Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Theseus' paradox

There has been ground breaking discoveries in the world of DNA and gene mapping with gene editing being talked about widely. With latest editing techniques, some of the genetically unavoidable diseases can be detected and avoided even before a child is formed. As much as the news been received with cheer, its implications and extrapolations doesn't fail to send a chill down the spine.

When have we as humans ever stopped with utilizing a particular invention for the meant purpose alone. We invented wheel and wiped off green cover across half the planet. We broke atom to understand particles and ended up with nuclear weapons. Its this curious nature that is both our boon and curse.

Pretty soon, people will start tweaking the genes for made to order babies, a super human race will soon be on the making, available for those who can afford. By growing limbs and organs outside of human body and harvesting them at a later point of time, replacing the damaged ones within oneself, does modern medicine prolong the life span of the patient or create a whole new person? If we replace every infected organ of a person does he still remain the original person he was before? Or are those damaged organs that were removed will be collectively identifying the updated person? How much of a change is within permissible limit for someone to be identified as themselves?
How much ever i find it unacceptable, the undeniable fact is everyone of us have an expiry date. We may try to modify ourselves by replacing faulty parts and what not, but can only extend the date at best. Having said that, i am not against modern medicinal discoveries. As long as they are used for life saving rather than act merely as a life extending tool for the rich and mighty, they should be continuously patronaged and  encouraged.


Ramesh said...

Gilsu's pheelings are getting deeper and deeper.

The area of gene modification is truly a big moral dilemma. Its capacity for immense good and some bad is real. But as you observed, we cannot stop human invention, even if the potential for harm is huge. This is the way it will go. Perhaps in future, everybody born will have Gilsu's immense movie knowledge and review talent :):)

gils said...

velangidum :)