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Siegfried
Monday, January 24th, 2005, 08:37 PM
This is an issue that has been bothering me for some time now, and I'm wondering what the general view is here on Skadi. Please explain the reasons behind your viewpoint.

Oskorei
Monday, January 24th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Both cloning and genetic engineering are very close to man playing God, which usually gets severe consequences when guided by materialism and greed. This is why they should always be regulated by the State, and only allowed when there are very good arguments in favor.

Cloning has no uses that cannot be achieved with sperm donations, so it shouldn't be legal at all. Creating copies of oneself or one's dead children borders on necrophilia, and has a very unhealthy feel to it.

Genetic engineering can be a good thing when it comes to removing the genes for hereditary diseases from the embryo, and in those cases it is ok. Using it to alter the looks or sex or IQ of the embryo should not be allowed, since it will allow parents to play God with their children. Also it will turn social inequalities into genetic inequalities, allowing rich parents to get super-children.

I am in favor of post-natal engineering however, when the person involved in it has the ability to have a say in the matter. But that is still science fiction.

Siegfried
Monday, January 24th, 2005, 09:17 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Oskorei. :)
Genetic engineering would be tinkering with the very foundation of our biological being. I, for one, do not believe modern man is scientifically and spiritually advanced enough to start making important changes to our genotype. At least for the time being, selective abortion and germ selection will have to do. We can already make tremendous progress that way - and we can do so in a relatively short time and without the potential dangers of actual genetic engineering.
I agree with you on cloning, and I'd add that, if extensively used, it might pose a danger to the natural genetic diversity that allows populations to evolve and adapt.

Agrippa
Monday, January 24th, 2005, 10:02 PM
I voted:


Yes, both practices should be legalised. Their applications should be supervised and/or regulated.

I mainly see a problem of knowledge and accountability, a responsible way of coping with these things.

Furthermore both is in a way risky as well and if cloning makes any sense can be questioned.

But because I'm pro Eugenic anyway and believe that the human species has still a evolutionary way to go but natural selection doesnt work for this like it should, especially, but not only, in a modern society, we have to act.

This means that it should be a goal to improve the human potential both for the individual and the collective with those measures which seem to be the most effective and with true responsibility.

I'm totally against a market oriented way of coping with such sensitive issues, though I would still prefer a market control over a ban.
Because if a collective movement will fail and the total rule of the radical capitalism should be established with all the new methods of mind control, only improved humans, especially in the leadership, might have the will and the ability to change the way how the society will be organized.

In fact superiour minds and bodies are in my opinion not as vulnerable to manipulation and corruption as the average human being is today, or worse, the new bastard of tomorrow will be.
But if you look what the rich want as children or what the economy wants, they usually want humans with, generally, better features than average.

Of course I would prefer a collective action to improve both the individual and the group for a better future and a more secure future of mankind.

Like I said, I dont think we reached an acceptable level so far, not even the best of us. We have still many things to learn, and the question is how far will we come with this "equipment"...

Eugenic means to me to use all useful means. If we know someone has a gene which makes his child a bad thinker, less intelligent, I see just two useful means on the long run, abortion or correction.

Correction is more human and more effective, so why not if we know what we do, speaking about the technological standards?

I dont see why "natural" selection should be preferable, or do you think that natural selection always brought up the best results (just think about overspecialization of so many species, including some Hominids like Australopithecus robustus) with the most effective and "human" means?

Nah, Eugenic means to reach goals not reachable with other means, but without too much human suffering, if any, to me. Genetic testing and engineering might be some of the best means to reach this.


am in favor of post-natal engineering however, when the person involved in it has the ability to have a say in the matter. But that is still science fiction.

Right, even practicable methods for human cloning or genetic engineering are science fiction, but this is a way farther away than the rest.

Anyway, just a simple question, if you as a dumb human being without too much knowledge about what he wants to be, do you really think he can decide in a rational way?
Even more important, people with defects tend to identify themselves with the defect, so they get emotional about certain issues. So is it right to let somebody get born with defects which will influence his personality in a negative way, if you can prevent it, probably even if you manage to help him later?
Humans are creatures of habit, if they are used to a negative component of their life, they tend to ignore it or get adapted to it, not always in a positive way, especially if they are rather emotional.
If they are rational, they know in which situation they are and dont identify themselves with the defect they have. On the contrary they will always try to get rid of it.
This can get worse too, if people think of defects which are none, at least no real ones...

Humans shouldnt accept bad situations which can be changed in a positive way. Thats not playing god but its about playing after the rules we have to accept, the rules of life and organic structures, its just using what "god" or nature has given to us: Our brain and reason.

"God" or nature doesnt help us to survive, there are just some rules we have to understand. To understand them means to try to adapt to them in the most effective way, for having a better life for both the individuals and the collective in the future.
If genetic engineering helps us, we should use it, but with great responsibility and for really necessary and useful means ONLY.

I see greater problems if changing plants and animals, or even worse bacteria and viruses, which might not be really necessary but is a much bigger threat, especially if we dont act carfully and with reason.

Lets speak out the truth: If something going wrong with animals or humans, you can still shoot them and thats it, not nice but thats it, if you do something wrong with bacteria or viruses, we might get in serious troubles, all humans might get in serious troubles.

So its just not really understandable to fear human manipulation, especially if improvements might be the goal, more than what's happening in other sectors of biotechnology.

Ok, ethics, religious and pseudoreligious ways of thinking, right, but again, god doesnt help us, at least not directly ;) the only way to improve ourselves and to secure our future is to do it on our own and in a responsible way.

F.e.: If we want to get rid of certain heritable diseases in a human way without abortion and defect individuals, I see no other way than praenatal selection and correction which means genetic engineering.

But again, I only fear such things in a system which shows no respect and responsibility.

Its not about the methods, they are useful, thats for sure for any rational individual, its about the people using it...which is of course the same old problem we had in the past with all powerful technologies.

Maybe not in the future if we improve ourselves. ;)

Tuor
Tuesday, January 25th, 2005, 02:52 AM
Whenever I see this subject it reminds me of that movie Gattaca, but anyways i believe both should be legalized. I think God gave us the power to tinker with life and it is unavoidable that we will change many things like we have already done. Now to what end is acceptable is up for debate, but how will we ever know what good can come of the endeavors if they are not tried?