In the 21th century, a question about the essence of a human being becomes topical as never before. Today, many human beings are replaced with computers having artificial intelligence; thus, people often lose their job. In addition to this, a great number of scholars continue to work with computers and develop them, even trying to create human-like robots. In future, authorities want to have the cheapest and most lucrative labor force which does not demand neither salaries nor vacations. Robots are ideal candidates for achieving this goal. However a question arises whether a robot can replace a real human which has a soul, whether people are merely organic machines, nothing more than the sum of theparts. I do believe that there are many professional spheres where robots can never replace human beings, in particular where creativity is needed. One of such spheres is literature – the sphere where only a creation with “heart and soul” can be successful. Besides, there are plenty of characters in literature whichassure that a man will never be replaced by his own creation.
In my opinion, the most human is the one who defends a human being as the only creature with the soul, and who uses a language. It is the one who elevates a man above all other creatures on the Earth because only a human can have a religion. Only a human can feel faith, love and many other positive emotions in this world. People are really gifted creatures because they have the gift of creativity. Without a doubt, nothing can be compared with a human.
The example of such a “most human character” is Howard Roark, the main character of a great novel The Fountainhead written by a talented Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand. I chose this example because exactly Howard built a temple to the human spirit. He regarded a human as a clean, strong, wise, proud, and brave being. He also considered a human to be a heroic being. A temple, which was built by the main character, is a location where a human being can feel exaltation. Howard supposed that exaltation arises from the consciousness of being blameless, of seeing the truth and reaching it, of living up to a human’s highest ability, of knowing no guilt and not having any cause for guilt, as well as of being able to be naked in sunlight. He supposed that exaltation is pleasure which is a man’s birthright. Besides, Howard supposed that a location built as a setting for a human being is a sacrosanct place (Rand 78).
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Being the main character of the novel, Howard is an aspiring architect. He strongly believes that a human has to be a “prime mover” to reach pure art, not diminished by others, as opposite to committees of individuals or councils which lead to mediocrity and compromise, and a “watering down” of completed vision of a prime mover. Roark shows the victory of individualism and the slow stagnancy of collectivism. Eventually, he is arrested for dynamiting a house he has designed, the construction of which is compromised by other creators brought in to deny his project’s vision. During the court session, Roark holds a speech denouncing “second-handers” and announcing the prime movers’ superiority. Eventually, Howard prevails and the jury acquits him.
Even though Ayn Rand does not base life of Howard on particular events of F. L. Wright’s life, Howard possesses a lot of the qualities and face a number of difficulties that the real-life, talented, American modernist has had. Just like Wright, Howard is atrociously independent. Roark believes in the merit of his revolutionary projects and has the bravery to stand for them in the front of society of antagonists. He is represented as the version of an ideal human – one who incarnates the virtues of the author’s objectivist philosophy. Howard is the direct opposite of a contemporary thought that a person is molded by forces of crowds. Roark is not the creation of his upbringing, family, economic class, social background, or religious training. He is a creation of his own choices and decisions. Howard is a great example of free will – the supposition that an individual has the might to control the results and sense of his own life by virtue of the decisions he makes,. Human’s values and thinking are not controlled by Lord or society,destiny or any external cause, but merely by his own choice. Somebody may choose to obey, but Howard will not. He creates himself on his own.
Since Howard is his own creature from the very beginning; the essence of his character has never changed. Roark learns a lot about the “principle behind the Dean,” architecture, and other things throughout the novel -However his basic beliefs remain intact. The spirit of his character is a steadfast devotion to his own judgment and thinking. Howard is like this from the first page of the novel to the last;probably, he has been this path since his early childhood. An independent man like Howard learns a significant deal of contents in his life. Due to his undertaking to the fullest using of his own mind, Roark is the only type of a person who can do all these things.
It should be noted that Howard is a selfish man, in the positive sense of the word. He is devoted to his values, beliefs, thinking, self, and his mind. When the council of the Manhattan Bank Building wants to change his project, Howard denies the offer for new design, and describes his behavior as the most selfish. To be honest to his self, a human has to have this self. He has to think on his own, judge, form values and act in pursuit of these values. He should never give them away. It is just what Howard does: the integrality of his project is far more significant to him than recognition or money he will get. Staying honest to his judgment and values, he is honest to his self in his heart. Thus, egoism is presented in its highest and best sense.
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Therefore, the question arise whether can have the same character or the same features. I believe that they cannot. They have no identity, and it can be well-described by the quotes from the great novel about robots Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip Dick “An android doesn’t care what happens to another android”(Dick 99).. That is one of the indications we look for” The quote is rather ironic because certain androids do care about other androids, probably even more than they care about everything related to people’s life. Eventually, if androids do care about other ones, it becomes hard to tell who is truly an android and who is not. It appears to be one more twist in logic in the book, which is not related to reality.
The next quote shows the fear that one of the main characters and other inhabitants of the Earth lived with and the actuality for a mentally disabled man such as J. Isidore. “Classed as biologically unacceptable, a menace to the pristine heredity of the race. Once pegged as special, a citizen, even if accepting sterilization, dropped out of history. He ceased, in effect, to be part of mankind” (Dick 14). The quote demonstrates a spurious structure of hierarchy that humankind set up for itself. It allows mentally insufficient persons and robots to be judged as less than a human being even when they demonstrate more humanity and empathy than those who is superior to them.
And the last quote is the key one; it reflects the book’s title and the fundamental philosophical question arose in the book concerning features and qualities that a man has. “Do androids dream? Rick asked himself” (Dick 182). Roy Baty, who is Rick’s shadow character, is likely to have exactly as many dreams as Rick does. He wants to live better and to have the possibility to fuse spiritually with Mercer. However, Rick has a mission to destroy them in spite of the dreams they both had. This clash makes the story’s dispute over the life’s value.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that a robot, or an android, will never replace a human being. It is obvious because only a man can have his own identity, his own feelings, and, surely, his own soul. Howard Roark is one of the best examples of such an individual. I do believe that in the future robots will help people to do a lot of chore or another routine work and, in such a way, they will free more people for doing a creative job.