Re: Gene Therapy & Ethics

Technotranscendence (
Sat, 14 Aug 1999 11:47:08 -0700

On Saturday, August 14, 1999 7:38 AM Robert J. Bradbury <> wrote:
> > wrote:
> > More to the point, even if you're sure they'll be smart and beautiful,
> > can you be sure they'll be successful or happy? If they're only as
> > smart and beautiful as the other million kids whose parents have
> > had access to the same technology, they're only normal, which doesn't
> > mean successful *or* happy.

To this point, can't one be "normal" and be happy and successful? I don't see a dichotomy here between having the same degree of whatever as millions of others and being happy and successful. Someone will have to offer a better argument than that. Or show me what links I've missed between the two.

> We may presume that nature has "fine-tuned" human traits
> to balance "competitive drives" with "social conformance".

Why may this be presumed? See "Testing Evolutionary Explanations" at

> A little to much of the first and less of the second and
> you have children that make great survivors with little
> regard for their parents (who for practical purposes are
> a different species anyway).

I don't see the necessity of competition here. Surely, it might happen, though there is a lot of competition between members in the same generation (in humans) and the same species (both in humans and other species). Analogously, using the story scenario I descry:), though the cat and the mouse compete for mouse meat -- the mouse wants to keep its, while the cat wants to make it a nice meal -- cats also compete with each other for mice (birds, mates, etc.).

But, nonetheless, I do see Robert's point. I plan to make sure I'm always in the running. But the best laid plans of humans and posthumans...:)


Daniel Ust