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OfflineAdamist
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In Defense of Cloning
    #1175081 - 12/28/02 11:00 AM (14 years, 24 days ago)

The following declaration is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 17, Number 3.

Declaration in Defense of Cloning and the Integrity of Scientific Research

We, the undersigned, welcome announcements of major advances in the cloning of higher animals. Throughout this century, the physical, biological, and behavioral sciences have placed important new capabilities within human reach. On balance, these advances have contributed to enormous improvements in human welfare. Where novel technologies have raised legitimate ethical questions, the human community has in general demonstrated its willingness to confront those questions openly and to seek answers that enhance the general welfare.

The cloning of higher animals raises ethical concerns. Appropriate guidelines need to be developed that will prevent abuses, while making the benefits of cloning maximally available. Such guidelines should respect to the greatest extent possible the autonomy and choice of each individual human being. Every effort should be made not to block the freedom and integrity of scientific research.

No one has demonstrated a present capability to clone humans. Yet the very possibility that contemporary achievements may open a path toward cloning has sparked a hail of protests. We view with concern the widespread calls to delay, defund, or discontinue cloning research which have come from sources as disparate as President Bill Clinton in the United States, President Jacques Chirac of France, former Prime Minister John Major of Great Britain, and the Vatican in Rome.

We believe that reason is humanity's most powerful tool for untangling the problems that it encounters. But reasoned argument has been a scarce commodity in the recent flood of attacks on cloning. Critics have delighted in drawing parallels to the myth of Icarus and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, predicting terrible consequences if researchers dare to press on with questions whose answers "man was not meant to know." Behind the most vituperative critiques seems to lie the assumption that human cloning would raise moral issues more profound than those faced in connection with any previous scientific or technological development.

What moral issues would human cloning raise? Some religions teach that human beings are fundamentally different from other mammals - that humans have been imbued with immortal souls by a deity, giving them a value that cannot be compared to that of other living things. Human nature is held to be unique and sacred. Scientific advances that pose a perceived risk of altering this "nature" are angrily opposed.

Deeply rooted as such ideas may be in dogma, we question whether these should be used to decide whether human beings will be permitted to benefit from new biotechnology. As far as the scientific enterprise can determine, Homo sapiens is a member of the animal kingdom. Human capabilities appear to differ in degree, not in kind, from those found among the higher animals. Humankind's rich repertoire of thoughts, feelings, aspirations, and hopes seems to arise from electrochemical brain processes, not from an immaterial soul that operates in ways no instrument can discover.

The immediate question raised by the current debate over cloning is, therefore, do advocates of supernatural or spiritual agendas have truly meaningful qualifications to contribute to that debate? Surely everyone has the right to be heard. But we believe that there is a very real danger that research with enormous potential benefits may be suppressed solely because it conflicts with some people's religious beliefs. It is important to recognize that similar religious objections were once raised against autopsies, anesthesia, artificial insemination, and the entire genetic revolution of our day - yet enormous benefits have accrued from each of these developments. A view of human nature rooted in humanity's mythical past ought not to be our primary criterion for making moral decisions about cloning.

We see no inherent ethical dilemmas in cloning nonhuman higher animals. Nor is it clear to us that future developments in cloning human tissues or even cloning human beings will create moral predicaments beyond the capacity of human reason to resolve. The moral issues raised by cloning are neither larger nor more profound than the questions human beings have already faced in regards to such technologies as nuclear energy, recombinant DNA, and computer encryption. They are simply new.

Historically, the Luddite option, which seeks to turn back the clock and limit or prohibit the application of already existing technologies, has never proven realistic or productive. The potential benefits of cloning may be so immense that it would be a tragedy if ancient theological scruples should lead to a Luddite rejection of cloning. We call for continued, responsible development of cloning technologies, and for a broad-based commitment to ensuring that traditionalist and obscurantist views do not irrelevantly obstruct beneficial scientific developments.

The signers of the Declaration are Humanist Laureates of the International Academy of Humanism:

Pieter Admiraal, Medical Doctor, The Netherlands
Ruben Ardila, psychologist, National University of Colombia, Colombia
Sir Isaiah Berlin, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Oxford University, U.K.
Sir Hermann Bondi, Fellow of the Royal Society, Past Master, Churchill College, Cambridge University, U.K.
Vern Bullough, Visiting Professor of Nursing, California State University at Northridge, U.S.A.
Mario Bunge, Professor of Philosophy of Science, McGill University, Canada
Bernard Crick, Professor Emeritus of Politics, Birkbeck College, University of London, U.K.
Francis Crick, Nobel Laureate in Physiology, Salk Institute, U.S.A.
Richard Dawkins, Charles Simionyi Professor of Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University, U.K.
Jos? Delgado, Director, Centro de Estudios Neurobiologicos, Spain
Paul Edwards, Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, U.S.A.
Antony Flew, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Reading University, U.K.
Johan Galtung, Professor of Sociology, University of Oslo, Norway
Adolf Gr?nbaum, Professor of Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A.
Herbert Hauptman, Nobel Laureate, Professor of Biophysical Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, U.S.A.
Alberto Hidalgo Tu??n, President, Sociedad Asturiana de Filosof?a, Spain
Sergei Kapitza, Chair, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Russia
Paul Kurtz, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, State University of New York at Buffalo, U.S.A.
Gerald A. Larue, Professor Emeritus of Archeology and Biblical Studies, University of Southern California at Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Thelma Z. Lavine, Professor of Philosophy, George Mason University, U.S.A.
Jose Leite Lopes, Director, Centro Brasiliero de Pesquisas Fisicas, Brazil
Taslima Nasrin, Author, Physician, Social Critic, Bangladesh
Indumati Parikh, Reformer and Activist, India
Jean-Claude Pecker, Professor Emeritus of Astrophysics, Coll?ge de France, Academy of Sciences, France
W. V. Quine, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Harvard University, U.S.A.
J. J. C. Smart, Professor of Philosophy, University of Adelaide, Australia
V. M. Tarkunde, Reformer and Activist, India
Richard Taylor, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Rochester, U.S.A.
Simone Veil, Former President, European Parliament, France
Kurt Vonnegut, Novelist, U.S.A.
Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Sociobiology, Harvard University, U.S.A.

(Affiliations listed for identification only.)


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1175337 - 12/28/02 02:18 PM (14 years, 24 days ago)

Read my post about the Raeliens below. Looney as they may appear, there is reason to believe that Boisselier is actually telling the truth and that "Eve" really does exist. We cannot simply kill this baby, nor can we ethically wish for her to die of a horrific disease that results from the cloning process. To afford this individual the basic amount of respect that anyone else deserves means to wish for the success of the cloning movement. And of course that success might endanger the survival of humanity as we know it.

Its out of our hands now.


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Annapurna1]
    #1175390 - 12/28/02 03:06 PM (14 years, 24 days ago)

Many things might endanger the survival of humanity as we know it.

"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampeled."
-Hunter S. Thompson


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Anonymous

Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1175450 - 12/28/02 03:47 PM (14 years, 24 days ago)

This is the type of thinking that comes from an ignorance of philosophy.

The fact is that man is radically distinct from all other animals. No amount of wishful thinking can change that.

This is also an offshoot of the worship of science. Science is not nor has it ever been a panacea for the ills of mankind. Often it is the resource that allows, foments and prolongs the suffering of the world. Ask the victims of Nagasaki and Hiroshima how wonderful they thought the taming of the atom was?

I like the line in the movie Jurassic Park when Dr. Ian Malcolm says:

"The lack of humility before nature that's being displayed here staggers me.

Don't you see the danger, John, inherent in what you're doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet has ever seen but you wield it like a kid that's found his Dad's gun.

I'll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you are using here.

It didn't require any discipline to attain it. You know, you read what others and done and you took the next step. You didn't even earn the knowledge for yourselves so you don't take any responsibilty for it.

You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunch box and now you're selling it.

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.


I would sooner give an atomic bomb into the hands of a 5 year old than give man a tool that can destroy him forever.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: ]
    #1175473 - 12/28/02 03:57 PM (14 years, 24 days ago)

I just thought you should know that Aristotle wasn't the only philosopher, and that many philosophers since him have disagreed with his ideas. I think you should remember that when you accuse someone of being ignorant of philosophy. Man is only distinct from other animals to the extent that other animals are distinct from one another.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineEarth_Droid
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1175600 - 12/28/02 04:46 PM (14 years, 24 days ago)

I am in favour of supporting cloning.


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OfflineGrav
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: ]
    #1175777 - 12/28/02 06:16 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

I don't believe man is anymore different from a dolphin or a monkey, than a dog is from a cat.

I am a human so I am going to defend my own species before another, but that doesn't mean I have to believe that my species is 'superior' somehow, just because our brains seem more advanced from our point of view.


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Anonymous

Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1175879 - 12/28/02 07:25 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

The issue at hand is the statement found in the article:

Human capabilities appear to differ in degree, not in kind, from those found among the higher animals.

Their entire argument hinges on this issue. Does man differ only in degree or does he differ radically in kind?

The answer is, unequivocally, a radical difference in kind.

In the future I will detail out philosophically what this means.

For the time being I would invite our readers to notice that man is the only animal that has a written history and the only one capable of propositional speech.

When you can get Koko the Gorilla to write a single sentence or get a dolphin to compose a symphony I will retract my opinion. Until then you are basing your opinions on the shakiest of evidence.

Cheers


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: ]
    #1176102 - 12/28/02 09:48 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

i think this all goes back to the story of adam and eve. there was a link about the cadaceus? this may be spread throughout other posts as well. but it says that adam and eve were the genetically modified pair that came from a cross between a humanoid ? with alien dna i think... and they lived in "the garden of eden" and their creators offered adam a choice, to choose from the tree of knowledge or the tree of life. adam chose from the tree of knowledge because he knows that if he doesnt than no one will know what they did wrong and will just continue to live like animals do, like you see monkeys or gorillas. Our DNA is 2% difference of that of a primate. the only difference between us and them is that we can do conceptual abstraction. This means that we can abstract from the world around us and turn those abstractions in to concepts or vice versa like an abstract painting has significance to ideas by the artists infused with the different elements of art. we have the choice thats all to play dumb or raise to the higher power. but i think animals are already in this higher power but simply lead there simple lives cause they dont have that "choice" that they are genetically capable of abstraction(they are like NPC's in a computer game, but they still fundamentally make up that reality). but wonderfully we can destroy the planet . It makes you wonder why were humans "created" are we harvest food for aliens? or are we the project of an advanced species meant to crossover in dimension to become part of the higher realm, by aliens or nature herself as a means for universal evolution?. i see people dumb and less capable of conceptual abstraction than dolphins or monkeys, they can make nor more out of their world around them than a chimp doing tricks for a banana. Normal everyday proleterains arent any smarter than the smartest chimpanzee. (refer to waking life). people now in this world arent aware of their own decisions. The only people coming to par with what they have been given imo are the people here on the shroomery and some people scattered about elsewhere. We have a choice to tap into the higher realms the CHOICE between the red pill and the blue pill. all we have to do is choose and go down our path. thats the only thing imo that seperates us from animals. animals dont need the switch, they dont care, they are already where they should be. Us on the other hand have responsibility to make this life all we can and choose between sleeping and making something of what we have been given. If you really think about anything it applies to everything, and it all begins where you want to start defining or emplying your ideas to reality. I think weve been given the ability to take what we call a self or soul and transcend time and space and become beings of the universe. maybe we are animals to aliens and aliens are servants to god and we are all of gods creatures?


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What?


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InvisibleZero7a1
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1176112 - 12/28/02 09:52 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

i can see adamists point, that knowledge is knowledge and it cant be stopped and shouldnt but i dont think humans are Responsible enough nor smart enough to toy with genetics. what will happen will happen. maybe aliens told these people that they should do the genetic experiments to open up new doors to the human world. like opening the flood gates to new realms of knowledge. but i doubt the credibility of the people doing the experiments and wonder what the hell is really going on. if they for some reason did everything correctly and have a good point maybe good things will come, but leave out either of those two elements and i think you have room for great error on many levels.


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What?


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1176184 - 12/28/02 10:40 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

The statement was treated initially with wary scepticism which has turned, over the last 24 hours, into open contempt. 'Nearly all scientists will regard Clonaid's claim as ludicrous,' said Lord Winston, the British fertility expert. 'This strange cult is publicity-seeking. We should take this with a huge amount of Christmas salt.'

Even more forthright was the world's leading expert on primate cloning. 'I don't believe it for a minute,' said Tanja Dominko, who has carried out hundreds of attempts to clone monkeys, the closest species to human beings on which cloning experiments have been carried out. Dr Dominko said her work at the Oregon Primate Research Centre produced not a single pregnancy in more than 300 attempts. Instead, the centre's efforts produced grotesquely abnormal embryos, some with cells with no chromosomes, some with multiple nuclei, including one cell with nine nuclei.

Despite this Clonaid insists it managed to create five successful pregnancies out of the 10 cloned embryos that it implanted in women earlier this year. The other five 'spontaneously terminated', Boisselier said.

The first of these successful implants, Eve, was born three days ago. The next is due to be born in Europe in a few days, while three others will be delivered in three or four weeks, according to Clonaid.

Such a startling success rate has only fuelled doubts. 'It is also highly suspicious that Clonaid didn't produce a scientist at their press conference to explain what they had done, and how they had achieved success. This is common practice when making any major scientific announcement,' Dr Ian Gibson, chairman of the Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/genes/article/0,2763,866245,00.html


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Don't worry, B. Caapi


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Xlea321]
    #1176431 - 12/29/02 04:16 AM (14 years, 23 days ago)

Cloning is just another step on the scientific/technological staircase. It will not destroy our species, any more than all the other inventions we have destroyed the species.

It's human nature to fear new things that we do not fully understand. There was a time, not too long ago, when many people were convinced that the earth would be destroyed by nuclear weapons. It never happened, and I doubt it ever will. We fear new technology as a species. It's the same deal with the millenium and y2k. Nothing ever happened there, either.

Some bad things may come of cloning, true. Bad things come from any human endevour. The first two atomic bombs killed and injured many people. But what else has come of nuclear science? Health-science would not be the same today. You cook with nuclear science.

Bad things come from our advancements, but so do good things.


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You're here because you know something.
What you know you can't explain,
But you feel it;
You've felt it your entire life.
That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there....
Like a splinter in your mind...
Driving you mad.


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Offlinejohnnyfive
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: trendal]
    #1176623 - 12/29/02 07:20 AM (14 years, 23 days ago)

The clone has a pienal gland correct? Then its not a godless creature, but made from god!!!!!!


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And the gameshow host rings the buzzer (brrnnntt) oh and now you get a face full of face!


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: ]
    #1176669 - 12/29/02 07:44 AM (14 years, 23 days ago)

I can see your point Mr Mushrooms but I think it's in our nature to learn from our mistakes. True, we should probably go about this using using alot more respect and caution, but there will always be those who don't, and there will be consequences. Hiroshima was a consequence, but it also was a necessary step I think in realizing the terrible destructive powers that such a weapon had... Better us to realize this than the Nazis, eh? The technology wouldn't of just stayed in the closet. If we didn't figure it out, someone else would have. There are sacrifices that will be made with every technological breakthrough, and with these sacrifices usually come a new-found respect and discipline with what we are working with. As our technology grows, so do we.


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Offlinenubious
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1176719 - 12/29/02 08:09 AM (14 years, 23 days ago)

No one has demonstrated a present capability to clone humans. Yet the very possibility that contemporary achievements may open a path toward cloning has sparked a hail of protests.

Just a heads up - it was on the news like 2 days ago that some lady is housing a cloned baby...

(edit): by housing I mean she's cookin' ... the bun is in the oven ... the stork is on the way .. fetal manifestations are in the works .. etc.



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No one knows the worth of innocence till he knows it is gone forever, and that money can't buy it back. Not the saint, but the sinner that repenteth, is he to whom the full length and breadth, and height and depth, of life's meaning is revealed. Good and evil loose all objective meaning and are seen as equally necessary and contrasting elements in the masterpiece that is the universe.


Edited by nubious (12/29/02 08:10 AM)


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: trendal]
    #1176730 - 12/29/02 08:16 AM (14 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

Cloning is just another step on the scientific/technological staircase. It will not destroy our species, any more than all the other inventions we have destroyed the species.

It's human nature to fear new things that we do not fully understand. There was a time, not too long ago, when many people were convinced that the earth would be destroyed by nuclear weapons. It never happened, and I doubt it ever will. We fear new technology as a species. It's the same deal with the millenium and y2k. Nothing ever happened there, either.

Some bad things may come of cloning, true. Bad things come from any human endevour. The first two atomic bombs killed and injured many people. But what else has come of nuclear science? Health-science would not be the same today. You cook with nuclear science.

Bad things come from our advancements, but so do good things. 



This is exactly what I was trying to say. :smile: 


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Offlinekrispyfi
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: ]
    #1177175 - 12/29/02 12:33 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

Their entire argument hinges on this issue. Does man differ only in degree or does he differ radically in kind?

The answer is, unequivocally, a radical difference in kind.

In the future I will detail out philosophically what this means.




you can no more expect a dolphin to compose symphony than you can expect a human to hang from a tree by its coccyx, a vespa to jump over 3 buses, or an ostrich to fly. this does not imply a difference in kind, but only in degree. computers have not changed much in basic architecture for 20+ years, but now they are capable of performing entirely  new tasks, not just of performing the same tasks more quickly. as a simpler analogy, imagine a length of rope. you can make a knot in it. but, below a specific length, a similar rope (that differs only in degree) can have no knots made on it (the rope is, say, an inch long and a quarter inch in diameter).

cheers

ps i look forward to your future detailing, seriously.  :smile: 


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If i get into some trouble TURBO BOOST will set me free.
Michael Knight you watch the bass with the K I T T.


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Anonymous

Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1177303 - 12/29/02 01:20 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

Quote:

I can see your point Mr Mushrooms but I think it's in our nature to learn from our mistakes. True, we should probably go about this using using alot more respect and caution, but there will always be those who don't, and there will be consequences. Hiroshima was a consequence, but it also was a necessary step I think in realizing the terrible destructive powers that such a weapon had... Better us to realize this than the Nazis, eh? The technology wouldn't of just stayed in the closet. If we didn't figure it out, someone else would have. There are sacrifices that will be made with every technological breakthrough, and with these sacrifices usually come a new-found respect and discipline with what we are working with. As our technology grows, so do we.




The difference Adamist, is that technology of this nature affects life in a fundamental way. That is a difference in kind in action. What if the Nazi's had cracked the secret of the atom first? Are we going to rely on luck and hope the group that develops this is kind and benevolent? Trendal indicated that we probably won't use nuclear energy to destroy ourselves. How does he or anyone come to that conclusion? All it takes is the attitude of a suicide bomber and a bomb. We are history and so is the planet.

Do you think that Einstein was intelligent? He said after he saw how they used the power he helped discover that he could "burn his hands" and wished they hadn't discovered it.

The possibilities for evil in this type of technology is staggering. What is next? A race of soulless super humans who suffer internally beyond our power to comprehend while at the same time annihilating all other human life?

Let's use an analogy of the Lord of the Rings. Let's say that we could build the One Ring, a ring of absolute power. The Ring could be used by either a benevolent ruler to give us all a "heaven on Earth" or a Dark Lord that would destroy all life and everything beautiful. We have no way of knowing who will get the Ring. Would you build it?

Have you or anyone heard of the clock that places us how close in time the planet is to a nuclear war? We are just minutes away. I firmly believe that not only does man have the power to destroy the planet but he will, at some point in the future, use it. I don't think we should hurry that day along.

As the saying goes, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."


Edited by Anonymous (12/29/02 01:22 PM)


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: Adamist]
    #1177535 - 12/29/02 02:53 PM (14 years, 23 days ago)

Thought I'd point out the obvious and say that this is an F'ing good thread.
:smile:
:grin:
:cool:   


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focusing
Flow
The Enneagram


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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: In Defense of Cloning [Re: ]
    #1177968 - 12/29/02 07:03 PM (14 years, 22 days ago)

Quote:

Have you or anyone heard of the clock that places us how close in time the planet is to a nuclear war? We are just minutes away. I firmly believe that not only does man have the power to destroy the planet but he will, at some point in the future, use it. I don't think we should hurry that day along.




Not if all nuclear weapons are simultaneously eviscerated, or neutralized.. rendering them obsolete  :wink: 


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Silversoul 3,781 32 06/19/07 04:45 PM
by Cracka_X
* philosophers are instruments of the devil
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Positronius 3,514 43 03/04/09 07:15 AM
by Noteworthy
* What is philosophy? / Have you studied academic philosophy? *DELETED*
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Lakefingers 2,984 38 11/15/05 01:01 PM
by CosmicJoke
* My Philosophy Paper mushiemountain 1,223 7 04/17/07 07:34 PM
by mushiemountain

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