The question is hardly exclusive to the topic of genetic engineering. We can (and do) ask it in the fields of medicine, psychiatry, and many others.
Genetic engineering just happens to be one of those places where it’s asked with great frequency, for reasons that we’ll discuss throughout the next few days.
The question is this:
Should the ultimate goal of (technology x) be to cure or to enhance?
Jagged Terrain, Murky Waters
It’s a simple enough question, I think.
As history so often demonstrates, however, simple questions tend to have very complicated answers.
What we’re really asking is, “Should our aim be to fix that which is broken, or to improve that which is not?”
Ignoring the fact that there’s rarely any obvious line dividing these two categories, the question immediately draws us outside of the realm of the sciences and into the realm of philosophy and ethics.
So, as we set off to delve into the murky waters of genetic engineering, I think we’d be wise to ask ourselves the question behind the questions that are sure to follow.
To answer it, we need not be scientists, or even philosophers. We need only be people. So here’s your chance…
Should the goal of technology be to cure or enhance?
*Photo Credit: CIAT (Creative Commons)
This week’s topic (also known as the Weekly Curiosity) is genetic engineering. Check back each weekday at 12:34pm for a new post exploring this idea. In the meantime, here are three ways you can join the quest: