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Ethics of human transmutation

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Hespia Klarerin
Post #523471
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8:53 pm, Feb 15 2012
Posts: 703


I don't see it.
Everyone in FMA seem to be under some preconception that human transmutation is wrong, and I don't get why
What's so wrong about bringing dead back to life?

Is it because it interferes with the way of nature? Well, doctors that cure a person from deadly illness is also interfering with the ways of nature, but we don't call doctors criminals. Living have right to life, and I don't see why dead shouldn't have a right to life. Living is a good thing, shouldn't we phrase the alchemist for attempting research in bringing back the dead the same way we phrase doctors?

Is it because it increases the human population more than it needs to be? But FMA advocates the creation of life, as explained in rush Vally chapters.

is it because the dead never (and can't) consent to them being transmuted? But we have no problem with doctors treating unconscious patients who can't consent to treatment.

Is it because human transmutation never works? If we ban practice that never works, then what's the point of research? If a doctors perform surgery on a patient and patient dies, even though doctors did their best, we don't blame the doctors. How are the eric brothers supposed to know that human transmutation never works unless they try it?

Is it because it's "playing god'? are we playing god when we have sex and produce children? how is human transmutation any different? the "playing god" excuse only works for the theists. and frankly, I don't like the Truth and don't think he is a being that's deserving of respect. He's downright mean and not so benevolent. I don't see why it'll be ethically wrong to cross God's domain. God is not the creator of our morality, why should we listen to god just cuz he said so? especially a non-benevolent god.

tupelo_stevo
Post #523475
Member

9:10 pm, Feb 15 2012
Posts: 47


The truth may be "mean" but it is quite benevolent. Although you may see it as mean it basically acts to punish humans who think they can alter the natural order of things. In fact it acts quite pleasant when Ed uses his own door to get his brother back as it is the "correct" answer so it is not always cruel.
The creation of humans via sexual reproduction is a natural way of bringing life into the world while utilising transmutation is unnatural. This is explored in detail throughout the story.
As someone who actually works as a research scientist I can tell you that you have quite a skewed view of research in general. If it is already known that something does not work then you would not go about trying to redo the experiment. In the case of the Elric brothers their father gets quite a scolding (I forget who from at the minute) because he would have been able to tell them the horrific outcomes of human transmutation if he hadn't left. If they hadn't been so sly with their plans Izumi Curtis would have stopped them. That is part of the tragedy of their story. In their naivety they attempted something that should not have been done and they paid the price for it.

mattai
Post #523492
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10:34 pm, Feb 15 2012
Posts: 613


Aren't you both looking at it a little too deeply? It's all about the equivalent exchange thing. You have to trade something of equal value for alchemy, and essentially, the moral of the thing is supposed to be that you can't 'trade' for a human life as it's essentially priceless.

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"It is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science."
alessandrovo
Post #554376
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4:40 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 1


Yes you are right everyone has right to live. However, there are people want to live and there are want to die....So you can either greedily revive a person you love (who want to die because of something unbearable but I think nothing is unbearable though) or you can greedily desire to live (while you should die because of astrocity, crime, born as an evil..etc). I dont argue about ethnic, god or anything but nature of human being, we are all too greed, once the idea of bringing dead back to life comes true:
- Either human race turn ugly and thinking death, which is the most frightening thing, cannot scare them anymore so society will turn into chaos with people having no fear in taking other life and death themselves.
- Worse, there are certain people who will try to get the ability of reviving the death for themselves and so no one can oppose to them anymore (like nuclear weapon).
- Finally, the act of bringing back the death ( or even immortal I may add) is painful, it is making the idea of giving birth to a child less precious and if we become immortal only ourselves, If I am allowed to say isnt it painful to see our loved die before us and leave us totally alone?

Also because we are given a certain amount of time to live, we know how to treasure it. If we have too much of something, is it gonna become something worthless?
And if I can also add, the act of doctor are prolonging someone's life if patients desire to live. Doctors only give you more time, not making you immortal, Doctors dont fight against nature...haha..I believe my friend they fight against fate.

Note: I dont believe in God my friend, we all have to try our best to live ourselves but there is some territory , we shouldnt cross

Last edited by alessandrovo at 4:45 pm, Jun 3

Hanae
Post #554377 - Reply to (#523492) by mattai
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5:03 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 742


Quote from mattai
Aren't you both looking at it a little too deeply? It's all about the equivalent exchange thing. You have to trade something of equal value for alchemy, and essentially, the moral of the thing is supposed to be that you can't 'trade' for a human life as it's essentially priceless.

That's exactly what I'm thinking. Al and Ed thought it would be enough to gather all the elements that human body consists of and that would make a human - but a human also needs a soul. But they couldn't create a soul, or bring it back from where it went after death because there wasn't an equal thing they could give in return. Also, it's not ethical to "play" with human souls - think about the philosopher's stone and all these souls living and suffering inside.

AA2109964
Post #554382 - Reply to (#554377) by Hanae
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5:08 pm, Jun 3 2012
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Quote from Hanae
That's exactly what I'm thinking. Al and Ed thought it would be enough to gather all the elements that human body consists of and that would make a human - but a human also needs a soul. But they couldn't create a soul, or bring it back from where it went after death because there wasn't an equal t ...


This... the suffering it causes to others and being unable to provide something of equal exchange. It's just a question of morality and ethics and I think the author did a great job of portraying it and answering the question. Curtis did something she wasn't supposed to do and lost the ability to reproduce. Then you have those chimera that aren't natural. All the characters that attempted human transmutation got a pretty severe punishment.

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red255
Post #554389
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6:40 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 216


More or less its unethical because you 'odds are' won't bring them back correctly.

if they WERE dead, and in heaven and you pull them from heaven to an unlife of pain and suffering because of your hubris, thats not very moral.

If you think you are doing something else, you are delusional, and being delusional is no excuse.

now I won't go into whatever arguements you made, saw something about doctors and stopped reading. not even close to the same thing.



Pebble_
Post #554390
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7:02 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 372


You can't bring back a soul after the person died. I think that's all there is to it. It's just not possible.

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Kaitentsuki
Post #554391
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7:15 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 854


Realistically no, fictionally yes. Nuff said.

Brokyl
Post #554394
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7:35 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 71


Not sure if it just that "it's wrong to bring people back from the dead" it's more about replacing a human life with another one (Philosopher Stones or even in that chapter where Ed had to close his own wound with Human Transmutation).

Hanae
Post #554405 - Reply to (#554391) by Kaitentsuki
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8:29 pm, Jun 3 2012
Posts: 742


Quote from Kaitentsuki
Realistically no, fictionally yes. Nuff said.

What's the question you answered?


The New Flesh
Post #554520
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9:32 am, Jun 4 2012
Posts: 102


Equivalent exchange. To create something, you have to give something equal, and nothing in the physical world carries the weight of a human soul. So 1. It's impossible, and 2. Attempting such will result in a horrible, soulless abomination.

Tripitaka
Post #649900 - Reply to (#523492) by mattai
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12:22 pm, Aug 15 2014
Posts: 495


Quote from mattai
You have to trade something of equal value for alchemy, and essentially, the moral of the thing is supposed to be that you can't 'trade' for a human life as it's essentially priceless.

Well put. Life, be it human or not, isn't only priceless but also immeasurable. The process of human transmutation ignores this basic principle. You would need to measure the ingredients first before you can perform an equal exchange but what would you measure life by? By it's longetivity? By whom it belonged to? Or maybe by the number of individuals who were effected by it?

I remember a scene which implicitly dealt with this question: One of the minor antagonists, I believe it was some high-ranked general, questioned why human lives shouldn't be counted, weighed and traded by numbers alone. Ed became enraged after he heard him talk about life like an object and punched the speaker with his fullmetal fist.

From this scene alone ARAKAWA-sensei's message is clear: We human beings, who are living organisms ourselves, have neither the means nor the authority to judge life. Instead of trying to measure it, we should value it for it is unique and irreplaceable.


Last edited by Tripitaka at 4:49 pm, Aug 15

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whitespade
Post #649904
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2:19 pm, Aug 15 2014
Posts: 438


is it only human? i thought every soul, from trees to bacteria to animals to human - you cant make any living things (i dont know about virus). i dont remember whether any plants or animals had been brought to life (or did i forgot that chapter). so its not exclusive to humans?

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RockoDyne
Post #649908
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4:42 pm, Aug 15 2014
Posts: 20


What I find humorous is how any schmuck can figure out Ed and Al performed human transmutation, but it then becomes a story point that there aren't many people that have actually performed human transmutation. Sooo, how is it common knowledge what it does to people?

As for why it's immoral, I would imagine it being illegal would color most people's impression of it. Add in some evil necromancer or mad scientist fear and human transmutation becomes a line you should not cross.

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