As for the sinking to their level thing, I have a question for you. Do you support the death penalty as a punishment for murderers? If so, how do you justify sinking to their level in that scenario but not this one? If not, why are you advocating death as an alternative in this thread rather than incarceration?
I also agree that they should be given a choice. However, as for the enforcing what a person can and cannot be, we already do that. It's called the law and law enforcement. We currently say it's not okay to be a murderer, rapist, child molester, etc. and so we punish those who are those unacceptable things. How is reprogramming to allow a continued but altered existence somehow a greater transgression of individual worth and choice than execution for those same infractions? Both permanently prevent recurrence of the behavior, but the reprogramming would allow the person a second chance of sorts wherein they would no longer be held down with the baggage of their mental illnesses that caused them to do horrible things. I don't know about you, but it seems to me that allowing continued life seems the more humane thing to do.
Don't get it twisted, I said it was ethical for the sentence to be reprogramming, and that a better alternative to it would be to lobotomize the people instead of reprogramming. So, in summary, what you're trying to say about the reprogramming is invalid, because I'm giving the people an ethical alternative to reprogramming, which is lobotomy rather than reprogramming or death.
The White Army and the Black Baron;
Are trying to force us back to the Tsar.
"These people are the poisonous leeches on an age of potential so infinite it should be glorious. But
it stands no chance, it's marred by uselessness made flesh and minds that are little more than nubile lambs, bleeting obnoxiously."
-Sophistotle"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."
Originally Posted by Hank in Skype
A Lobotomy is basically a living execution.
Reprogramming changes an individual's agenda to anything that the reprogrammer wants.
That's insane when you think about it. Especially if you put it in the hands of, say, government.
Hell, lets put aside conspiracy theory. Imagine a criminal organization, or a terrorist organization getting their hands on that technology? (And, inevitable, they WOULD get their hands on it.) Imagine human traffickers being able to make perfect slaves by erasing the person that once existed. Imagine a company sleuth-fully and stealth-fully programming their employees with switches that make them happy to work for less pay than they should be getting, and quelling complaints.
This is technology that can cause nightmares that Einstein could only dream of.
As for the death penalty, I support the death penalty. It's just that death would be the thing to alleviate via reprogramming, non? Ergo, I have to argue for death over reprogramming. Because to me, that is the lesser of two evils. A necessary evil.
#2: A second chance by your standards, but the original person who would have received that chance is gone and replaced with a new individual. Therefore, not really a second chance. We're just creating a new person. Which falls under the perview of nature, God, or whatever you believe.
In an idealistic world, this would be a great technology.
The world, however, is not idealistic. It's realistic.
And in a realistic technology, it would have good moments where people would be better off, and nightmare scenarios where evil people would use it to do evil things.
Just another footnote in human history.
What then is the ethical thing to do if the technology exists to remove those memories and mental scars, such as this reprogramming would do? Would it be more ethical to kill them, lock them up forever, or reprogram their minds such that they no longer have these problems?
However I have not used a "Slippery Slope" argument. I have stated fact.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
"The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nothing, and the nations weary themselves only for fire."
"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
"For the word of God is living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
"Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident."
"Let us hold fast to the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised), and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works."
Refer to my above section where I call shenanigans on it being a new individual. Alterations happen naturally. Hell, we already do unnatural alterations (brain surgery that happens to tweak someone, applied psychology changing a person) and don't deem that person a wholly new individual. I don't see why they should be considered one in this hypothetical situation either.
Same goes for any technology. Such is the price of advancement. Humanity is rather flawed in that someone, somewhere will always think of a way to use new advances to their benefit or to the detriment of others. Sure, it sucks, but I stand by my position that the potential abuses do not outweigh the potential benefits. Either way, it would indeed just be another step along the road of human history rather than some huge ordeal.
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But you did indeed use a slippery slope argument. Thing A inevitably leads to worse thing B, thing B inevitably leads to worse thing C, etc. That is the very definition of a slippery slope argument.