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Brave New World Speech

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In 1932, a prophetic young novelist warned with cautioning irony, of a genetically engineered dystopian society. He warned of a world where man had conquered nature, where individualism had fallen to conformity and where political power had achieved total social control. He warned of an age where God, poetry, passion and most of all freedom had disappeared from right under humanity's nose. And finally, he warned of a time when civilization had seemingly turned into robotic life forms, lacking any clear understanding of morals or ethics - it had become essentially soulless. In this make-believe universe, mankind had succeeded in eliminating disease, aggression, war and suffering. This Brave New World had achieved community, identity, stability and a near universal contentment only to be inhabited by creatures of human shape but stunted humanity. Esteemed colleagues of the scientific world, I am here to inform you that this once distant future has now arrived right at our very doorstep. The question I propose is: What do we do about it? The Pill. Invitro Fertilisation. Bottled embryos. Surrogate wombs. Organ harvesting. Brain implants. Ritalin for the young, Viagra for the old and Prozac for everyone in between. ...read more.


The debate regarding genetic engineering is much more than just an argument about one more step in assisted reproduction. This is in actuality one of those critical moments where the human race gets a chance to think about the bigger picture - the much bigger picture. I'm not just speaking of genetics and what is the meaning of mother and father or kinship, but also the whole relationship between science and society and our future attitude towards technology. Cloning provides an occasion as well as the urgent necessity of deciding whether we shall be slaves of an unregulated process and ultimately its artefacts or whether we shall remain free individuals to guide our techniques towards the enhancement of human dignity. After all it was Huxley himself who quoted: 'Every discovery in science is potentially subversive; even science must sometimes be treated as a possible enemy'. You may disregard this speech as nothing more than mere scare-tactics, but am I really that foolish to question a world built on the foundations of totalitarianism and complete control. Ladies and gentlemen, have you forgotten the rise and fall of Communism, the movements of both Nazism and Stalinism as well the 'one-child policy' enforced by the Chinese government? ...read more.


So I shall leave you to think of this: Today we are quick to notice dangers to life, risks of discrimination or exploitation of the poor and the interferences with anyone's pursuit of pleasure, but we are obliviously ignorant to recognize threats to our own human dignity and to ways in which the very sanctity of life is placed in danger. The future possibilities in the world of science are incredible; however the need for caution in the field of genetic engineering research is essential if we want to continue owning personal freedom. It was established by Aldous Huxley that "it is only by means of the sciences of life, that the quality of life can be radically changed". Even though our Prozac is not yet the Brave New World's 'soma', our dividing of human embryos is not exactly 'Bokanovskification' and our MTV is not quite the 'feelies', the similarity between Huxley's fictional world and ours is disquieting, especially since I believe that our technology has not yet reached its bio-technological peak. Just remember, the admirable actions that men perform can be made complete only by the actions they refuse to pursue. Thankyou ...read more.

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