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02 Mar 14 17:01

I am a brave soul when it comes to giving an examination. Whether I am fully prepared for it or not is another question, but I do attend it. But what if the exam is whether I should exist or not?

Manu, a well-known character from Rigveda, created a caste system. As per this caste system, Brahmins were responsible for knowledge and learning, Kshatriyas for defense and fighting, Vaishya for doing business, and shudras for other menial jobs. So once a person is born in a caste, he cannot crossover into any other's job. Result? Since independence, India has a reservation for the lower cast in government jobs and education fields, hoping for an upliftment. The desired result has not yet been achieved.

So when I read the news that Uzbekistan will be using genetic testing to find out the right contestant for a particular sport, I felt that history is being repeated. With the costs of genetic testing becoming dirt cheap, I fear the worst for the future of mankind.

Genetic selection, not only could stop a baby from being born but could also prevent a marriage from happening. Insurance companies could use it to their advantage by not rejecting coverage for specific diseases or charge higher.... and of course a right candidate for a right job could be found!

We could have a perfect world by the means of genetic selection, but is perfection the only criteria for the existence of humanity? If not, then it raises a lot of ethical questions and risks, we better take a stand now or wait for the profit makers to decide even this for us.

What do you think about the applications of the genetic testing and selections on humans?

References: 1. http://goo.gl/Im8IDG

2.
http://goo.gl/JpG9hw


Category: Other


3 Comments

Daniel Martin Eckhart - 3 Mar 2014, 6:14 a.m.

This is a topic that is no doubt discussed extensively already in risk management. as with many of these topics, it is one of the "just because we can, does that mean we should?"

Ethics - I don't think we should. A perfect world is the death of humanity. Perfection is the last thing anyone should strive for. But will it happen? Is it already happening - no doubt. It'll be up to risk management systems like Swiss Re to set boundaries. But even within an ethical powerhouse like Swiss Re, business opportunities will always challenge ethical considerations.

Paritosh - 4 Mar 2014, 4:54 a.m.

The way it's slowly seeping into general life... I doubt we would be able to keep it at bay for long. From medical cure to prophylaxis, application of genetics is gaining momentum. Yet another thing which could go the way of the gun....

Alicia Montoya - 5 Mar 2014, 6:37 a.m.

Hmmm, this is one of those: damned if you do, damned if you don't. Fact is, genetic testing could mean we could eradicate diseases or treat them when there's still time. I'm sure you'd agree to it if it were your family.

Of course, like most technology, it has the potential of being misused. But that's not a reason to ban the tech, but rather to regulate and ban its misuse. This is why we have laws, and (supposed) democracies to vote for the governments that write the laws.

As for the caste system, from where I stand, I agree, time to move on. But remember, as long as there are rich and poor, there will always be a reason to segregate and marginalize.

We need to fight income inequality. I believe discrimination will eventually vanish (or at least soften) once incomes are aligned.

Oh and population pressure is at an all-time high as we head for 9 bn souls in this planet. That also puts pressure on resources and exacerbates discriminatory tendencies. That will ease in a century or so as the decrease in population growth starts to manifest. For now, hold on tight, it's gonna be a bumpy ride! Stay focused on the outcome and on what's right and we'll eventually redress. I hope.


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