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In the mood for a deep philosophical discussion-The Pursuit of Happiness

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  • In the mood for a deep philosophical discussion-The Pursuit of Happiness

    This site is fascinating. This is a portion of a paper on biotechnology (the full paper is 300 pages long and no I have not read all of it yet!).

    Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness

    www.bioethics.gov

    The possibility of using genetic knowledge and genetic engineering to improve the human race and its individual members has been discussed for many years, especially in the heady decades immediately following Watson and Crick’s discovery, in 1953, of the structure of DNA. New life was breathed into old eugenic dreams, which had been temporarily discredited by the Nazi pursuits of a “superior race.” As late as the early 1970s, serious scientists talked optimistically about humankind’s new opportunity to take the reins of its own evolution, thanks to the predicted confluence of genetic engineering and reproductive technologies.1 But as scientists have learned just how difficult it is to engineer precise genetic change—even to treat individuals with genetic diseases caused by a simple one-gene mutation—explicit talk about improving the species has largely faded. Instead recent years have seen, in its place, much talk about coming prospects for “designer babies,” children born with improved genetic endowments, the result either of careful screening and selecting of embryos carrying desirable genes, or of directed genetic change (“genetic engineering”) in gametes or embryos.

    Interest in such possibilities has been fueled by recent developments in a number of related disciplines, beginning with the completion of the Human Genome Project. Knowledge of the complete chemical sequence of all human genes promises greatly increased powers for genetic screening of individuals and embryos. Numerous studies are already seeking to correlate phenotypic traits (and not only those connected with disease) with the presence or absence of certain genetic markers. Scientists have reported early success with directed genetic change in embryos of non-human animals (including primates2 ), though many more attempts have failed. And we are witnessing large increases in the use of assisted reproductive technologies, including for purposes that go beyond the mere treatment of infertility.3 Extrapolating from these developments, some scientists have predicted that parents, in the not-too-distant future, will be able to exert precise genetic control over many characteristics of their offspring.4 These predictions have been greeted both with enthusiasm—“At last, we can escape from the tyranny of fortune and bring our inheritance under rational control!”—and with alarm—“What hubris! Scientists are trying to play God!” It is difficult to know what to make of these predictions, based as they are largely on speculation. In this enormously fertile and rapidly developing field, the future is unknowable. Thus, anyone can claim to be a prophet, and no one should confidently bet against any form of scientific and technological progress. Yet in our view, for reasons that we shall elaborate below, prophecies and predictions of a “new (positive) eugenics” seem greatly exaggerated. In consequence, much of the public disquiet created by loose talk of genetically engineered “designer babies” seems unwarranted. Nevertheless, the public’s misgivings may contain a partial wisdom regarding practices in this area that are not far-fetched, indeed, that are already with us, including prenatal and preimplantation genetic screening. For, as we shall see, there is some reason to be concerned both about negative eugenics and about the practice of genetic selection of “better” children. Therefore, even as we try to calm down fears about genetic engineering of children, it behooves us to pay careful attention to the reasons behind them and to the human goods at stake. By this means, we may shed light on the meaning not only of things we might be doing in the future but also of things we are already doing in the present.

    This report raises some very interesting questions."What is biotechnology for?" Improving the lot of humankind? What exactly is a "good" or "better" child? "What exactly is it about the lot of humankind that needs improving?" What are we seeking relief from? Just suffering, death, decay, and illness or such things as nastiness and despair? Should improvemnt be limited to eliminating the evils or should it also encompass the postive; improving beauty, intelligence, and happiness?

    Ok. Philosophy class is over for tonight. Homework is due Wednesday.

    Last edited by superchef; 11-01-2003, 09:10 PM.

  • #2
    I'd much rather expand the gene pool the old fashioned way!
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ullrichk
      I'd much rather expand the gene pool the old fashioned way!
      HERE HERE!!! Pounding on table, standing in crowd (whatever it takes) LOL. I agree wholeheartedly.




      (I'm a little out of practice... but always looking for further instruction/instructors
      If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

      "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

      "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

      Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

      impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

      IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

      Comment


      • #4
        YUP!!

        YESSSS!!! The two honorable gentlemen who posted ahead of me have it right. Stay Safe....
        Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
        In memory of
        Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
        Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

        IACOJ Budget Analyst

        I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

        www.gdvfd18.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Sudden Thought!......

          When planning to enlarge the gene pool the old fashioned way, does the pursuit of happiness change to become the happiness of pursuit?? Just thought I'd ask.... Stay Safe....
          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
          In memory of
          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

          IACOJ Budget Analyst

          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

          www.gdvfd18.com

          Comment


          • #6
            the homework

            In order to accurately explore this topic all forms of expanding the gene pool should be explored.

            Chief Woods- The happiness of pursuit is your assignment. Pursue away and as it is your birthday you get double points!.

            Behave, be good and stay safe all.

            Comment


            • #7
              I will humbly ask to be counted with my three counter parts, who have posted here before me.

              Thank you.
              Omnis Cedo Domus

              www.hinckleyfd.org

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: the homework

                Originally posted by superchef
                In order to accurately explore this topic all forms of expanding the gene pool should be explored.

                Chief Woods- The happiness of pursuit is your assignment. Pursue away and as it is your birthday you get double points!.

                Behave, be good and stay safe all.
                cheffie, you're scaring me. A couple of college classes and ytou turn all Socrates on us .
                PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree with my colleagues i will do it the old fashion way, isn't that why we are firefighters to get all those women ... oh wait shh don't tell the fiancée. She might make me give up my badge.
                  "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear" - Ambrose Redmoon
                  “It’s like Lego’s for firefighters.” Robert James III talking about hose appliances.
                  "Police, Firefighters and EMS are the most collectively dysfunctional group of people in existence and only we understand each other!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with my colleagues i will do it the old fashion way, isn't that why we are firefighters


                    And that is why I love all of you so much. You guys are the greatest.I am laughing so hard at your responses I can barely breathe.

                    George- if you want Socrates " Is conduct right because the gods command it, or do the gods command it because it is right?".


                    I think I will just stick to the happiness of pursuit..that is as soon as I find someone to pursue.....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What happens when you finally catch it?
                      ftm-ptb
                      leather forever
                      gateway fools

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What happens when you finally catch it
                        I'd say but then I might get kicked off into never never land and you guys would miss me too much.

                        Comment

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