deckard eyes were a bit difference than normal human eyes. This is bringing the arguments to a different level since if the entire case was being agued from a materialism point of view, the brain could have taken center stage, but in this case it is the eyes that could have been used as the differentiator. The wife of Deckard did not realize that he was a Replicant but only termed him as a bit cold. According to the materialism theory, human behavior is influenced by our unconscious mind that makes decisions or through its functions they produce an action (Leong, 2010).
Do you think that the Replicant in the film show that materialism is false? Why?
According to the movie, and in my opinion, I believe that the movie show that the theory of materialism is true. This is because the genetically made creatures were able to imitate human beings in all means. What made them act in a certain way is the level of generation or the course that they were made to undertake. They could function in all ways like human beings although they were created with the course they are to fulfill having being pre-thought. This goes in line with the central-state materialism or identity theory, this is because the central-state materialism or identity theory argues that the actions that human beings undertake are as a result of a certain condition that the mind is faced with, that make its physical muscles to move in a certain way and create an action/behavior. This condition that the brain is encountered with is similar to the pre-thought action that a Replicant was made or created for. It thus acted with that noble course just like human mind make a decision out of the condition that they are in (state of the mind). Another angle that can support this stand point is the argument that the differences in living and non living creatures and amongst themselves is in the similarity of their matter metabolism. This is what makes human beings, human beings with similar characters and makes cows, stone, trees and other components similar. This is portrayed by the Replicants. This is so when certain Replicants, which are supposed to undertake a certain course, behave in a similar way. They can be predictable the same way if one knew the required result of another, he can then predict his next move.
The materialism is a theory that defines all living and non living things as matter. They seem the actions and behavior of human being as the resultant of matter metabolism. In the movie Blade Runner (1982), Replicants are used for various activities to resemble human beings. The characters that they portrayed and the actions that they undertook reinforce the theory of materialism.
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