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This is an older article, but I'm just now getting around to posting it. This initiative will be voted on this November.

Their argument boils down to this:
"Proponents of transhumanism, neoeugenics, and human engineering have proposed ideas that would drastically alter society in known and unknown ways."..."The use of genetic manipulations for the purpose of human engineering would have a profound effect on the structure and nature of families and society. "

So let's see here, making us healthier, stronger, and smarter, and extending our lifespans are somehow bad because they're going to change society? Not just "bad", but "crimes against humanity"! Of course they're going to change society! That's part of the point! How can any sane person be opposed to this?

But fear not, my friends! The language of the initiative only addresses genetic manipulation! So while it's a crime against humanity to enhance humanity through genetics, replacing your arms with miniguns and rocket launchers, and installing lasers in your eyes is still A-OK!

*sigh* I have no problem whatsoever with people choosing not to take advantage of any technology that they disapprove of, for any reason. But for those who would inflict their archaic views upon the rest of us in the form of a sweeping ban, I have a two-word response. It rhymes with "truck you".

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
fangly
Aug. 29th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
"Missouri to vote on constitutional ban on transhumanism"

Not sure if you've ever been to that state, but I'm thinking you must 1st be human to then become "transhuman". I hate to stereotype people but I have the alien blood sucking she bitch ex-wife to prove it. =P
khepra
Aug. 29th, 2006 03:00 am (UTC)
I think I found the true motive here....

"(e) In the event that the identity of the human being described in (b), (c), or (d) of this section can not be determined, any natural person may file the suit on behalf of the unidentified human being provided that 10% of any award of damages shall be paid to the person filing the suit and 90% shall be paid to the state’s treasury."
h_postmortemus
Sep. 3rd, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
What the fuck?!

Fucking rednecks...
h_postmortemus
Sep. 3rd, 2006 01:53 pm (UTC)
Well, people by nature are afraid of change. Change == Chaos and Chaos tends to erode at our self-awareness and mental stability. You may have noticed that people crave order, organization and stabiliy.

Plus in all honesty, I do not think genetic engineering is something that should be entered into lightly. There's a vast range of ethical and social issues to consider. It's a gross mistake to assume genetic engineering could only be used to better ourselves. Genetic manipulation certainly provides for all sorts of no terrors in the realm of bioweapons. What about the rights of a person to choose not to be modified?[1] And what happens if big gene companies end up owning your right to reproduce or self-modify?

Frankly, blanket banning of "transhumanism" is not the best solution but quite understandable. And tight restrictions on genetic engineering make sense. Laws are easily changed, it's sort of hard to back-out 5,000 new variations on small-pox. (See also: Darwn's Radio and Darwin's Children)

[1] That may seem odd but consider mandatory vaccinations. When vaccines against polio, dyptheria and other childhood illnesses were first put in place, many didn't want their kids to take them. They were scared what would happen. And some kids did get sick an die. Understanding of allergic reactions is better now but still an issue. And hell, some people just don't trust the government.
cyberdine3000
Sep. 11th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
"Not one scientific discovery used for the good of mankind has, in one way or another, been in some way used for evil"

In other words whatever these scientists come up with in genetics to improve and prolong the human race there's gonna be some Evil psychotic dictator ready to use it to do the reverse.

To look at Science, or anything else for that matter, through rose tinted glasses is ridiculous and dangerous.

If you look beyond the pretty positives and really think about the chain reaction it would have on society if they make humans healthier, stronger, and smarter, and extending our lifespans you'd probably see some sense in that quote you..er, quoted ;)
datan0de
Sep. 11th, 2006 08:24 pm (UTC)
"Not one scientific discovery used for the good of mankind has, in one way or another, been in some way used for evil"
Um... I may be missing something here. Where did this quote come from?

In other words whatever these scientists come up with in genetics to improve and prolong the human race there's gonna be some Evil psychotic dictator ready to use it to do the reverse.
No argument here. That's been the case with every scientific discovery since fire. But to let the potential of misuse keep us from progressing is an exercise in both willful ignorance and futility. We can ban biotechnology development all we want, but it won't stop your hypothetical psychotic dictator from picking up the slack and surpassing us.

To look at Science, or anything else for that matter, through rose tinted glasses is ridiculous and dangerous.
I agree, but if you think that that's what I'm doing here then you're completely mistaken. I'm well aware that new technologies bring with them potential pitfalls, but if you weigh the positives against the negatives with respect to science and technology the net result is enormously in the positive. Organizations like the Foresight Institute exist for the express purpose of assessing the impact of new technologies and insuring that they're integrated into the world in as safe, intelligent, and beneficial manner as possible. They seek to do this in a rational manner, not with blanket bans as is being attempted in Missouri.

If you look beyond the pretty positives and really think about the chain reaction it would have on society if they make humans healthier, stronger, and smarter, and extending our lifespans you'd probably see some sense in that quote you..er, quoted ;)
The bottom line is that these people are seeking to limit the progress of mankind. Yes, significant technological changes are disruptive, but ultimately they're beneficial. Look beyond healthier, stronger, smarter, and longer-lived? Um, okay. Technology and science are the reason why we have the world we live in now, instead of the nightmare world that Thomas Malthus predicted. No, the world isn't perfect, but neither is our technology (yet). The average person today has a life expectancy and standard of living far greater than that of our ancestors, and the average person in first-world countries enjoys a standard of living beyond the wildest dreams of the wealthiest of kings in ancient times.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )