Ask Question, Ask an Expert

+1-415-315-9853

info@mywordsolution.com

Ask Homework Help/Study Tips Expert

Building A Better Human

The future enters into us long before it happens, the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke once said. This is no longer a metaphor. The future is entering us. We eat genetically modified food .We submit to implanted devices that go well beyond the familiar heart pacemaker .We tinker with human tissue, developing artificial bone and skin for transplantation. We are on the verge of “smart” prosthetics, such as retinal implants that restore vision in damaged eyes. Such devices will ultimately be networked, allowing, say, a subcutaneous chip to transmit a person’s entire medical history to a physician far away. Such chips would be commonplace and as desirable as mobile phones: we will become our machines .

When the word “cyborg” first appeared in the middle of the 20thcentury, it was strictly the stuff of science fiction. Everybody  knew you couldn’t put human physiology under mechanical or electronic control. You couldn’t stitch technology into tissue. The idea of ,say, an implant of the neural circuits inside the skull—proposed as a cure for cerebellum damage—would have been at best distasteful. The notion of a hybrid human would have seemed like sacrilege. That was then.

Today some researchers believe that cyborgs will be possible within 50 years, or at least that humans will have so many manufactured parts as to be virtually indistinguishable from cyborgs .Machines might be so assimilated to us ---or we to them—as to raise the most fundamental problems .As technology fills you up with synthetic parts,  at what point  do you cease to be fully  human? One quarter? One third?  What part of us is irreplaceably human, such that if we augmented it with technology we would become some other kind of being? The brain? Or is the brain merely a conducive medium, our humanity defined more by content of our thought and the intensity of our emotions than by the neural circuitry? At bottom lies a critical issue for a technological age: are some kinds of knowledge so terrible they should not be pursued? If there can be such a thing as a philosophical crisis, this will it be. These problems are especially vexing because they lie at  the convergence of three domains--- technology ,politics and ethics—that are so far hardly on speaking terms.
There have always been dangerous technologies. The 20th century, which might as well be called the age of industrialized murder, is the only obvious ex. But technology is upping the ante by creating fields where benign intentions could  lead to brutal outcomes .Technology soon will acquire the inexorability of the ocean tides. But is human civilization equipped to keep pace? Engineers tend to  associate history with  progress.  But what in our history  inspires confidence in our ability to channel technology away from destructive uses? Technology is evolving a thousand times faster than our ability to change our social institutions. Moreover, with each of these new technologies, a sequence of small, individually sensible advances leads to an accumulation of great power and,  concomitantly, great danger. Unlike 20th century technologies like nuclear weapons, which were self-limiting because they depended on scarce and expensive raw materials, the new technologies could produce accidents and abuses that are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them .The extinction of the human species is all too conceivable.

Enter  philosophy .The most common definitions of “human” proceed from an assertion of an intelligence unique to  us  but this is precisely what technology is eroding .Is there a type of intelligence computers could not acquire ? Is, for ex, intelligence the capacity to innovate? Is it the ability to criticize your own projects and values  ---in computing terms,  the ability  to override your instruction set? How about the ability to create by accident? If cyborgs are less error-prone than humans, might they be less creative? And what about sheer fancifulness? Albert Einstein always said that thinking like a child was what enabled him to hit upon the theory of relativity.

In the end the measure of humanity is a philosophical matter. Philosophy, however, has nothing to say about things. Academic philosophers spent much of the last century  bankrupting their  discipline. With a few honorable exceptions ,they preoccupied themselves  with problems of method and  nomenclature, such as: under what linguistic conditions would it be  meaningful to ask about the definition of “the human“? As  Bernard Williams wrote in his 1972 book on “Morality”: “Contemporary moral philosophy has found an original way of boring, which is by not discussing moral issues at all.” Who, then, can speak on moral issues? Certainly not the engineers. The problem is not the technology,  which in any event can’t be stopped. The problem is that engineers are making decisions for the rest of us. They are the last people to understand what an acceptable risk is. That will be the great decision of the next decade. It goes well beyond the mere commercial viability of new technologies, though many will think that is all we need to know. It goes to who we think we are. One way:  every possibility is welcome, no matter how dangerous, because we are a species that loves knowledge. The other: we don’t want to be overcome by technology.  But that’s what it means to be human. You have a choice. Take your pick
 
problem 1:

a) Describe any five words as they are used in the passage:

  • Tinker  
  • convergence  
  • Inexorability  
  • Concomitantly  
  • Conceivable
  • Override
  • Bankrupting  
  • Viability

problem 2: prepare five sentences, with the words chosen from (a) to illustrate their meaning. YOUR SENTENCES SHOULD NOT DEAL WITH THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PASSAGE.
 
b) Justify the rectification (“the future is entering us“) of Rilke’s saying by the author.

problem 3: Under what aspects would technology bring into problem our humanity and all mankind?

problem 4: What point is the author making when he mentions Albert Einstein?

Homework Help/Study Tips, Others

  • Category:- Homework Help/Study Tips
  • Reference No.:- M96435

Have any Question? 


Related Questions in Homework Help/Study Tips

Select one of the following topic options to write your

Select one of the following topic options to write your mid-term paper on. Your paper should be no less than 600 words (not including references), and demonstrate research and critical thinking about the topic of choice. ...

Short essays there will be 5 short essay questions each

Short Essays: There will be 5 short essay questions. Each essay will be valued at 5 points for a total of 25 points. Your answers to the essay questions must be in the IRAC format (see below). The essays are to be comple ...

Content area mental and emotional health among 6-12 group

Content Area: Mental and Emotional Health among 6-12 group age. Lesson Title:Anxiety Disorder. 1). Identify essential questions and/or unit objective(s) addressed by this lesson. a. How is anxiety disorders connected to ...

Respiratory systemin the united states 12 million people

Respiratory System In the United States, 12 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, n.d.), and about 25 million people suffer from asthma (CDC, 2011). Si ...

Please choose one of the following questions to answer for

Please choose one of the following questions to answer for this week's assignment. When you respond to your fellow classmates this week, please reply to the other questions that you did not initially post on. This will h ...

Health maintenance organizations hmos and prospective

Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and prospective payment systems vary widely in quality and costs and employ a variety of methods to control costs. Discuss the financial pros and cons of HMOs and include a clear d ...

The assignment 2-3 pagesreview chapter 5 in the course text

The Assignment (2-3 pages) Review Chapter 5 in the course text, Orientation to the Counseling Profession: Advocacy, Ethics, and Essential Professional Foundations, focusing on effective counseling characteristics. Think ...

You are the only supervisor of a large customer service

You are the only supervisor of a large customer service telemarketing unit consisting of 50 customer service representatives. Your reps primarily perform repetitive tasks such as taking calls, researching information, an ...

Occupational health assignment- this assignment is in 2

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH ASSIGNMENT- This assignment is in 2 parts.  The first part assesses your ability to locate, summarise and reference appropriate literature in the field of occupational health. The second part requires ...

Kaplan university psychology applied behavior

Kaplan University: Psychology / Applied Behavior Analysis PS499: Bachelors Capstone Course in Psychology One original discussion post and two replies. TUTOR INSTRUCTIONS: The student is required to answer the questions b ...

  • 4,153,160 Questions Asked
  • 13,132 Experts
  • 2,558,936 Questions Answered

Ask Experts for help!!

Looking for Assignment Help?

Start excelling in your Courses, Get help with Assignment

Write us your full requirement for evaluation and you will receive response within 20 minutes turnaround time.

Ask Now Help with Problems, Get a Best Answer

Section onea in an atwood machine suppose two objects of

SECTION ONE (a) In an Atwood Machine, suppose two objects of unequal mass are hung vertically over a frictionless

Part 1you work in hr for a company that operates a factory

Part 1: You work in HR for a company that operates a factory manufacturing fiberglass. There are several hundred empl

Details on advanced accounting paperthis paper is intended

DETAILS ON ADVANCED ACCOUNTING PAPER This paper is intended for students to apply the theoretical knowledge around ac

Create a provider database and related reports and queries

Create a provider database and related reports and queries to capture contact information for potential PC component pro

Describe what you learned about the impact of economic

Describe what you learned about the impact of economic, social, and demographic trends affecting the US labor environmen