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Author Topic: If we can play god? Should we?  (Read 2766 times)

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Offline Deamonbane

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2013, 07:08:15 PM »
Man learns through mistakes made and grows by it... well, that is the idea, anyway. The idea in the question being that just because man can do it, does that mean that he should? Depends entirely... It's like," Shall we play god and see if we can go ahead and destroy all life on earth just to make sure that our new little toy is working?" That, in my opinion, is obviously not good... when we create something powerful, like travel, like nuclear energy, like the ability to harness power and use it, like always, with power comes responsibility...So long as it is used responsibly, sure, why not?

Offline Moraline

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2013, 07:54:43 PM »
Quote
If we can play god? Should we?

Should we allow science to continue on it's natural course of development is the real question and the answer to that is, Yes.

A second thought on that is: It can't be stopped.

Can someone like the US outlaw some sort of genetic experimentation? Sure it can. Can it stop other nations from doing it. No, not at all.

Science will advance no matter what. Nothing short of an apocalyptic disaster can stop it and even that would most likely only set it back unless the disaster managed to wipe out all of humanity. The human population has survived a few near apocalyptic disasters already and those didn't stop us.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2013, 11:08:50 PM »
Replacing the word "god" with a more suitable word or phrase might offer a little more clarity on the question. The phrase "playing god" seems to inherently suggest that whatever proceeds it is wrong.

If we can "makes changes that dramatically affect the course of people-kind", should we?

- We can't help doing this, can we? Everything we do, big or small leads to further changes. Our past advances in technology have had a cumulative and compounding effect on us already. I would say yes, definitely; its our nature to do so.

If we can "make changes that have a high likelihood of jeopardizing our existence", should we?

- No, we should take measured steps when dealing with risk. Risk is ok so long as you are well prepared and capable of dealing with the downside. Unmanaged risk is unwise for mortal creatures like ourselves.

Our planet/universe on the other hand, is quite adept at working with unmanaged risk and at processing in parallel.






Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2013, 11:22:25 PM »
What happens if when someone is playing god you are the one eliminated?

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2013, 11:34:34 PM »
What happens if when someone is playing god you are the one eliminated?

How might someone get eliminated in your example? Here the term "playing god" is kind of ambiguous.


Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2013, 11:44:29 PM »
It's not about the how but the results.  It is not an example.  It's a question.  Perhaps a philosophical one, but still a question.

We think about adverse effects on other of playing god but people have this "thing" about recognizing they might be the one adversely effected.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2013, 11:52:35 PM »

So... for simplicity, lets say that X years ago I had to choose between my current wife and another woman. If I had kids with woman A, then I end up with one set of kids. If I had kids with woman B, then I end up with a different set of kids. Either way, a set of kids did not to come into existence as a result of my choice. I think its erroneous to say that I am at fault for the consequences of my choice ( set of kids A or B not existing ) as that which has not yet happened does not exist.

Our choices will steer fate (for a lack of better words ) one way or another and have consequences. Isn't that completely unavoidable or am I missing the point?

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2013, 12:52:02 AM »
You are making it more complicated than it needs to be. 

Someone is out there playing god in some way just because they can and as a result you, your child, parent or spouse dies.  Is it right or wrong when the results of what someone else chooses to do just because they can means death for you or a loved one?


Offline Sabby

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2013, 03:33:22 AM »
Were these consequences foreseeable? Were the proper precautions taken?

If yes to both, the harm done is unfortunate, but every step was taken to avoid it.

If no to both, then the issue is not the experiment in question but the methods of the experimenter.

In both cases, 'playing God' was not the issue.

Online Silk

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2013, 06:19:43 AM »
Keeping in mind that like the distance of god from us (From a mountain, to the sky, to space, then to a different dimension) the powers he exclusively had have been dropping by the day, electricity, bio manipulation, artificial selection all these things were considered gods domain and something man shouldn't touch.

If theres such a thing as playing god, we've been doing it for a hell of a long time.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2013, 07:00:17 AM »
Were these consequences foreseeable? Were the proper precautions taken?

If yes to both, the harm done is unfortunate, but every step was taken to avoid it.

If no to both, then the issue is not the experiment in question but the methods of the experimenter.

In both cases, 'playing God' was not the issue.
Ah, and now you're getting to the essence of what it is to "play God" Sabby. In fact you're one of the closest because of one line.

"Where the consequences foreseeable?"

God by most people's standards is an omniscient, omnipotent being. He has incalculable foresight. We human do not have anywhere near the level of foresight. We're worms in dirt plowing ahead by comparison. Our brains would melt to mush if we really tried to comprehend every possible path ever action we ever took had.

Ultimately "playing God" is presuming that you know better than an omniscient, omnipotent being. I don't. I can barely decide what I'm going to eat for breakfast in the morning. Science... is really just another religion as far as I'm concerned, it's built up on faith at its very core because ultimately we're faith-based creatures. I hardly think science is the problem, the problem is that science is just a newer facet of the same old issue: humanity. :\

Offline Mathim

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #36 on: June 20, 2013, 10:02:29 AM »
Just for the sake of saying it, can doesn't imply should; but I think we're giving ourselves WAY too much credit as far as technology. With our dwindling resources we'll never get close to any of that stuff before we return to the stone age.

Offline Sabby

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #37 on: June 20, 2013, 10:06:00 AM »
Science is not a religion. Science is the process by which observed phenomena is broken down and understood. It is the one and only process by which we find the answers. Religion is more concerned with ritualizing ignorance. They are night and day.

I think the essence of this question is more "If we could drastically change the world around us, should we?" Sure, getting a flu shot is technically Playing God, but it's a simple thing that we understand, with immediately apparent consequences and repercussions. It's not exactly an upheaval of all we know. Getting a flu shot doesn't make your brain recoil from the concept. Let me give an example of time I actually did recoil from a choice.

Years ago I was playing Deus Ex: Invisible War, and as I was getting to the end, one of the choices I could make was to connect every mind on the planet together, to create one being. This would end all forms of war and discrimination, and considering the state of the world at that time, I could easily make an argument in favor of the choice. But the sheer scale of the change, the upheaval of everything, at the press of a button, thrust on me just like that... I could debate as much as I want for the pros and cons of the decision, but my point was it felt wrong. At a primal level, this felt wrong.

That is Playing God. I did do it, because it was the best ending available, but afterwards I was left doubting and questioning my decision.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #38 on: June 20, 2013, 10:50:15 AM »
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/god-does-not-play-dice

At the end of the day, it's faith. Like I said, different facet of the same old problem.

Offline Sabby

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #39 on: June 20, 2013, 11:02:19 AM »
How are you using the word faith? It's a dicey word I avoid using, since it can mean "I know He's real, because I have faith" to "Based on our current findings, we have faith in the coming results"

There is a huge difference between blind faith and trust based on predictable results. When I buy headache pills, I have a reasonable expectation they are not poison because of the system in place that would stop poison from getting into my hands, and that if it were poison, so many people have already bought it, it could be removed from the shelves within hours of a confirmed case. If I have to use the damn word as an example, yes, I have 'faith' that this box of Panadol will not kill me.

I really hate the 'you have faith as well' argument. It's nothing more then an attempt to make a level play field where one doesn't exist.

Offline Vanity Evolved

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #40 on: June 20, 2013, 11:16:42 AM »
Ah, and now you're getting to the essence of what it is to "play God" Sabby. In fact you're one of the closest because of one line.

"Where the consequences foreseeable?"

God by most people's standards is an omniscient, omnipotent being. He has incalculable foresight. We human do not have anywhere near the level of foresight. We're worms in dirt plowing ahead by comparison. Our brains would melt to mush if we really tried to comprehend every possible path ever action we ever took had.

Ultimately "playing God" is presuming that you know better than an omniscient, omnipotent being. I don't. I can barely decide what I'm going to eat for breakfast in the morning. Science... is really just another religion as far as I'm concerned, it's built up on faith at its very core because ultimately we're faith-based creatures. I hardly think science is the problem, the problem is that science is just a newer facet of the same old issue: humanity. :\

As Sabs stated, using the term 'faith' is awkward, as it's a very loaded word. Faith implies belief in something without evidence, which is not what science is; science is belief in what has been observed through independent observation and study. I always find it rather offensive to say that a doctor, with all his years of medical training and knowledge has the same credibility in his field as a random bigot in the street picketing a pride parade. Would you allow a Westboro Baptist Church member to bless your kidney insted of a doctor? I mean, as science is just another form of religion, then prayer is just as valid as kidney surgery. Would you fly in a plane built by a priest who's never studied aeronautics? His knowledge of the Bible is just as valid, and equal to that of an engineer.

I've never liked the term 'playing God', because it encapsulates a lot depending on circumstance. Some believe God has a hand in everything, so does that mean we -can- play God? How can we play God if he's already determined this would happen? Where does medicine cross over from fine to 'playing God'? Is it like the Amish, where after a certain period, all technology becomes evil... except the technology before
  • ? Why does bandaging a wound, insted of letting it fester and rot count as fine, but heart replacement surgery is an abomination and playing God, when both are the same thing: Human intervention to prevent death?


By most standards, people think the Christian God is omnicient. And if so, then it seems we're doing a much better job; we humans know that stabbing each other in the gut in not a good thing to do. God, in all his infinite power, apparently can't figure out basic things like expecting people to understand the difference between right and wrong, by making sure the knowledge of right and wrong wasn't available to them. Kind of like shouting at a three year old for messing up a triple heart bypass.


Offline Inkidu

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2013, 12:55:03 PM »
As Sabs stated, using the term 'faith' is awkward, as it's a very loaded word. Faith implies belief in something without evidence, which is not what science is; science is belief in what has been observed through independent observation and study. I always find it rather offensive to say that a doctor, with all his years of medical training and knowledge has the same credibility in his field as a random bigot in the street picketing a pride parade. Would you allow a Westboro Baptist Church member to bless your kidney insted of a doctor? I mean, as science is just another form of religion, then prayer is just as valid as kidney surgery. Would you fly in a plane built by a priest who's never studied aeronautics? His knowledge of the Bible is just as valid, and equal to that of an engineer.

I've never liked the term 'playing God', because it encapsulates a lot depending on circumstance. Some believe God has a hand in everything, so does that mean we -can- play God? How can we play God if he's already determined this would happen? Where does medicine cross over from fine to 'playing God'? Is it like the Amish, where after a certain period, all technology becomes evil... except the technology before
  • ? Why does bandaging a wound, insted of letting it fester and rot count as fine, but heart replacement surgery is an abomination and playing God, when both are the same thing: Human intervention to prevent death?


By most standards, people think the Christian God is omnicient. And if so, then it seems we're doing a much better job; we humans know that stabbing each other in the gut in not a good thing to do. God, in all his infinite power, apparently can't figure out basic things like expecting people to understand the difference between right and wrong, by making sure the knowledge of right and wrong wasn't available to them. Kind of like shouting at a three year old for messing up a triple heart bypass.
Watch the video that's all I'm going to say on that.

Offline Sabby

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2013, 01:09:53 PM »
I did, and they immediately made two claims that they then didn't address.

1. We all rely on faith, even scientists.
2. Science and religion can learn from each other.

Considering they did not elaborate on these two points, I can only say they are dead wrong.

1.The 'faith' that the laymen employs in their daily tasks, and the 'faith' that a person employs while in prayer are two entirely different things. 
2. Provide one single, solitary example of a scientific venture benefitting from a religious influence. This does not include religious scholars also being astronomers, for example, I'm talking about a scientist benefitting from a process that is exclusively religious.

Really, all this confusion comes down to the word itself. As I've already laid out, Faith is used in different ways, and some uses of it are disappearing because of the confusion of other uses. There was a time when it was okay to use the word faith in a scientific context, but thanks to the efforts of apologists, the word just opens up backdoors in discussions for the religious angle to sneak in, in hopes of being a part of things it has no place in. Trust in results based on predictive models and repeatable results is NOT the same thing as blind faith. Never has been, never will be.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2013, 01:20:08 PM »
If theres such a thing as playing god, we've been doing it for a hell of a long time.
This, so much this.

How do you think beef, chicken and pork came about?  Especially the modern versions of these animals?

Among other things.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2013, 01:39:58 PM »
Science... is really just another religion as far as I'm concerned, it's built up on faith at its very core because ultimately we're faith-based creatures.

Your premise here is extremely faulty, frankly kinda offensive, and the conclusion you draw on it is more so. As to the video:

-"You must have faith that your observations are accurate." This... is a very rocky start, as it appears they've never heard of peer review, replication, or accounting and adjusting for bias. One could argue that we're taking it on faith that all of humanity isn't having the same hallucination, but... no. No need to take anything on faith, just recognize that accepting observations that match all available evidence is the only way we can ever know anything about anything. Either our observations are accurate, and we've made progress, or they're not, and we've lost nothing compared to the other route.

-Descartes as their only source on epistemology and information theory? He's... a touch out of date.
-Euclidean geometry, their example of "incorrect" observations... actually "correct within limited circumstances."
-Einstein acting "unscientifically" and trying to disprove quantum theory? Uhh, actually the heart of science. Trying to disprove things is how we know they're probably true.
-Their core argument was that science and religion can learn from each other. They completely failed to support the idea that science can learn from religion in any way at all.

So... yeah, your ultimate "that's all I have to say about that" evidence is... pretty weak and unconvincing. And, like you, makes the assumption that human beings cannot operate without faith - which I guess makes me inhuman through no fault of my own.

As to the larger question of "playing God": I'm in the "define it" camp. In particular, you'll have to define it in such a way that it does not include things we've already been doing for centuries.

Offline Sabby

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2013, 01:45:52 PM »
As to the larger question of "playing God": I'm in the "define it" camp. In particular, you'll have to define it in such a way that it does not include things we've already been doing for centuries.

I'll throw an example at you for fun. There's a button in front of you, and if you press it, the energy needs of the human race will be met forever. However, if you do press it, the world will change drastically. Even if you can come up with a good assumption of the changes that will follow, are you even capable of predicting it accurately, and if so, do you have the right to upheave everything, even for the undeniable good it will do?

Offline Moraline

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2013, 02:24:06 PM »
In context of the original post the question is not "If we can play god? Should we?"

That question raises the point comparison of someone with an atom bomb trying to determine if they should blow up a city. Should they? Can they? What are the ramifications of that? (It's a man with a gun and asking if he should use it. It's irrelevant to all of the bits and pieces of different sciences that went into the creation of the gun.)

But... That question is irrelevant when taking into context of the actual original post... Which is about science and advancement.

The creation of nuclear fusion was an inevitability. It was a natural step in the evolution of physics. The original poster is asking if we should do this? I say, how can we not?

Of course we can't stop it... It's unreasonable to expect that humanity will not advance it's scientific studies. How we choose to use these advances is another thing entirely. Whether that's for an atom bomb or extending a human life.  In the end, the world has 7+ billion people in it and growing steadily... We will advance and we will inevitably sort out every use for everything we discover as part of our constant forward progression in science.

The question of "Should We" is irrelevant. We should be asking, "How are we going to handle it and how are we going to best use it."

You can't stop a river from flowing. You can divert it and you can dam it but the water will keep coming somewhere and in some form. Eventually the water will overrun you. To stick with the metaphor, it's best that we just flow with the scientific advancement and use it in the wisest ways that we can.

Offline LordHarketh193

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2013, 02:36:44 PM »
Yes the water may keep coming but soon it has to run out then what?
We can't live without it but we can't live with it, drinking too little can kill us drinking too much can overflow our bodies and kill us.

Its like saying though a valley is deep you just stop climbing, though a mountain may be high its brave enough to touch the sky.
Why do we not do it?
Why do the mountins form from east to west?
Whys the sky blue?

science may be an explanation but so is faith and faith is something that keeps us standing tall and hoping all the day long.

So Science and God can exist but for some people its just not right.
If you watch "Joyful Noise" and "Sparkle" you'll see the world with many eye opening religion shows.

God is everywhere and god is us. Where his dawn and his sunset a valley without its snakes can't be a desert and a snake without fangs is like a worm with no eyes.

Science didnt make the world, science didn't make us, science didn't bring animals to the planet.
God didn't create nucular war, god didn't make Cars, god didn't teach us to curse and sin.

they may work together but they sometimes work apart.

Offline Sabby

Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2013, 02:53:55 PM »
Okay, this is where I get off guys.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: If we can play god? Should we?
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2013, 04:38:12 PM »
I'll throw an example at you for fun. There's a button in front of you, and if you press it, the energy needs of the human race will be met forever. However, if you do press it, the world will change drastically. Even if you can come up with a good assumption of the changes that will follow, are you even capable of predicting it accurately, and if so, do you have the right to upheave everything, even for the undeniable good it will do?
What quality of this example, exactly, makes it "playing god"? As to the "right" to do this, I humbly submit that it is not and has never been a matter of "rights". Did Guglielmo Marconi have the right to completely change the way we interact with the world forever? How about Alexander Graham Bell? Alan Turing? Bob Taylor? Keep in mind that you are, at this very second, benefiting from their decision to make that change.

science may be an explanation but so is faith and faith is something that keeps us standing tall and hoping all the day long.
Wrong. Faith has absolutely no explanatory power whatsoever, and there are plenty of people who get the exact sense of wonder that your faith gives you from... well, just from the universe as it is, with no need to resort to the supernatural.