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Author Topic: If we can play god? Should we?  (Read 2768 times)

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Offline LucifurianTopic starter

If we can play god? Should we?
« on: March 23, 2013, 01:12:49 AM »
 Hello, random people of E.

 Lately I've gotten into the habit of watching, or listening to the T.E.D talks while I work or play. Strangely enough I was playing the newest expansion of starcraft 2, when a thought accord to me. That in a few more decades to a few more centuries, our technology will be so advance. That we will have the ability to create multiple forms of life. We might be able to take control of said life forms with our minds. That we can even manipulate our genetic code into what ever we desire through use of bioengineered viruses. It's even possible to make some sort of tube with a train that can travel up to 99% of light speed, that will send people into the future.

 Mind you this is mostly theory, but I thought this would be a good thread to discuss such a thought.

 My question is how do we handle that. Will our civilization rise or fall because of the advances. Are humans ready to have a 200 year life span? If one person can control another persons body through a machine. Taking away their free will, should that method be used as a form of capital punishment? If so what crime qualifies for such a punishment? Murder? rape? An act of terrorism?

 That being said, I love science and technology. I love the natural course of a species and will embrace the end of the human race just as I marvel it's beginning. The same with our current civilization. This is not a anti advancement thread or the like. I would like to hear (or in this case read) other people pros and cons on this issue.

 Thank you for taking your time to read it.

 P.S Below I'm putting some links to some T.E.D talks videos where various scientist show their progress on their projects. These are great advances in science and technology, in my opinion. And I will like to get the opinion of others. I'm not sure I'm allowed to post these links. So if not then someone please tell me through pm or on this thread. If i'm not allow to put the links there then I will remove them.

 http://www.ted.com/talks/miguel_nicolelis_a_monkey_that_controls_a_robot_with_its_thoughts_no_really.html
 http://www.ted.com/talks/harvey_fineberg_are_we_ready_for_neo_evolution.html
 http://www.ted.com/talks/stewart_brand_the_dawn_of_de_extinction_are_you_ready.html
 http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life.html

Offline meikle

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 01:17:45 AM »
Quote
If we can play god? Should we?
Yes, why should we not?

I can't think of any good argument for ever halting human development.

Offline Shjade

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2013, 01:42:24 AM »
Ask the Pope. Hasn't that been his job for a while now?

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2013, 08:37:56 AM »
The funny thing about advancement and playing god is that...mmm...it's sort of like the grass is always greener on the other side. The human mind has what I expect is an infinite capacity to become jaded. A great examples is how we're basically currently living in the cyberpunk dystopia everyone was writing about in the 80s, but unless you stop and actually dissect that idea you would never notice.

Playing god is fun. I play god for my job (and get paid less than the median annual wage for doing so <_<). People stop caring though once that ability to play god is within their grasp. The average man on the street doesn't have any idea what we are doing and what we are capable of (and doesn't care to find out), and the government is fighting to put as little as possible into funding things that would have seemed like sorcery ten years ago. We're fascinated by the idea of advancement, but don't as individuals want to work for it and lose the awe of it once it has arrived.

If the number of people that listened to TED talks actually got up, went out, and worked on or supported the ideas presented in them, we would be much better off.

Offline Caehlim

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2013, 08:52:56 PM »
We've "played god" quite a lot already. We have already made new species (cats, dogs, cows, etc), altered the geography of our world (irrigation, the panama canal), destroyed diseases (smallpox), cured the disabled (cochlear implants) and much much more.

It hasn't always worked out for the best in every case. I think we're regretting moving the cane toad or kudzu out of their natural habitat and similar mistakes. However despite the mistakes and set-backs overall these actions have done a lot to improve the quality of life.

Yes of course we should continue to advance but we do need to occasionally be a little more careful.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2013, 09:32:31 PM »
We've "played god" quite a lot already. We have already made new species (cats, dogs, cows, etc), altered the geography of our world (irrigation, the panama canal), destroyed diseases (smallpox), cured the disabled (cochlear implants) and much much more.

It hasn't always worked out for the best in every case. I think we're regretting moving the cane toad or kudzu out of their natural habitat and similar mistakes. However despite the mistakes and set-backs overall these actions have done a lot to improve the quality of life.

Yes of course we should continue to advance but we do need to occasionally be a little more careful.

Even then, to 'play God', we need to define the aspects of which God we're talking about. If we're talking about the Christian god, isn't everything we do either playing God or doing what he intended? You have the one camp that God determines everything. When we die, when we live, etc. So, doesn't us even attempting to save ourselves from even the common cold or simple cuts count as 'playing God'? I mean, if we're intended to live or die, isn't that God's job? If he wants us to live, a simple cut won't kill us.

On the flip side, you have the camp that believes God is omniscient and omnipotent. So, if we have the power to extend lifespans, save lives that could be previously lost and restore sight to the blind, wasn't that part of his plan all along? Nothing happens without God's say so. He made it possible for these things to work, for us to discover it, and for us to use it to better our lives.

Offline LucifurianTopic starter

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2013, 01:27:54 AM »
We've "played god" quite a lot already. We have already made new species (cats, dogs, cows, etc), altered the geography of our world (irrigation, the panama canal), destroyed diseases (smallpox), cured the disabled (cochlear implants) and much much more.

It hasn't always worked out for the best in every case. I think we're regretting moving the cane toad or kudzu out of their natural habitat and similar mistakes. However despite the mistakes and set-backs overall these actions have done a lot to improve the quality of life.

Yes of course we should continue to advance but we do need to occasionally be a little more careful.

 While I agree we need to be more careful with our advancement. Gods know how much damage we cause during the centuries of developing new technologies. I'm just wondering if we should do these things. Example: If we make a wonder drug that will cure all diseases. (Either by mutating our genetic code, or using some form nanites that can kill all viruses.) Then how do we deal with the following population explosion, the food shortages? Now that I think of it we might actually need to plan to mass produce Soylent green....hmm people.

 I recently read an article about some scientist claiming that 99% of human D.N.A was introduced by various natural viruses. That being said will such a cure will be worse than the diseases? Or will it be one of many steps to our self controlling evolution?

Offline Caehlim

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2013, 09:42:54 AM »
Even then, to 'play God', we need to define the aspects of which God we're talking about. If we're talking about the Christian god, isn't everything we do either playing God or doing what he intended? You have the one camp that God determines everything. When we die, when we live, etc. So, doesn't us even attempting to save ourselves from even the common cold or simple cuts count as 'playing God'? I mean, if we're intended to live or die, isn't that God's job? If he wants us to live, a simple cut won't kill us.

I'm an atheist, so I was using the phrase somewhat idiomatically to simply mean awesome world-shaping science that makes you go "Wow". The idea of 'playing god' has no literal meaning for me.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2013, 10:24:42 AM »
While I agree we need to be more careful with our advancement. Gods know how much damage we cause during the centuries of developing new technologies. I'm just wondering if we should do these things. Example: If we make a wonder drug that will cure all diseases. (Either by mutating our genetic code, or using some form nanites that can kill all viruses.) Then how do we deal with the following population explosion, the food shortages? Now that I think of it we might actually need to plan to mass produce Soylent green....hmm people.
Well, last time that happened we developed the process of nitrogen fixation and suddenly had a way to feed many more people as well as efficiently blow up many would-be hungry mouths. The fact that people are ignorant of that makes me sad. And the fact that so many people are actively fighting further advancement in agricultural biology makes me sadder.

I recently read an article about some scientist claiming that 99% of human D.N.A was introduced by various natural viruses. That being said will such a cure will be worse than the diseases? Or will it be one of many steps to our self controlling evolution?
We already self control our evolution (and that of a number of other species, go research what corn looked like before we stepped in). And your article is wrong. Though ERVs are pretty cool, and the basis for how we do things like have placenta, they are not 99% of your genome, and they are even less of a portion of your coding genome. And viruses are not the only basis of disease (indeed viruses are not behind any of the leading causes of death).

I can't understand how you can chatter away about human advancement without actually knowing where we are, how we work, where we have come from, or what that advancement entails.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2013, 11:05:43 AM »
I'm an atheist, so I was using the phrase somewhat idiomatically to simply mean awesome world-shaping science that makes you go "Wow". The idea of 'playing god' has no literal meaning for me.

Yeah; I myself am an Atheist, I'm simply quoting two of the major ideas I can think of, when I think of Christianity that could oppose the idea of 'playing God'.

And yeah, if you want to talk about controlling evolution, the perfect example of an ignorant man with little understanding of how far we've come, look at Ray Comfort and his example of the 'how the banana is perfectly made and shows theres a God', when the modern banana is an invention completely guided and created by man.

Well, last time that happened we developed the process of nitrogen fixation and suddenly had a way to feed many more people as well as efficiently blow up many would-be hungry mouths. The fact that people are ignorant of that makes me sad. And the fact that so many people are actively fighting further advancement in agricultural biology makes me sadder.

Yeah, I remember when I discovered the kind of advances agriculture made and just how brutal the 'organic' food groups had been in pretty much assaulting one man's hugely selfless act of developing crops which'd feed billions which we couldn't before. :/

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2013, 07:46:10 PM »
Well, worst case, if we utterly screw up and wipe ourselves out, then "mother nature" will just continue her work with what's left over ( if anything manages to survive). Business as usual. Not all species will survive the test of time. That's not really good for us though :-)



Offline Chris Brady

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2013, 08:42:45 PM »
Yes, why should we not?

I can't think of any good argument for ever halting human development.
It's slipperier than that, actually.  The moment we conceive of an idea that might change humanity at a deep level, the mere choice of whether or not we should is 'Playing God', no matter what we choose to do with it.

Offline Hyena Dandy

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2013, 02:44:51 AM »
I have no idea what the concept of 'playing god' means, and it's always been sort of... I feel that, if there's something people are capable of, we need to look at it from ethical perspectives. If it's something major, we need to give it a lot of thought into all the possible results.

A lot of stories about why we shouldn't 'play god' tend to be "There was a scientist. He did a thing. It didn't go like he expected. Everyone dies. The end." That's not really an argument about why you shouldn't 'play god,' it's an argument on why you should do your best to properly analyze your capabilities.

Now I'm a religious person, but I'm guessing many people here aren't. From what I can think of, the Christian objection to 'playing God' would be putting yourself above God, disrespecting His creation and His people, and that isn't done with telepathic robot-monkeys. You could "Play God" from that perspective as much as a forum moderator as you could as a scientist. Actually, would probably be a lot easier.

If you're not religious at all, I don't know what the possible objection to 'playing God' would be. From what I see in movies, it always looks like there's some sort of "This far and not further" being imposed on people. There's only so much we should dare to do. That's ridiculous. A classic "Don't play God" movie would be Jurassic Park (with the vague line "Nature... Nature finds a way") but in the end, it's not 'nature' or some outside force that messes things up in Jurassic Park. It's that they didn't remember that the animal they took their DNA from could change genders if it was with only one gender, so some of the dinos switched, oh, and also, there's an asshole who knocks out all the power. The problem wasn't that they had shown their hubris or offense to Nature (Which is basically invoked like God by Dr. Malcolm) and were punished for it. The problem is that Nedry was a greedy prick and the scientists apparently didn't think of testing this plan on the less murdery dinos before stocking the whole park with 800 pound murder beasts.

It's ridiculous to have some sort of Line In The Sand that science Should Not Cross. If we can make telepathic robot-monkeys, we should carefully test this. We should make sure that we do not create telepathic robot-monkeys in a way that is likely to get people hurt. We should conduct experiments to ensure that the necessary modifications, and use models and projections for the telepathic robot-monkeys to ensure that the modifications don't make the monkeys, say, super intelligent, ninety feet tall, and have a lust for human blood. And when we've done all that, and ideally made sure that creating telepathic robot-monkeys does more for us than not creating telepathic robot-monkeys... Go for it.

And yes, I know that wasn't EXACTLY what the article was talking about, and there is a reason to do that, but... Come on. We shouldn't put some big wall in front of science and say You Shall Not Pass.

Offline Caehlim

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2013, 02:59:42 AM »
Hyena Dandy,

That's very well put. I like your ideas there.

The one thing I'd add to it, is that when it comes to science fiction the reason that everything goes horribly wrong in the 'playing god' stories is because otherwise there's not much of a story. Would you read Jurassic Park if it was about a group of people who visit this great dinosaur theme-park, have a good time and return home to receive their celebrity endorsement cheques?

Offline Hyena Dandy

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2013, 03:39:00 AM »
Hyena Dandy,

That's very well put. I like your ideas there.

The one thing I'd add to it, is that when it comes to science fiction the reason that everything goes horribly wrong in the 'playing god' stories is because otherwise there's not much of a story. Would you read Jurassic Park if it was about a group of people who visit this great dinosaur theme-park, have a good time and return home to receive their celebrity endorsement cheques?

I wouldn't. And I know that the "Something has to go wrong" thing is true for any story (though I'm working on an RP setting with a powerful, controlling AI that doesn't go evil) but I also tend to see things like "Oh, we shouldn't have played God!" in movies, and it's not that you shouldn't have played God. It's that you shouldn't have made your killer salt shaker want to kill everything without checking to make sure that they had an off switch.

(I count Genesis of the Daleks as a "Don't Play God" story, though quite honestly it's the best version of that story ever told.)

The other thing I wanted to mention

Quote
It's slipperier than that, actually.  The moment we conceive of an idea that might change humanity at a deep level, the mere choice of whether or not we should is 'Playing God', no matter what we choose to do with it.

Here's an idea. Ethics.

Don't let people do scientific procedures on other people without the other people consent. If we had an ability to all upload our consciousnesses to become one single conscious on a collective computer, I wouldn't do that. I would be quite upset if someone made me do that. That would be bad. However, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't, if they choose, be able to upload their consciousnesses onto a single computer.

The Borg aren't evil because they have a hive mind and robot bits all over them. The Borg are evil because they force people to join them or die. If instead of "Resistance is Futile," a Borg cube showed up at the Federation's doorstep, and said "Hi, my name is 8 of 12, and I would like to talk to you about the joining the Borg Collective. You'll be immortal, meet tons of new people, learn from thousands of species, and all you have to do is give up the very concept of individuality and emotion to join us." and then left when Picard said "No, thank you" They wouldn't be bad guys, they'd just be door to door missionaries with a skin condition.

Offline Caehlim

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2013, 04:12:40 AM »
The other thing I wanted to mention

Here's an idea. Ethics.

Don't let people do scientific procedures on other people without the other people consent.

I definitely agree and think that scientific ethics are one of the most important considerations for a society as technologically progressive as our own.

There are some very difficult questions that we have to face with this sort of ethics. Just around consent, How does consent apply to the underage? Someone with disabilities or mental health concerns? Someone whose life is at risk and might be willing to try anything for a cure?

Then we also have the issues of placebos, double-blind testing and control groups. How do we create scientifically valid trials with appropriate double-blind protections and maintain informed consent at the same time? Particularly within medicine.

There are the issues of externalities. How will this technology affect people outside of the situation and how should their consent apply? With vaccinations this becomes a large issue, because one person not vaccinating their children can create a health risk to others. I don't want to touch on the vaccination issue in this thread (please start a new one if you want to comment), but it's a good example of a situation where this is relevant.

You also have the Gattaca scenario. In a world were the majority of people are genetically engineered to be superior, how does that affect those who are not genetically engineered. Will prejudice exist?

All of these raise massive complications to the issues of ethics. Despite having gone on about it for paragraphs though, I will say this. I think we're doing well. Yes, ethics committees delay research and increase its costs, but I think it's helping to moderate the risks that we've been talking about in this conversation.

Quote
The Borg aren't evil because they have a hive mind and robot bits all over them. The Borg are evil because they force people to join them or die. If instead of "Resistance is Futile," a Borg cube showed up at the Federation's doorstep, and said "Hi, my name is 8 of 12, and I would like to talk to you about the joining the Borg Collective. You'll be immortal, meet tons of new people, learn from thousands of species, and all you have to do is give up the very concept of individuality and emotion to join us." and then left when Picard said "No, thank you" They wouldn't be bad guys, they'd just be door to door missionaries with a skin condition.

That could actually make a fascinating story. Imagine if lots of people around you were taking up the offer and becoming Borg, how would you react? What would it be like to remain human as thousands were leaving your society attracted by this offer. There wouldn't be an enemy in that story, but I think it still would be full of juicy conflict.

Offline Hyena Dandy

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2013, 10:06:21 PM »
It would be a very complex issue. Which as far as I'm concerned, means it would require a complex amount of study.

Yes, there would be prejudice. Prejudice is a universal human trait. We can fight to suppress it, but it's hard to completely remove. It's incumbent on us to ensure that the discrimination is illegal, and as difficult as, well, possible. 

There would be, in a Gattaca world, people who want to work with modified people, and there would be people who are modified who don't like normal people, and people who are normal who don't like modified people, and that's not even getting into who can and can't GET it.

It's the job of ethicists to work out the ethics, and ethics are an important part of progress. But when it comes to the question of "Should we play god?" or "Should we change the nature of humanity?"

The question isn't about IF we should 'play god,' but HOW we should.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2013, 02:15:39 AM »
Hyena Dandy,

That's very well put. I like your ideas there.

The one thing I'd add to it, is that when it comes to science fiction the reason that everything goes horribly wrong in the 'playing god' stories is because otherwise there's not much of a story. Would you read Jurassic Park if it was about a group of people who visit this great dinosaur theme-park, have a good time and return home to receive their celebrity endorsement cheques?

And Star Treks Prime Directive is also about 'Playing God'.  The problem lies in that believing that not helping or helping a non-spacefaring culture IS playing God no matter what you choose to do.

Online Qt

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2013, 04:21:03 AM »
We here... wouldn't exactly be us without our advancements so the idea of halting advancement is quite futile, things will always change over time.

As for the "playing god" part. God is in essence... a human concept... any capability of "god" is given by us upon the word. So I think the phrase should be... should we try to become more powerful... and I'd think yes, though I'd argue as we need to be cautious that our moral standings also need to advance.

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2013, 12:07:20 PM »
As yourself two questions.  Can I guarantee that nothing will go wrong?  Am I willing to take responsibility if I make mistakes and bad things happen? 

If you can answer yes to both - a definite and unequivocal yes without qualification - then go ahead. 

Otherwise go out and find a good deed that needs doing and do it.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2013, 04:38:40 PM »
We here... wouldn't exactly be us without our advancements so the idea of halting advancement is quite futile, things will always change over time.

As for the "playing god" part. God is in essence... a human concept... any capability of "god" is given by us upon the word. So I think the phrase should be... should we try to become more powerful... and I'd think yes, though I'd argue as we need to be cautious that our moral standings also need to advance.

This. My problem is the term 'playing God' is horrid, because not only can no-one define what 'God' implies, they can't even agree on what a god they both believe in is capable of!

Are natural disasters sent by God? Does this mean we're 'playing God' by developing ways to detect and protect human lives? Are we playing God by curing cancer and HIV, diseases which lead to death? Does our selective breeding of bananas count as 'creating new life'?

Offline Hyena Dandy

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2013, 08:49:59 PM »
And Star Treks Prime Directive is also about 'Playing God'.  The problem lies in that believing that not helping or helping a non-spacefaring culture IS playing God no matter what you choose to do.

Especially in some of the early TNG episodes. Where someone asked if there was some sort of grand design for these cultures, and Riker said "We have to consider that."

Quote
This. My problem is the term 'playing God' is horrid, because not only can no-one define what 'God' implies, they can't even agree on what a god they both believe in is capable of!

I think the term is used to imply something like hubris. Doing more than what we are 'supposed' to do. Changing 'fate.' But I honestly think it's all just people thinking of Greek stories, where that was actually a bad idea. If God is supposed to 'decide who lives and who dies,' people have been doing that since they started putting herbs on wounds or hitting each-other with rocks. I see no difference between doing that for one person, a hundred people, a million people, or a whole species.

Offline Sethala

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2013, 09:48:59 PM »
All of these raise massive complications to the issues of ethics. Despite having gone on about it for paragraphs though, I will say this. I think we're doing well. Yes, ethics committees delay research and increase its costs, but I think it's helping to moderate the risks that we've been talking about in this conversation.

Ethics are good, but it's important to not let ethics from religious dogma interfere with ethics from society.  Sadly, a lot of our possible technological advances were delayed not because of ethical concerns, but because religious zealots decided that it's not part of "God's plan" for us to do something like this.

Offline LordHarketh193

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2013, 02:40:18 PM »
Hello, random people of E.

 Lately I've gotten into the habit of watching, or listening to the T.E.D talks while I work or play. Strangely enough I was playing the newest expansion of starcraft 2, when a thought accord to me. That in a few more decades to a few more centuries, our technology will be so advance. That we will have the ability to create multiple forms of life. We might be able to take control of said life forms with our minds. That we can even manipulate our genetic code into what ever we desire through use of bioengineered viruses. It's even possible to make some sort of tube with a train that can travel up to 99% of light speed, that will send people into the future.

 Mind you this is mostly theory, but I thought this would be a good thread to discuss such a thought.

 My question is how do we handle that. Will our civilization rise or fall because of the advances. Are humans ready to have a 200 year life span? If one person can control another persons body through a machine. Taking away their free will, should that method be used as a form of capital punishment? If so what crime qualifies for such a punishment? Murder? rape? An act of terrorism?

 That being said, I love science and technology. I love the natural course of a species and will embrace the end of the human race just as I marvel it's beginning. The same with our current civilization. This is not a anti advancement thread or the like. I would like to hear (or in this case read) other people pros and cons on this issue.

 Thank you for taking your time to read it.

Hello :)

In my opinion we should not play god.
Its like signing your soul right to the devil.
I am a Christan though i disagree with most of the Christians beliefs.
For example that homosexuals are going to hell and that you need to be christened to be a Christan.
Though back to the topic, playing god in my opinion is wrong and is the gateway to hell.


While I agree we need to be more careful with our advancement. Gods know how much damage we cause during the centuries of developing new technologies. I'm just wondering if we should do these things. Example: If we make a wonder drug that will cure all diseases. (Either by mutating our genetic code, or using some form nanites that can kill all viruses.) Then how do we deal with the following population explosion, the food shortages? Now that I think of it we might actually need to plan to mass produce Soylent green....hmm people.

 I recently read an article about some scientist claiming that 99% of human D.N.A was introduced by various natural viruses. That being said will such a cure will be worse than the diseases? Or will it be one of many steps to our self controlling evolution?

Well that is slightly true look at people who suffer from cancer.
Is kemo therapy better than suffering with hair loss and illness?
What about the addictive long lasting effect causing the other to suffer more from that then they did from cancer or another illness?


Human development can be stopped but only by nature or god.
No one can stop humans evolving or adapting, unless their god or nature.


I definitely agree and think that scientific ethics are one of the most important considerations for a society as technologically progressive as our own.

There are some very difficult questions that we have to face with this sort of ethics. Just around consent, How does consent apply to the underage? Someone with disabilities or mental health concerns? Someone whose life is at risk and might be willing to try anything for a cure?

Then we also have the issues of placebos, double-blind testing and control groups. How do we create scientifically valid trials with appropriate double-blind protections and maintain informed consent at the same time? Particularly within medicine.

There are the issues of externalities. How will this technology affect people outside of the situation and how should their consent apply? With vaccinations this becomes a large issue, because one person not vaccinating their children can create a health risk to others. I don't want to touch on the vaccination issue in this thread (please start a new one if you want to comment), but it's a good example of a situation where this is relevant.

You also have the Gattaca scenario. In a world were the majority of people are genetically engineered to be superior, how does that affect those who are not genetically engineered. Will prejudice exist?

All of these raise massive complications to the issues of ethics. Despite having gone on about it for paragraphs though, I will say this. I think we're doing well. Yes, ethics committees delay research and increase its costs, but I think it's helping to moderate the risks that we've been talking about in this conversation.

That could actually make a fascinating story. Imagine if lots of people around you were taking up the offer and becoming Borg, how would you react? What would it be like to remain human as thousands were leaving your society attracted by this offer. There wouldn't be an enemy in that story, but I think it still would be full of juicy conflict.

I half agree there.
But do any of you agree with the list i will place below?

1 - Animal testing? - agree or disagree?
2 - Human testing? - agree or disagree?
3 - Whale killing? - agree or disagree?
4 - Animal Poaching? - agree or disagree?
5 - Gun and crime laws? - agree or disagree?
6 - Playing God? - agree or disagree?
7 - Sin/s? - agree or disagree?
8 - Abortion? - agree or disagree?
9 - Embryo testing? - agree or disagree?
10 - Survival of the fittest, human and animal world? - agree or disagree?
11 - Slavery? - agree or disagree?
12 - war? - agree or disagree?
13 - Rights for people and animals? - agree or disagree?
14 - Torture? - agree or disagree?
15 - law and order of criminals? - agree or disagree.


what is your ethic's?
What do you agree with and what do you disagree with?
That will show you what kind of ethic you would allow and disallow.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2013, 05:16:01 PM »
It depends:

Ultimately, I believe God is about mercy, forgiveness, and beneficence. We are made in God's own image, and that's something so far beyond a mere ascetic thing.

The question that has to be asked when we make choices that are seen as "playing God" we have to ask ourselves if in doing so we deny someone or something mercy, forgiveness, or are we being cruel in doing so. If the answer to any of these area is yes then we shouldn't.

Because then we're not playing God, we're playing the other guy.

That's my personal thoughts on it.