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cj megown

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Is the fact that our Technology advancing every day scaring anybody?

Explain why it is scaring you and why you hope for the future.

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  • Jul 25 2013: @Daniel

    You have complied quite a list of natural disasters and potential man made disasters. Most are pretty extreme and unlikely, at least in my natural lifetime. Although i am not religious, one of the things I try and use to prevent such concerns from ruining my enjoyment of life is a portion of the serenity prayer:

    ...grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

    Relative to the things yo brought up, I am actually more concerned with self-inflicted blights caused by men that are less dramatic, but equally cataclysmic, such as economic collapses (caused mostly by greed), and the ability of our country to compete in the design and manufacture of items in the high technology areas.

    I know that technology can be used for good or bad purposes. I trust the scientific community to protect the general population with appropriate controls and safeguards, but I am sure there will be accidents, errors, and corruption over the course of time. Here, I have a bit of faith in the eventual triumph of good over evil. The scientific community needs to include investigation of by-products, potential risks, life cycle costs and potential misuse of technologies they develop. Protection of people is part of scientific and engineering ethics.

    I agree that fear can be crippling. I would hate to think that this fear prevented further study in areas that might lead to discoveries that could help the general population or perhaps avert one of the catastrophes you have identified. A healthy fear of poisonous snakes, mine fields, or fire is probably good, as you say, perhaps a survival instinct. A fear of the unknown may not be healthy and may be limiting. I am betting on science and technology to methodically reduce our collective fear of the unknown with research.
    • Jul 25 2013: I totally hear you on the serenity prayer... is there an actual code of ethics or an oath that scientists make when fully fledged?
      • Jul 25 2013: Yes, but they vary by discipline and are kind of left to professional honor or affiliaion with a professional organization. Here are a couple:

        Engineering: (Just the preamble, more on site provided)

        Engineering is an important and learned profession. As members of this profession, engineers are expected to exhibit the highest standards of honesty and integrity. Engineering has a direct and vital impact on the quality of life for all people. Accordingly, the services provided by engineers require honesty, impartiality, fairness, and equity, and must be dedicated to the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare. Engineers must perform under a standard of professional behavior that requires adherence to the highest principles of ethical conduct. (http://www.nspe.org/Ethics/CodeofEthics/index.html)

        Medicine : Hippocratic Oath (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath)

        Science: Hippocratic Oath for scientists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath_for_Scientists)
        • Jul 25 2013: Thats right, i remember reading about the hippocratic oath when nvestigating the golden rulewhich actually derives from hippocrates as well if im not mistaken.

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