Imagine, a world where animals are given the opportunity to increase their intelligence. Now, this could only be possible if mankind chooses to. If mankind were to choose to raise animal intelligence to a higher level, then that process would be called uplifting Uplifting is the use of technology or artificial intelligence to improve the overall intelligence of a non-human species. Now, the uplifting or the enhancement of animals can be a controversial topic. There are serious debates that argue the ethics, benefits, and consequences.
One of the most common ethical questions that are asked, Is it morally right? Now I would agree that the experimentation on these beautiful creatures may be harmful and could possibly cause deformities or even kill them. But if this process of uplifting could work on animals, maybe it can work on humans too. One of the possible benefits that uplifting can have is by increasing our own intelligence. According to journalist Baggaley, “The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is investigating a less direct approach: sending electrical pulses into the body. Research indicates that zapping certain peripheral nerves — which connect the brain and spinal cord to the body — may help people learn skills faster. One of the major consequences that we could face during this process of uplifting is the extinction of animals. The uplifting of animals is not an easy task. It could take more than a thousand trials just to find the correct DNA. Not only that but with animals, their bodies are biologically different. They have a different set of organs from us humans. These animals will suffer and it could cost us in the future. We are better off just leaving animals as they are.
For this sensitive topic, I chose to argue that the uplifting of animals is cruel and not needed. Animals are naturally smart. They are capable of building their own homes, foraging for their own food, and repopulating their own kind. They do not need our help to sustain life. They are better off without our help. So for my research, I will be looking into the consequences of animal enhancement. One of the examples that I will be using is the 2011 film, “Rise of the Planet Apes”. This is a prime example of animal enhancement went wrong. This topic is important because it speaks upon the future. The human race is advancing in both science and technology. We should use this power wisely and only for our benefit. To conclude, as the great Winston Churchill once said, “Where there is great power there is great responsibility, where there is less power there is less responsibility, and where there is no power there can, I think, be no responsibility”.
- Baggaley, Kate. “These Brain-Boosting Devices Could Give Us Intelligence Superpowers.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 May 2017, www.nbcnews.com/mach/technology/these-brain-boosting-devices-could-give-us-intelligence-superpowers-n755006.
This article proposes the invention of brain-boosting for humans. I used it as a reference to make the point that scientists are looking into ways to improve the overall intelligence of our own brains.
- Dvorsky, George. “The Ethics of Animal Enhancement.” Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 29 July 2011, ieet.org/index.php/IEET2/more/dvorsky20110729.
In this essay, George Dvorsky explains his position on animal enhancement. He claims that is an ethical imperative. This helped change my opinion on animal uplifting.
- Dvorsky, George. “Regulating Uplift to Prevent Abuse.” Religious Opposition to Cloning, Journal of Evolution and Technology, May 2008, jetpress.org/v18/dvorsky.htm.
In his paper, George Dvorsky, claims that uplifting could be done without the abuse of animals. He makes some good points but there is more information arguing that uplifting can be dangerous to animals.
- Churchill, Winston, “South African Native Raves.” 28 February 1906, The House of Commons, Palace of Westminster, London, UK. Speech.
I used this quote at the end of my paper because I believe that it speaks the truth. Mankind has great amounts of power and we should use it wisely.