The good news is that when the press tells us to fear actions taken by our own government, by our own military or by our own corporations, we can be pretty sure they are also giving us a heads up to the bad news that the Chinese have already been taking these exact same actions minus any moral constraint for years.
So, should we try to restrain American research, experiments or social interventions because we know they are potentially dangerous or outright wrong, or should we instead beef up these actions to counter the possible unpredictable actions of others like the Chinese?
Sounds like the arms race debate that filled the newspapers of my childhood. Should we forsake nuclear proliferation or arm ourselves to avoid defeat and intimidate others to give up their weapons.
The above paragraph was inspired by this NYT science article telling us the the US military is researching having millions of insects carrying viruses descend upon crops and then genetically modify them to withstand droughts, floods and foreign attacks, ensuring a permanently secure food supply. This NYT article is about Chinese country-wide genetic screening of pregnant women. This wiki article is about the Chinese social credit system — grading your value to society — to be fully implemented by 2020.
Can you imagine the benefits? Can you imagine the weapons? Can you imagine the unintended consequences? When an action is morally ambiguous, but other countries or corporations are unhesitantly ignoring moral restraints in order to focus on prosperity over the individual, what should we do?