Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ethics on the Island

I am writing my paper on morality and ethical issues raised on LOST. Unfortunately I'll have to finish this paper before the series ends, so some of my theories may end up being wrong...but by and large so far LOST has maintained that the lines between good and evil are not clearly drawn. There are some decisions made by the characters that are flat out perceived as wrong on the show (such as Ben's sacrifice of his daughter for the greater good, or Sayid's attempt to kill Ben as a child to prevent him from committing atrocities later in life). However, a significant portion of my paper is going to be on the simple inability to distinguish the good from the bad on the Island, much as real life is like. I have been pleasantly surprised to find this theme ongoing with every new episode that airs, since the "good" side fighting against the supposedly evil monster nevertheless do a number of things that cannot be seen as right by any means (such as the sacrifice of innocent bystanders). It appears that LOST is attempting to capture the human condition and the confusion that occurs when you aren't sure if you're fighting for the right side. This makes alot of sense to me...after all, the evil of someone like Hitler is purely hindsight, since at the time he was followed by millions of people, many of which were good people. But, as was famously pointed out, the best lie is the one that is 99% true. I am very very curious to find out who, if anyone, holds the key to the whole truth in LOST.

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