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An idea is dangerous not because they advocate for harmful action nor are they self-evidently false, but due to their corrosion of belief systems, cultures, and accepted truths. Dangerous ideas are not evil ideologies like racism or harmful technologies; they are statements of facts that are justified through argument and evidence by thinkers. The ideas dispute collective propriety or laws of a society. When people live a particular lifestyle for a long time, they develop certain guidelines that apply to conducting their daily life; thus, an idea becomes dangerous when it attempts to bring changes in society’s belief. For example, Charles Darwin idea of evolution disputes the belief that God created man and animals separately, which is contrary to what most religions prescribe (Launer, 2002).
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Dangerous ideas can influence an individual in a positive or negative way depending on the opinion of an individual opinion, but they mostly jeopardize the security and power of the higher status. Although Dr. Martin Luther meant well as he advocated equality regardless of race, his idea was dangerous, as it would recreate society and change people’s lifestyles. Individuals receive ideas in the society and it is through their norms, reasoning, and morality that determine their perception of the idea. Because of desires and emotions, humans resist change naturally and thus, those ideas that are met with antagonism have the greatest potential to produce significant change (Lawhead, 2014).
The idea that I find uncomfortable and dangerous is transhumanism will facilitate the next human evolution. Transhumanism is whereby individuals will at one time be capable of utilizing biotechnology to make themselves longer-lived, less susceptible to violence, smarter, and stronger (Lilley, 2012). Proponents argue that the human race being confronted by short lives, physical limitations, and stubborn diseases, everyone should have an option of improving various dimension of their well-being, which is not only a humanitarian opportunity but also an extension of the traditional objectives of technology, and medicine.
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Just as global communication, networks and antibiotics altered our human interaction and conditions; it is possible for many people to be enticed by the speculative biotechnologies. However, the adoption of human enhancement would be at the expense of morality, as well as political and legal equality. The notion of equal rights asserts that individuals have an essence of intrinsic value that surpasses distinctions in intelligence, beauty, or skin color; thus politically and legally equal. Transhumanism aims at changing this essence that will create an imbalance since enhanced people may view themselves more superior resulting in demanding greater rights. Furthermore, the population in poor nations will not access these technologies aggravating the threat to equality.
Transhumanism advocates do not comprehend what constitutes a common human being. They largely focus on the good features while ignoring the bad characteristics, forgetting both are intimately connected. If people were not jealous, they would never feel love if we were not exclusive, would not have a sense of loyalty. Therefore, modifying either a bad or a good traits would inevitably involve altering interlinked, complex set of qualities, which would result in unexpected results. We require humility over our human nature just as that; we have learned to show towards the environment. Although there are no existing technical possibilities of human modification and thus a lack of knowledge concerning the results, it is evident that we have to make two choices. Either continue cautiously of change or embrace technology as a means to evolve beyond biology.
Just like transhumanism, euthanasia entails matters that deal with life and death as well as affairs of ethics in medical technology. It is an important aspect that addresses the issues our society faces. Euthanasia is the termination of a person’s life to release them from their suffering. Most individuals argue differently concerning the issue of euthanasia because it is a sensitive issue in the society. At first, I thought that legalization of euthanasia will reduce medical costs and emotional torment was a dangerous idea. I believed that it would lead to an increase in suicides or mercy killings since persons are free to select what they want to do with their lives. This notion was particularly risky to individuals without a sound mind and critically ill patients who could end up on the receiving end of exploitation. However, records indicate that it has not been the situation.
Terminal illness is associated with severe pain and although suffering can be relieved, the patients may experience side effects that make life intolerable such as loose stool, inconsistency, paralysis, or nausea. Euthanasia is justifiable to give a patient a dignified death without pain and may minimize the hospital bills and emotional stress. The main reason is to reduce the burden that the hospital bills has on the family members. Moreover, there are procedures in place in hospitals that guarantee the respect for patient autonomy, whereby legitimate autonomous substitutes who are not medical professionals undertake decisions on behalf of non-competent patients.
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- Launer, J. (2002). Darwin’s dangerous idea. Qjm, 95(3), 195-196.
- Lawhead, W. F. (2014). The Philosophical Journey: An Interactive Approach.6th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
- Lilley, S. (2012). Transhumanism and Society: the social debate over human enhancement. Springer Science & Business Media.