Thursday, August 11, 2005

"The Island"

Over family vacation, we went to go see the movie The Island (which, if I'm not mistaken, is not doing so hot at the box office). It's a futuristic story about human clones being created for their body parts in order to be used by wealthy investors who want to prolong their lives. Michael Medved writes: "'The Island' is a smartly written, superbly well-acted, richly satisfying piece of entertainment despite an annoying tendency by director Michael Bay to go way over the top with his spectacular car crashes and chase scenes." Personally, I found the action scenes utterly boring. But I know some people get a kick out of such things.

The good, unique thing about the movie, however, is the overarching theme that human life has inherent, as assumped to mere instrumental, value. It's gratifying, and surprising, to see Hollywood doing such a film.

It led to a family discussion for about an hour after the film regarding the ethics of cloning and things like embryonic stem-cell research.

BTW, if you're curious for my positions, I think embroynic stem-cell research is unnecessary and immoral. And (perhaps surprisingly) I don't think cloning is immoral in and of itself, though due to the large number of deaths through experimentation that it would take in order to achieve cloning that works--along with the fact that we simply don't know the health risks that will obtain in the lives of such clones--I do not support cloning.

For more on these positions, see Scott Klusnedorf's critique of ESCR, and John Frame's short paper responding to unconvincing arguments against cloning.

So I can't say "The Island" was exactly my cup of tea. But when is the last time you watched a film that led to a lengthy bioethics discussion?