The Second Eclectic

Technology changes how we relate to God and each other

Organic Man

If you haven't read my previous entries 'Organic Attraction' and 'Engineering Eternity,' I would recommend it because it will give you some background on what I'm pondering in this entry.

I was at work on Friday and during my break I turned on HBO--no, it's not a regular option--and I caught the beginning of 'Gattaca.' This was an irony for me b/c I had just recently mentioned it in my 'Engineering Eternity' blog entry.

As I watched it, I realized: the protagonist (played by Ethan Hawke) was the narrator and the one through whom we see the world. In the movie, we are made to identify with him and to cheer him on. But, as we see, he is the underdog in the story: he was not genetically predetermined like his younger brother--who surpasses him in all ways. Instead, he was a 'utero,' a 'faith birth,' or a 'God child.' He becomes a second-class citizen forced to work menial labor in a society that has 'discrimination down to a science,' in which he is an 'invalid.' But he dreams of being an astronaut.

I will not give away the climax; I have covered enough for my purposes, but I would recommend you see the movie (again, as the case may be).

As it is, we find ourselves rooting for the organic man: the one who was born naturally and is forced to overcome impossible obstacles. His aim is to overcome the artificial men who rule the world. Perhaps the story writer, director, or whoever aimed to make a statement about inorganic genetic technology. But, nonetheless, as you watch it, it is natural to place our hopes in the organic man. We see ourselves in the protagonist just as Gattaca's writers did--driving them to write such a story. We are predisposed to do so.

Make of it what you will. I welcome whatever conclusions you might draw.