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PHI2396 Final exam notes fall semester 2013

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Iva Apostolova

Revised notes: Singer: - Claim to equality does not depend on IQ, and if it did, humans would be able to exploit one another. - Animals do suffer, and demonstrate this through primitive non-linguistic ways that are recognized even by humans, so no language governed communication is not valid - Behavioral signs prove that someone/thing is in pain better than a statement, as they could simply lie. - If someone told us they were not in pain while severely burned and covered in blood, we wouldn’t believe them - Human infants are unable to use language, but do we refuse to believe that they can suffer? - Speciesism involves using animals purely as a means - Animals shouldn’t suffer, but can be killed humanely? - Unacceptable as if we believed that suffering should be avoided + it’s ok to kill, all animals would be killed. - Also unacceptable as killing animals to satisfy our taste for meat violates Kant’s CI (means to an end) Resnik: - Value-laden: any deviation from the mean is disease - Descriptive: normal is typical, and anything that doesn’t fall under the species normal trait is abnormal - Genetic enhancement stance depends on how we interpret the definition of health and disease. - If any deviation from the mean = disease, then enhancement is wrong - If we accept normal deviations, enhancement is OK as long as it doesn’t violate any principles (non-malfeasance, beneficence, etc.) - Goals of medicine: health promotion and disease prevention. Immunization = enhancement of immune system, so why isn’t genetic enhancement OK? - Cosmetic enhancement is OK, so why aren’t aesthetic genetic enhancement procedures OK? - Humanness approach: human form is not to be changed, and enhancement changes it, so it’s not OK. Genetic therapy is OK as it tries to restore/safeguard the human form - Very difficult to define what the human form is (abortion debate) - Except for the natural law approach, most theories are OK with changing the human form - Utility: change the human form if it brings more benefits than harm - Deontological: change the human form as long as it doesn’t violate our primary principles - Natural law: human form has inherent worth and tampering with it will destroy it - Natural selection is not perfect, should not ignore human carelessness in experimentation as a more probable cause for damage to humanity - Natural law argument 2: world was created by God and it’s wrong to tamper with God’s creation - Non-believers won’t be convinced, theologians will argue why God gave us knowledge of genetics - Rights of future generations: against enhancement and forms of therapy - Rights for unborn entities are controversial - If people want happy healthy children, then why stop at athletics, tutoring, etc.? - Distinction between positive and negative, parental and state-sponsored eugenics are important - Parental eugenics every time we choose a mating partner - Conclusion: cannot say that genetic enhancement is wrong and therapy is right. We should consider the risks/benefits and violations of the human principle instead of using genetic enhancement as a compass. Baylis: - Two attitudes: 1 shows fear of cloning and reaction of prohibition of cloning, 2 shows nd faith in science in that cloning is an irresistible scientific challenge and we can’t prevent it from happening. Three mistakes hidden in both attitudes: First: we feel complacent about a ground-breaking technology - Argument: Cloning is unnatural as clones can occur naturally, also reproduction is natural and cloning is asexual and against nature - Response: self-transformation is inherent to human nature, we accept other interventions that seem to influence our nature so why not accept cloning? - Argument: cloning is playing God - Response: god expects us to live a high qual. Of life, which cloning accomplishes; cloning should be separate from the discussion of God as the creator of our world - Argument: cloning is against human dignity: we will create slaves that we will used solely as a means to an end, lacks proper human identity - Response: scientific fact that clones are not absolutely identical, and human identity is shaped by environmental factors, not only genetics - Concerns about slaves existed prior to cloning, social problem not technological - Natural twins do not suffer from identity crisis, abuse, mistreatment Second: cloning debate is stuck on personal level, as though the technology is to address individual wants and needs - We need to broaden the scope of the argument to include the societal Third: we perceive cloning as a reproductive tech when it is so much more than that - Cloning represents a different in king, not in degree, in the way humans will continue to procreate - Cloning separates reproduction from sexual relations as well as reproduction from recombination as it reshuffles genes Alternative: view cloning as an individual and species enhancement tech - Our genes do not determine who we are, but provide an ‘outline’ per se - Cloning is about correcting the mistake of previous generations through unique foreknowledge - Distinction between individual and species enhancement: - Individual: promotes health, happiness, success - Species: promote survival, better qual. Of life, eradicate misery - Cloning should be used to promote sympathy and altruism, as well as enhance intellectual capacity which will promote species survival Gillon: - Arguments against cloning are weak or indefensible - Five groups of arguments: 1) Hubris, yuk: cloning is disgusting, unnatural, playing God - Highly emotionally charged arguments, which are often highly questionable as they don’t provide us with a moral compass to distinguish between morally right/wrong - Playing God means we are arrogant and incompetent, we need concrete evidence that show such Hubris tendencies, not sweeping generalizations - “Cloning is unnatural” - We need to clarify what is natural, then - Natural/unnatural: anything that occurs in nature is natural. Doing something that weakens, undermines, destroys/harms our moral human nature is against human nature. - We need to provide reasons and rational criteria as to what this human moral nature is and what undermines/destroys it. 2) Autonomy and personal identity: producing identical human beings is immoral because the clones will lack personal identity as well as autonomy - It is a myth that genetic identity equals personal identity (see: twins) - According to Kant’s quote re: moral dignity and identity, clones are autonomous moral agents. 3) Harms: cloning, especially reproductive, causes and is expected to cause physiological, moral, psychological, and social harms on the clones themselves, the families, and society in general - Harms include: spontaneous abortions, premature aging, abnormal births, resentment off the clone, confusion re: personal identity, burden of responsibility - Need to distinguish between current and anticipated harms, as well as between the types of harms - Cloning is currently unsafe for humans, but none of the anticipates harms are justifiable - Alternative is for cloned children to not exist at all, but is this in the name of the best interests of the child? - Germ-line argument of dangers to future generations: while it is true that genetics can pass down mistakes, it can also pass down benefits - Principle of beneficence should always take into account the principle of non- malfeasance 4) Benefits: more research done on the benefits of non-reproductive cloning - A few potential benefits from reproductive cloning: designer babies, Dolly-type cloning can prevent inheritance of genetic conditions, parents who wish to clone a dead child, parents who are carriers of a fatal recessive gene. 5) Justice: according to the EU, cloning is contrary to the principle of human equality because it leads to eugenics and racism - Only plausible argument against cloning coming from the position of distributive justice - Shouldn’t use public funding for cloning as it is currently unsafe, but private funding is fine - Conclusion: arguments for permanent ban of cloning fail, most argument for temporary ban fail - Gillon accepts four arguments in favor of temp. ban: it is not safe currently, current benefits are insufficient to outweigh harms, cloning should have low public funding priority, respect for autonomy requires well-informed and reflected social decisions rather than frantic and emotional ones Kass: - Prospect of cloning is revolting - Revulsion is not a rational argument, but sometimes revulsion is the bearer of deep wisdom 1) Cloning is an unethical experiment upon the child-to-be/clone - Leads to deformities, cannot presume future clone’s consent to exist 2) Identity and individuality: cloning entails serious psychological issues concerning identity - Clone might be disturbed that twin will actually be mother/father or son/daughter, and clone will always be compared to the original 3) Cloning turns begetting into making, procreating into manufacturing - Cloning adopt a technocratic attitude: we create an artifact not by what we are, but by what we intend and design, making the creator superior to the artifact (parents would be superior to the clone) 4) Despotism and violation of parental prerogatives: cloning will violate the child-parent trust and skew parental responsibility - When we agree to have children, we agree to relinquish total control over reality and life - Genetic distinctiveness is the foreshadowing of the truth that these children are not our property, they have their our
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