Monday, April 25, 2005

Steroids in Sports

PEA Soup has a good post on whether the use of steroids in sports is morally permissible:
So, these are some standard arguments against the use of anabolic steroids. I think the responses to these objections are actually convincing, but I confess that I don't really want to go where the argument leads: use of anabolic steroids in professional and world-class athletics is morally permissible.

Perhaps there is a reason why he doesn't really want to go there.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Nanoethics Survey

A nanoethics survey - go help out!

It's short - only 4 questions long.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A good morning joke

It's not even worth commenting on the ethics of having such a device exist, because the company description of how it "works" is just so darn laughably implausible.
This patch is non-transdermal - no chemicals or substances are transferred while wearing this patch. They claim to use nanotechnology and nanoantennas that communicate with your body "like a cell phone" telling it to create "more energy, please." This is their description as to how the patches work:

"...the patches interact with the body’s magnetic field to produce specific bioelectrical frequencies that resonantly transfer energy to turn on certain chemical processes in the body such as accelerating the body’s ability to burn fat as a fuel source for energy."

"The organic materials in the patches have been specifically selected to match the resonant and sympathetic frequencies of biological components involved in mitochondrial energy production, while not interfering with the other primary objective of the technology, namely assisting in the flow of calcium ions into muscle cells to increase recruitment of muscle fibers during exertion."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Slippery slope

(via Howard)
Church against technology to create human master race

If only everyone was. The real problem is that the piecewise steps towards a technology to "create [a] human master race" are so minute and have other uses. It seems okay to genetically screen for certain diseases or to have nanoscale machines and devices enter diseased cells to remove the disease. But where does that stop? Is it okay to change the color of eyes? What about the strength of muscle? What about enhancing brain power? When cosmetic surgery first appeared, proponents promoted it for uses such as removing horrible scars or accident reconstruction (note: I've had plastic surgery on my nose after a doberman took a chunk out of it). But does that justify in some sense breast implants? What if I wanted to attach another arm?

Friday, April 01, 2005


The emerging fields of nanoscience and nanoengineering are leading to unprecedented understanding and control over the fundamental building blocks of all physical things. This is likely to change the way almost everything—from vaccines to computers to automobile tires to objects not yet imagined—is designed and made.

Obviously, any activity with such huge potential raises a host of ethical and social questions.

I thought so, of course but apparently it is not so obvious to everyone. See this strange article.