designer baby, ethics, genes, genetic engineering, genetics, News, oxford, Pagan, politics, Religion, Rights
So, R says I should really stop reading the news because it can’t be good for my blood pressure. I agree on that, but it is good for my rage, and knowledge is power. So I’m probably still gonna be subjecting myself to it.
So when I find an article about how it may become a “moral obligation” to do the whole “designer baby” thing because it would raise children who are more “ethical” I have to wonder if there was something in the Fruit Loops I haven’t eaten yet this morning. Apparently an Oxford professor is saying these things. Which is lowering my opinion of Oxford and its Ethical people.
I, in my confusion, asked R what the Hel ethical meant in this case. She thinks it means screening for addictions or possibly making the children more docile and obedient. Which, I suppose, makes sense.
If you buy ethics at face value. The fact is though, that ethics really don’t have a set value. What is ethical to one group is not ethical to another group. Same for people. How are you going to design “ethics” into a person? And even if you can, how the Hel are you going to pick whose ethics? Frankly, I’m not sure I wanna see a world of “ethnically better people” who were designed that way. That just sounds like a lot of trouble. And not the good kind.
What the…? Creating people according to the whims of others is ethical? Since when? Sounds like someone took “Brave New World” too seriously.
Just in case, don’t eat the Fruit Loops.
Wow. Okay, first of all, I think about ethics a lot, and I do kind of think it would be cool if we could somehow create a more “ethical” society. I can’t tell if they seriously mean they’re going to create some kind of sweet little angels, or if it’s mostly just that they can screen out the Jeffrey Dahmers of the world.
I suppose the latter would be a good thing… if we could really guarantee that it’s correct. It would be weird if you could just turn on a gene for ethics. Something about that doesn’t ring quite true, and not just on a moral level. The logic of it is kind of strange. IS there an ethical system that can be turned on by genes? Can we just tweak a couple of things and have everyone considering the categorical imperative? Can a shift in a few base pairs turn all of society into rule utilitarians? Or is it basically just that they will be easier to control. How is that morality?
And if it’s genetically predetermined and not something we just have to work at, then why are so many people good at some times and bad at others? Why do kind people age into grumpy, hateful bastards or vice versa, if it’s just genetics? Maybe we can make people slightly more inclined to be moral, but I think morality is more nurture than nature.
You know what I would like to see? Let’s figure out how to tweak genetics to ensure future generations are sane, rational people who are able to think for themselves. You reckon they’ll be proposing that one next or is that not in their best interest?
Lucius Svartwulf said:
One man’s sanity is another man’s insanity. one man’s ethical is another man’s ultimate evil.
How do we decide? best not to meddle with genes. There is not “ethical” gene out there.
Mmmm, I don’t know about logic being relative. I mean, people might disagree with what’s logical, but that doesn’t mean that everybody is sane and using their best thinking abilities all the time, and that pesky relative logic is the culprit. Most people absolutely refuse to think, so it’s only natural that someone’s going to do their thinking for them. If we could make people rational with genetics, that would be awesome (99% sure that’s not even possible, I was mostly being sarcastic in saying that, because if we had a “moral responsibility” to alter human beings, it seems like making them smarter would be closer to the mark than what this guy suggests), but it looks like we’re more interested in genetically altering people to be prettier or more obedient. Plus, it’s just… We know there are a huge number of people in the world who do horrible immoral things, but is that really a big enough problem to warrant this kind of action? You know, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Oddly enough, I could see this taking hold, because whereas people object to genetically altering their kids to be “moral”, I’m pretty sure people will be hopping on that gravy train when it comes to choosing the sex and appearance of the child. Once that takes hold, this idea will be a lot easier to sell, because people will be used to altered genetics.
In a lot of ways, we have already irrevocably altered the way we interact with the rest of nature. In industrialized parts of the world, a HUGE majority of people live to maturity and breed. There’s no natural genetic screening going on, so all the crap evolution usually takes care of just hangs around, and no particular traits get to have the advantage that improves a species over time. There might come a time in the distant, distant future when we’re in a severe situation that makes genetic alterations necessary. Doing it now, just for… whatever reason it is… is not really sensible.