I have seen this book in the local library and it just chillls my bones as to what people may do with technology to humanity. For one, it seems that people can be made just into commodities and are not regarded as sacred anymore. Postmodern thinking is leading to some very troubling places indeed and I pray that we have a shift in the paradigm. Technocrats and “transhumanists” say that this is the way to go in order to “benefit” humanity, but this could turn into a very bad sci fi movie come true. Has anyone heard about this book or its subject matter?
Eugenics and Social Darwinism, like all evil, never really goes away.
**The Catholic Church has always been the only beacon of the Fullness of the Truth in this ever darkening world, despite the fact that we are all sinners!
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC);
"Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus), are gravely immoral. These techniques (heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization) infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ “right to become a father and a mother only through each other.” (CCC 2376)
“Genetic Engineering” is just another form of this evil.**
Search the Catechism here; scborromeo.org/ccc.htm
**As Pope Benedict XVI said recently;
“Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to say to everyone, also to those who are in a moment of difficulty on their walk of faith, or also to those who participate little in the life of the Church or to those who live ‘as if God didn’t exist,’ not to be afraid of the Truth, not to ever interrupt the walk towards it, not to ever cease searching for the profound truth about themselves and about the things with ‘the interior eye’ of the heart.” **
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!
Scientists are still not at a stage where they know how everything works. And should they reach a stage where they can manipulate something, it will be expensive and likely to go to one primary entity: the military. Most science that is even remotely applicable to killing people gets funding from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).
Modifications for cosmetic purposes will be next, but since profits come first, these treatments will be expensive.
Scares me, too. And the Catholic Church is so right on this issue(Humana vitae, Donum Vitae, ect.)
This is on of the things that is drawing me towards the Catholic Church.
A book on a related theme may be found here:
A couple years ago CAF had a member who frequently talked about transhumanism. That, and about George Soros, too. :o
I don’t think he found many allies for his cause.
Some of the “future” will be driven by people with a great deal of money. Commercial firms are getting into the space payload launch business, for example. Others are investing in biotechnology.
I myself see this as a scary thing in the Frankenstein sense. I mean, creative art in literature and film has always expressed the potential danger of experiments like this. Frankenstein truned on his creator and stalked the countryside in misery, the I-Robots turned against humanity and killed mercilessly, and the superhumans in a Dean Koontz book tuned against their maker and set to takeover the world. I know this may be engaing in some sci-fi type scenarios, but they are al possible if this type of technology is pursued.
Those examples are science fiction, and movies and books need bad guys. A movie about Terminators that only kill a designated enemy is not going to be as scary as a movie where they turn on everybody.
As robots are integrated into society, they will have simple brains and be programmed to perform simple tasks. Simple robots will not be able to take over anything. If robots are built with more complex brains, they can be programmed to not kill any human beings.
I write fiction and develop scenarios. Only human beings can tell robots to kill other human beings and only human beings can give robots the capability for self awareness. Knowing this, human beings can stop the potential for such abuse. In real life, robot body frames will be expensive and robot brains will be even more expensive. Finally, actual neural programming will be the most expensive part of the robot.
Genetic engineering will be very expensive.
The OPs question is: “Has anyone heard about this book or its subject matter?”
Please keep your posts in this forum limited to the book “Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future”.
Most of Hollywood movies seem to get it right and warn against this sort of thing, such as the movies you quoted, along with movies such as"Gattica",The Sixth Day,Jurassic Park, ect,ect. I can’t think of hardly one that portrayed genetic engineering, ect in a good light.
No I have not read this book that the OP mentioned so I guess I can’t comment anymore but I plan to get it and read it at some point.
C.S. Lewis in his book the “Abolition of Man” deals with this subject, although the technology we have today wasn’t even dreamed of when he wrote his books.
The movie already exists. It’s called Gattaca. I can see it happening given how amoral society has become.
The Bulletin of the World Health Organization published a review of this book, tucked inside a longer article. Its a short review, only two paragraphs, but it packs a lot into it. I’ll quote an excerpt:
… What is curious about this book is that while it takes much of human nature to be malleable — and improvable—it also takes certain facets of our nature to be fixed, and it is these fixed characteristics which determine that our ‘‘genetic future’’ is rather well defined and indeed ‘‘inevitable’’. Stock has no time for bioethical hand-wringing, and he scores some good hits in identifying ways in which many bioethical nightmares are either technically impossible or based on ignorance and confusion about the science or are in fact complicit in social conservatism of various kinds. What Stock is unwilling or unable to challenge, though, is the economic ideology which privileges the autonomous choice of the biotechnological consumer as the foundation of bioethical rights…
(the two paragraphs talking about the book are on the second page, near the end of the article)
So do humans have a right to modify themselves to provide a competitive advantage (less sick, more intelligent, greater longevity etc)?