Thursday, January 19, 2006


The dilemma of the dials

You have the opportunity to determine the beauty level and intelligence level of your child, before the child is born, simply by turning two dials from 0 to 10, 10 being high. "5" is average. To what number would you set your dials?

Would one wish one's children be so insightful and precise that your flawed carnal life of compromises is fodder for the blameless moralizing of youth? Who has not nearly retched at the sincerity of a prosetlyzing child? As one has no real apprehension of what the highest reaches of intelligence and beauty manifest in humanity one would not know what to expect when cranking that dial. And since the highest and lowest reaches are undetermined does that average of "5" really hang between anything? Isn't five inevitable for all no matter where one's omniscient parents set the dial?
Six or seven for both. Being a bit better than ones peers is great - standing out like a freak is horrible. No absolute scale is necessary - only the range for your group (whatever that may be).
being a ten on the intelligence scale is preferable, and being a ten on the attractiveness scale opens unimaginable doors, especially paired with such smarts. Faced with that decision, most people would pick perfect tens, which would force other people to do the same to give their kids the edge, and pretty soon those who could afford the technology would have even greater advantages. As new technology evolved, the benchmark for a ten in each category would keep getting more and more sophisticated, which would perpetuate the problem, throw the process of natural selection out of whack and result in unthinkable consequences against which nature would surely find a way to rebel.
Beautiful and intelligent to whom?
Both of those qualities are extremely subjective and yet we are expected to give them an absolute value.

I agree with Bdleaf. Well, Bdleaf posed a question, not a statement, but I agree with that question anyway.
Ten, certainly. If it was just the beauty that was affected I'd probably go for six or seven, because intelligence would be negatively affected if my kid could just go through life on his/her looks without ever having to determine any depth of character, but since it's both, ten.
I think it's monstrously wrong to anything BUT set dials to 10 in this situation. If you can move your species forward and give your own children as many advantages as you can, DO SO. Any worries about how the rest of humanity handles it is backpedaling, and the worst kind, too.
10/10, of course. I assume that neither would come at a cost. I also assume that the standard of 'beauty' would conform to my own tastes.
I Think what Cliff means here is that you have a total of ten for BOTH. So the analogy is more of a meter or point system givine ten to intelligence leaves nothing for beuty.

My opinion i would put a 7 to intelligence, i have always valued brain power over beuty but i would still like my children to have some form of a social life and friends.
7 attractiveness and 3 intelligence.

People often confuse the skill of thinking with intelligence. I can teach my child how to think and then show them how to practice so they become better at it. Attractiveness is harder because it is SO arbitrary and subjective.
If tens are just "high" I'd go with tens. If it meant really, really high I'd go with eights or nines.
Too high makes me feel it might inhibit them socially.
I would set both to 10, as true beauty of CHARACTER leads to happyness when one is intelligent enough to take advantage of it and chance doesn't screw you over.
God, how I wish my mommy had been in possesion of one of these.
As intelligence and beauty are both positive traits for anyone to possess, why wouldn't I set the dial on 10 for both of these? There is no dilemma.
what if the dials are linked inversely and you can choose only one parameter?.. for instance, if you set intelligence to 10, beauty automatically becomes 0, and vice versa.
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