Choose between cooperation and annihilation: a mental mapping project towards a more generously directed altruism

Irina Pollard

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The fundamental design principles of Nature are based on cooperation, biological feedback, adaptation to changing conditions and promoting ecological diversity. Common human survival themes should, therefore, also echo this pattern and include more cooperation and less conflict, living within our ecological means, and living in harmony with the environment and ourselves. We have long had sufficient mind-power and with recently acquired scientific understandings and renewed bioethical awarenesses, are now facilitated to increase our survival fitness - if we choose. What is required is to mature emotionally and catch-up to our mind's vast potential by ethically managing our own fitness as a species. When it comes to, for example, killing thousands, even millions, of our own and other species in futile ideological competition, fueled by the random horrors of terrorism and coordinated warfare, we can no longer accept this as being a necessary and inevitable part of life. Our innately flexible intelligence can rescue us because within our collective biological nature exist strong survival instincts such as justice, empathy, love and respect for the freedom and lives of others. It is the further refinement of these positive biological instincts that can provide us with the necessary assets in the present struggle for adaptive survival. However, the global community must agree on forward-thinking bioethical standards when applying the contributions from science and technology. It is essential, therefore, to consider modern scientific and technological applications alongside some measure of ethical consensus. We need, as a society, to keep track of powerful technological developments despite the benefits associated with these gains. The present paper seeks to draw together bioscience-bioethics* in order to heighten general awareness of current bioethical issues raised by biological research and its applications. Thus, the enriched sum of us, irrespective of background, can come to both an informed opinion and make decisions in the spirit of intelligent altruistic cooperation. A bioscience-bioethics cooperative friendship alliance, based on Nature's model, is proposed to extract wisdom from human diversity, beliefs, attitudes and values, and to take its place in the integrated mental mapping project of the human mind (Macer, 2002).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)44-48
    Number of pages5
    JournalEubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics : EJAIB
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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