Star Trek, Frankenstein, and… Ethics?

The subjects that come up in my IDEAS seminar will never cease to amaze me. For example, three weeks ago we read Frankenstein. The week after that we read Playing God in the Nursery. Last week, we talked a lot about Star Trek.

Now for a girl who was named after a Star Trek character, and whose brother is a devout “trekkie”, this just makes me love my major. For those who have seen Star Trek Next Generation, we discussed the character of Data, and his desire to be human. What does it mean to be human? Why did Data want to be human? Especially as it relates to Frankenstein, why do we assume that being human is what everyone wants? (Now, Data is one of my favorite characters, so I had a lot to say).

In contrast to this, we also talked about Spock, and how he decides NOT to “be” human. Spock, who is half human, rejects his human side and chooses to behave as a Vulcan. This brought up some great discussion, because this was an instance of someone being able to see all that humanity is, and choosing NOT to be a part of it.

As our theme of “Technology and Humanity” dictates this semester, we found ourselves asking ‘what it is to be human, and how does technology take part in this?’. Even though that was the focus, I couldn’t help but be mind-blown over the sheer fact that I was getting academic credit to talk about Star Trek. I’ll be one of the first to say I could not have chosen a cooler major.

Up Next? Edward Scissorhands. BRING IT ON!