Is Aldous Huxleys "Brave New World" society preferable to our current society?
Debate Rounds (3)
I would argue that the "Brave New World" society is preferable to our current society for a multitude of reasons.
For example, While the people in the society have nearly no free will, a world without disease, war, famine or even unhappiness. Choice becomes irrelevant when you have your every need taken care of.
I oppose the notion that BNW's society is preferable to our own for several reasons. Firstly, let's take a look at the definition of society according to Merriam-Webster: 'people in general thought of as living together in organized communities with shared laws, traditions, and values'. The first word especially is an issue in Huxley's world, as a person is distinctly different from a machine. However, the 'people' in BNW are not only fabricated industrially and programmed, the complete absence of free will and Huxley's mechanical description of them makes it hard to call them anything but robots. Hence, transforming our current society into that in BNW would rob us of our humanity. Therefore it could also be said that the thesis question is wrong, as there is no society in BNW, but for the sake of argument, I'll let that slip.
Secondly, if we assume that we would still be able to think the way we do now in such a society, the absolute lack of unhappiness means in turn that there is a lack of happiness as well. The one is defined and only exists because of the other, just like Yin without Yang means nothing. If happiness loses its meaning, that means that in our contemporary society by definition are happier than we ever could be in BNW's society.
Thirdly, human ingenuity, abstract thought, and the tendency to make mistakes are erased in the BNW society. Seeing as these three components of the human mind are what drive us to discover new things and progress as a species, removing them would mean we get stuck in an eternal status quo. This goes against basic human instinct, and the notion of working extra hard now for a better tomorrow. So, we would be defying what defines us as a species, and as has been shown in nature again and again, species that do not evolve, go extinct.
In conclusion, the transformation to organic robots, total lack of happiness, and defying of human instinct that are inherent to a BNW society would create a living hell for anyone that is used to contemporary standards. Additionally, forcing this fate upon future generations would mean wishing them a less pleasant life than we live right now, which should be considered as unvirtuous at best, and entirely unethical at worst.
1. The first part of you arguement is based upon the idea that this new world turns people into nothing more then organic machines. While your sentiment is not incorrect, I believe I can show why this is preferable to free will. Firstly, it must be understood that there are three main ideas that allow this society to function those being "Community, Identity, and Stability".
The cloning of humans allows a greater "Identity" to be formed, that being the "Community" at large. This global "identity" allows for greater "stability" within the BNW society and prevents any conflict what so ever. A sacrifice of individuality for a better society is preferable to death and war for the rest of human existence. This isn't an argument about the morality of this society, rather it is about which is more preferable, ours or BNW's.
2. Your second argument is based upon the idea that happiness cannot come about without strife along with it. What we call happiness is simply chemicals within the brain being activated when we do something pleasurable. This is the internal problem with your idea of a "Yin Yang of happiness" within the brain, requiring both good and bad to work correctly. An individual does not need bad things to happen to be happy, he/she just needs a dose of serotonin and happiness will come quite naturally.
Secondly, the "lack of happiness" in our world that you would have people experience includes war, famine, disease, etc. Even if this idea of a "yin yang of happiness" was true, would you rather them experience a false happiness or die in wars over useless ideology and starve in slums across the planet.
3. The science in the BNW was not discussed very in depth by anyone other then the World Controller "Mustapha Mond" who referred to it as a "Cookbook" with him being the only person that can change it. So yes while Human creativity is stifled as is ideas that could effect the "stability" of the society.
Also, do you think Alpha double pluses (The Super Geniuses of BNW) like Mond haven't already made plans just in case of world catastrophe? The entire point of this society is to maintain the continued survival of the human race, and to do this in the best way possible to maintain "stability". A world catastrophe would obviously seriously effect the societies stability and therefore would need to be planned for ahead of time.
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