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Science will shape the future of our society – good or bad?

with 15 comments

When Russel T Davies created The Miracle Day (Torchwood) I thought very little about implications of the Types in real life, until I watched the Horizon’s “Are you good or evil?

The most striking parallel with the fiction came about at the end of the programme when they looked at what was considered at first a definitive capital punishment case in the state of Tennessee, US. After convincing evidence presented by a psychotherapy forensic the jury decided to sentence the accused for man-slaughter rather than first degree murder. Then I realised how close it may get to a snowball effect, when every murderer would appeal on the grounds of faulty genetics.

What if we start treating immoral behaviour as a trait of a faulty gene? Will we have to grade individual’s susceptibility to criminal offence? Should neuroscientists become the new law makers?

Most importantly, will we have to empower the governments to curry out arrests before the individuals commit such acts of violence?

This reminds me of a film, but not quite sure which one. the “Minority report”?

Another snowball effect I can see potentially developing is that of common acceptance of our own faultiness, rendering the current criminal law useless in the face of common fallacy. The value of life should diminish under such circumstances, if not disappear altogether.

Scary.

p.

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Written by popsredaktor

September 14, 2011 at 11:28 pm

15 Responses

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  1. Much food for thought. There has been a longstanding and heated argument between nature or nurture – this seems to have been knocked on the head – it is now being proved to be a combination of both. In that case, as the program stated at the end, ‘whether we are good or evil lies partly in our genes and environment, but as we don’t choose either, are we really free to choose at all?’

    We need to rethink all our previous misconceptions about the differences in people, and see how we can improve the social and physical environment into which people are born, if we really wish to make this world a better place to live.

    Rina

    Marina Bridle

    September 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    • Hi Marina,

      I take the view that human bodies are finely tuned. Particularly, to the point where a cosmic ray may knock out an electron or two from a strand of DNA causing one to be born with blue eyes. Apart from having no control over physiological characteristics, there are many psychological traits which might be influenced by conscious decision-making process. The striking thing is that if such process has an underlying bio-chemical reaction, then we shall feel the full force of that unsettling question:

      are we really free to choose at all?

      You are right! I can not agree more with how important it is for the society to make favourable conditions in upbringing of the future generations. Where do we start? Do we even have a clear socio-economic policy which may prevent things like “England riots” and which promote socioeconomic development?

      We are indeed at the cross-roads and we must “rethink all our previous misconceptions” in the wider sense too.

      Cheers,

      p.

      popsredaktor

      September 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

  2. 3 words for torchwood amazing amazing amazing :)

    christine ferrin

    September 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    • YEAH!!!!!!!!! I am settling into my uncomfortable chair ready to fire up the latest episode on the BBC iPlayer !!!!!!!

      There is no other way of putting it:

      3 words for torchwood amazing amazing amazing :)

      Thanks, Christine!!!

      p.

      popsredaktor

      September 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm

  3. awesome!

    Jane Qlo

    September 22, 2011 at 11:52 pm

  4. good read. thnx!

    Web Troll

    September 23, 2011 at 1:42 am

  5. what a fantastic article!

    Sheila

    September 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

  6. i have to say this is interesting

    Lawrence Trip

    September 29, 2011 at 1:31 am

  7. There are tons of good tv shows to choose from to say it’s the best. No matter what is said though, there is no doubt that this show ranks in the top 10 of all of them. Yes, there are shows that are a bit newer but this one still has charm. There is comedy, humor, and a little politics, easily moving it up to the top. They just don’t make them like this nowadays.

    Darren Rolley

    September 29, 2011 at 3:08 am

  8. thank you so much!

    Dido Di

    September 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  9. Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this website needs much more consideration.

    I’ll probably be again to read much more, thanks for that info.

    wel1 Alpha

    October 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm

  10. What if we sterilize the psychopaths? Or make laws to prevent psychopaths from joining the government? Or genetically modify people before they are born? Science and technology can shape future in a good way too, as long as it don’t turns like the Gattaca film.

    anonymous

    October 5, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    • haha, Gattaca! well done mate! :-)

      seriously though, we need to balance appropriate methods of punishment in light of human rights.
      p.

      popsredaktor

      October 25, 2011 at 6:39 am

  11. The technology visionary, Ray Kurzweil, says that computers will pass the human brain’s intelligence come 2029. Even if technology hasn’t reached that point in all areas of our thinking they will certainly be formidable.

    Computers will take centre stage, perhaps, on decisions of justice but the question then becomes who will programme the computers?

    I’m actually reminded of a great quote, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” – Einstein.

    Science will shape the future of our society in spiritual ways too. Science further justifies our lack or justification for life – we’re just a cosmic accident apparently; doesn’t exactly do much for the human spirit, y’know?

    Looking at the big picture, I think we’ll need to develop a new philosophy on life and one that has the makings of religion but the workings of science.

    David Hawkins (@papacuppa)

    October 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    • hi David!

      good ideas about the intertwined natures of science and religion. from my personal experience it’s fairly difficult to persuade “die-hard” followers to accept that science making progress in a way helps us understand who we are and what’s out place in this creation. Besides there are a few indications about the greater design ;-)

      cheers,
      p.

      popsredaktor

      October 25, 2011 at 6:37 am


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