Article Tools

An argument against the alteration of human intelligence.

If you had the choice to increase your intelligence by a factor of three, but risk everything you had, including your life, what would you choose? In “Flowers for Algernon,” Charlie Gordon chooses to allow a surgery on his brain that does just that. If I had the choice to make, I wouldn’t allow them to proceed with the operation because it’s risky, it’s unethical, and sometimes being smart isn’t what matters most.

First of all, the surgery is risky. Only one human has gone through with the surgery, and that was Charlie. Also, all of the other subjects haven’t stayed smart and died. One major problem would be I would know I wasn’t going to stay smart, and I might helplessly try to stop it. Finally, changing my intelligence would risk my sanity. I would go insane if I didn’t have friends, which the surgery would take from me.

Also, the surgery is unethical. First off, the before-surgery-me would be lost. The surgery would change my intelligence so much; my personality would be totally different. The surgery would also change my destiny. It would change my life so much that my destiny would be a chameleon in front of a flickering fire. Finally, the surgery would take away everything I have, and then it might take my life.

Last, but not least, sometimes being smart isn’t what matters most. First of all, I am happy with my current life. I think that the surgery wouldn’t be a very good change. Another reason is being a genius would isolate me. I would be isolated because I would be so much smarter than most people; they wouldn’t like to be around me. Finally, I believe that having friends is better than having smarts. If you have good friends, smarts don’t really matter.

I wouldn’t be the subject of the surgery. Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks, but when the risk is death, it isn’t worth it. Now, would you have the surgery?