Re: Chimp uplifting: Conceding to Elis

Keith Elis (
Thu, 20 Nov 1997 23:02:25 -0500

Quoth Twink:

> >> What standard do we
> >> use to judge?

Then Keith (me) wrote:

> >The question is better put, what standard do *you* use to judge? Moral
> relativism
> >is serving me well these days...

Then Twink went:

> Then, it is not wrong _objectively_ to you to cross-breed?

Of course not. It's not objectively wrong to me because I make no claims about
knowing exactly what objective right and wrong are. I only have my ethical system to
guide me. And that's pretty damn subjective.

But then again, I'm always objective. ;-)

> >But scientists do have ethical guidelines for themselves. Unfortunately, they
> >don't help much when you're stuck in the middle of a gray area.
> Guidelines are not perfect.

Right. Nor are ethical systems. The best ethical system is one that evolves when it
hits the hard cases. All models are in a continual state of being perfected. And
this holds true for my system of ethics as well -- which is why I brought the
ethical question up in the first place.

> [...] I do
> think, though, that uplifting chimps by other methods might prove helpful in
> augmenting humans. Also, I suspect, a lot of the developmental patterns are
> similar between apes and humans, such that insertion of genetic sequences
> might have similar effects in both.

Makes sense to me.

I'm enjoying this uplift thread immensely,