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Technology And Morality In Shelley's Frankenstein The Advancement Of Science

1156 words - 5 pages

Frankenstein and the Advancement of Science

    Science is nothing more than facts and principles that have been accepted on the basis of the knowledge gained by a systematic study. The scientific process is the common, basic pathway to this discovery of knowledge. The good or evil implications resulting from knowledge is not the primary concern of the scientist, though these implications can have a powerful impact. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein shows how the discovery of knowledge can have earth-shattering repercussions when a scientist does not consider the consequences of his actions.


        Victor Frankenstein often esteemed himself a scientist of nature in contrast to those of his time who were alchemists. As such, he followed the very same path which elementary school kids follow today; observation, hypothesis, experimentation, and conclusion. The first step he took in creating his monster was observation. Victor Frankenstein observed the power of nature through the destructive force of lightning. He knew the potential of such energies and developed a hypothesis based on his studies of Agrippa and Magnus. His hypothesis stated that, through the power of nature, he could reanimate organic tissue; a process which his mentors claimed to have already achieved. Victor Frankenstein's experimentation required a form, which took him to the charnel houses to claim tissue from the deceased. The creature was complete with the animating science developed by Victor Frankenstein. His hypothesis proved true in the respect that it could give life. Throughout the process he underwent to create the creature at no time in the process was there a point to reflect as to whether or not he should create such a monster. There was no point in the process to stop and contemplate the possible outcome of his experiment and its effect on humanity. Victor Frankenstein followed the scientific process to the letter of the word, without trepidation as to his actions. There was no point, as it was not ascribed to be essential to the course of discovery. Victor Frankenstein's creation was not completely due to his own scientific irresponsibility, it is due to the scientific community whose emphasis on the if we can do something outweighed the decision of whether or not we should do something. There is no safeguard to this question of advancement or what is beneficial to humanity. Victor Frankenstein performed his profession and found it to be lacking in this one area, and he would pay for it in the lives the creature would soon end. Victor Frankenstein's abandonment of the monster at its creation was out of fear. At first, it was simple fear of the creature's appearance. Soon he came to the realization that he had erred in the creation of the monster, after the fact, and wanted it to be gone. The result of his experiment would be not prove that easy to escape.


        Science has never been inherently evil, nor will it ever be. Science is a...

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