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Playing God?

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posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 10:12 PM
Well, I didn't know if this was the right forum to put this in but yeah....Mods will move it if not.

Currently working upon an assignment, whether or not we have the right to play God. It's for school and is based around the movie Gattaca. Anyway, basically I'm stuck so I'm here to ask for for help. So yeah.

Do we have the right to play God and alter what He has made, should we leave it as is because its a part of some grand plan or what. I'm not too sure. Help me out people

Um....just should probably put in. By playing God i mean..the right to genetically alter people, for whatever reason AND/OR to kill those that are deemed to be genetically imperfect, that is they have some sort of defect such as the possibility to get a certain disease later in life.

If there are any other quesitons about what I'm asking then...well...ask.

[edit on 29/4/06 by ArchangelOfCool]

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 10:39 PM
The "Playing God," argument is really getting old. I prefer to look at this as a Good, Neutral, or Evil use of a technology, and just because a technology has Evil uses, is no reason to prohibit said technology. A Gun can be used for survival purposes by killing game to feed your family, but it can also be used to kill your neighbor and take all his food to feed your family. One use of the technology is Good, the other Evil.

Using Genetics to weed out the weak and propogate the strong through a systematic regime of culling is quite obviously Evil, which we already have experiences in.

Using Genetics to cure a Genetic defect to cure various inherited disorders is quite obviously a good and legitimate use of the technology and denying that, based solely on Theological reasons is just as evil as weeding out the weak in the first example I provided above because it achieves a similiar purpose but IMO causes much more suffering. IN a culling regime, a person with Cerebral Palsy would just get nullified straight out of the womb, or shortly thereafter. In a prohibition regime, that person would be condemned to live a life, that most of us would consider cruel and unusual punishment if we had the capacity to cure it.

This is not as simple as some make it out to be.

There is another side of the coin as well, which falls straight in the center which could potentially be used for both Good and Evil, it's really up to the person. What I'm talking about is someone who, say, decides to get some genes spliced into his genome to give him Hawk-eyes. For a Pilot, this could be a life saver. For a pervert, this would be a wet dream.

You see my point? It's all in how the technology is used, not what our subejective belief systems say how it should be used or not used, according to a few.

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 11:11 PM
That's a very difficult question ArchAngelofCool...

I mean, you need to look at both sides.

On one side, there's the good. Genetic Engineering can:
1. Save lives (people who are suffering from a genetic problem)
2. Help us adapt to new situations (gene therapy could be useful for astronauts coping with the zero-g environement).
3. Become more productive (we can genetically alter plants and livestock to help lower the amount of world hunger)
4. Prevent disease (gene-therapy could be the answer to stopping Mad-Cow and saving plants and animals from foreign diseases).
5. Create organs that have a lower chance of rejection.

But then's the the bad side. Genetic Engineering can:
1. Be used as a doping tool like steroids.
2. Be used to more easily manipulate or control people and soldiers.
3. Be used to produce seedless plants (so foreign farmers can't grow their own genetically enhanced food, because the plants have been engineered not to grow seeds).

In the end you have some difficult questions. Is it the need outweighs the cost? Do these ends justify the means? Could we end up creating more problems than we solve?

On one hand you can say that we exist to perform, we exist with the purpose of existing. If that is the case, then we are obligated to do everything in our power to prolong that existance.

Or perhaps there's a higher calling, we exist to serve God or something else, in which case you can say that we should not tamper with God's plan. But what is God's plan? If God is truely omnipotent, then he would have planned for us to make use of genetics, wouldn't he?

Anyways, in the end I agree with genetic engineering. As Sardion said, a gun can be used for defending oneself or attacking others. In the end it will not be the technology itself that we raise us to new levels, or bash us down to new lows - it will be with how much respect we treat the technology with.

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 11:27 PM

1. Be used as a doping tool like steroids.

I don't see this bad in of itself. Genetic Doping for Muscles is here already and is currently being tested for use in Muscle Distophy patients with little to no side-effects. Obviously this will be abused by athletes wishing to get an edge on their opponents. Who are you or I to say that it's bad thing to use it to modify your strength and appearance for purely trivial reasons?

We shouldn't polarize the debate between Good and Evil uses. There is a vast middle ground that can be used for both ends, depending on the intent of the individual.

If the intent of the individual is to use a Genetic Doping serum to gain an edge at the next Olympics then it's obviously a bad use, and is up to the comitee to screen the competitors for such people. On the other hand if someone just wants to look a lil more cut to attract the ladies, then who am I to condemn them, especially if the treatment is completely safe? How about Firemen? Police Officers? Construction Workers? I can see how such a treatment can help them immensely in a field which requires that their workers maintain a relatively high level of physical fitness.

[edit on 29-4-2006 by sardion2000]

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 12:01 AM
I did mention medical uses earlier on - one of which was yes as a doping tool for safer medical steroids perhaps. But there's also the ability of being able to use that for sports doping, and possibly illegal doping that could even be harmful to a person's health.

That was kinda my point, agreeing with you that there is that grey area.

Perhaps a better question is "What is the limits to being human?"

At what point does genetic modification stop us from being human, and start us being something else?

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 02:01 AM
Hmmm, what about...the 'right' to alter human genetics....who actually governs someones DNA? Is it personal property? Government? Medical? God?

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 02:31 AM

Originally posted by ArchangelOfCool
Hmmm, what about...the 'right' to alter human genetics....who actually governs someones DNA? Is it personal property? Government? Medical? God?

Vaccines have already altered the whole of industrialized civilization. Geneticly altered food is doing the rest. Chemicals in the environment will do damage to everyone if they don't find a genetic way for cells to break long-chain chemicals in the body. Maybe we can borrow enzymes from microbes which seem able to do this.

If in the future genetics could solve these 7 Deadly Things your life expectancy would go from limited to unlimited or until you step in front of a bus.

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 02:52 PM
Okay yarium, I was kind of tired when I wrote that, sorry for the misinterpretation cause by my skimming habits.

At what point does genetic modification stop us from being human, and start us being something else?

What's so great about being Human? Our posture is piss-poor, our eyesight is fragile at best, our minds degrade rather quickly after prime, our lymphatic system is tempermental at best. If god created us in his image, then he did a rather piss-poor job of it.

Hmmm, what about...the 'right' to alter human genetics....who actually governs someones DNA? Is it personal property? Government? Medical? God?

It's personal property, no exceptions. I'll fight for the right to do what I want with my own body.

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 03:03 PM
I watched Gattaca @ uni too
, altering genes is not about if we have the right or not, we are going to end up doing it anyway, I see this gene-modifying activities just as a stage on our evolution.

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 03:49 PM
In my mind, evolution has brought us as far as its going to efficiently.

With our capabilities, its time we take over and do it more efficiently and objectively.

Natural evolution will respond as ongoing problems emerge. We have the ability to forsee problems with our genetics, and adapt before it becomes a present issue, or flaw.

Alot of people will attempt to stop it... but it will happen one way or another, because it has become necessary for technological advancement. (Not to mention the evolution of viruses is starting to overtake our own metabolisms ability to create antibodies. That will probably be the first battle front).

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:21 PM
Humans have always tried to evolve and seems to be speeding up the pace..
personally i dont see anything wrong with that.

The phrase playing God.. IMO God is just another human creation.

Of course one can speculate about beeings with far greater intellect and physical and/or mental powers wich may be more or less godlike..

just watched the movie Equilibrium, where they have developed a drug that takes away all human emotion.. they think emotions are a dissease that needs to be ridded of since it have started wars etc.. i really liked the movie.. the thing i think would happend, if you took away emotions from the entire population im guessing that it would be pretty much be a standstill of inventions.. nothing would be invented. cause the imagination would die..

As far as messing around with genetics and nano-machines etc.. i think its good mostly.. of course its like all great inventions it could be used for either good or bad.. but beeing able to cure more or less all disseases would be great.

reason AND/OR to kill those that are deemed to be genetically imperfect

i doubt there would be any reason for doing that if sciense where that far they could probably cure more or less anything.. not really sure how this would work, but im guessing that the technology could be used to create superhuman speed, strength, hearing etc also.. and that its this that your teacher is asking about ?

posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:43 PM
Do we have the right to play God is asking a moral question, not a scientific one. Therefore the answer lies in the morality of mankind.

Lets discuss morals then, shall we?

Morals are a standard mankind has set for itself to distinguish between right and wrong, what is permissible and what is not. Because of this morals apply to mankind and mankind alone.

Let me give you an example:

Suppose you decide to build yourself a fishing dock. You work away with your trusty hammer driving in the nails and pounding the boards into place and when you’re done you call it a day and go to bed. The next morning you decide to go fishing from your new dock but find that your neighbor is already fishing from it. In a rage you take the hammer and kill him.

Does this make the hammer immoral?

No. The hammer is just a tool to be used by someone in whatever means they decide to use it. That applies to EVERYTHING else on the planet.

There are no moral or immoral thing’s, there are only moral or immoral people.

Now back to the discussion at hand.

You cannot stop the advancement of mankind. We develop tools every single day that can be used to benefit or to harm our fellow human beings. What we do with them is up to us. Every tool we create will have a positive side, and it will have a negative one. How we choose to use it is up to us.

We play God every single day and there is not a thing in the world that can stop that. Whether or not we are helping or hurting is a decision that only we can make as individuals.

Just my thoughts,


posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 07:22 PM
Only GOD can determine what is playing god. Since he made everything and everything happens by his will? then we cannot possibly do anything that he didnt plan now can we?

Can we?

God created us in his image and since we are not gods yet then we are not finished being created now are we?

Are we?

I believe we are to continue getting more inteligent and discover how to live forever and become more like gods image. Can you deny anything I have said? Nope because your not god and all you have to argue with is a bible which contents are suspect to begin with since it has been changed edited and parts hidden from it since its begining.

Nothing is unatural becasue our technilogical advance is natural to us. Our intelligence and out tech advances are as natural to this univerese as any other thing natural. You do not have to be green or live in the wild to be natural.

Nothing we can do can ever be unatural nor can we do anything god did not have planed for us.

Our advances are part of gods plan for us. Step away from the pulpit when you start deciding gods will eh?


posted on May, 1 2006 @ 04:52 PM
How do you know when we're "playing god"?

Until you can define god in such a way that everyone agrees on powers, attributes, etc, and you have a reliable way of checking that there IS such a thing, then there is no way to answer that question.

Is god a being who, as some postulate, knows all details of our lives so that everything is preordained? In that case, nothing we do, no matter how outrageous, is "playing god" because it was preordained and preapproved.

Is god a force that started the universe and then stepped back and let things roll? If so, do we have to get to the point where we create universes before we "play god" but everything beyond that is fair game?

Is god a being who has limited power of creating life and who is defeated by chariots of iron or can be argued with and reasoned with (if so, there needs to be an indisuptable proof) -- in that case, probably anything beyond chasing down a few goats and waving fruits around is "playing god."

So... whose god? What concept of god?

posted on May, 1 2006 @ 05:21 PM
Well if you take the pantheistic approach (where everything is god), then there's nothing wrong with "playing god", because we all are god anyway.

I can just imagine primitive humans learning to create fire, and then some of the more traditional ones trying to stop them from doing it because it's "playing god". It seems whenever we learn to create something new, some religious traditionalist has a cow about it.

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