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Author Topic: Is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?  (Read 1250 times)

Offline tkadm30

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Is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?
« on: 16/12/2015 13:32:45 »
Is genetic engineering of life a form of eugenic science? Could synthetic biology develop eugenic tools to create artificial life based on philosophical materialism?

What is your opinion on euthanasia, abortion, and cloning ?

Could a synthetic organism be morally responsible for its behavior, or should the responsability be on the designer ?

 
« Last Edit: 16/12/2015 19:33:33 by chris »


 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Why is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?
« Reply #1 on: 16/12/2015 15:37:48 »
Why is genetic engineering of life a form of eugenic science ?
Eugenics relates to the "improvement" of humans by selective breeding, or other form of genetic manipulation. As such, human genetic engineering appears to be, by definition, eugenic science.

Since the term is not, in my experience, applied to non-human life forms, their genetic engineering would not constitute eugenics.

A, caveat to those remarks: eugenics is often associated with questionable stipulations as to what constitutes a "better" human being. Most of the proposals for human genetic engineering relate to dealing with specific corrections of genetic defects in the individual, rather than the elimination of that person's DNA from the gene pool.

Could synthetic biology develop eugenic tools to create artificial life
Eventually, probably.

....... based on philosophical materialism ?
This is a meaningless question, for me. Philisophical materialism would be unnecessary in order to develop the tools and I do not see how its involvement would influence the nature of the tools developed.

What is your opinion on euthanasia, abortion, and cloning ?
Why are these relevant to this subject?

Could a synthetic organism be morally responsible for its behavior, or should the responsability be on the designer ?
Morals are generally considered irrelevant for micro-organisms. Did you mean to ask about synthetic "humans"?
 

Offline Jolly

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Re: Why is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?
« Reply #2 on: 16/12/2015 16:38:44 »
Why is genetic engineering of life a form of eugenic science ?

Eugenic means "born from good stock"

Quote
Could synthetic biology develop eugenic tools to create artificial life based on philosophical materialism ?

I assume you are referencing molecular nanotechnology, as parts and components to a larger organism, correct me if I'm wrong there.

Quote
What is your opinion on euthanasia, abortion, and cloning ?

Do you mean what is our oppinion about killing and or destorying said creations?

Quote
Could a synthetic organism be morally responsible for its behavior, or should the responsability be on the designer ?

 

Suggests a point in independence, until the synthetic organism could be proven to be truly responsible for it's actions, responsibility would rest on the designer, or idiot that bought it and set it free.

To answer your thread question, probably because they market to make believe  :D
« Last Edit: 16/12/2015 16:42:48 by Jolly »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?
« Reply #3 on: 16/12/2015 23:44:26 »
We spend a lot of time and effort trying to produce "better" crops and animals, and a fair bit of time seeking out a mate who will give us the sort of offspring we would like to have. Being able to do these things precisely, first time, and without havng to kill off lots of sentient beings that don't meet our specification, would clearly be a Good Thing. Problem is that, not having previously had access to molecular biology, human eugenics has always been seen as forcing people to breed or not to breed according to some third party specification, which is a Bad Thing.

Euthanasia: good. The hallmark of civilisation is that you can choose how and when you die. Humans should be accorded the same respect and dignity as the law requires us to give to other suffering animals.

Abortion: good. Or at least not bad. Every baby a wanted baby. About 30% of human fetuses abort spontaneously anyway. It would be preferable not to create an unwanted fetus in the first place, and there really seems to be no excuse for doing so, but mistakes happen and the best contraception isn't 100% effective yet. Any rational person can see the difference between a born baby and a fetus: aborting a potentially handicapped fetus does not equate to denigrating handicapped children and adults.

Cloning: pointless as far as humans are concerned - we aren't short of people, the occasional twin or triplet is fun, but unlimited copies of me, whilst clearly desirable for world peace, the advance of science and music, and the ultimate sexual satisfaction of all women, would leave all other men redundant and unable to find mates, which would be a Bad Thing. It's a Good Thing for potatoes and bananas, however.

The law is fairly clear on the responsibility for the behaviour of your dog and your child, and for the spreading of weeds, cattle and vermin from your land. I don't see any difference if you made the offending article in a test tube, but anything considered human would be held increasingly liable for its own actions as it grew up.       
 
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Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?
« Reply #4 on: 20/12/2015 20:45:38 »
Problem is that, not having previously had access to molecular biology, human eugenics has always been seen as forcing people to breed or not to breed according to some third party specification, which is a Bad Thing.   


So is synthetic biology a platform for eugenics? Genome editing is such an example of how molecular engineering of genomes could be used for positive/negative regulation of genetically-modified organisms. Moreover, so called gene drives technology could be used for populations control using RNA-guided endonucleases: Is there any risks this technology (CRIPSR) could be a novel eugenic method to modify the human genome ?
 

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Re: Is synthetic biology a eugenic philosophy?
« Reply #4 on: 20/12/2015 20:45:38 »

 

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