...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



notes pursuant to an inability to access the work of a prominent medical bio-ethicist owing to an inability to qualify for such access in turn owing to constituent status as a non-participant in sanctioned endeavors of an official nature concerning this and attendant issues:

The foundation of it will always come from the first lacuna - that even though evolution is primary, central and omnipresent, the hidden conceit is the human form is changeless, and the use of the words "we" "our" and even "human" is accepted and tacitly sanctioned, before the discussion begins. We know what it means to use that word "human" and we don't have to talk about it.
But that's the whole thing, it's not that the technology's creating monsters outside the human, or at its margins, it's that the technology has been, for some time, creating a changed thing at the nucleus of the species.
Our mutancies bloom from our own shaping tools.
What we are is changed by what we do, but you wouldn't know that from the rah-rah confidence blasting from the scalpel-wielding cheerleaders.
The harm isn't even so much what's been lost as what remains, what's ennabled, lifted, held, protected.
Cowards now rule with great weaponry a once-and-still-hostile landscape, though the hostility's far more from their own reluctant charges and competitors and their resistant culls - ongoing but within the boundaries of that "us", as opposed to the threat from separate creaturehood out there - from their subjects as opposed to from their predators - this is technology's gift to them, or to "us" as the former minority spills toward dominant mass.
Cowardice has slowly crept into the list of plausible excuses for heinous acts, a justification for what would in other circumstances be morally condemnable becomes forgivable by the conditions of threat to the acting party.
"Live Free or Die" might as well be the motto of the Neanderthals now. Quaint, interesting, former, gone.
Live at any cost, and, soon, live forever.
That's the real bio-ethical conjure, the threshold of physical immortality we're crossing like ants through an open kitchen doorway - accessed through genetic manipulation and a series of chemical and organic engineerings.
Faustian contracts fly from the windows of "our" speeding vehicles, and with time, become mere choiceless nature, simply how things are.
The same molded dependencies gave us placid cows in the field, hens in the henhouse, dogs at our feet - none of which is dark or even particularly mistaken, but the nature of the relationship is not mutual, it's not symbiotic, it's dominance and submission until the dynamic's a need, and no longer a choice. The obvious danger's in the slow accretion to polar states within that relationship.
Myopia is no longer the handicap it was once, now the lens-corrected near-blind are indistinguishable from clear-sighted men and women. Myopia's a culturally trivial handicap, almost meaningless, when it was once marginalizing at best.
Evolution thwarted at every turn in every way possible. This is the unquestioned path we're following.
Creating new creatures whose understandable and logical revulsion at the gleaning harvest of Darwinian selection is beyond question, taboo, permanent. Interesting the way both sides in the pseudo-conflict around the teaching of "evolutionary theory" to the young are in firm if unspoken agreement on this - that evolution should be fought with every means at "our" disposal.
Bio-ethics wears the sanctified robes of compassion whenever it stands before its subjects - Think of the lives we'll save! Think of the lives we'll make better! - but its motives and its acts, its agents and its goals, are the accession of universal power and eternal existence, apotheosis through rationally-driven experiment and research.
Like some I was often puzzled at the near-hysterical reportage and publicity associated with the often multiple births, and the detailed documenting of reproductive therapies surrounding infertile couples and their medical rescuers.
Which led directly to the "supply" of stem cells, the very great supply, which I can assert without any scientific credential are the main resource for research into the refuation of the mortal effects of the aging process and its profoundly terminal nature.
Christopher Reeve to the contrary the real purpose there is not to better lives, not to raise the fallen, but to gain the keys to the kingdom without anything so trivial and unnecessary as qualifying for them, or overcoming previous disqualification.

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