One of the worst characteristics of American society, which is probably common in most societies, is the popular attitude of resisting change. Many Americans resist automation because they’re afraid that it will take people’s jobs. Many Americans resist genetically modified crops because they think nature actually gives a shit about them and therefore produces pure, healthy foodstuffs. Many Americans resist wireless communications because their ignorance of how radiation works has convinced them that anything wireless causes cancer.
With such a history of resisting advancement I’m not at all surprised to read that most Americans are resistant to human enhancement:
Around 66 and 63 percent of the respondents even said that they don’t want to go through brain and blood enhancements (respectively) themselves. They were more receptive to the idea of genetically modifying infants, though, with 48 percent saying they’re cool with making sure newly born humans won’t ever be afflicted with cancer and other fatal illnesses. Most participants (73 percent) are also worried about biotech enhancers’ potential to exacerbate inequality. Not to mention, there are those who believe using brain implants and blood transfusions to enhance one’s capabilities isn’t morally acceptable.
The concern about exacerbating inequality really made me guffaw. Few pursuits could reduce inequality as much as biotech. Imagine a world where paralysis could be fixed with a quick spinal implant. Suddenly people who were unable to walk can become more equal with those of us who can. Imagine a world where a brain implant could help people with developmental disabilities function as an average adult. Suddenly people suffering from severe autism can function at the same level as those of us not suffering from their disability. Imagine a world where a brain implant can bypass the effects of epilepsy or narcolepsy. Suddenly people who cannot drive due to seizures or falling asleep uncontrollably can drive.
Human enhancement can do more to create equality amongst people than anything else. Physical and mental disparities can be reduced or even eliminated. Anybody who can’t see that is a fool. Likewise, any moral system that declares self-improvement immoral is absurd in my opinion. Fortunately, the future doesn’t give two shits about opinion polls and the technology will advance one way or another.
3 thoughts on “Americans aren’t Ready for Most Things”
Fortunately, the future doesn’t give two shits about opinion polls and the technology will advance one way or another.
Assuming we can slap the government if it tries to stick its big fat nose into yet another thing that is none of its business.
Governments have proven incapable of stoping the progress of technology. Even if the United States bans these technologies they will be available elsewhere (probably East Asia). In fact that’s what a lot of “medical tourism” is about. Instead of dealing with insurance here to receive a medical procedure that was outdated 10 years ago, people head to other places in the world such as East Asia that not only have more advanced medical technology (since the FDA isn’t there to slow progress) but provide it for much more reasonable prices.
You’re right, they can’t stop it. They can, of course, as with the drug war, cause a lot of misery while failing completely.
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