Ethics - Blue (Hawkins, Fall 2013)
About this class
Ethics for Science Students
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To be honest, I do not know whether the research of GM technology has increased in the past few years or whether or not it has been proven to be health-risk free and sustainable. However, we should not entirely depend on a group of authorities to tell us whether they are safe or not. We should research and read more about the technology ourselves if we were truly concerned about it. With only a basic knowledge in biology, chemistry and the procedure which these modified crops undergo, we can be able to judge by ourselves whether or not GM technology is beneficial. I'm afraid that we have become too dependent on the authority of science and our laziness prevents us from trying to find out the truths on our own. This is only one article and there are surely many others that argue the absolute contrary. Anyways, for the sake of answering the question I would say that it's better to be safe than sorry thus, it would be better to study GM technology and be patient rather the proceed and find out along the way.
Obesity is as much a psychological problem as it is a physical one. I feel that people who are obese (with certain medical exceptions) is already someone in distress. A person who eats unhealthily as a rule and is negligent towards exercising suffers from behavior related problems. Their psychological state and view of themselves is what leads them to continue their bad habits. In addition to this, advertisements and social expectations (of slim and attractive figures) play as big a role in hurting these obese people's psyches. They feel considerably less powerful in what they can or cannot achieve and give up on their goals before ever giving themselves a proper chance.
How can we improve obese people regarding their self confidence?
Currently, there is a conflict between farmers and the private companies that is being addressed. Farmers buy OGM seeds from these companies and plant their crops for the year. At the end of the year, they take the seeds that their crops have created and save them for the following season. The private companies however, are against this and have sued the farmers for doing so. According to contracts/agreements between the two parties, these seeds are not to be reused. In other words, in order for the farmers to grow their crops the next year, they must buy a whole other year's worth of seeds, instead of using the environmentally and financially friendly method of using the previous year's seeds.
Is it right that the companies are winning this battle over "property"?
The issue at hand is very intriguing to me as I can relate personally to parents spying on their own children.
To answer your question; yes, privacy should be considered an important issue, but this can vary according to the situation. For example, the statement (/question?) you bring up about government spying on their citizens is weak. If BASIC privacy needs were violated, such as having pictures taken of me while I’m in my house, bugging my room or even a camera INSIDE my room, then this would be an issue. However, this is not the case, complaining about having your privacy invaded on a phone call or a camera public grounds; that is ridiculous. To begin, the government wouldn’t care about how your weekend was as you chat your way to your friends. Also, how is putting a camera on a street a privacy issue? When it is clearly a public territory.
However, on the other hand, I agree to some of your views on the ethical issue dealt in your post. Parents who go on their child’s social network account argues to be doing it for “safety”. That is hysterical, as if logging on your son’s Facebook account will stop him from enrolling in criminal movements. There are many ways to be endangered in illegal activities without the parents even tracking it. Will observing your daughter’s Facebook and lecturing her about certain subjects, make her respect you? No, it works against that and provokes the daughter to the point they disrespect you.
Speaking of privacy, there is an important issue I would suggest reading on government observation of Social networks. Government invasion of social networks and search engines should not be frowned upon. As you’re tagging yourself onto Facebook photos, do you honestly think you’re trying to “protect” your privacy? The very fact that you agreed to the Terms and Conditions of a social networking website, means you gave up many rights in order to use this tool. How can you agree to conditions, then complain about the conditions later on believing you’re righteous?
Those actions are so idiotic, it is equivalent to running into a crowd of people and screaming, “HEY GUYS! I JUST COVERED MYSELF IN DIRT AND OIL. AND I ENJOYED IT!” The crowd laughs and comments on your action, then you scream in reply, “OMG WHAT THE HELL, RESPECT MY PRIVACY.” Yeah that’s how ignorant it looks when people argue about privacy on Twitter and Facebook.
For further reading: http://www.applieddatalabs.com/content/how-and-why-government-stalking-you
This topic raises a lot of interesting topic. As a matter of fact, these days, teenagers tend to do more bad thing than they used to. For example, illegal activity and drugs. I find it interesting to know how the attitudes of teens will change with parents spying on them.
Although parents should know the activities and interest of their children there is a limit to how much they have to do. For example, if the teen is spied on 24 hours everyday, then this is no different from being in prison having freedom banned. Privacy is indeed an important value that we all agree on, but sometimes teens who does not think straight use that to their advantage to revolt against against their parents. In other words they are spoiled. That is why I think that parents must know a lot of their children in order to get them back on the right track in their life. I think that teen smoker are a good example because most of the time they do not listen to their parents advice and become like how society thinks of them today (ignorant). I think that spying with digital device is exaggerating, because if the parents does not stop spying on their child then some may develop dependency on the parent and they would not be able to be independent in the future.
For further reading : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/9815906/Should-parents-sp...
I think this is a very interesting article because in Canada we don't have to worry about the size of the families. In fact we don't have to worry about anything, and maybe if we were facing a situation like the overpopulation in China we would start think about life differently. Imagine we were overpopulated, imagine we were twice big as the China right now because that is where we are going with all the immigrants coming to Canada everyday and all the families expanding as an incredible rate. Imagine if the quantity of food per person was limited and the cost of the food much more expensive. What would yur reaction be? Would you chose to have only one child? or being selfish and choose to have a big family? And what if the others choice to be selfish and have a big family, would you like the government to forced them to have only one child to insure your own survival? Personally, I think that overpopulation maybe affects only few countries for now, but it is slowly progressing in the rest of the world and that is a big issue. We have difficulties to insure the survival of the actual population in a couple of years when even the developed countries will be overpopulated it will just be crazy. People wil be fighting for everything, for food, for place, for job... so yes maybe the american consumption is ridicolously exaggereted, but I don't think it has an effect on the China population and one day or another we will be facing the same situation so we should start thinking now about reducing the population in the World. Finally the one child policy doesn't have only bad effects: http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/program/article.aspx?id=B07B55F3517C
Quebec is a multicultural province that welcomes thousands of people with different religions each year. In a province like this, religion becomes a very controversial subject. That’s why this article interested me.
I totally agree with what you said. I think that the “Charte des valeurs Québécoises” is highly discriminatory. Many people identified themselves through their religion, and therefore through the religious symbols they wear. It is a part of their identity and to prohibit the expression of it through symbols is like stealing their identity. Also people who do not agree with this chart will not feel fully Quebecker. If the goal of this chart is to exclude even more the minorities from the rest of the society, it is a great success. In extra to the exclusion of minorities, this chart brings inequality in terms of opportunities of job. In fact, people who want firmly to express their religion will not be aloud to work for the State.
Furthermore, the government wants neutrality, but they do not want to remove the crucifix at the assembly. It is very contradictive and it makes this chart not credible.
Finally, I think, when the Quebec choose to be secular, the real goal was to not express a dominant religion (catholic). It was supposed to encourage the liberty of religions. We chose to not obligate a specific religion to people, but now this chart obligates people to be secular. Should we breaks the liberty of religion and obligate people to not have a religion?
This topic raises a lot my interest, because I found interesting the technological advances that the human can create. However, we do not put limits to our research, so its create dilemma like this one. I think that scientific should be able to change the genetic code of unborn babies, for maladies, but for unnecessary use, like superficial physical parts (eyes color, hair color, etc), I do not think that it is very useful. Also, I do not think that it must be used to add genes of a second mother, because it is superficial, not vital. I think that if we can cure some diseases at a young age, it must be done. I think that, if it is not cure at a young age, it will be done later on, so the sooner is the better.
As Calin said, we are not God, but if think in this optic, we should not cure any diseases, so I think that if we can cure malformations or a future cancer at a young age (even a unborn baby) it is a great thing. Moreover, on an economic level, curing a young baby take less time than a therapies that are used for adults. On the other hand, I agree that if we change every little detail to make our perfect child, it will be too much and ruin the beauty of life and uniqueness that every living species have. However, like I said, if parents have the choice to have a child with a physical problem (malformation) or a child with the Down syndrome, I think that it will change the life of many parents. I need to mention that it will be accessible, not obligatory, so if some parents want a child without knowing how he will be or if he will have diseases, it will be up to them. Finally, our technology is not yet there, and will not be there tomorrow. I think that it must be 99% safe to be used for humans and many tests need to be done.
I think that the arguments of Calin are well detail and really represent the two ways that the problematic/topic can be seen.
I propose you to see this article http://healthland.time.com/2012/06/06/an-unborn-baby-gets-its-dna-sequen... , which the author gives also is opinion on this topic. This article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/decoding-the-d... expain what is a genome, a good thing to know when we talk of DNA.
Like I already state it in my previous comment, I like genetic but also science in general. I really like to learn about all new discoveries that have been made.
The opposing argument is well developed. We can easily identify the main ethical belief. However, the first argument, even if it is based on moral values, seem to be more a precautionary argument that an ethical argument.
Should scientist be allowed to grow human organs?
I think that scientific should by allow growing human organs. Because it could help developing cure for all sorts of diseases without using any animal or individual to test new cure. Many animals die because of those test, and those test can be harmful to people who participate at medical studies. If we allow scientists to grow human's organs, we could help reduce the bad effect of medical testing on living subject. I agree to let scientists grow human's organs because I think that we should promote this scientific discovery to help the population.
Is it a possibility that we might use this power for more than research and try to perfect the human body?
This is plausible that we can try to use those studies to do more than their original purpose. However, I think that people will realize that perfecting the human body, in a lot of cases, is useless.
As I was scrolling down the home page of News Activist, this article really caught my attention, as overpopulation is a highly discussed subject in ethics and social sciences, but often neglected in politics. In a free country like Canada, we have never been limited on the number of children we can have, causing the one-child policy in China to be seen as outrageous, unethical, and even as bad as going to prison. In my point of view, family planning could definitely bring advantages. First, I believe that there is no absolute need of having a lot of children. While it might bring happiness, having a child is time consuming and extremely expensive. Moreover, I don’t get how climate change and pollution can be greatly considered while the issue of overpopulation is neglected. As John Guillebaud, a professor working on the British Antartic Survey, says, "[overpopulation] is the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about." It is an important problem that we absolutely need to solve, as it causes extreme pollution and poverty. If we don’t do anything about it, nature will do the job by bringing violence, diseases, and famines. Furthermore, colonizing the uninhabited regions of the planet will not bring any advantages, since at the end, all that there would be left is poverty. This is why I strongly argue that family control, like the one-child policy in China, is advantageous. This is more strongly debated by environmentalists in the following article: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/overpopulation-is-main-threat-t...
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