Philosophical Analysis of 'Gone Baby Gone' Essay

1744 Words Sep 20th, 2011 7 Pages
The age old question of ethical ambiguity is something that humanity may never resolve. Conflicting morals and the ultimate question of “is what I’m doing right?” is one of the greatest human mysteries. Philosophers, psychiatrists and every individual on the planet must grapple with this moral confusion in an attempt to find unique solutions to everyday dilemmas. In Affleck’s drama Gone Baby Gone, two very notable philosophies collide head on, and the protagonist must choose between the two to find the solution that he feels is ‘right.’
In Affleck’s brilliantly rendered drama Gone Baby Gone, a young girl is abducted from her mother, in a blue collar area of Boston, Massachusetts. Patrick Kenzie and his girlfriend are private investigators
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The decision to lie and hide Amanda was done with the intention of benefitting her. Interestingly enough, Patrick does commit one act of blatant Utilitarianism, even though in the end of the film he chooses the opposite approach. During the raid on the crack house, he finds the body of another kidnapped boy. The sight of an innocent child brutally raped and murdered by the sociopath who claims it was an ‘accident,’ is too much for Patrick. He exacts retribution by executing the defenseless criminal in cold blood. This decision, although motivated primarily by anger (presumably,) is also utilitarian in nature. The benefit society derives from the prompt execution of the criminal outweighs the unhappiness caused by him. If freed, even with a life sentence in prison, he is still taking away tax dollars from the public welfare. His death plainly benefits society. Ironically, it is this incident which causes Patrick to call the police in the ending, his guilty conscience drives him to his eventual decision to return Amanda to her biological mother.
Along with this act of utilitarianism, the motivation for the use of this ethical system is based on Lionel and the detective’s belief in formation of self-identity. Remy, Lionel…

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