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Situational Ethics


The situationchosen for this assignment is the first one, which posits that I amthe only one within my social circle who is ineligible for thetreatment. The total number of biologically ineligible people like medoes not exceed 0.01% of the human population. The first issueconcerns the impact of this situation on my personal worth. I hardlybelieve that such a situation would dent my sense of personal worthsince the circumstance that led to the ineligibility was a result ofgenetics, hence unchangeable or irreversible. It would be foolish tolet circumstances out of one’s control to determine one’s senseof self-esteem and self-worth.

I do not fullyconsider myself a religious individual although I do believe in theexistence of a Deity. It is common knowledge among any religiousindividual, or theist, that good tiding, as well as misfortune befallthe good and evil alike. Therefore, one`s belief in a Deity, or one`sreligious conviction does not exempt them from misfortunes orunpleasant situations such as the earlier mentioned one.Consequently, my inability to receive the anti-aging treatment wouldnot waver my Theistic conviction.

On the otherhand, my view of science as the bedrock of human progress would beentrenched. It is quite apparent that humanity has only achieved whatit has thus far due to scientific discoveries, innovations, andprogress. Most of what has been achieved so far, althoughunprecedented and downright amazing, barely match up to scientificinnovations such as the anti-aging treatment suggested in thisscenario. Therefore, the fact that humanity would be a step away fromimmortality due to scientific progress would be amazing. My faith inthe capability of scientific and technological advancement to endhuman suffering would be enforced.

The situation,rather than radically alter my perception of the meaning or purposeof existence, would enhance my belief in the concept that humans aregods themselves. By this, I mean that through the progress ofevolution, both biological and technological, humans can advance tothe point of dealing with currently burdensome problems such as worldhunger, poverty, climate change, biological illness, aging, and eventhe capacity for evil and vices such as hate.

Regardless ofwhether I can receive treatment or not, I would consider the newtreatment one with partial benefits and pitfalls for humanity. Thereason behind this is quite simple rarely do we have purely &quotgood&quottechnologies. Therefore, even though certain technologies may have anoverwhelming potential for good application, they typically alsocarry the potential for abuse. An example in current time is nucleartechnology, via fission and fusion. Nuclear technology both has thepotential to provide large amounts of energy while it also has thepotential to produce devastating weapons, as evidenced by the nuclearbomb. Therefore, despite the apparent benefits of doing away with theaging process, the advancement may also be abused.

Life enrichingactivities hit at dimensions or wellness – educational, physical,spiritual, social, and emotional. The anti-aging treatment would havea major impact on all these dimensions. The physical dimension wouldbe the most affected, and would consequently have the largest impacton life-enriching activities such as sports. Since aging preventsindividuals from active participation in life-enriching activitiessuch as games, sports, and education, for example, a cessation of theaging process would effectively cause large enhancements in theadoption, participation in, and dynamics of life enrichingactivities. For example, in the education dimension, an individualcould theoretically attend classes for hundreds of years.

The effect ofthis treatment on risk-taking is, however, double-edged. On the onehand, some individuals would be encouraged to partake in riskieractivities because their current age permits them to engage incertain risky ventures. On the other hand, however, the potential totake risk would be lowered since. Ideally, individuals would knowthat they have all the time in the world to accomplish what theywant. Therefore, people may be even less inclined to engage inlife-threatening risky activity since the anti-aging treatment doesnot translate to immortality. Losing a limited life does not match upto losing a potentially limitless one.

Akin to theIndustrial Revolution, which affected all facets of human life, thisanti-aging treatment would be a biological revolution, one whichwould similarly cause upheavals in all aspects of life. Life as weknow it would change. People would not only have to grapple with thefact that one can theoretically remain a certain age, say 25 or 16,forever, but that a major blow had been dealt against death. Thelatter refers to the fact that aging is the only assurance of deathfor any living organism. What lives, and ages, will eventually die.Halting the aging process means that the only way for people to diewould be either via injury, illness, or violence. Violence isavoidable while illness is both preventable and treatable. Althoughaccidents and injuries cannot be fully prevented, they areprobabilities rather than certainties. The most immediate effect ofthis would be a population boom, again, similar to the IndustrialRevolution which caused an increase of global population from 700million in 1750 to over 2 billion by 1927 [ CITATION Mar13 l 1033 ].

The political,legal, and economic sectors would have to adjust to this new reality.New policies, laws, and regulations would have to be proposed,enacted and enforced to cater to this new reality. With more time ontheir hands, humans will have to address pertinent issue such asmorality and ethics, as these would be crucial within the fastchanging world. The most basic societal unit, which is the family,would be drastically changed. Foremost, the fact that older relativescould look younger than relatives who are a number of generationsbelow them would be hard to fathom. Furthermore, for the first timein history, a family could literally comprise of more tens ofgenerations of members all alive at the same time.

With regards toconcepts such as duty to country, I suggest that this biologicalrevolution will be the birth of a global nation, and death of thecountries. Such a drastic change in human life would necessitateplanning on a global level, so as to effectively solve the problemscurrently facing mankind.


Marsh, William M and Martin M Kaufman. Physical Geography: Great Systems and Global Environments. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.