Philosophy & Ethics
It's a confusing time at the Vatican, which has an international stem cell scandal of its own making on its hands.
What the heck is going on?
How a society treats the disabled, especially those in need of specialized care due to aggressive behaviors and self-injurious behaviors, says a lot about the morality and compassion of that society. Are they locked away out of sight, left to live in horrendous conditions, abandoned not only by society, but by family members as well? The United States does not have a good record when it comes to the care provided to the mentally and physically disabled. From lobotomies to forced sterilization, from electric shock therapy and restraint systems that resemble the horrors of a torturer’s chamber, we as a society have wreaked havoc on those unable to defend themselves.
Mind is usually considered that part of a person that allows a unified conscious awareness
of the world, our bodies, and experiences, including thinking and feeling.
Since mind seems to depend upon molecular activity in cells and in brain circuits, scientists generally assume that mind is created by, or emerges from the cells and the circuits of the brain.
Another view is that the mind uses or interacts with cells and brain circuits like a driver would use a vehicle
Since no one has been able to explain what a subjective experience is, and how it relates to the brain, all theories about the nature of the mind are speculative.
I would like you to consider carefully the following comments made by Gerhard Adam in the discussion that followed a recent article on artificial intelligence.
Gerhard’s contribution is a lesson in the benefits of disciplined logical thought. Please read on:
“Intelligence" didn't just "wake up" one day. Its presence is visible from microbes up to the highest organisms. The notion that if you just cobble together enough pieces and intelligence will emerge is simply magical thinking.”
And in response to another comment; “It just seems that intelligence is being viewed as some arbitrary "add-on" to biology. Like it's some feature that is "out there" and has nothing to do with the organism in question.”
If you are not a social authoritarian in love with big government and worry about the personal ramifications for freedom if health care is federalized, here is a chilling idea from the home of socialized medicine - Great Britain. Well, sort of Great Britain, now one of them is in Australia.
Their article shows the slippery slope of choice - basically, if abortions are okay, so is infanticide and if one is not okay, neither is the other. Which means, of course, anything is okay if the 'elites' determine fitness. Eugenics is making a big resurgence in the progressive mindset.
We have another Vatican stem cell meeting coming up this spring.
This meeting raises some extremely important questions and complex issues at the interface of science, religion, philosophy and ethics.
From the perspective of scientists, an important issue is whether (assuming one is invited) to attend such a meeting and if one does attend, is that action alone making a statement?
A train is heading toward five people who can't escape its path and only you are close enough to do anything. You can reroute the train onto different tracks with only one person along that route.
Would you do it?
A team of Michigan State University researchers recently put participants in a 3-D setting and gave them the power to kill one person (in this case, a realistic digital character) to save five. The results of the moral dilemma? About what you would expect. 90 percent of the participants pulled a switch to reroute the boxcar, affirming that people are okay to take a direct hand in killing someone if it saves a lot more, even if they are against killing people.
The intersection of medical technology, medical practice and ethical principles has long been an important field of study but the rapid advance of medical technology has made it perhaps the most important field of study. Rapid advances in medical technology have been made in medicine and health but we should also be concerned with how health can be maintained in an ethical manner and in an ethical environment.
Klaudia Brix of Jacobs University has resigned from the board of the Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, the official publication of the Italian Society of Anatomy and Histology, because a paper by prominent 'HIV does not cause AIDS' researcher Peter Duesberg of U.C. Berkeley was published.
William Macaulay, in a review (1839) about the recently-published book by William Gladstone, The State in its Relations with the Church, wrote:
Mr Gladstone conceives that the duties of government are paternal; a doctrine which we shall not believe till he can show us some government which loves its subjects as a father loves his children, and which is as superior to its subjects in intelligence as a father to his child.