Christine O wrote:
Airzone, We do have to be very wary, remember these things are not necessities. Yes, it might find a cure for cancer, but its ingredients in the industrialised world that are the main causes of cancer. I grew up in the bush in Africa with no electricity, and I was healthy and happy without any nano technology. ...
I support your sentiments. However, you use the word necessities
. While it may not be necessary for you or me, some technology including nanotechnology will be necessary to allow others to live.
What you say about your early life being largely technology free yet a good life is said by many and generally I also was in a similar environment. But ... the use of technology in childbirth and early childhood has enabled many to live when fifty years ago they would have died. Are we breeding people who are not equipped to resist the diseases and problems of a natural
life? Would it be a good ethical decision to allow babies to die during childbirth to improve the overall genetic toughness of the human race? I suspect you would disagree, but when you say nanotechnology is not a necessity to you, it maybe a necessity for the life of others. Are you saying that because you grew up without nanotechnology but had the advantage of technology and medicine until (say) 1980, that no one else is allowed to take advantage of technology you didn't? Of course not. But I think you will see the dilemma from that rhetorical question.
To the lucky ones, you and I, who didn't require much technology and so can say it wasn't necessary to us, it is an interesting theoretical puzzle. To a mother of a dying child, who could be saved by the use of some necessary (?), expensive, leading edge and complicated technology it is a much more difficult question. Is the mother in the best position to make that decision, a decision which will impact many people long after she herself dies?
So, it is difficult for me to say that nanotechnology should be discouraged because of the possible downsides. I may be condemning some people to death in effect. But by supporting nanotechnology I maybe encouraging the human race to develop weaker people who cannot survive without such technology. That technology then becomes essential to them and requires resources that could be perhaps better spent on prevention ... and so it goes on. There is no clear answer that I can see. All I can do is to live my own life as best/nicely/gently/ethically/honestly I can.
Wow, it isn't even 8am yet.