Expert explains the ethical dangers of using technology to alter human nature

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As man hurtles towards the point where man and machine become inseparable, referred to by many as “The Singularity”, there has been little attention or debate in mainstream circles about the ethical impacts of this rapidly advancing technology. Like fire in ancient times, technology can wildly improve the lives of the people who know how to master it. But technology also has the power to destroy those who do not treat it with the respect it commands. On Wednesday night’s episode of The Glenn Beck Program, Glenn explained that the rapid expansion of technology and the ethics involved will be the biggest issue that people will have to deal with in the next ten years. Glenn welcomed futurist David Gelernter onto the program to discuss some of the ethical questions raised by rapidly expanding technology.

Glenn stressed that neither he nor Gelernter were anti-technology, but are focused on the ethical implications as technology is expanding whether people want it to or not. Everyday people must be prepared to handle it and to treat it in an informed and respectful way.

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Gelernter explained that there were two types of merging between man and machine that could come with the approach of the singularity. He explained that the merging that comes with the body only will serve to improve the human condition as people are able to strengthen their body and expand their lifespans. The concern that Gelernter has is with merging machines with the mind where cognition and thought is changed because what makes human beings human will be lost.

Gelernter and Glenn specifically pointed out the dangers of a movement called transhumanism, “the intellectual and cultural movement that affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally improving the human condition through applied reason, especially by developing and making widely available technologies to eliminate aging and to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities”.

“It used to be the sanctity of human life meant something to every Jew and every Christian,” Gelernter told Glenn. “We’re not there anymore, we’re dealing with aggressive science worshipping and pagans.”

Gelernter explained that “the moral environment is very different” than it was just a few years ago when most people in science viewed their work through the lens of faith.

Gelernter told Glenn that for many in the area of science that they were no longer approaching science from a moral standpoint, but were essentially doing science for the sake of science. Scientists are no longer asking the questions of why they are doing something and rather believing that science is self-justifying. He added that science is serving as a replacement for religion and as a result these advancements are taking place in a world without a Judeo-Christain moral code that held life as sacred. Both Glenn and Gelernter found the implications of that lack of ethics unnerving.

“We have slipped from that limiting mechanism, that cultural environment isn’t there anymore,” he warned.

 

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/AUCU3E5BU2Z4KBRPWLPXWSLX6E know it some

    LOL.  No one worships science. And yes, we believe in the progression of mankind. And there’s no such thing as Judeo-Christian. They are two completely different and separate religions.

  • Draxx

    Human Nature does not change easily…
    Warriors/Fighters have been around since the beginining in all cultures.
    Prostitutes have been around thousands of years in all cultures.
    Weak & Timid people have been around since the beginning in all cultures.
    Some People are Determined to Rule over others since the beginning.
    Some People are Willing to Die to Save Others.
    Some People are Willing to Sacrifice Others so that they may live.
    Some people believe in Higher Beings (such as God), and Others Do Not.
    And the list goes on, and on…

  • Anonymous

    We didn’t know what to do with The Tree Of Knowledge.  All we had to do was leave it alone.  Through Lies and Pride we threw away True Freedom for slavery.  We know nothing.

    Technology is an illusion of control.

  • Anonymous

    Pagans! Run! Hide Beckbots! There is no way you can make your own personal decisions! Head for the bunkers!

  • Anonymous

    Not as much an illusion as the “The Tree Of Knowledge” is…..

  • Anonymous

    And some people lose elections and then whine like little bitches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.allen.585 Dan Allen

    I agree, I am a Christian, but not a judeo one. Jews killed Jesus, and even though he shared their bloodline, he created the anti-jewish movement called christianity.

  • jacquelynaguilera96

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  • Draxx

    Kree-Tin you Liar, Liar, Liar…

    You whine all the time here and more than likely everywhere you go!  You lack Intelligence to back up your stupid comments!  You lack Supporters for your arguments (if they can be called that)!  You put people down constantly calling them names or racist, bigot, anti-this, anti-that, You use the “N” word here more than anyone else (when referring to African Americans or People of Color), if Anyone voices their Opinion of not liking something about gays… You go off the deep end (and take it personal which tells us a lot about you), and the list goes on…

    In your own words you, “Whine like little bitches”…

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    You must be high. 

  • Anonymous

    Science never had anything to do with ethics. Science tells us facts about the physical universe, what is, and how. But it never intended to tell us why, or what’s right. We still need other things for that.
    You can certainly have ethics and morals without religion, but you have to get them from somewhere, and you can’t get them from science.

  • Anonymous

    Says the person posting on the Internet.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck off. Jews didn’t kill Jesus, the Romans did. Crucifixion was a Roman execution technique, not a Jewish one. So fuck off. Real Christianity is not anti-Jewish. Jesus was Jewish and preached nothing other than Judaism. So have some respect, fucker, and stop spreading nazi bullshit.

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    And some morons are too stupid to know that just because your guy won does not mean shit because only 40% actually voted and even then because you got the majority of the vote does not make you side right ask anyone living in Germany under Hitler.

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    You right about Science never had anything to do with ethics ask Hitler.

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    Actually both had a hand in his murder but people like him love to ignore the fact that there was a group of Pharisee did not want to kill him but got over ruled by the others of higher rank.

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    We need to keep going but move slowly so that we don’t get out of hand and make something we will regret like Einstein did when the nuclear bomb was made.

  • Anonymous

    Really? I watched you Democrap Drones cry for 8 years while Bush was in office… you’d have thought the world was ending. By the way, I am not a Bush fan AT ALL… just saying.

  • Anonymous

    So what you’re saying is that people who disagree with you are not thinking for themselves… Oh!!!! So, if we just follow your lead and thing just like you we’ll be independent thinkers? Think about it.

  • Anonymous

    The point they’re making, you witless twit, is that there are questionable ethics at the core of the Transhumanist movement… thinking about that carefully might be a wise decision because the impact of technology on humanity just might be profound.

  • Anonymous

    Like genetically modified food. Maybe if right wingers weren’t so in love with corporations, and didn’t think of them as people, then we’d be able to keep those corporations from getting out of hand and using science to maximize profits at the expense of our health.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. Godwin’s law strikes again. WTF does hitler have to do with anything?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    I was actually agreeing with you notice I liked your comment.

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    They are run by people and I really don’t have a problem with genetically modified food that is more of a left pet peeve.

  • Parker Romney

    I think that technology needs to be moralized or else we can’t use it. Science and transhumanism sets one standard of morality. I think any movement really sets a standard of morality to technology. I think that we need to focus on movements that will moralize the technology so that we can utilize the movements utilizing technology.

  • Anonymous

    Since Bush wrecked the economy, I’d say we were right, something polls show most people agree with.

  • Anonymous

    And some morons are too stupid to know that people who don’t vote don’t count for shit.

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    So the majority of this country is now shit liberal mentality and tolerance at its finest ladies and gentlemen.

  • Anonymous

    Right wingers and science? The twain shall never meet. 
    Right wingers find it hard to swallow stuff like global warming and evolution. That’s too far out for them, too unrealistic…
    Meanwhile, scientists see a few holes in stories such as that of a snake slithering down a tree and talking a woman into eating an apple which in turn doomed the whole human race. Scientists find that just a tad bit…questionable. As they do stories of men parting oceans (when not walking across them) or losing their superhuman strength due to a haircut. 

    But you have to hand it to the right wingers; they’re not afraid to take a controversial stand when it comes to their theories. For instance, many find it entirely possible to believe that their messiah was born of “immaculate conception”…but find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that their president was born in the country he now leads. A scientist would fear being laughed at. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DYQNFE4FGIMTMVC6AEDPO3B7GM bel

    In our house, we still do math with a pencil and paper. I don’t like or trust machines that are meant to do my thinking for me, so I’m raising the kids to have little to no dependence on them.

  • http://twitter.com/nutts2020 nutt

    Tell you what, Glenn, next time your back plays up, don’t rely on anything that science has provided, because there’s clearly an ulterior motive. Just offer up a prayer instead and we’ll see your smiling face back at your desk in an instant.

  • http://twitter.com/nutts2020 nutt

    Yet you’re happy to swallow up Glenn Beck ‘explanations’?

  • Anonymous

    Fucking vote, then bitch moron.

  • Anonymous

    Feel free to vote against anyone advocating it, I could give a shit

  • http://youtu.be/xm1F7ub00gk Sam Fisher

    Someone needs a hug.