Student Spotlight: Tyler Peltekci

Why did you decide to declare a bioethics minor? 

I decided to study bioethics because it is an incredibly important discipline that exists at the forefront of potent issues that society is and will continue to deal with throughout the coming century. The integration of human biology and technology, the emergence of unprecedentedly powerful computers, the general degradation of the environment, as well as many other existential risks all pose enduring problems for humanity. The twenty-first century has witnessed this advent of an unprecedented degree of technological, biomedical, and pharmacological progress that will surely have an enduring effect on the future of human life as a whole. These advancements entail great risks to the future, and I declared this minor to think through these risks and furthermore to try and formulate insightful observations and conclusions about them.

What are some particular bioethical issues you are interested in, and why?

I’m interested primarily in trans-humanism, post-humanism, and existential risks. Existential risks are uniquely interesting to me, because the nature of these risks not only threatens the moral character of our species, but also threatens the existence of human morality itself. Recent advances in nanotechnology, brain-computer interfacing, and artificial general intelligence all signify the acceleration of an exponential force for human progress that calls the meaning of humanity itself into question. Bioethics thus gives me a pragmatic outlet for my education in theoretical philosophy by enabling me to ask these questions about the function, moral status, and direction of this exponential force for human progress.

What are some hobbies you enjoy?

I enjoy the arts. Whether it be film, music, painting, or other more experimental mediums; human creativity always seems to galvanize my interest. I take just as much pleasure in analyzing the different movements throughout the history of art and culture as I do in keeping up with contemporary movements. As my passion for art is expansive and always unsatiated, I am constantly in search of shocking new aesthetics and avant-garde ideas.

What qualities in another person do you value, and why?

I admire courage and patience. As a student of philosophy, I admire the courage of intellectuals who have ventured to confront the difficult problems and contradictions present throughout our history. Courage enables one to strive in the face of adversity and to push the limits of one’s own knowledge. It is the quality that foremost allows one to be relentless in their search for meaning and authenticity, to temporarily sacrifice one’s own comfort for something greater; this is what I find to be valuable about it. By the same token, patience is notably important. Without patience, the force of courage is severely diminished. That is to say that patience enables one to remain thoughtful in these contentious moments, to not rush toward impulses and instead consider the intricacies of their interactions and decisions. Patience is what allows one to be careful in their research, and formidable in their conclusions. The value of patience is the thoughtfulness that it incites, the carefulness that it demands, and ultimately the unique satisfaction that it provides.

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