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Gattaca: A Philosophical Analysis Essay

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Brimming with ultramodern scenery and metaphysical speculation, Gattaca is a profound glimpse into the not-so-distant future of humanity. Vincent, the main character, is a frustrated ‘faith birth’ living in a world in which his genetically manipulated peers have succeeded him in every competition. Motivated by an unquenchable fascination with space, Vincent recruits the chronically petulant but genetically flawless Jerome Morrow, who allows Vincent to assume his genetic identity in exchange for companionship and free alcohol. As Jerome, Vincent is quickly hired and becomes a celebrated success at Gattaca, America’s leading space station. Poignant and triumphant, Gattaca provides the discerning viewer with a philosophical perspective of the…show more content…
Exceeding the expected potential of an ‘invalid’ and embarking on a flight to Titan, Vincent harnesses the power of human will and defies the constraints of a society restricted by materialistic delusions. Illustrating the triumph of free will over materialist reductionism, Director Josef – oblivious to Vincent’s deception – praises Vincent’s work, saying, ‘not one error on a million keystrokes! Phenomenal. It’s right that someone like you is taking us to Titan’.
The ethical issues expressed in Gattaca raise multiple philosophical questions about the morality involved in legal dishonesty, the importance of majority gain, and God’s role in determining right and wrong. Relativism states that moral standards change to suit the unique circumstances of every act (Velasquez 513). Although dishonest, Vincent’s identity falsification would not be considered immoral by a relativist, who would view the unjust genetic discrimination imposed upon Vincent by society as sufficient cause for a necessary deception. Paradoxically, a utilitarian – aiming at the greatest good for the greatest number – would vouch instead for the morality of ‘genoism’: while Vincent’s genetic flaws did not obstruct his competence, a utilitarian would classify him as a rare exception to an otherwise efficient and collectively beneficial system (Velasquez 523). The position maintained by Scriptural Divine Command theory, however, is distinguished by its disregard for consequences in
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