Movie “The Moon”
Technology and science have seen a rapid change as compared to the last century. This advancement in science and technology has brought to the human race, the world of clones and cloning. Cloning is the making of two organisms the same by using DNA which makes them one hundred per cent similar. The extent of cloning has been brought about in the movie ‘moon’. This paper is going to discuss the film ‘moon’ about the issue of cloning. Furthermore, the article is going to discuss the morality behind cloning and whether clones are more human than humans or not. Also, the paper is going to determine whether clones should be accepted into society since they have human feelings and memories. Also, the article is going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cloning. The main question that the item is going to address should clone or can replace human beings?
Summary of the movie
Moon is a 2009 British film directed by Duncan Jones and produced by Stuart Finnegan and Trudie Styler. The science fiction film is portrayed in the future, that is 2035. The star of the film is Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell, who is an astronaut mining helium-3 in solitary for three years. ‘Moon’ superseded its budget of 5million dollars to gross at 9.7 million dollars in total. Sam, who works with a robot named GERTY, learns near the end of his three-year contract that he has a doppelganger.. This is after he crashes and overhears his robot companion talking to the rescue team. The two Sam find out from GERTY after listening to his unconscious Doppelganger that they are actually copies of an original Sam. Following this surprising news, the two clones agree to carry out their inquiries and look into the cloning industry. They are shocked to discover a vault full of hundreds of clones which seem to be half asleep. They find out that the company the original Sam works for clone’s astronaut to escape paying new astronauts. They decide to expose the lunar company to the world, and the younger or fresher Sam goes to earth and tells the story which brings a lot of conflicts to the company as witnessed in the shift in stock value. In the end, the film depicts that human beings do not agree with lunar’s work ethics, and it seems the clones are more humane than humans themselves (Moon).
Cloning can be defined as the creation of similar genetic copies using the original organisms DNA, thereby making their DNA 100% similar (Hutson, 2015).
Cloning uses the same process of creation like bacteria or plants do that is asexual reproduction. Cloning came to global attention when a sheep called Dolly was cloned and brought to the media’s attention by embryologist Ian Wilmut in February of 1997; human clones have not been introduced to the world still. However, the term clone was derived from a Greek word klon, meaning twig (Human Cloning, 2015). The Greeks used this term to refer to the process where a twig can be used to create a new plant upon the new plant being imposed on the twig. Generally cloning is done in four steps which are fragmentation, ligation, transfection and screening. In the case of identical twins, or deliberately like Dolly, cloning takes two forms either naturally.
Moral struggles of the film ‘moon’.
Can robots (cloning) replace human beings?
According to the film moon, it seems for a sometime-in fact quite a long time- clones replaced human beings. This is because at the beginning of the movie we see a man named Sam but as the movie advances we realize that that was a clone of the original Sam and the original Sam had gone back home. However, the clone, Sam, behaves thinks and feels like the original Sam and is quite competent at ‘his’ work. This is because the clone of Sam does Sam’s job like Sam, that is being an astronaut. We see that he hangs up when he hears the original Sam talking in the background depicting his pain and disappointment as they each thought they were the original Sam. We also find out in the film that lunar company-Sam’s company-cloned astronauts to avoid paying for new astronauts who was very mean and insensitive of them. A search by the two clones of Sam reveal a vault full of hibernating clones which are on standby to be used once a clone dies or is incapacitated (Hutson, 2015).
The director of the film intends for the audience to see how inhuman human beings can be to fellow human beings. Furthermore, he wants the observer to see that clones are more social than some human beings (Human Cloning, 2015). Also, he wants the observer to see that clones can replace human if given a chance. This is further evidenced by Sam’s companion GERTY who is a robot with scientific intelligence that it uses to program and reprogram the clones, however, in a twist we see that he has a heart and feelings because for a programmed robot he should not have the ability to be coaxed. We understand the two clones coerce him into revealing that they are both clones. Moreover, GERTY is the one that aids the clones to hatch out their plans to go to earth to unmask lunar company. This means that he also has a heart and feelings since he helped the clones escape before the rescue team came for them and killed them both or the injured Sam.
Cloning has been widely known to be used to clone human body parts that have been seen as a breakthrough in the medical world however cloning a whole human being cannot be used to replace human beings (Human Cloning, 2015). According to the film moon, the clones do the same work as the original human being they were cloned from. This means that clones inherit everything the original has like the brain, memories and feelings. In another sense, they can be used to replace human beings. Still, the fact that they do not have a soul means that they are vessels used to carry the technical knowhow of an original human being and be used instead of the original person thus eliminating risks, danger, injuries and even death to the unique person. The two clones Sam have the technical knowhow of being an astronaut just like the original Sam and when the older Sam clone is injured and near death, he passes on his work to the newer Sam clone. Therefore, the clones are used to replace the original human beings and keep them out of danger, but as evidenced by the film that was not the intention of the lunar company. Therefore, according to the film, clones can be used to replace human beings and be exploited for profits without the expense of training and hiring a new astronaut. Therefore cloning replaces a human nature by shielding it from danger and also increasing earnings at no cost at all since clones do not have human rights like rational human beings. Since clones do not have human rights was the reason lunar company undertook to clone the original Sam and use his DNA to create a cloneable to do the same job at no expense.
Another aspect in cloning which further illustrates the fact that clones cannot replace human beings is that even dead people can be cloned (Human Cloning, 2015). This means that the world can decide to clone a musical legend like Michael Jackson, for example, in the hopes that the child or clone will be a musical giant like the original. This might sometimes not be the case because even though the outside of the clone’s appearance will be exactly like the unique person yet the personality may differ according to some factors like the environment, education and the likes (9 Unexpected Outcomes Of Human Cloning, 2015). This will mean that even though the clone will be that of Michael Jackson, he might not be a famous or legendary musician suppose he does not practice his musical talent. Therefore, being a musical giant will be up to the clone and cannot be forced upon him. This means that a clone cannot fully replace another human being and the clone and the original will always have some different personalities. Thus means that Michael Jackson clone cannot replace the original Michael Jackson and will never be the Michael Jackson the world knows of at all. This is what is explained in the moon as the clones of Sam cannot fully replace the real Sam.
Ethics and cloning
as per everything that the clones have done and achieved in the film moon they can replace human beings, but the director intends to let the observer see that only ethical reasons are the reason why clones cannot return human beings. Ethically, it is degrading to strip a man of his dignity and privacy to make a clone of them. Clones typically take even the most intimate thoughts, memories and feelings of a human being and give them to someone else more so without their permission. According to the movie, we see that Sam the clone and even the second Sam the clone both do not know which of them is the original or the clone. Furthermore, both of them do not realize they are clones before GERTY the robot disclose it to them. This is degrading and even embarrassing to Sam the original human being because he too is not aware that he has a clone which has been left in helium-3 mining field at the lunar company.
The ethical question is what happens when the original Sam or another person like a relative or friend of the innovative Sam meets the clone, Sam? This will bring confusion and mixed reactions since there will be a mix-up and tension since different people will report different things about the original Sam that even Sam cannot verify. Furthermore, how does the original Sam get out of trouble when the clone Sam commits a crime and leaves all DNA behind? The original Sam will be in pain and will take a fall for something that they are innocent off yet all evidence point at them. This is unethical and very dehumanizing. Most clones just like in the movie do not have an idea that they have clones because the people who clone know that what they are doing is unethical and no one can agree to it. That is why they clone people in secret without their knowledge and use them in degrading manners. For example, a person who manufacturers clones can do so without the knowledge of the original then use the clone to do what a normal human being would not agree to.
An example is that the original Sam could not have agreed to be away from his family for those three years and not return to his family. That is why the lunar company decided to clone him and have his clone possess the same skills that he had so that they could use him and not even pay. This is because they would just send in the rescue team, which would eliminate the clone(s). This is morally wrong and unethical since it is using people for monetary purposes and never gives anything back in return.
Another unethical part of cloning is that people who clone human beings want to play God, yet they cannot be that perfect. This is because for example, Dolly the cloned sheep had a reduced life span of around five years, yet it is known that sheep live for up to eleven years. This was because the cells that were used to clone Dolly was from a six years ewe, meaning Dolly was six years old when she was born or cloned. This is the same case with human beings because from the film moon, the clone of Sam is just as old as Sam the discovery revealed many other clones of Sam hibernating and waiting to be activated. This is very unethical since why clone people than leave them somewhere alone and half alive and half dead waiting to be programmed to play the intended part. When this wrong process goes on, does that still mean that this is the way this clone, manufacturers intend for cloned people? What is the purpose of cloning many people like in the moon only to replace them when one is dead? Isn’t this morally acceptable by society as it is not inhumane. Creating people with the same problems that their originals have is unethical because a clone carries with it the same diseases and health complications that the original has.
Can robots be more human than humans?
Clones, as witnessed in the film moon, can be more human than humans since they are a replica of an original human being. They have the same thoughts, line of reasoning, feelings and memories as the unique person. Therefore, their humanity will depend on the original person’s personality in that if a clone is cloned from a mean-hearted individual, then they will follow suit as they have the same DNA. On the other hand, if a clone is cloned out of a moral and ethical individual, then the clone will be more human than some human beings. In the film, the director portrays the clones to be more human than the management of the lunar company. This is because the lunar company has no qualms cloning Sam and makes him hundreds of clones to gain more profits from helium-3 mining as an astronaut. However, the clones upon discovery of their identities from GERTY and the clones in the vault decide to do the right thing and unmask lunar company on earth. Even GERTY a robot has heart than the management of lunar since he aids the clones in their plans to bring down the lunar company and shed light on their shady dealings. Thus the director has portrayed the clones and robots as being more human than human beings. This can be explained rationally in that any average human being can react the same way. Imagine finding out that some company has made copies of you without your permission and you are the copy that is the clone. You contact the original and confirm the worst truth ever, the anger, disappointment and rage on finding out that the feelings and memories you carry are not yours, but somebody else’s is devastating. The next thing is trying to do the right thing and exposing the individuals who are trying to put the human race into extinction.
Christianity view on cloning
Even though in Moon film, we see the clones of Sam doing the same things as the original Sam would do cloning is not a subject that is acceptable in the religious field. Although the bible does not explicitly forbid cloning in any book or chapter, there are hints as to why cloning is not God’s will (Silver, 1998). First, in the book of genesis during creation, God is said to have created man in his image and likeness. This means that human beings are Gods masterpiece and are therefore unique in that there can never be another like him. Cloning tries to make another human being using the same DNA as evidenced by the film moon.
Secondly, in psalms, God says that human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made. This means that no matter a person’s physical appearance, they are perfect in the eyes of God as they are fearfully and wonderfully made and nobody should tamper with that. Cloning, however, tries to tamper with that by producing a similar creature artificially which is against Gods plan for human beings. Furthermore, this verse even rules out things like plastic surgery since God thought that his creations are lovely, and he created them fearfully thus are perfect the way they are. Cloning interferers with this Gods notion of human beings in that if God thinks that a human being is wonderfully and fearfully created then a human being should not try to copy God’s beautiful and fearful creation’s perhaps God had foreseen this age coming and subtly warned human beings of trying to copy his masterpiece thus cloning is out of the question biblically.
Thirdly, a debate has been going on about when life begins at birth or conception (Silver, 1998). This has made people who believe in cloning to suggest that it is not sinful since life begins at birth. However, in the bible, many prophets were already being talked to by God while they were still in the womb as fetuses. Examples include Isaiah and john the Baptist, who were both called by God while even in their mother’s uterus. Therefore, cloning is not Godly, and Christianity does not support it at all. In moon however much the two clones of Sam seem to be human and reason like humans and have feelings like humans they are considered as machines which are created whenever the manufacturer feels like, programmed to feel, think and act as the manufacturer wants. Their life begins when the manufacturer feels like creating one of them.
Fourthly, God is the Supreme Being and the creator of all things in the earth. However, according to the bible, human beings are Gods masterpiece as God gave them power over all things on earth. This means that God considers babies as a gift to the human race and especially to parents. Therefore, no matter the situation, science should never be used to create another human being as it takes the creation power out of Gods hand and onto human beings hand. This is wrong and sinful as God is a jealous God and does not like other gods and human beings competing with him. This cloning thing will lead desperate human beings to clone their children and relatives and will reduce the quality and significance of Gods own creation as intended by God. The power of nature must always be left in God’s hand as he is the master planner of the earth we live in.
Finally, according to the bible, human beings are created by God and are to be judged by him alone when the worlds end (Silver, 1998). This is the very thing that separates clones from human beings: the issue of soul. Human beings have souls which are the things that remain after the human body dies. The soul is the one that will be judged come judgment day and sent to paradise or condemned to hell for all eternity. Now the question is, do clones have souls? The answer is no. Therefore, when clones die, where do they go? Do they also face judgment and among the many clones which one is judged and how are they judged? In short, God does not recognize clones, nor will He decide them come judgment day, making clones something outside his plan. This is further supported by the book of genesis where only Gods breath can give a human body a soul. Moreover, God has a unique idea and purpose for every human being he creates into the world, and nobody is an accident. Therefore, which plan and purpose do God have for clones made by human beings and have no souls?
Embrace clones or not
It is known that cloning is still illegal and not accepted by the society, government and even the religious bodies. The question here is if the robots can act like human such as having memories and feelings, can we break the legitimacy and morality of cloning and consider them as human/one of us? Just because clones behave like human beings, have the same memories and feelings is not reason enough for human beings to accept them because they are not human beings. We cannot embrace clones in the society as taking them is ethically, morally and religiously wrong. Then the question that follows is since we do not consider clones as human beings even though they have social from, feelings, memories and acts, then what do we find as humane? Should we understand and embrace them as one of us? Humanity is based on the creation process by God; it is a process that only God has the power to give. God’s breath gives life to a human being, and only this breath can provide a human being a soul. Therefore, humanity has a soul and conscious, and can it be 100% proved that clones have a soul the very being of a human being? Without a soul, a clone is a mere vessel whose acceptance to the society is bound to have disastrous results. Therefore, no matter what clones look like, behave like or possess, they should not deceive the human race that they are human and should not be accepted in society.
Clones have to be done away within society, and the only way is to make a law prohibiting any kind of cloning since human beings abuse power and freedom. If they are allowed to clone human body parts, they will end up cloning a whole human being thus all kinds of cloning should be prohibited and punishable by law. Also, clones should be hunted and destroyed, and it should not be considered a crime since clones do not have a soul they are not human beings. For example, upon the exposure of lunar company drove of clones, the government should destroy al, these hibernating clones. Moreover, the government should investigate the management of lunar to lead them to the clone manufacturing locations where all the equipment should be destroyed halting and eliminating any future manufactures. This will stop them since making clones is a very expansive affair and once their equipment and machines are destroyed building it will be next to impossible to build it up again or may take many years to rebuild.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloning
Advantages of cloning
Human cloning is a sensitive issue and debates are based on the ethical and moral measures set by society. Moreover, human cloning is not yet legal in any state in the world that is why cloning manufacturers do so in private like the lunar company in the film ‘moon’ (Silver, 1998). However, as with any situation, there are advantages and disadvantages. The benefits of human cloning include: first, cloning will give the medical world a significant breakthrough in that organ and other body parts can be cloned easily and fast (Melo‐Martín, 2015). Donors of particular body parts are scarce and very expensive if found. Therefore, cloning has found an easy and fast way to help patients. Secondly, cloning is the best solution to infertile couples or couples who are finding it difficult to have children. Infertility is affecting over seven million people globally; thus cloning is seen as an excellent answer to the infertility question. It is a fact and comfortable, unlike the modern fertility treatments that are painful, takes longer and may sometimes fail and gets very frustrating. Additionally, lesbians and gay couples can also have children easily than before where they need donors and surrogates to have children or just simply adopt (Melo‐Martín, 2015). With cloning, they have the opportunity of making their children with their DNA.
Thirdly, the creation of eminent and famous talented people will be made possible by cloning. DNA of the famous musicians, doctors, actors, politicians and the rest of humanity who have impacted positively in the lives of millions of people worldwide can be re, lived and they can continue to give the world their best.
People like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and the likes can be revived. Fourthly, human cloning can reduce the ageing process in that an individual can clone herself or himself to a younger him, thus eliminating the fear of old age. This will be more popular with women who fear age and both sexes as people fear death. Fifthly, cloning can aid in the faster healing process after tragic and traumatic injuries (Melo‐Martín, 2015). This will be done by cloning of the body cells in the injured places. This helps with a quick recovery process of an injured athlete, soccer player or any person for that.
Moreover, flawed genes can be eliminated, and good ones replaced. This will finally help people who get sick based on hereditary ailments and genetic diseases which are something beyond their control. Health cells can be cloned and injected into the flawed cells and eliminate the diseases carried in the genes. Finally, cloning can be used to treat severe diseases like cancer, heart attacks and Alzheimer (Melo‐Martín, 2015). This is because healthy heart cells can be cloned and placed in a damaged heart. Batteries can be manipulated to copy the other healthy cells as stem cells are the ones used to clone organs, thus leading to the treatment of cancer, Alzheimer and heart attacks.
Disadvantages of cloning
The advantages of cloning are numerous, but so are the problems. First, cloning makes human beings become a commodity rather than human beings. That is they can be made and sold to whomever at any time just like goods in the market. This reduces the quality and value of human beings, which should be priceless. Furthermore, in the case of cloning a child, a parent chooses the child’s specifications, and if they do not like the result, they can go and make another perfect one. Also, parents might end up treating the cloned child differently than natural children. Second, cloning can make clones age faster, although it can also be used to slow the ageing process. The irony in this is that when an original is cloned, the clone is already the number of years that the original cell was. An example is with the cloning of Dolly, the sheep which was born already six years old, thereby reducing the lifespan of the clone and sometimes premature death as in Dolly’s case. Third, cloning is unethical and morally wrong since it eliminates the sense of individuality and uniqueness in a clone. This is because a clone feels great about themselves as they are convinced they are the original they never know if there are clones or not, but upon the realization, the sense of individuality is lost. The clone feels like they have a twin who is probably older. This is also awkward in a way in that if a parent clones his or her child is it the parent’s twin or is it their child (9 Unexpected Outcomes Of Human Cloning, 2015). Fourth, cloning makes human play God which is religiously kind of blasphemous. God is the absolute power holder, and creator of everything in the world and nobody should compete with that. Furthermore, God created human beings in his image and likeness and is his masterpiece. God loves human beings more than anything and thus not only made them in his image and likeness, but he also gave them power over all things on earth, but this power is limited to items on earth not the creation of other human beings. Fifth, cloning reduces diversity in human beings since cloning replicates the same person with the same genes and DNA. This is very bad in that part from reducing expectancy of a child before birth replicating genes reduces the human ability to adapt this very susceptible to diseases. Finally, cloning will cause imbalances in the society and increase crime rates just like lunar company did in the moon. People will clone pother people and use them for criminal activities, and the originals escape justice and punishment. Moreover, the imbalance will be caused by every parent cloning g a child that looks like them and like them more than the child that does not resemble them. Also, every parent will want to clone a child that is intelligent, pretty, genius, talented and the likes which will cause significant imbalances in the world.
Moon is a science fiction movie depicting clones in outer space mining helium-3, yet they do not know they are clones. They discover that the lunar company has hundreds of clones hibernating and waiting to be deployed upon injuries or death of the present ones. They decide to unmask the company on earth, and the result is a shift in the economy. The whole point of the movie is in its perception of clones and if they are moiré human than humans. Furthermore, the film begs the question of whether society should accept the clones and treat them as one of them since they look, behave, have the same memories and feelings like human beings. The film also asks the observer whether clones are more human than human beings themselves and if not, then what does the society consider human. However, as the movie comes towards the end, the pain that the clones feel on finding out that they are both clones and the original Sam is back home is too great to bear? They learn that lunar company cloned the original astronaut Sam inn order not to pay for new astronauts thus gain profits while paying out nothing at all. The pain of using someone like that and treating them like goods without even giving them their legitimate human right is wrong morally and ethically. It is better to destroy all the clones and rid the world of this ticking time bomb technology. Furthermore, Christians do not approve of all things to do with cloning and clones. It is degrading to God, who created human beings wonderfully and fearfully in his image and likeness. Cloning reduces human beings to commodities, reducing the values of human beings, eliminates diversity and can cause an imbalance in society. However, cloning has brought a significant breakthrough in the medical field; it has removed infertility issues and can slow the ageing process. The point is that clones should never be accepted nor cloning condoned in society.
- “Moon.” IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
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- “Human Cloning.” Human Cloning. Web. 23 Apr. 2015.
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- Silver, Lee M. “Cloning, ethics, and religion.” Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7.02 (1998): 168-172.