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Bioethical Challenges and Opportunities of Greater Understanding of Ourselves and Nature: The era of the Human Behaviourome


The seven sides are self-love, love of others, loving good, loving life, loving harm, memories and hopes. This model adds our heritage - memories and hopes, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bioethical Challenges and Opportunities of Greater Understanding of Ourselves and Nature: The era of the Human Behaviourome

Bioethical Challenges and Opportunities of
Greater Understanding of Ourselves and Nature
The era of the Human Behaviourome
  • Darryl R.J. Macer, Ph.D.
  • Institute of Biological Sciences, University of
  • Tsukuba Science City, 305, Japan
  • Director, Eubios Ethics Institute
  • Affiliated Professor, United Nations University
  • Director, International Union of Biological
    Sciences (IUBS) Bioethics Program

Principles or ideals for bioethics
  • Conventional language Alternative language
  • Autonomy self-love
  • Justice love of others
  • Do no harm loving life
  • Beneficence loving good
  • Darryl Macer, Bioethics is Love of Life, Eubios
    Ethics Institute 1998.

  • While ethical principles may be pre-human in
    biological, social and spiritual heritage, and
    thus almost universal, the balancing of them
    varies between individuals.
  • -Bioethics is Love of Life (Macer, 1998)

The behaviourome is a project to understand
  • It is a research project to integrate social
    science methodologies.
  • One of the most interesting questions before a
    thinking being is whether we can comprehend the
    ideas and thoughts of other beings, and
    conversely whether they can also read our mind.
  • We have already the means to embark upon a human
    mental map with the goal of describing the
    diversity of ideas a human being makes in any
    given situation or dilemma.
  • This is the behaviourome or human mental map.
  • This is not of a physical structure but a map of
    "ideas" used in moral decision-making.

  • 14 November 2002 Volume 420, 121.
  • The next challenge is to map the human mind
  • An ambitious project aims to chart the territory
    of ides vast but, conceivably, not infinite.
  • - Darryl Macer
  • The human genome has been, largely, sequenced.
    And work continues to the proteome and
    transcriptome. Now comes a call to map the human
    behaviourome. - Nature Editors.

Now the human DNA has been sequenced, the genome
We still understand so little about what is
inside our mind!
Uses of a mental map include
  1. To understand ourselves, and whether the number
    of ideas is really finite.
  2. To compare mental maps and idea diversity between
    persons and species.
  3. To aid in policy making to make policy that
    respects the diversity of people in a culture,
    and globally. This would help develop bioethics
    for the people by the people.

Uses for individual decision making
  • 4) If we can make individual mental maps, this
    would offer persons assistance when making moral
    decisions. This would give them a chance to
    consider all their ideas, and to make a more
    considered moral choices. This would also be
    useful in the testing and implementation of
    better bioethics education.

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Types of Ideas
  • 5) intention to modify behaviour of self
  • 6) intention to modify behaviour of surrounding
    beings and the environment
  • processing of sensory states
  • 8) inhibition of a response based on immediate
    evolutionary benefit
  • 9) interactive conceptualization of ideas in
    a community based response
  • 1) conceptualization of physical objects
  • 2) psychological meanings of images associated
    with objects (like colours)
  • Memories
  • 4) plans for both short and long term future

Are the number of human ideas finite?
  • In 1994, based on the results of the
    International Bioethics Survey, which gathered
    opinions from 6000 persons in 10 countries on
    150 questions of bioethics dilemmas, I proposed
    that the number of human ideas for moral decision
    making is finite.
  • Since then, the evidence continues to suggest the
    number is finite, and thus countable!
  • We will only know after we map the ideas and the
    way they are linked together. We need to develop
    a common framework for interdisciplinary studies
    of human ideas.
  • On the map ideas are not single points but
    spheres of varying intensity, sometimes merging
    with others - and a person's response to each
    dilemma links some of these ideas.
  • In the first year of the international
    behaviourome project several frameworks are being
    tested to map human ideas.

  • Human mental map version 2
  • A 5 dimensional model including points which
    represent ideas on a matrix for all the types of
    ideas (9 colours at present) within a framework
    of 7 sides.
  • The seven sides are self-love, love of others,
    loving good, loving life, loving harm, memories
    and hopes.

This model adds our heritage - memories and
hopes, to the four ideals in decision making!
  • Memories include our biological, social and
    spiritual heritage seen in biology,medicine,societ
  • We all hope that our moral decisions will be for
    the best!
  • The map is represented in a 2-d picture

Love of good
Love of others
Loving harm
Loving life (do no harm)
Self love
The project is now trying to integrate the data
to map human values and ideas.
9 methods groups (1/2)
  • 1) Matrix Mapping of Ideas Relating to Bioethics
    Choices from Biotechnology
  • 2) Introducing the Elementary Pragmatic Model
    (EPM) in the Behaviourome
  • 3) Ideas Counter and Software Testing
  • 4) Testing of the Ten Ethical Laws Of Robotics in
    a Cross-Cultural Matrix
  • 5) Evolution of Thinking and Ideas

9 methods groups (2/2)
  • 6) Can Any Physical Model Map Human Insight and
    Creativity, or is There Something Metaphysical
    About The Mind?
  • 7) Integrative Mapping of All Ideas and
    Integrative Ethical Decision-Making and Behaviour
  • 8) 'One Page Management System' Instead of Prose
  • 9) Universal Functional Reductionism in
    Integrative Mental Mapping The Tenth Class of
    Cosmist Creative Ideas

Ideas and ethical principles have a biological,
social and spiritual heritage
  • This model does not necessarily exclude beings
    who cannot "think", as they still share a memory
    (history) and a future heritage, and the
    principles have a long biological heritage.

Pre-rational ideas
  • Ideas are linked to rationality, but ideas may be
    considered as something pre-rational. Rationality
    emerges after the processing of ideas, in what we
    call thinking.
  • Do only humans think? If we consider thinking to
    be the processing of motor images or sensory
    images it clearly emerged much earlier in

Speech and ideas
  • In ethical theory usually animals that can plan
    and dream of the future are considered as being
    of higher rationality, and therefore need to be
    given greater protection.
  • There has been much enthusiasm with the discovery
    of a single gene that is very important in human
    speech, FOXP2 (in 2002), as it may have enabled
    the social emergence of modern human communities,
    we do not understand yet the extent to which the
    diversity of ideas is extended by linguistic
    dialogue (whether vocalized or not).

Science tells us 91 genes are in humans that are
not in chimpanzees of 30,000 genes.
Enhanced studies of cross cultural bioethics
-recognising diversity
  • There are implications for cultural identity. How
    should a culture that tries to maintain its
    cultural uniqueness by claiming everyone thinks
    the same, face up to the reality that in every
    culture the full range of idea diversity is
  • This diversity is found in almost all groups,
    excluding those particularly finite groups that
    are formed to promote particular political aims,
    such as those who fight for or against abortion,
    or euthanasia.
  • Religions which have observed already that
    humankind is universal will have less challenges
    than religions which claim a special religious
    status for their "chosen" people.

How to map the mind?
Culture and ideas
  • The individual human mind is a societal creation,
    formed through a series of interactions with
    other persons.
  • After an initial response to a dilemma, real or
    hypothetical, our mind generates an idea. That
    idea is subject to genetic, environmental and
    cultural factors. Then the process of idea
    development occurs, subject to the cultural
    restraints and lessons of the past to that
  • The action is taken, but this is not the end of
    the idea for a normal human mind. The
    consequences are considered, there may be guilt
    or self-gratification, through the interplay of
    the conscience and ego.

How to map ideas onto this matrix?
  • Each of the 9 methods groups is exploring the
    best methodology to do this.
  • In the case of method 1, each idea is given a
    score for each of the 7 axes (from 0-100) and
    placed at the interacting point on the 3-d box.
  • Other dimensions include the type of idea, and
    links for information to source of the data, the
    moral dilemma from which it was observed.

Love of good
Love of others
Loving life (do no harm)

Loving harm
Self love
Example idea - Let us eat lunch
Practical bioethics is action to make the world
more bioethical, for example, health projects for
medically deprived populations, and environmental
activism.-Eubios Declaration of Bioethics
Mental mapping is a way to progress endless
debates about human ideas and moral
Recognition of Diversity and Depth of Asian
  • Bioethics is pre-human.
  • Bioethics in human culture was discussed for
    millennia in Asia, as everywhere.
  • Bioethics is not a luxury for rich countries, it
    is something everyone does - and can make better.
  • It is a global realization of a way of moral
    decision making that occurred before people were
    aware of it.
  • Bioethics includes methods of anthropology,
    sociology, biology, not just philosophy or

The way forward in bioethics
  • In conclusion we can see that the human mental
    mapping project will develop Asian and
    international bioethics of the twentieth century
    onto a more concrete and transdisciplinary basis
    in this century.
  • We need to develop a common language for studies
    of life and ideas, and it is hoped that these
    projects will allow this.
  • There will be challenges for many aspects of our
    understanding of human beings, though we should
    be clear, there will always be more questions
    than answers for humans to attempt to understand
    ourselves and nature.
  • Asking questions and having free will to make
    decisions is part of the image of God.

Please join the project!

All are welcome!
Bioethics for Global Dialogue! Working for a
good life for all globallyEubios Ethics
  • Branches in New Zealand, Japan, India, China,
    PhilippinesAvailable for consultancy in
    bioethics, aiming to produce publicly available
    resources in bioethics bridging geography,
    discipline and values. A non-for-profit
    organization founded in 1990.
  • Eubios Journal of Asian and International
  • Asian Bioethics Association
  • International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS)
  • Bioethics resource library
  • UNESCO/IUBS/Eubios Bioethics Dictionary
  • Tsukuba International Bioethics Roundtables
  • Resources are available On-line, CD and hard copy
  • lthttp//
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