It used to be that when I read stories like this one, about the ability to grow human organs in the bodies of pigs using a subject’s own stem cells, I had a sense of excitement about the future and all that it would surely bring.
Now, the first thing I think to myself is something like, “Yeah, that’s great, but…
…won’t Obamacare destroy medicine so that, at most, only politicians and the super-ultra-rich will be able to benefit from this technology?
…if someone from the religious right is elected in 2012, won’t such technology be banned on the ground that it interferes with God’s will?
…if for some reason the United States abandons entirely the idea of a limited government that protects individual rights and elects Mitt Romney, won’t both of the above apply simultaneously?
…I almost forgot. What if the Jihadists win and Sharia law is imposed? Then what do you think the chances are that we would be allowed to transplant organs grown inside a pig into a human being anyway?
Am I overly pessimistic?
5 responses to “Yeah, that’s great, but…”
Call me naive or overly optimistic, but regardless of religions’ attempts to hold us back technologically, scientific inquiry has been difficult to squelch completely. Case in point, stem cell research. Bush was eager to squelch it but science found another way around his limitations. Religion can certainly interfere and perhaps slow things down, but with science, the advantaages seem to garner alot of public and scientific support, especially when there are promising results. It’s really difficult to keep truth and a good thing down for to long. And given that most socialists believe healthcare is a “right”, this subversive way of thinking is actually helping to nulify the religious rights’ maladaptive stance on scientific progress.
Are you overly pessimistic… personally, I have days when I see things this way, and days when victory for a better future seems inevitable.
For instance, I am an engineer and I recently came up with an idea for an amazing invention that could potentially change the way we all use energy for transportation and make me a billionaire if I were to succeed in producing it. But, it involves nuclear power (albeit applied in a new way) and I doubt I would ever be allowed to actually produce it. I’m still exploring the idea but only very gradually on the side, because I think it’s unlikely that I would ever be able to obtain PERMISSION (from some lowly beurocrat who isn’t fit to shine my shoes) to produce this wonderful thing.
So I know where you are coming from, at least with regard to the status quo. The question is, what will the future be like? In that regard, I have a lot more optimism, especially with people like us fighting on the side of the good guys. The facts of reality are on our side; it is our philosophy that makes life on Earth possible and it is we who have the unanswerable arguments and the moral certainty that accompanies them. Right makes might, don’t you think?
I don’t think you are being particularly pessimistic, as all of those things are real threats. In my case, I’ve noticed a subtly different pattern: whenever one of the Objectivist blogs I read posts news of the positive, it’s almost always tech news of some sort or another. I’ve thought more than once that I’d like to see more good news coming from somewhere else.
Well, we did have one bit of good news today, and that was Geert Wilders’ acquittal, which I did post about earlier today. And then, if you haven’t seen it yet, this is always good for a smile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaIvk1cSyG8
I love that kid!!!! “I feel happy about myself!” Me, too, my friend 🙂