Life-Heralding and Life-Extending Technologies

Essay by jeffreytsaiCollege, UndergraduateA-, May 2007

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The emergence of this modern technology has raised a plethora of serious and unprecedented moral challenges. Laboratory-assisted reproduction, artificial organs, genetic manipulation, psychoactive drugs, computer implants in the brain, and techniques to conquer aging--these and other present and projected techniques for altering our bodies and minds pose challenges to the very meaning of our humanity: challenges to the results of undesired consequences of medical success in sustaining life, challenges that concerns the morality and the ethics on the means of seeking the cure of disease or the creation of life and lastly but not the least, the challenges concerning the goal itself.

These technologies avert moral dilemmas. However, it is not just this technology that received the criticisms. There are other technologies that forestall moral dilemmas as well despite its usefulness to our lives these days. Critics should consider that these moral dilemmas that the technologies prevent are themselves the products of technology.

To put it simply, dilemmas averted by genetic screening would not occur in the first place if prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders had not been developed. These critics may wish to argue technology at best only fixes problems that it causes. While its true, it doesn’t mean that never produces a net gain, morally speaking. There are other considerations that may apply. A particular technology may, after all, produce great benefits for those who use it, which may make its development and use morally justifiable. Furthermore, even without technology, it may be impossible, for us to avoid all moral dilemmas. Therefore, we should not jump too quickly to the conclusion that every preventable moral dilemma should be prevented. Even if we could prevent all moral dilemmas by abolishing all technologies, it is extremely doubtful that such a course of action would be morally justified.

Moral dilemmas are...