Sunday, July 31, 2016

Threat to the Future of Humanity Became Apparent in 1999 From Advances in Human Brain Sciences

See the previous posts I made regarding the bio-ethical issues of having a BCI (Brian-Computer Interface) and non-consensual human experimentation and brain research here, here, here, here, and here (in the last link, see category 2. under Bioethics on Mind Control, Mind Reading, and Space-Based Weaponry.)

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The advances in some areas of the human brain sciences and the possible threats for the future became apparent to Ellen M. McGee and Gerald Q. Maguire already in 1999. They talked about ear- and eye implants but also about more advanced implants and sensors in the environment able to spy on the human being and to control behavior and the human mind. The same ethical questions arising then are still very important today.

Since 1999, the progress in the implant technology happened very fast. It is possible today to connect a human brain to a computer, creating today’s cyborgs.

Technical innovation, scientists claim, are neither good nor bad, but how it is used and the moral and ethical consequences arising from the use of the technology in unethical ways. Today, the technology and its applications are still completely or partially unregulated. There is really not much for laws that admit to the use of this technology, nor that recognize or regulate how and to what extent human brain functions can or cannot be used, leaving a very open and huge range of possibilities for anyone that has its hands on this technology to use it – even when tested on people with more common place implants, like cochlear implants or pacemakers.

Because the brain chips are such a huge research area right now and because so many different kinds have been developed, it is important that we formulate strategies and directions that might be able to at least diminish some of the consequences of this technology and eliminate abuses. Implanting this technology in the human body without knowledge or consent must be prohibited, and at the absolute least, it must become widespread common knowledge that this is happening to people and law enforcement should have the technological means to be able to deal with it in the proper way.

This technology will become widespread enough to be used in normal medicine in the form of nanotechnology or in vaccinations against viruses of any kind. The human being subjected to this must be informed and humanity must know what the technology is capable of doing.

Paradoxically enough, the brain implant technology is getting too little or no attention or ethical debate. At the same time, the potential of this technology to affect human beings and change them is huge. The threat of the implantation technology is in fact, greater than genetic changes or enhancements.

Genetic changes are very much limited to human biology. Creating human-machine hybrids doesn’t have the same limitations. A computer connected to a human brain can share information at a distance. The potential for computer chips implanted into the human brain to change humanity is far greater.

ELLEN M. McGEE and GERALD Q. MAGUIRE (2007). Becoming Borg to Become Immortal: Regulating Brain Implant Technologies. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 16 , pp 291-302 doi:10.1017/S0963180107070326

Original: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1017164

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