Stop, think morals first
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Eighty-seven days. That’s how long crude oil gushed endlessly into the Gulf of Mexico before BP (British Petroleum) finally managed to cap the hole caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig on April 20.
After six failed efforts to stop the escape of oil, BP managed to fashion a cap to stop the leak. Eleven lives were lost in the initial explosion, and more than 205.8 million gallons of oil flooded into the Gulf, according to reports by the Flow Rate Technical Group.
No one wants to discuss the Gulf oil spill anymore. For two months the nation watched in horror as oil flooded the ocean, disrupting or destroying entire ecosystems. It was painful to watch, and now that the leak is finally plugged no one wants to remember the weeks of suffering.
But there is a larger, glaring issue that many people have avoided discussing or only mentioned in passing. It’s because everyone is to blame for this issue, not just BP. The problem, at its core, is technology itself, and how ethics and morals play into science.
When BP first began deep-sea drilling, they were required to have contingency plans in case any problems arose. Problems such as oil rigs exploding, or oil gushing out into the ocean. If it takes 87 days to cap a leak, contingency plans have obviously failed.
So why is technology allowed to progress at a break-neck pace without ethical checks and balances in place to save people from their own half-formed ideas and shoddy work ethics?
Because people are so concerned with the “next big thing” and having the newest device or a gadget more powerful than their friend.
If people can make it faster, they will. Stronger? Of course. Bigger? You betcha. But safer? That little word never crosses anyone’s mind until at least 100 people get hurt.
BP drilled a hole into the earth’s crust deep in the middle of the ocean knowing their failsafe plans were unlikely at best to work.
That’s not even the worst of the technological advances people are making without thought for the consequences.
Everyone remembers Dolly, right? The first mammal successfully cloned by humans? Dolly was a sheep that lived for six years and birthed six lambs before being put down because she had lung cancer. It has never been truer to say that someone has played at being God than at the moment of Dolly’s creation.
Dolly was a triumph of modern science. Humanity had actually created life outside of biological reproduction. It is amazing. But is it ethical? Scientists are now actively attempting to clone human beings. Where does morality come into their equations? Who accounts for the soul, the human spirit, in these laboratories? It’s unlikely the thought has even entered most of their minds.
How far is humanity going to go before everything we have done is called into question? It is imperative that humanity takes a step back to stop, just stop, and think for a moment.
If we continue to press forward without even a nod to the consequences, we are quickly going to pass the point of no return. The moment we cross that threshold in the distance, it will be too late, and our very souls could be the price we pay.