While researching the topic of evolution and how it was reflected in film, I decided to focus my attention on the movie Avatar. Not only was it a more recent film that addressed issues of evolution such as human superiority and human morality, but it also captured the attention of millions in the United States when it was nominated for best picture in 2010.
As I researched this movie, I began to dig deeper into the idea of putting ones mind and soul into another physical form. This thought provoked new questions: Do we have a soul? If we do, do animals as well? At what point in the human evolutionary chain did we develop the ability or the “humanity” to even ask such questions? And finally, the big question, what does it mean to be human?
Above is a link to an article about a man in Russia who is trying to create his own Avatar. His goal is to “upload” his brain and his emotions in to a hologram avatar before he dies, essentially becoming immortal. He wants to transplant his brain and his “human consciousness” into a robot body by 2045. He claims that by doing this, human bodies will become “empty husks as their owners ‘live on’ inside robots.”
This project not only attempts to defy death, the natural process that all living things must cycle through, but it also questions the idea of humanity and the concept of a soul by suggesting that ones existence can be simply transplanted into another body. Will he be successful in his endeavor? I doubt it. However, I think that this article brings up some interesting questions about science and its ability to explain and mimic human existence. Is a real-life avatar that retains the humanity and consciousness of human being possible? Do humans even have a soul?