A really interesting question (at least to me) has come up on the ABC drama V over the last couple of weeks, and it looks like they’re going to continue to explore it in the future. But first let me catch up the people who don’t watch V…
V stands for Visitor. The V’s are aliens who have come to earth for ostensibly peaceful purposes, yet they have sinister ulterior motives. Their leader, Anna, and all V’s loyal to her, do not feel human emotions like love, concern for others, sadness, etc. But those V’s who are not loyal to Anna have begun to develop these human emotions. Over the last couple of weeks they have begun to ask the question, “Is it possible for the V’s to have a soul?”
What I love is that the question posed by V is really part of a larger question – What does it mean to be human? What is it that makes a person a person? Is it something about mental capacity, the ability to process information? If so, what about people who are born with mental disabilities? Does it have something to do with the ability to feel and process normal human emotions? If that’s the case, what about deranged psychopath killers like Jared Loughner? Is it possible to be human at some point in our lives and then lose it, or to somehow develop humanity over time?
Personally, I feel like simply being homo sapiens isn’t enough. There’s got to be something more than simply having 46 chromosomes and the right kind of DNA. I feel like what makes a person a person is that we are created in God’s image. We have the ability to choose whether we will love and care, or hate and destroy. I think that when we choose to hate and destroy, when we give ourselves over to anger, rage, and selfishness at the expense of the good of others, we give away our humanity, our little bit of the divine.
I realize that this sounds a little bit wishy-washy, and also that it doesn’t answer questions about people who have mental disability and truly don’t have the ability to choose. But it’s about as close as I can get to a good answer.
What do you think? What is it that makes a person a person? Let’s put our heads together and solve one of the great mysteries of the universe!