Friday, September 23, 2011

Bicentennial Man- What makes a person a person?

Bicentennial Man is a movie starring Robin Williams about an android's journey to personhood. The name of this android is Andrew. Andrew lives many years as an android, but it is discovered that his artificial intelligence is a bit different than the rest of the androids. He thinks differently, he feels differently. He has the capacity for human emotions, which according to the creators of the android, is a defect. Because of his capacity for human emotions and human intellect, he deeply desires to be considered a human in eyes of the rest of mankind. He goes through a series of tasks in order to do what he feels will enable him the right to call himself a person.

In class we have discussed what exactly makes a person a person. This conversation in class was mind boggling at first but after we discussed, I think I began to understand exactly how to have a conversation about what exactly is personhood with people that are not Christians.

Bicentennial Man gives a perspective on personhood that is similar to the perception of the world. Anything with enough intellect, and enough characteristics of personhood can be considered a person by law. The question is what line do we draw as a society? Based on the laws put in place by our government, a dolphin could have human rights, which is a little silly if you ask me.

I understand the point the movie is trying to make. The movie is trying to say that anything with sentient thought should be treated with the rights of a human being, but argue that point exhaustively. It is silly to give human rights to things that are not by birth humans. This movie portrays a picture that human rights can be earned if something demonstrates enough characteristics of personhood, which I really think is a miscarriage of what personhood is. Human rights cannot be earned, they are something u are born with.

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