SHOULD MAN DESIGN A COMPLETE MAN?

Man, the sum of inherited and acquired qualities, is born with instincts and his temperament is constitutional. It is changeable, to some extent, by insights and new experiences. His interaction with the outside world essentially forms his character. He is a blend of various orientations. Man is a product of genes and society. Genes give him less than what society requires of him. He thinks he can modify himself to fulfill his needs, both psychologically and sociologically. Man is moving very fast in the material world. There is possibility of vortex formation. If we don’t want vortex formation, we must place moral baffles at appropriate points. The problems with moral freedom have appeared in every age. Whenever moral freedom has gone berserk, a few men bring the freedom in track. Such men have come in the past, and they will arrive in the future. Man has so far not lost faith in man completely. He is learning every day. Learning from the follies is an on-going process. Man is learning to curb his capacity for destruction. Generally, we fail to see even when our windows are open. We don’t like to notice things even if they exist in front of our eyes.

Erich Fromm writes that man’s failure to use and spend what he has is the cause of his unhappiness. If he has potential, but somehow his tendency to grow is thwarted, he feels suffocated. Unspent energy undergoes a process of change. It gets transformed into a destructive form. The main point Fromm made was that “Destructiveness is the outcome of an unlived life.” Our failure to use, what we have, is one of the major causes of unhappiness. We are living far below our capacity. How to realize our unrealized possibilities is the greatest challenge of the time. Let the man get opportunities to use all his energies. The more the man is complete, the less are the chances of unrest. Let man be complete.

Though we are continuously evolving, we are far from our destination. We do not know if there is an ultimate destination of evolution. But we know that we are still inadequate. If something is inaccessible to us, we think it doesn’t exist. Our perceptions dictate how we see a particular thing and react to a situation. People who can see the world through a window are rare. They have extrasensory perception. As Schumacher puts it: “This searching uses not only the sensory information but also other knowledge and experience…there are inevitably many things which people can see but which others cannot, or, to put it differently, for which some people are adequate while others are not.” Can we engineer a complete man? A system biologist writes, “When systems are not engineered but instead allowed to evolve – to build themselves – then the resultant whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This suggests we are the outcome of a process that is not merely engineering. There is another approach. Beside the strict engineering approach there is the evolutionary approach. We have modified other living things biologically to increase their utility. Should we do this to man?

Scientists want to rewrite life from the scratch; merely tinkering with life’s genetic code does not satisfy them. In this age of life sciences, they are trying to create novel forms of life. They want to build the molecular machinery of new organisms. They say, “The genetic code is 3.6 billion years old. It’s time for a rewrite.” Others say, “To take God’s place, without being God, is insane arrogance, a risky and dangerous venture.” Some people say, “If we don’t play God, who will?” Should we leave the destiny of man in the hands of science alone? Should the idea of designing a complete man be entertained? Should not one wait for the complete man to evolve? Man can only become a man by education, a kind of education that encompasses those searching qualities. Let man understand that “there is far greater peril in buying knowledge than in buying meat and drink.”