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Bill Guo's naive thoughts

on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:03 pm
Existentialists hold the belief that existence precedes essence, which means that individuals are born with self-consciousness instead of a pre-determined purpose. It is people’s consciousness which lead them to create a personal values and to seek for the meaning of their lives. This rule is only meaningful to human beings. It could be a way how one set the boundary between humans and androids.
Applying this concept to characters in the book “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”, we can identify whether the character is a human being who creates his own meaning in life or an android who is born with an essence. Take the main character Rick Deckard as an example, his interactions with others reveal that he was born without an essence. For instance, when Rachel tried to bribe him with the owl, Rick hesitated for a long time. The hesitation shows that Rick wasn’t pre-decided to follow instructions from his leader Bryant. Instead, he could make decisions according to his own benefits. Besides, when he was obsessed with pretty androids, he compared his wife with them. People in this world could choose who them want to fall in love with. Tracing back to the beginning of the novel, Rick would give suggestions to his wife about which kind of mood she should order. Though it would be complicated to make a complex mood, one is still free to choose their attitude and essence.
Androids, however, seem to be programmed with an essence. For example, Rachel would claim that it was disgusting to boil dogs and eat them even though she doesn't truly feel sorry for the poor animals. Since human beings are forced to own an animal, they gradually cultivate their moral value of being empathetic toward tragedies. An android like Rachel which has never raised an animal is born with an essence of demonstrating its empathy without learning the value of showing empathy to others. Thus, they don’t exist if they considered themselves as human beings. In addition, Nexus-6 androids’ essence is also composed of self-protecting. For example, Rachel would make contact with its enemy Rick and offer him help so that itself might be prevented from being retired. The android Polokov pretended to be a worker in the factory as well as an agent from the Soviet Union to hide itself from the searches. The third android Miss luft even managed to call the police to keep itself from the bounty hunter.
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Re: Bill Guo's naive thoughts

on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:04 pm
Bill said that human beings have the complete independent free will and power to behave and feel wahteverr they intended, compared to androiss whose reaction to every real life question is being pre-programmed. In some extent thi is true, however, it might not be. Human beings power is desigend and endowed by the environment they wrnt through. Ancient Korean child are not likely to say no to dog meat because society and most importantly, thier families told them this is nothing wrong. In other word, human beings are being programmed by outside facotors and their individual free will are merely the product of external influence. Wouldn’t you say that humans and androids are soemhow the same?
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Not everyone has essence in this world

on Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:36 pm
It's interesting that bill mentioned a way that the world in this book used to tell human from Android, which is Androids don't have personal essence but human have their own ideas. However, the dialing-number scene in Chapter one has a conflict with this idea, to some extent. Bill's wife has to dial numbers and receives ideas from the phone that what she would do next. It's ironic that Androids are planted long-term memories and goals, which is to serve the people. However, people in this world are also planted short-term memory or motivation, which makes them similar to Androids technically. Thus, I have different ideas with Bill that people in this world have their own essence. From my perspective, some people, like Rick's life, have less essence than some Androids, like Rachael Rosen.
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