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 Post subject: Genetic Enslavement
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:42 am 
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Well, this has come up in STGODs before. And in conversation with FM last night.

Suppose for a second that we could genetically engineer a subsect of the human population that LOVED to serve others and do say, manual labor. WOuld it be moral to create a population of these individuals as a sort of servitor class? Afterall, their rights arent being violated because they LIKE doing all the drudge work

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:59 am 
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Something to consider a review

Okay this isn't an indepth moral study but the arthur does raise good questions. What would this mean for our society for example?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:33 am 
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Genetically engineering slaves is immoral.

That they have a genetic tendency to want to serve people doesn't affect the morality of enslaving them. It just makes them docile slaves. A genetic tendency to enjoy sex doesn't make it right to prostitute or rape someone. You are creating a class of intelligent beings with fewer rights than other intelligent beings purely on the basis of genetics. It is immoral to do that on the basis of the presence of a y-chromosone. That they are prone to like some aspects of slavery doesn't make it right.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:40 am 
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Okay now my opinion on the matter. Sapient creatures are not to be treated as mere means to an end. Genetic tendencies mean nothing when discussing human rights, because our very sapience allows us to raise above them.

By making tailored made humans, made specially to be enslaved, you commit a dark act. You steal the right of choice from the people (yes they are people) you have created. It is very comparable to having a child naturally in order to sell it into slavery, with the excuse that it will enjoy the slavery because that is all it will ever know.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:23 am 
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What if it wasn't humans, but some kind of chimp- or ape-analog? We already use animals for this purpose and we used eugenics to breed better, job-specific dogs (for example).


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:54 am 
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The Ood from Doctor Who were like that, somewhat. A race of slaves which lived only to serve humans and recieve orders. They were squid-like telepaths which shared a single consciousness... and yes the episode in question was a bit on the side of the Mythos (IA! IA!)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:13 am 
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Quote:
What if it wasn't humans, but some kind of chimp- or ape-analog? .


Four Words my friend. Planet Of The Apes. Think about it.

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We already use animals for this purpose and we used eugenics to breed better, job-specific dogs (for example)


Difference is these animals are not sapient, unless you're agrueing that animals such as cows should have equal legal/moral rights to humans?

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:49 am 
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frigidmagi wrote:
Quote:
What if it wasn't humans, but some kind of chimp- or ape-analog? .

Four Words my friend. Planet Of The Apes. Think about it.

Presumably a pre-requisite for creating servitor-chimps would be obedience. Leaving aside the practical considerations, since we're talking about morality.

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Quote:
We already use animals for this purpose and we used eugenics to breed better, job-specific dogs (for example)

Difference is these animals are not sapient, unless you're agrueing that animals such as cows should have equal legal/moral rights to humans?

No, just pointing out that a sub-sentient servitor race can be used instead of human servitors.

Of course you will get animal rights activists condemning this practice, but they condemn anything and everything to do with using animals so this wouldn't be new.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:14 am 
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Would a sub-sapient creature really make a good slave? I mean I have had troubles getting dogs to graps the idea of staying when I tell them to... And try getting a cat to follow an order!

I'm pretty sure that sapientcy would be required which makes it immoral.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:53 am 
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Might I offer a solution with less genetic engineering and more mechanical engineering: Build a fucking robot.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:53 am 
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From a somewhat different bent, how is a "sub-sapient" humanoid substantially different from a sub-sapient intelligent robot, or sapient intelligent robots. The droids from Star Wars were arguably sapient (especially R2-D2), just because they are mechanical does that automatically give them less rights than an organic creature?

Obviously, this argument wouldn't hold for a the current line of computers and programs, none of which are even close to sapience (though some mimic intelligence to varying degrees), but it's a similar question in my mind.

To me, creating a wholly artificial race of sapient or sub-sapient machines is just as bad as creating a race of sapient or sub-sapient biological servitors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:07 pm 
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frigidmagi wrote:
Okay now my opinion on the matter. Sapient creatures are not to be treated as mere means to an end. Genetic tendencies mean nothing when discussing human rights, because our very sapience allows us to raise above them.

By making tailored made humans, made specially to be enslaved, you commit a dark act. You steal the right of choice from the people (yes they are people) you have created. It is very comparable to having a child naturally in order to sell it into slavery, with the excuse that it will enjoy the slavery because that is all it will ever know.

I think the portion I bolded is the most important aspect of this discussion: first, the right of choice, and second, would these creatures be people, and thus entitled to rights?

The second part is pretty much a given: if they walk and talk and look human, are sentient and sapient, then I can't see anyone denying that they are indeed people and entitled to the same rights everyone else has.

The right of choice is at the heart of freedom. In our world, we consider ourselves free because we're allowed to make choices: our clothes, our career, our food, our lifestyle, all that good stuff. There might be restrictions at times, but they're usually justifiable, and don't really limit our freedom.

By forcing these people to serve us, we would be denying them the right of choice. Even if we engineer them to like it, they had no choice in the matter. Nature and randomness isn't responsible for this genetic preference for work, humans are. I'm hesitant to decry it as humans "playing God," but that's what would be going on. We'd be forcing a certain way of life on them. When we look at someone's characteristics, like if he's shy, greedy, ambitious, or optimistic, we say "well, that's just the way he is." Sure, he can change if he wanted to, but that's the key. If we engineer certain characteristics, it's not that "it's just the way he is," it's "that's the way they wanted him to be," and he doesn't have the ability to change.

If he's not free to choose his own destiny, especially because he's engineered to not want to challenge his fate, then he's just a slave. It doesn't matter whether he likes it or not, because he doesn't have the freedom to choose whether he likes it or not.


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