Mary Shelley’s father, William Godwin (1756-1836) was a philosopher of much renown. His thought was inclined towards anarchism (Rogers).
Godwin considered government to be a corrupting influence in human society. Godwin believed that as humanity advanced technologically, the personal moral values of individual humans would advance along with it and everyone would adhere strictly to their personal highly advanced code of morality thereby rendering governments redundant (MacIntyre).
Godwin also believed in a form of utilitarianism, whereby each action of an individual should be taken with a view towards maximizing the benefit to the human species as a whole (MacIntyre).
In pursuit of this utilitarian ideal, Godwin’s ideas often fall short of the dictates of conventional morality and what one might suppose to be the instinctual moral response.
For example Godwin theorized that if in a fire a person had a choice to save either one of his parents or the Archbishop Fenelon a benefactor of mankind, they should save Archbishop Fenelon and let their own parent burn to death (Vasquez-Dennis).
Using this philosophy of utilitarianism it might be possible for Godwin to see Dr. Frankenstein’s experiments, which were undertaken with the intention of understanding better, the mechanisms of life and eventually conquering mankind’s greatest enemy; death, as justified for the greater good of humankind.
Dr. Frankenstein never intended to make a psychologically unstable, internally torn and tormented, vengeful and murderous monster.
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