‘Blade Runner’ and the End of Humanity

A new video asks the most important question facing our species: should we?
By  · Published on June 2nd, 2017

A new video asks the most important question facing our species: should we?

As humans, progress is in our DNA. Progress got our early ancestors out of the trees, it led to the creation of hunting, gathering, fire, the wheel, sliced bread, and civilization. Progress cultivates land, raises livestock, erects cities, develops technology, and generally propels the species forward. In thinking about our progress – which we do pretty much constantly – we often ask ourselves “can we?” Or, “when will we?” The one question we rarely ask, however, is more important than both of those: “should we?” Sure, we can clone life, travel through space, give machines intelligence, split the atom, and develop weapons of mass destruction, but again, should we?

This conundrum – our instinct to constantly progress versus our moral responsibility to question whether or not we should – is at the heart of Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi classic Blade Runner, in which the creation of “life” in the replicants can be seen as leading directly to the end of humanity, not “humankind” but “humanity,” our benevolent intelligence, our innate moral compass.

In the latest video from Jack’s Movie Reviews, just how Blade Runner tackles and depicts the end of humanity in its noir-soaked tale of the future is the subject, and as we’ve come to expect, the author guides us through his argument with insight and understanding.

The tagline of the Tyrell Corporation, the people behind replicants, is “More Human Than Human.” This triumphant statement tells you all you need to know about the endgame of progress, and at the same time it serves as a warning that beyond our evolutionary phase there are things we can’t control but that are ready and willing to control us. Blade Runner is more than a sci-fi spectacle and an outstanding film, it’s a cautionary tale about what happens when we ignore all the “should we’s?” and blaze forward unchecked.

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