Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Group 3 Man, Machine, and all the rest

This was actually written by Mary, I'm just passing it along:

The idea of man and machine converging even further with the exploration of nanotechnology did not strike us as unethical. It was mentioned that many circumstances already exist in which life forms depend on machines for survival, such as a person in a coma using a ventilator.
We discussed the issue of identity to help decide whether a person is still a person if they are made from non-human parts. We decided yes, and that a person's identity is not determined by how "biologically natural" they are. Just as a person who has a prosthetic leg is still a person, so is someone who is made from cloned DNA and gestated in a bubble. Ongoing identity was also mentioned, which we didn't have a definite answer for, but decided that people decide for themselves whether or not they are the same person after whatever biological change it may be.
Genetic engineering also made its way into discussion. We decided it would be much more logical for people to decide what traits to give themselves rather than their children. We aren't sure how this would work, but nanotechnology and cloning would probably have something to do with it. Once again, identity would be an issue, but the importance of that would be up to the individual.
The last part of our case mentions using nanotechnology to "keep people alive well into their hundreds." This raised the issue of whether it would be natural or ethical to extend our lifetime past the point of how far current medicine will sustain us. To combat the problem of overpopulation and unsustainability this would create, there would have to be some kind of authority over reproduction. Denying potential life for the sake of extending our own seems selfish, but how can it be unethical if the lives we are discussing don't exist?
Nanotechnology seems like the natural step for science to take, and humans altering the way nature works does not seem unnatural or unethical, because nature itself is constantly being altered by all forms of life in a big swirl of chaos.


  1. Had fun being a floater into ya'lls group!
    dont forget we mentioned inspector gaget (http://youtu.be/4V9DzKaeCOM) ps: Penny's in a bikini.lol
    and quantum leap!!!