By: Sydney Wall
I think that The Blade Runner has been so influential and critically acclaimed in Sci-Fi circles because it plays around with futuristic inventions and dystopian society. But in addition to all the special effects, it is a warning to viewers. It shows the dangers of advanced technology and how it can diminish our humanity. The movie warns us that our already corrupt society could be even more corrupt through technology and a disregard for humanity.
The movie comments on humanity and ethics by posing a warning about genetic engineering. The movie shows the negative consequences of getting ahead of ourselves when it comes to technology controlling humanity. This is shown through the replicants and implanted memories. The replicants are supposed to be machines but the movie shows them as having empathy which is confusing to Deckard and to the viewers. A question that arises is: is it ethical for Deckard to “retire” the replicants? This is shown through his moral dilemma when he has to retire the replicant, Rachael, who he has developed feelings towards. If she has empathy how is she a replicant? This is troubling for Deckard.
Empathy makes us human. It shows we care and we are alive. When someone does not have empathy we usually look at them with disgust and ask what is wrong with them? The movie poses the question by having the empathy test that determines whether or not someone is a replicant. The replicants are supposed to be lacking in emotion and empathy. The movie also poses this question by the ambiguity surrounding the main character, Deckard, and questioning whether or not he is a replicant himself.
The question of what makes us human is still relevant today. We live in a society where our lives are controlled by machines. The first thing I do in the morning, almost before I open my eyes, is reach for my phone. It is nearly impossible to live a life without a computer in today’s world. Technology surrounds us and some might even go as far to say that technology has surpassed humans. How far will this go? Will we lose our humanity completely? People have stopped communicating and connecting with other people and are now only interacting with technology. Life today is different than it was 50 years ago, and one can only imagine how different life will be 50 years from now. I think that love makes us human. People will do anything for those they love. And I think that if there’s no love in the world, then there’s no humanity.