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What Is Human? And Why Should We care?

What Is Human? And Why Should We care?

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Published by Judyth Vary Baker
Of the many challenges facing humanity today, and generations to come, two factors will be paramount: the definition of what is human (implying the impact of the concept, and the full quiver of human rights thereof), and – secondly --the right to be (and to create) the offspring of a freely-generated and unregulated feral (naturally-occurring) human genome. In other words, the right to exist without deliberately manipulated genes. The time is approaching when it may be considered barbaric, unpatriotic or even evil to allow the propagation of certain genetic characteristics which today are considered normal, natural, and utterly human in nature.
Of the many challenges facing humanity today, and generations to come, two factors will be paramount: the definition of what is human (implying the impact of the concept, and the full quiver of human rights thereof), and – secondly --the right to be (and to create) the offspring of a freely-generated and unregulated feral (naturally-occurring) human genome. In other words, the right to exist without deliberately manipulated genes. The time is approaching when it may be considered barbaric, unpatriotic or even evil to allow the propagation of certain genetic characteristics which today are considered normal, natural, and utterly human in nature.

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Published by: Judyth Vary Baker on Oct 06, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/21/2012

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What Is Human?There are many challenges and problems facing humanity today, and in thegenerations to come, but of them all, two factors will be paramount: thedefinition of what is human (implying the impact of the concept, and the fullquiver of human rights thereof), and – secondly --the right to be (and to create)the offspring of a freely-generated and unregulated feral (naturally-occurring)human genome. In other words, the right to exist without deliberately manipulatedgenes. The time is approaching when it may be considered barbaric, unpatriotic oreven evil to allow the propagation of certain genetic characteristics which todayare considered normal, natural, and utterly human in nature.We err if we are led to believe that human-generated prognostications or computer-generated scenarios will properly analyze and regulate the ultimate outcomesregarding these two supreme issues. Financial and political pressure will havetheir unfortunate and historically predictable effect, perhaps for the last time,as cybernetic versions of humanity will emerge from the inevitable crises andchaos that will precede the demise of the human being as we know it, and of thehuman body, with all its genetically embedded frailties, in order to be engineeredand designed into something more predictable, durable, pleasing and tractable.We risk becoming known as the ancestors of something that may not even resemblewhat we think of as ‘ human’ today: just as apes are scarcely considered primatesto be cherished, though they contain up to 99% or greater of the same geneticmaterials that human beings call their own, similarly, those “enhanced” beingswho shall come after us will neither regret the loss of, nor recognize asprecious, their primeval and essential connection to ourselves as representativesof genuine humanity: we shall be their primitive, coarse and inferior ancestors.I suspect that the richness of our Pandora’s box of genetic gifts will lose itstexture, flexibility and uniqueness as those "specimens inconvenient" -- thoseferal qualities that we currently cannot well control -- become regulated, and,finally, extinguished in favor of prevailing fashions, political climates, socialand physical efficiency, and (inevitably) economics, though it might bepolitically incorrect to even mention our extinction as anything but anunfortunate consequence of the factors causing our ultimately needing to bediscarded: genuine human beings as we know them will be as alien to ourdescendents as monkeys are to us.Only if the definition of “What Is Human” is very carefully crafted, and thegenetic manifestations of our race guarded as the treasures that they are – thatwe dare not allow to be lost to us – can we hope to retain the slightest link tosomething so tender and fragile as human flesh in the millennia to come.It is possible that clinging to such a past would only continue to proliferate astrain or streak of evil or destructiveness in our current species, but it mightalso prove to be the fighting force that keeps our life-form wanting to stayalive. It just might be that experiencing the broad rainbow and bright spectrum ofthe fullness of our ‘primitive’ existence supplies that essence that means life isworth living, that the range of emotions existing within us that can make us actin ways that are not human, or, shall we say, are destructive to what is around usto a greater or lesser extent, are also the roots of what grows and flowers toproduce the best in us: our sense of soul, of love, of conscience, of self-value,of struggling toward a higher selfhood. Such would be eliminated, most likely,because of such stuff revolutions are made, and without such stuff, I’m afraid,the very will to live could be extinguished.It would take a long time for the human being to descend to that smaller, more

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