Taking Responsibility

One of the first things I’ve noticed after reading the first 8 chapters of Frankenstein by Mary Shelly was the very apparent marginalization that Victor shows his monster. Victor puts in a lot of effort to dehumanize his new creation that he’s obviously terrified of.

Let’s put ourselves in the perspective of the monster for a minute. First off, there’s the question of, “was creating the monster ethical?” The quick answer would be no. He created an artificial being with feelings and intelligence just like you and I. The monster did not ask to be created nor did it ask to be neglected and marginalized just for it’s looks and ability to emote. Obviously, when humans are born, we don’t initially have the intelligence to handle the world on our own. We need the nurture of our mothers to learn and grow. There’s legitimate clinical studies that show that babies who are born without the nurture of their parents have a higher chance of lacking empathy. Let’s say Victor didn’t run at first sight of the monster and instead, decided to raise it and show it affection. This book would be a lot less dark. Victor could’ve had the chance to develop a new, although uncanny, friendship. He wasn’t fully expecting his experiment to succeed.

Now, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of Victor. The question we can ask here is, “would you create a Monster like the one Victor created and if you did, would you be prepared to nurture it as if it where your child?” Personally, I would choose not to. Even if I had the ability to do so, I would see it as doing “The Devils Handy-work.” Referring back to my first paragraph about it being unethical, I believe people should be made the natural way by going through fertilization and fetal development. Now, let’s say you did create a monster. If you’re going to defy god and follow your pure instinct of human curiosity, you better be prepared to face the consequences. This new being is your responsibility, no matter how ugly it is. It’s not like you can put it up for adoption. You have to take some sort of responsibility. Even if other people would see you as “the Monster Mother,” or whatever they will try to label with, this sentient being is yours to take care of.

Finally, let’s say you decide to take the life of your creation. The last question we can ask ourselves is, “would murdering your own sentient creation be considered murder?” This question is probably the hardest to answer. You have to think, if you gave birth to a defective child that looked like a monster, would you want to take it’s life? This is basically the same thing. Regardless of looks, that being has thoughts and emotions. Personally, I’d consider it murder. If you didn’t want to take responsibility for a monster, don’t take the risk of creating one. You’re the one who produced this being and thus it’s actions are an extension of your will. The only thing it would know to do is take after your teachings. If you didn’t teach it proper morals or nurture it, you’re the one who is directly to blame. If you’re not ready to create something, you have the choice to abort it. Victor passed the “point of no return” after he flicked the switch and gave the monster life. Throughout his research, he had plenty of time to turn back and not create his abomination.

If you ask me, I think it takes a lot of personal reflection to create a living being. Not just countless hours of research. It doesn’t matter how many papers you read. They’re only other peoples experiences. You don’t fully understand what it’s like to bring a sentient being into this world until you do. Especially if it’s artificially.


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