Gattaca

Vincent states in the movie that “it’s illegal to discriminate – ‘genoism’ it’s called – but no one takes the laws seriously.” This is, in fact, one of the standard criticisms of genetic profiling: if we have genetic data on people, then employers or insurance companies will use that data to minimize financial risk. Assuming that this will be true, would the benefits of genetic profiling still outweigh the costs?

First off, why do the employers and the insurance companies get access to this kind of information?  Isn’t the main reason that this occurs in Gattaca because employers and insurance companies have access to that information, so if they don’t get ahold of the data then they can’t discriminate against anybody.  If the companies to get this ability then there are no benefits to genetic profiling because it dehumanizes people and while this is common in modern society, especially towards peoples on the fringes, it would become more mainstream if this data was more widespread.  This wider dispersal of knowledge about who is altered and who isn’t is also more available to the public because the insurance companies and employers could be hacked and the information leaked to the public.  This leak of information could lead to a wave of public hysteria and anger, which could lead to an attack on one of the two groups of people.  Also if there were no insurance companies than there is no chance for discrimination, especially if healthcare is paid through low co-pays, when you see a physician for annual checkups or dentists, and by taxes for the more important things such as cancer or a heart attack, then nobody but your doctors have the information, and  then there is no discrimination.  I am confused on why the idea of genetic profiling has to be an issue, and why in the future the current status quo must be followed?  There is the idea that with genetic profiling jobs will become more specialized, and minimalized.  This can be a debilitating development because it means that people can not pursue their dreams if they do not meet the genetic requirements.  This can also lead to children being forced down paths that they do not wish to follow, such as a child who was altered to be an amazing athlete but wants to be an artist instead, is possibly being forced down the path of an athlete against their will.  Genetic profiling could lead to the development of a slave society or a society with distinctive castes because one section of humanity is biologically superior to others within the same society.  This could lead a scenario similar to Khan in Star Trek, where biologically engineered people rise up to create nations full of people similar to them, that leads to massively destructive wars between “super” humans and “regular” humans.  Genetic profiling brings about the discussion of what makes a human a human, and are there requirements that need to be met?  The necessity of requirements would begin a process of large-scale dehumanization that might lead to resentment and eventually violence and repression that could lead to large-scale conflicts.  As stated above there are no benefits to genetic profiling because it will only lead to violence and hatred.  And for examples, we simply need to look to the recent past and to contemporary events to see that profiling is not a positive.  Looking to Gattaca for examples also produces a supply that shows that genetic profiling does not improve society, it simply just limits societal aspects to being acceptable for either the edited or unedited humans.Wouldn’t every parent want to ensure that their child was perfect and had the attributes of physical attractiveness, intelligence and athletic prowess to be able to do whatever he or she wanted in life? If so, why is the society portrayed in this film so devoid of happiness, vitality, and fun?

Wouldn’t every parent want to ensure that their child was perfect and had the attributes of physical attractiveness, intelligence and athletic prowess to be able to do whatever he or she wanted in life? If so, why is the society portrayed in this film so devoid of happiness, vitality, and fun?

Not every parent would want their child to be perfect because then their child is just like every other child and in no way will develop into their own person.  I personally would not want my child to be perfect because then they can not become themselves and are going to be forced from path to path without any self-determination.  This self-determination is something that makes humans human, and taking this away is a brilliant way to dehumanize people, especially when they are growing up.  I also feel that I would not want my child to be perfect because then where is the challenge of raising a child, where is the joy of watching them become who they want to be?  I personally want to be challenged by my children, and I want to experience joy at seeing them succeed, when they are not perfect, especially if they beat people who are considered perfect while they do it too.  I don’t know I guess I’m just being sentimental, but I think that it is better to succeed without being predestined to succeed than to follow the path set by societal expectations.  The society in the film is portrayed as so devoid because since everyone is the same they all think along the same line and have become fleshy robots that are so focused on work.  The lack of difference among the populace also means that there is little variation in the day to day that would provide a distraction from the daily grind.  Society in the movie is also so devoid because there is no joy at success.  There is no joy because of being wired to be successful the people take no joy in completing difficult tasks because they already believe that they will succeed, and thus they don’t receive joy.  This lack of joy is also dehumanizing as well.