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Frankenstein

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Submitted By IVANA
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Frankenstein Human morality is a product of evolution by heritable variation and natural selection. It is fully part of the natural world but is none the worse for that – on the contrary. In the last sentence of On the Origin of Species, Darwin states that “there is grandeur in this view of life… on which endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” The beautiful and wonderful forms include true moral agents who respond to real moral facts and who form a natural moral community. Their existence contributes to the grandeur of Darwin’s evolutionary view of life. What is a moral agent? A moral agent is a decision maker who chooses between right and wrong and is, therefore, morally responsible for his acts. In this essay I will argue that creature in Marry Shelly’s novel Frankenstein is not a moral agent.
The monster in Marry Shelly’s novel Frankenstein is Victor Frankenstein's creation, assembled from old body parts and strange chemicals, spirited by the mysterious spark of life. He awakes eight feet tall and enormously strong but with the mind of a baby. Abandoned by his creator and confused, he tries to get accepted into society, only to be rejected. Looking at his reflection, he realizes his grotesqueness, a characteristic that hides his gentleness from society. He seeks revenge on his creator, killing Victor's younger brother. Later, after Victor destroys his work on the female monster, the monster murders Victor's best friend and then his new wife.
What does it take to be able to choose between right and wrong? Moral agents must have enough knowledge and intelligence to understand how to apply moral principles and to choose whether to be guided by them in planning their actions. A moral agent also needs memory and self-consciousness, so he can remember and evaluate his options. Reason is a tool for achieving inborn values but, it is not the source of values. Reason can tell a moral agent whether a particular act conforms to his values, but it is his inborn values that guide his reason. Because a moral agent must be able to consider moral principles when he chooses a course of action and, because a moral agent cannot possibly consider moral principles unless he is aware of their existence, awareness of moral principles and belief in their value are prerequisites for being a moral agent.
A moral agent must have some moral values before he can make any moral choices as well as rational agent must have some ultimate values before he can take any rational action.
While Victor feels utter hatred for his creation, the creature shows that he is not a purely evil being. The creature's animated description of events reveals his sensitivity and kindness. He assists a group of poor peasants and saves a girl from drowning, but because of his outward appearance, he is rewarded with beatings and disgust. Torn between revengefulness and compassion, the monster ends up lonely and tormented by remorse. Even the death of his creator offers only bittersweet relief: joy because Victor has caused him so much suffering, sadness because Victor is the only person with whom he has had any sort of relationship.
Sympathy and altruism are not necessary traits of a moral agent. But moral agents need to be able to take the rights of others into consideration when they make moral decisions. It is easier to do this if you can sympathize with others.
There is not much disagreement over whether intention plays a role in assigning moral blame. After all, someone who intends to cause suffering is clearly different from someone who does not. Even when an act motivated by good intentions results in unfortunate consequences it is not seen in the same way as a deliberately wrong act. In fact, intention is particularly important in determining moral responsibility because knowing what a person intends to do may be more revealing than how they feel about a mean or careless act, after the fact. It considers the blameworthiness of an act or decision on its own.
In the case of Victor Frankenstein, there is some evidence to suggest that he has good intentions as he is interested in improving the human condition: “I had begun life with benevolent intentions and thirsted for the moment when I should put them in practice and make myself useful to my fellow human beings” (Shelley 111).
Marry Shelly’s creature is felled with hatred towards human kind; therefore his refused by Victor request to make him a female of his own, drives him to kill. He shows no sympathy for William, Alphonse Frankenstein, and Elizabeth. Moral agent knows the difference between good and bad. Therefore, the creature can’t be one.

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