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Abolitionist website up!

Abolitionism is the conviction that biotechnology can and should be used to end global suffering.
www.abolitionist-society.com
Odd.... 23.Feb.2004 20:45

Tony Blair's dog

"Abolitionism is the conviction that biotechnology can and should be used to end global suffering."

Isn't that what the Rockefellers are up to?

Like one big part of their interests is into biotechnology and
another big part is in population control.

Technologial utopianism 23.Feb.2004 21:08

xyzzy

Biotechnology will not and can not be used to end human suffering.

As a simple example, consider the hunger problem. There already is enough food being produced to feed everyone. Hunger is caused by poverty (people have no money to purchase food), warfare (which disrupts agriculture and turns pastures and crop fields into mine fields), and authoritarianism (boneheaded government policies have been behind more than one famine). Biotech will do absolutely nothing to change this problem save to possibly increase the tonnage of food that is dumped or incinerated while the hungry still starve.

As a bigger picture example, increasingly advanced technologies beget increasingly hierarchical (and by general; implication, increasingly unfree) societies. As specialization increases, the enabling technologies of daily survival become more and more unknown to more and more people, giving rise to a priesthood of technology without whose services massive death and disruption will result.

Moreover, they distance human society more and more from the biosphere and natural processes, effectively turning our collective backs on the wisdom inherent in the processes that evolved over billions of years. That we've figured it all out (or even enough of it out) to completely (or even partially) replace the biosphere is extremely unlikely, even if we cared so little about human freedom (see previous paragraph) that we'd actually want to do this.

On a more practical level, the ridiculousness of anyone claiming to have The Magic Way to something as fundamentally unachievable as the total abolition of suffering should be immediately obvious to anyone with even half a brain.

Portland

RE: xyzzy 23.Feb.2004 23:13

citizen unbound

"Biotechnology will not and can not be used to end human suffering.

As a simple example, consider the hunger problem. There already is enough food being produced to feed everyone. Hunger is caused by poverty (people have no money to purchase food), warfare (which disrupts agriculture and turns pastures and crop fields into mine fields), and authoritarianism (boneheaded government policies have been behind more than one famine). Biotech will do absolutely nothing to change this problem save to possibly increase the tonnage of food that is dumped or incinerated while the hungry still starve.

As a bigger picture example, increasingly advanced technologies beget increasingly hierarchical (and by general; implication, increasingly unfree) societies. As specialization increases, the enabling technologies of daily survival become more and more unknown to more and more people, giving rise to a priesthood of technology without whose services massive death and disruption will result."

Biotechnology (although not the kind refered to by Abolitionism) is the only answer to feeding the world's population for eons to come. The hierarchical processes you are referring to are the result of natural selection - they are hard wired into our psyches - no amount of social learning, psychology, religion, or otherwise can change this basic fact as evidenced by history. The root of human plight is in our genes and we must solve the problem at it's source.

"Moreover, they distance human society more and more from the biosphere and natural processes, effectively turning our collective backs on the wisdom inherent in the processes that evolved over billions of years. That we've figured it all out (or even enough of it out) to completely (or even partially) replace the biosphere is extremely unlikely, even if we cared so little about human freedom (see previous paragraph) that we'd actually want to do this.

On a more practical level, the ridiculousness of anyone claiming to have The Magic Way to something as fundamentally unachievable as the total abolition of suffering should be immediately obvious to anyone with even half a brain."

Who is this 'they' you are referring to? Natural processes are the same processes that have created a life form that suffers - why worship that which does not serve your deepest desires - to be free from suffering. Granted there are many dangers, it will be up to you and me to ensure that our new technologies are used for the sole purpose of eradicating suffering. Science is not magic, in fact it is the only way that we will rid ourselves of genetic slavery. Nature is wonderful and beyond our fullest comprehension, but blind obeisance to the rule of what you consider 'natural' law will only impede the next phase of human evolution.

I think we're talking about two kinds of suffering 24.Feb.2004 13:31

toblerone

One is the kind of suffering that happens because we're on planet earth, and we have desire that can't be fulfilled. AKA Buddhist teachings that "All life is suffering". Yet you don't see buddhists (generally) killing themselves in mass suicides just to avoid suffering, do you?

No, because of their recognition of a second type of suffering, what I'd call needless and unnecessary suffering. (Strict Buddhists would probably tell you that the first kind of suffering is unnecessary too, but since I don't really know a ton about Buddhism, I'll be quiet about it).

Here's my point: thousands of people die everyday from starvation, malnutrition, easily treated diseases, and ongoing warfare. All of these problems (in general) are the result of actions/approaches/philosophies that share some common traits. They have a large focus or scale (i.e. multinational corporations or unresponsive national governments, huge dams, failing multi-million dollar infrastructure projects), they apply hard technologies (as opposed to soft tech/natural processes) ( nuclear, oil energy, or weapons/military/police), and they have greed and ego based motiviations (as opposed to community, collaborative based motivations).

So, in evaluating GMO, to what extent are biotechnology crops being created on a small scale, using simple/soft technologies, for community-supportive, non-profit oriented purposes. Please let us all know. While you think of that, you could think about the extent to which biotech is possibly being pushed by huge multinational corporations like Monsanto, ADM, DOW, the types of technologies that might be being used (irradiation, toxic chemicals, gene therapy, inter-Kingdom crossbreeding), and the motives of the very, very wealthy companies that are promoting biotech?

Maybe you know something I don't, but it seems to me that biotech -- even if it wasn't doing something which may be the scariest and most deadly tinkering with science and nature every committed by humans -- is perpetuating all of the patterns of the paradigm that got us into this mess. Since almost every book I've ever read on organic farming says that conventional production levels or higher can be achieved with care, and since we've all been bombarded with the statistics about the extent to which food is intentionally or carelessly wasted worldwide, I think it makes sense to adopt the contra-paradigm method of organic (or, even better, permaculture) farming for getting the food we eed.

I hardly see what Abolitionism can mean as a name for or an organization that would be promoting biotech. If you're for ending world hunger, that's great, but take a much broader scoped view of the situation than just saying pro-biotech = Anti-Hunger. I advocate organic farming, but I won't advocate it in the face of realities where peope would starve if we ceased all conventional farming today. I can, however, see a future where biotechnology accidentally leads to worldwide starvation (and or, really creepy sci-fi diseases in humans, but that's probably less likely than the mass starvation thing).

One last note. I'm no anti-capitalist. Well, maybe a little, although I totally support community-based economics. But whenever I see an army of the well-heeled promoting an idea as the salvation of humankind, I look really hard before I believe them, because they usually don't have humankind's best interests in their hearts. And usually, I then see the salvation for what it truly is: destruction with a layer of good will veneer.

There are a LOT of things going wrong in the world, because of ego, greed, and technological solutions which have to be large and hard (sound like any spam you've received lately?) It is very difficult to promote the natural, soft, small scale solutions which more closely mimic individual living creatures interactions with their native habitats. Most of these small scale solutions are never considered seriously in our society. So I kind of go a little beserk when somebody tries to champion the "big" guy. I mean, why not also stand up for the plight of all those poor oil companies?

abolition? 24.Feb.2004 16:20

heimdallr

of what?

re: toblerone 25.Feb.2004 00:58

citizen unbound

Simply put - suffering is suffering. In order to solve world hunger, disease, etc...
We will have to change the kind of people that we are at a genetic level, we are hard-wired to be selfish to the core only caring about what affects us directly.

your web site sucks 05.May.2004 19:50

your mom

your web sit sucks and you should colse it down