Think about a world, where people are genetically modified perfect yet seem lost in identity, where clones becomes slaves, and humanity forced to take fight or flight as robots exceed our intelligence. Now think about a world, where people are satisfied with mediocrity, where new ideas are shot down for being too radical, and humanity actually regresses. With science alone possibly spiralling out of control, ethics alone promoting a society of little progress, a balance between the two is needed. Therefore I feel it is a given that science and ethics must exist in tandem for humanity to reach its optimum.
With humanity removed from science, technology is allowed to run free, and while this may benefit us in the short-term, it could pose many long-term challenges. Take cloning as an example. Cloning, seen in many people’s eyes, is a means to an end of having to work. Clones could become slaves to actual humans, and be forced to work, while the actual human reaps the reward of heir labour. However, as these clones are genetically identical to a human, it may not be long before they realise that they are being taken advantage of, and since they are genetically humans, just like any one of us, they deserve human rights as well. This could cause social turmoil and a dark time for humanity. Another example would be genetic modification. While again, it may allow new-borns to have the ideal genetic make-up, the poor unable to afford such technology may be further put at a disadvantage and cause even more discrimination. Jobs may only be offered to people of a certain genetic makeup, people may not befriend others simply because they may not have an ideal genetic makeup, so on so forth. Brilliant people may not be given places they deserve simply because of minor flaws they posses. And yet, this is what makes them human, their flaws and mistakes, their drive toward perfection and the lessons they learnt. Such are qualities the genetically perfect people may not have.
But, with ethics placed at the forefront of the development of society, genuine advancements in humanity may not be accepted as they may seem too radical, and may pose a few issues that could again cause uproars and disorder in the society. If this were to be the world we live in, several of the world’s biggest breakthroughs may not have been a reality. The Internet, for example due to the anonymity it provides, could give rapists a new platform to target victims. It could be viewed as a new platform for bullies to remain anonymous, yet still provide just as much pain. It could even serve to aid drug dealers sell drugs to new customers causing even more problems for society. Yet, the Internet has aided collaboration between research institutions, providing them with the ability to share knowledge and work on new projects together to benefit mankind. It could connect long lost buddies, loved ones that are overseas at instantaneous speed, no matter how far apart they may be. GPS could also be seen as a means for dishonest companies to start giving out the location of their customers to other sources for money. As such, putting the public in greater danger of terrorism or even kidnapping. However, it has enabled many lost travellers to better ensure they get to the places they need to be. It has also enabled the police to nab many thieves by tracking the location of the tech devices equipped with a GPS that they stole. By being too conservative a society, some of the most important things in the world right now, that have benefitted and connected a world, could be nothing more than a mere fantasy.
As such, people cannot live in both extreme ends of the spectrum. From humanity losing its essence and even being driven to another period of social turmoil, to having society regress and not thus causing a lot of trouble to people that could otherwise be solved, as such a coexistence of the two, which will strike a balance in the world, is required. What is needed is a compromise between the two. While cloning humans could seem too controversial and blurs many lines of what a human is and what is not, cloning organs, however, for donation to help others that due to health issues are in desperate need of organs could be seen as more humane, as well as something that could greatly aid humanity. Genetic engineering could also be used to eliminate the risk of inheriting fatal diseases as well as disabilities from parents. This could also be seen as a way to ensure that great minds do not go to waste simply because of a few natural disadvantages. While the Internet cannot be controlled, seminars on cyber bullying and cyber wellness could be used to educate the general masses (especially students) to not give out sensitive information like their address, as well as to not befriend people they do not know on the Internet. GPS technology can in the same way be also limited to only a few corporations that have the public’s backing and trust. A survey could be put out for the general public to vote on which companies they put their trust into to have location tracking services.
While it is important to ensure that a happy medium is found, it is easier said than done. What we need to do now, is to continue ensuring that ethics are not violated, but scientific breakthroughs are also not ignored due to a few imperfections. Just like creation a new food recipe, continued experimentation and testing will give us the happy medium eventually, but until then, it is important that we keep on striving for the continued progress and the peace and stability of humanity. One question still remains, however. In our ever-changing world, will it be long before what we deem as ethical twists to cater for our thirst for technology and knowledge and the unprecedented boom in science and technology?