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deonchan

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Blindsight
« on: December 23, 2008, 12:23:14 PM »

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,471386,00.html

And now something a bit more on the positive (and wow) side.

Isn't the human body amazing? Though there is no way to restore this man’s sight his brain and eyes (that still function) still allow him to “see the world” if you will.

It’s a known fact that humans user 10% of their brain in a lifetime. If it were possible for science to tap into that other 90% what things do you think we are a species could accomplish?
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 12:39:31 PM »

hehe one would report this for not being a "debate" topic:P

*takes higher road*

Helping the blind is clearly a "good" thing, but what about curing blindness genetically? or to find that your child will be blind and have that factor into a decision to abort the pregnacy or not? or if they have a 85% chance of cancer? or that they are likely to be allergic to peanuts? where do we draw the line??

GATTACA baby:)
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deonchan

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 12:49:28 PM »

Hmm Oh! I see what you did there!

Ok since we’re playing one ups…

What if you knew has a child that was blind but there was a chance to give them sight via stem cells? What if your parents (lets say they are still relatively “young”) had MS and stem cells could give them many more years of life. Would you go to a country were the procedure could be done? Would your moral values get in the way? What say you?
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ewu

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2008, 01:09:59 PM »

i think its good to genetically know about your children to be financially prepared, but i would decide that after i firmle decided that i would have the child. I think if you find out about your child and decide to abort, its not cool.....

I think that i would do stem cells tho....but then I'm ok with abortion so yah. I think i would go to another country.....some say its not fair, but honestly this world is not fair and you need to do everything you can to not fall behind. now the thing is if you help those less fortunate when you are ahead....philanthropy = awesome.
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2008, 11:00:28 PM »

There's a change in topic on this thread, but can I still jump in? In regards to the article, that was interesting and yes, the human body is amazing.

i think its good to genetically know about your children to be financially prepared, but i would decide that after i firmle decided that i would have the child. I think if you find out about your child and decide to abort, its not cool.

Prenatal testing is pretty standard in the U.S. depending on the health plan. Even the ultrasound (which a lot of parents seem to think is for identifying the sex of the baby) is to help identify abnormalities. And issues to consider go well beyond financial consideration. A child will change someone's life on every single level.

And prenatal tests do not catch everything. So, following-up on Eric's question. Where do you draw the line? At what point do you think you won't want the baby? What if all the tests are fine, but your child is still born with a birth defect? Would you give it up for adoption at that point? I'd like to think every parent-to-be think these things through, but I know most people are of the mentality of "this won't happen to me" until it happens.

And of course, we don't even have to be discussing birth defects. Even without bringing in issues of birth defects, having a child is challenging enough. I'm sure we all know someone who is a parent and we wonder, "why do they have kids? They're a terrible parent." Do you think anyone can ever truly be ready for parenthood?


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ewu

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2008, 11:26:07 PM »

Do you think anyone can ever truly be ready for parenthood?

only after your 3rd kid or so:P

but seriously having a child is a scary prospect. But the gattaca aspect is even scarier. to have your future decided by the likelihood of something like asthma or diabetes before the onset of the condition....or even your birth.

Check this gene out: BRCA1
So if you have this gene, is it fair your life insurance payments are higher due to higher risk?
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2008, 03:05:02 PM »

It’s a known fact that humans use 10% of their brain in a lifetime.
No, it's merely a common myth.
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp
http://www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/ask/index.html?quid=1260
http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=people-only-use-10-percent-of-brain


Eh? What does this have to do with the current flow of discussion?
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On the flip side, this is an awesome thread, and codex biblio, you don't have to ask, just go with the flow.
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Nyxyin

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2008, 04:35:23 PM »

Eh? What does this have to do with the current flow of discussion?
It directly addresses a point presented in the first post.  deonchan's original post was here first, and I wasn't done with that post before the thread diverged.

But, to comply with your wishes, I'll participate in the latest "flow".

Quote
if you have this gene, is it fair your life insurance payments are higher due to higher risk?
Life is fundamentally unfair.  Insurance partly tries to make up for life being unfair.  So, insurance is also fundamentally unfair to try to make up for the unfairness in life.  No matter how things are sliced, there is no such thing as fairness, but most humans try to impose fairness on a fundamentally unfair and chaotic world.
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ewu

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2008, 06:51:14 PM »

Life is fundamentally unfair.  Insurance partly tries to make up for life being unfair.  So, insurance is also fundamentally unfair to try to make up for the unfairness in life.  No matter how things are sliced, there is no such thing as fairness, but most humans try to impose fairness on a fundamentally unfair and chaotic world.

Of course it is unfair, but is it ethical?
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2008, 07:54:51 PM »

Of course it is unfair, but is it ethical?
I don't know.  Also, I'm not sure I understand what you're asking by using the term "ethical".  I've read debates about the difference between "moral" and "ethical", but terms and distinctions seem to vary.

I stopped believing that "right" and "wrong" applied to insurance when they started paying for blue pills.  Trying to combine modern insurance practices with ethics just results in a "no workie" error for me.  ^_^;

Insurance seems to have as much ethics / morality / right / wrong as capitalism.  (Is capitalism "ethical"?  I don't know that either.)  If people are willing to buy into an insurance that charges people more for having the BRCA1 gene, then it is completely in line with the standard insurance business model today.  Modern insurances merely work based on statistical discrimination.  They're not shy about charging boys more than girls, young people more than old people, single people more than married people, people in bad neighborhoods more than people in good neighborhoods, etc.  One example is car insurance: http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/content6.aspx

Right or wrong, discrimination is just in the nature of modern insurance companies.
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BrightHeart76

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2008, 08:14:26 PM »

Life is fundamentally unfair.  Insurance partly tries to make up for life being unfair.  So, insurance is also fundamentally unfair to try to make up for the unfairness in life.  No matter how things are sliced, there is no such thing as fairness, but most humans try to impose fairness on a fundamentally unfair and chaotic world.

To address the subject of "fair" or "unfair" I once had a professor explain it in a very interesting way.  Fair is not everyone getting the same thing.  Fair is everyone getting what they need to have the same chance.  It's how we justify special education classes.  We spend more per student on students in these classes than just about any other group.  However, fair is giving them the skills they need to have the same chance.

Back on topic.  While prenatal and genetic testing can show parents a lot about their future children there are a lot of people who would argue that if these tests are used to decide the future for these children they should not be done at all.  Blind and Deaf people specifically have issues with this.  There is a culture created by people who share these traits.  They are very close and there is fear that genetic testing could eradicate their culture by limiting the number of people born with these traits.  Most conditions we concider birth defects have communities associated with them as well. 

So, where do we draw the line?  In my humble opinion once you recognize that you are growing a person inside of you (when a pregnancy becomes a person is a debate for another day)...that person has some say in what will happen in their life.  If genetic testing shows that your child will have a short and painful existance, then you as the parent have the responsibility to save them from that.  However, if they will have challenges, but survive and have a chance at a productive life, I think parents should allow that child the chance to make a life for themselves no matter how hard the challenges.
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2008, 11:35:20 PM »

Interesting points. The eradication of cultures reminds me of the eugenics movement (back to Eric's Gattaca reference).  What's even scarier, at least to me, is that during the prenatal stage, it's often still a numbers game. False positives happen. And sometimes, the results are presented as percentages: your baby has a 60 percent chance of having (fill in the blank). In circumstances like this, are we better off not knowing?

The insurance discussion confused me a bit. I just remember someone trying to explain insurance to me as gambling. The insurance company is betting that nothing bad will happen. You're betting the opposite. Anyone heard this analogy before? According to this person (who I don't even remember), this viewpoint is why certain religious groups won't buy insurance because it's seen as gambling.
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Yuu

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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2008, 12:04:58 AM »

if you have this gene, is it fair your life insurance payments are higher due to higher risk?

Asfar as I know if your 'high risk' insurance companies ifgure your life is 'worthless' and wont give you a dime.
I was born with a 'terminal' illness. So I wasn't allowed to have life insurense.

Well, I've lived 15 years longer than I was given ( and intend to live another thousand or so)

I want my 15 years of back pay dammit. >P

Furthermore, I belive that everyone who is alive has the the same 'risk'. (100% if you want to be technical) and that any child who  goes their first year without any seriously terminaly illness, should be given the same life insurance and all the same amount.

 And you've opnened a can of worms. The only ones who are compensated are those with obvious and 'popular' health issues or play it up the most.

If you don't have a prpoblem that 'sells'  ( Diabetes and cancer 'pay' the most right now) or do not turn it into a dramatic sob story, no one givess a damn.


« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 12:16:31 AM by Yuu »
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2008, 12:33:37 AM »

ooh a mixed race couple, and they make their abortion decision on the likelihood that their child will be lighter or darker...yay!:)

Insurance is all about risk. the higher your risk factor, the higher you pay in premiums. they are compensated for the higher risk they take. But in the end they are also betting that nothing happens to you so that they keep all your premiums and not pay out damages. they are taking the risk that they make more moeny off of your payment + interest before u "cash out":)


errr....wtf about no one giving a damn....
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Re: Blindsight
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2008, 11:21:44 AM »

As long as we don't turn into a world like Gattaca, I'm okay with whatever they want to do.
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