Sample Essay

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The English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) was a highly religious Christian.

Locke viewed life as a gift from a wise, omnipotent and benevolent God. He believed that the mechanisms through which an organism maintained life was a secret that God had kept from the creation (Bynum).

Locke was opposed to the endless dissection of living or bodies or even the attempts to observe the inner workings of the body as wastes of time which would yield no useful information:

“All that Anatomie can do is only to shew us the gross and sensible parts of the body, or the vapid and dead juices all which, after the most diligent search, will be noe more able to direct a physician how to cure a disease than how to make a man; for to remedy the defects of a part whose organicall constitution and that texture whereby it operates, he cannot possibly know, is alike hard, as to make a part which he knows not how is made” (Huth and Murray).

It is obvious that to Locke, Dr. Frankenstein’s endeavors in attempting to understand life and banish death would have been a wasted effort.

How Locke would react to the successful creation of an artificial human being is another matter. It is likely that such a creature would provoke moral panic on the part of Locke and he would have condemned it as an attempt to usurp the place of God.

For Locke life belongs to God alone, he views suicide and murder as immoral because they are destruction of property that belongs to God (Plessis). It is possible that he would view the creation of artificial life in the same manner.

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