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ToK Presentation on Ethics of Designer Babies

My Theory of Knowledge presentation about the ethical implications of designer babies. Then moves on to talk about another real life situation of 'Reason' vs 'Emotion' in ethics: the case of Mark Lynas, famous (formerly very very anti GMO) GMO guy.
by

Fin Kettlewell

on 28 June 2013

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Transcript of ToK Presentation on Ethics of Designer Babies

ToK Presentation: How do we know if we should trust REASON or EMOTION?
Real Life Situation
Knowledge Issue
To what extent is it right to trust 'Emotion' as a way of knowing over 'Reason'?
Development
Other Real Life Situation
designer baby
noun [C]
"a baby whose genes have been chosen by its parents and doctors so that it has particular characteristics"
The new sibling would be required to undergo
bone marrow harvests at a young age, and would
potentially be required throughout his brother's
life to provide stem cells.
This landmark case is significant in that it sparked a huge debate in the world of bioethics, with many people arguing that Jamie, the younger 'designer baby' may feel that his life is potentially less valuable than his brother's.
To what extent is the perception of 'Reason', in a practical sense, altered by 'Emotion' in the individual (and the other way around), and how does this affect the 'Knowledge' that is obtained as a result?
With regards to ethics, is it more sensible to trust knowledge gained through 'Reason' or through 'Emotion'?
First perspective: "Saviour Siblings"
Children born to provide donations to their ill siblings, genetically modified to have certain traits that will help save their sibling.
MARK LYNAS
"The Line"
This assumes that 'Reason' and Emotion' are contrasting and opposite.

I believe that they are not necessarily opposite, and the question of whether 'emotion' rather than 'reason' (or the other way around) should be used in an ethical context, is a difficult, if not impossible, one.
-From a blog by "Ted Talker" Spencer Greenberg
This book and subsequent film raise a lot of the questions and ethical debates surrounding "Saviour Siblings"
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Cognitive dissonance theory is the discomfort experienced whilst simultaneously holding 2 conflicting cognitions. People will tend to avoid experiencing cognitive dissonance in favour of sticking with what they see as 'Emotion' or 'Reason'
"... and how does this affect the 'Knowledge' gained as a result?"
Ethics is all about right vs wrong.
How can we know what is truly right and wrong?
Sin? What feels right?
-Christian Today Online
-The Christian Institute
-OnIslam Online
With regards to ethics, is it more sensible to trust knowledge gained through 'Reason' or through 'Emotion'?
-A Blog
To what extent is the perception of 'Reason', in a practical sense, altered by 'Emotion' in the individual (and the other way around), and how does this affect the 'Knowledge' that is obtained as a result?
WoKs: Emotion, Reason
AoKs: Natural Sciences, Ethics
In Relation to designer babies (specifically saviour siblings)
Any other similar thing in the world with living people would require consent. Fetuses in the womb are obviously not able to give consent because (as far as we know) they are unable to KNOW.
Does this negate the action ethically?
As mentioned in the previous section, emotion and reason both affect each other and, rather than being two entirely separate and conflicting WoKs, they are in fact deeply linked and intertwined with each other.
It is plain common sense to assume that too much emotion causes us to make flawed decisions. To make a sensible decision we must dispassionately weigh the evidence. Neurologist Antonio Damasio treats patients with specific forms of brain injury. He has come to a surprising conclusion: that a reduced level of emotion is just as damaging to rational thought as heightened emotion. Therefore, emotion is as important as logic in making decisions and underpins our thought processes.
Therefore, on this KI, I can hypothesise that a combination of RATIONAL THOUGHT and EMOTIONAL THOUGHT are necessary for making well informed ethical decisions, as well as other decisions.
Fin Kettlewell
When Mark Lynas realised that he had spent years doing the wrong thing, he felt a "moral responsibility" to dedicate himself to fighting FOR genetically modified crops.
"Going back on a public decision makes you look like a fool."
-Mark Lynas
Full transcript