Thursday, May 19, 2016

News from the Island of Dr. Moreau

In this release from NPR's All Things Considered, we see some scientists are now combining animal and human genetic material to create embryos that are a mixture of both.  Of course this is all being done in the name of research to help find cures for various diseases, but at what point do we question the moral justification of this course?  
Ah, the benefit of subjective morality.  


W.B. Picklesworth said...

We may be on thin ice. On the other hand, weren't anatomists pushing the envelope by examining and cutting up cadavers? What I suspect is true is that there have been times when the culture has imposed restraint. I've no doubt that the culture still does this, but I think the focus has changed. I think the restraint is less coherent. Comics are reigned in lest they "badspeak" but others are left free to do... whatever. Well, so long as it isn't badspeak.

John said...

I believe there will always be conflict between those who "push the envelop" of what is acceptable, and those who condemn any expansion at all (or use condemnation to control the argument). I believe we saw such a struggle within the Catholic church during the Renaissance, when the church contributed to the expansion of our understanding of the universe, at the same time condemning the teachings of Copernicus and Galileo for their observations and theories the sun was not the center of the universe.

For me the central question comes back to the relationship between objective and subjective morality. As subjective morality replaces the acceptance of a fixed standard the more prevalent social position will be "Does the end justify the means?, or Is it in my self-interest to pursue this path?"

In my opinion this subjective basis is easily chosen when one rejects the idea that man is unique among the species and provided by his creator with certain rights and responsibilities.

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