17 February 2012

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: Is it ethical to seek human perfection through manipulation? + News

- Message from Marie-Aimée re French courses and intercambio English/French:
- Invitation by Carlos for a Piano recital

Dear Friends,
This Sunday we are discussing; Is it ethical to seek human perfection through manipulation?
Let us agree that by perfection we do not mean to be gods but to make a better functioning body.
Based on this approach we have on one side the evolutionary process that depends on built in
information about the body and takes time, a really long time to make changes. On the other hand, we
have the immediate and need now to cure and restore our body after an illness, or worse, to create
an advantage over other human being. For example, better memory to pass exams, better looks to be
more attractive, or taller to attract those driven by biological instincts.
The question we've been asked to address involves the latter scenario, the one when we try to
improve our body for the here and now. The moral part of the question is probably based on the
assumption that any measures we would take involve paying money and these perfections are only
available for the rich and the wealthy.
I personally do not believe that there is a moral issue in this question. And my reason is very
simple, there are basic biological/natural reasons why there is no issue. By trying to create an
advantage over others we would basically be entering into an arms race when those competing for top
spot would always have to come up with better looks or better skills to stay in the top spot.
Moreover, there will also be a viscous inflationary process since the more successful a person
becomes the more that person will depend on others to protect the person, to create the new
knowledge to stay in the top spot and all this will itself create a market place for the best
information at a higher price.
However, the fallacy of completion (I have never seen this account being given by others) is that
only if you are the best does competition make sense, if you are the second best completion is
probably deadly for you.
Hence, morality is basically irrelevant to the issue, there are natural and unavoidable consequences
that will thwart any advantage in due course. We don't need morality to stop people creating unfair
But there is a consequence to this arms race, it will cost the players more for less: see present
real life arms races. For example aircraft carriers cost so much today that only a few countries, if
that many, who can afford to deploy any functioning aircraft carrier. But the presence of an arms
race does not mean that non players cannot and do not develop effective basic weaponry. In the case
of the population, I propose that things are much simpler. Whilst it costs the few at the top more
to stay at the top, the others just get on with the business of reproduction.
Sure it might be annoying that someone is better looking than us, or that they attract the attention
of those who are better looking than us, but it does not follow that they won't necessarily face the
same fate as us.
In the meantime, it won't hurt anyone if in the short term, and better still in the long term, you
or your friends supported Marie-Aimée by taking one of her French courses. I am convinced that this
would be a really moral thing to do:
Marie-Aimée (phone: 635125185), a native French speaker and experienced teacher, is looking for:
1. Persons (or companies) for her courses interested in learning French
2. A native English speaker for language exchange
In the meantime Carlos has invited us to a Piano Recital:
Enclosed you will find an invitation for the piano concert that will include poetry and lyrics that
we at Asociación Club del Hombre Libre are going to present on Monday, February 20, at 20:00, at
Café Comercial (Glorieta Bilbao 7).
Kind regards
Carlos Fargas
For more information about this event I have posted the info sent to me by Carlos on a Google Doc
which you can find here: http://tinyurl.com/piano-20-feb
See you Sunday

regular messages from friends below
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
In the meantime Ignacio has reminded me to let you know about the new arrangements for the Thursday
Thursday's Open Tertulia in English
Important Notice: From December 1st, the Tertulia will take place at O'Donnells (ex-Moore's) Irish
Pub, c/ Barceló 1 (metro Tribunal)
----------From Luisa: - Please not you will have to let her know in advance if you wish to attend,
Data of language exchange,
Location: Café Comercial
Address: Glorieta de Bilbao, 7
Website location:
Dates: on Saturday
Time: from 12:30 to 14:45
Price: 2.50 € (exchange organizing, hiring the top of the cafeteria and coffee, tea, soda, wine or
beer are included).
Luisa - email to confirm please alvarez_luisa@hotmail.com
-------------- Visits to the British Cemetry in Madrid from David Butler---
Por el presente mensaje hago saber las fechas de las visitas comentadas, programadas para los
próximos meses : si hay alguien que quiera hacer una visita con su correspondiente grupo en
cualquier otra fecha, sírvasa avisarme para llegar a un acuerdo mutuo de fecha.
I am starting up the guided tours of the Cemetery again : if anyone wishes to make up a group
independent of the groups I set up, I will be most happy to take them round - all they need do is
state their preferred dates and we will work out a schedule.
Redacto el presente mensaje tanto en español como en inglés con el objeto de comunicaros que sigo
con el programa de visitas comentadas, sábados por la mañana, al Cementerio Británico.
Las visitas empiezan a las 11 horas en la entrada del Cementerio Británico, calle del Comandante
Fontanes 7, distrito de Carabanchel
*sábado, 11 de febrero, cuando daré las explicaciones en español
*sábado, 25 de febrero, cuando daré las explicaciones en inglés
*sábado, 10 de marzo, cuando daré las explicaciones en español.
Lo dejo a su elección cuál día acuda y no hay necesidad de avisar.
Tomen nota de nuestra página web < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > que contiene información
de la historia del Cementerio y el mapa de su ubicación.
I am writing this in both Spanish and in English to tell you that I am continuing Saturday morning
guided visits to the British Cemetery.
We meet at 11 o'clock at the Cemetery entrance in Calle del Comandante Fontanes 7 in Carabanchel
* the visit on Saturday 11 February will be in Spanish
* the visit on Saturday 25 February will be in English
* the visit on Saturday 10 March will be in Spanish.
The choice of date is left to you and there is no need to inform me in advance of the visit whether
you are coming.
Do take note of our website < www.britishcemeterymadrid.com > where you will find details of the
Cemetery's history and a map with its location.
David Butler
Short url: http://tinyurl.com/visit-british-cemetery

from Lawrence, Sunday PhiloMadrid meeting: Is it ethical to seek human perfection through
manipulation? + News

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