Redefining Progress For the Sake of Mankind

By Mark Antony Rossi

The current mantra of the scientific research “we are trying to improve people’s lives” doubles as an insidious rationalization to push past acceptable ethical boundaries in the name of progress. And a short-sighted notion of progress is why we proverbially and perpetually fall from grace. Grace being a state of being where common purpose works in partnership with common sense.

 Humanity deludes itself by defining progress as groundbreaking simply because it moves forward a metaphorical line in the sand. Meaningful progress is mindful of ethical ramification and delivers universal improvements through careful consideration. Thus new frontiers hastily labeled “progress” create discord and distrust in the eyes of the public-at-large.

 I concede anything  “new” is viewed as damaged goods if automatically condemned as dangerous. Only through discipline is it possible to temper our enthusiasm with better judgment on how to harness benefits against liabilities. Somehow this fundamental concept continues to elude the sharpest scientific minds whom faithfully believe progress is a mandate immune from the flawed human condition.

 The motive for this behavior, often labeled God Complex, is unproven but the historical record is undisputed: science often moves without regard for conscience because it is convinced its noble ends will justify any means. We owe much to medicine for conquering disease and creating new treatments; however the price for these discoveries is frequently at the expense of individual consent. Intellectual pursuit failing to serve mankind morphs from harmony to holocaust at the precise moment of moral neglect.

 When people become disposable every virtue valued by society turns into a useless exercise in vanity. Intelligent progress requires patience to reflect on the path of the journey. Not every journey proves worthy of continued effort. True progress learns the difference and always favors the human component. In the final analysis the progress of humanity may rest in our ability to make strangers into friends.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.

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