Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Human Genetic Enhancement

This new podcast comes as close to advocating eugenics as anything I have seen in a long time.
The Wild Ethics Of Human Genetic Enhancement - Dr Jonathan Anomaly | Modern Wisdom Podcast 598

Chris Williamson

Dr Jonathan Anomaly is a philosopher who writes about the social implications of emerging biotechnologies, teaches classes in ethics and game theory, and helped design the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program at Duke University.

The ability to select from potential embryos is already here. Soon, we will be able to select for height, intelligence, personality types, moral disposition, athletic ability and maybe even enhance traits which aren't present. This creates a vortex of complex ethics around one of the most contentious topics on the internet - genetics. So I decided to dive in.

Expect to learn just what the current technology of embryo selection can achieve right now, whether opting to not genetically enhance your child is an unethical practise, the dangers of creating massive societal inequality, why you are already a eugenicist, whether genetic interventions are morally different from environmental ones and much more...

You can find his papers here.

I doubt that the public is going to be convinced that eugenics is a good thing. But a significant subset is going to pursue genetic enhancement. He has a good argument that it is much more virtuous to favor eugenics.


CFT said...

The movie GATTACA neatly sums up the 'ethical' and 'social' consequences of such eugenics. Please consider who would be determining what was 'morally' or 'fill in the blank' superior. Academics would be largely driving the variables backed up by government regulators.

Frankly, given what kind of inbred idiots think they know everything, from idiots force gaining super diseases to save us (i.e. kill almost 7 million people), to senile imbeciles who don't remember where they are almost daily, to brain dead professors who think they could have done a 'better' job than Marx, letting the experts into 'improving' reproduction looks like a lose lose lose scenario.

Roger said...

Dr. Anomaly was not advocating that govt regulators determine who or what is superior.

CFT said...

Get real. Anything that is done medically is already government regulated, please tell me I'm wrong but I don't think you can. Once the government gets behind human eugenics engineering they will be picking who the winners and losers are. Re-watch Gattaca if you haven't seen it. It's a pretty good imagining of what will follow.

Do you honestly believe the government is going to say 'Ah well, I guess we won't regulate human genetic engineering...because you know... reasons. If you think fucking around with the human genome is a great idea, and will lead to 'improved' humanity, just stop and think about what that will actually do and what it would mean if you actually got what you are wishing for.

If you could even somehow prove your 'improvements' gave lets say a 5% advantage to intelligence, what would happen knowing what we know about human nature? All the bitching about IQ scores between ethnic races will seem like a day in the park once there are actually people with modified intelligence that actually claim to be better than other people, welcome to the new and improved genetic arms race.

I once upon a time read a science fiction novel about a genetically altered branch of humanity that was genetically modified to not need to sleep. Seems like a small thing doesn't it? But the consequences economically and socially were vast, leading to a very segregated racial apartheid. Despite their high IQs, scientists have proven themselves to be incredibly short sighted and lacking in wisdom...repeatedly, just like everyone else.

Roger said...

The US govt does not regulate human genetic engineering now. Maybe it would if people started doing it.

We already have people who are a lot smarter than other people.

Are we headed to a new kind of apartheid? Dr. Anomaly actually thought that we are, and argued that it is not bad thing. Some of the AI researchers also think that it will happen, for other reasons.