Genetic engineering and the selection and editing of human embryos

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Human embryo. Source:

In the last century, genetic engineering has evolved so fast that now it is even possible to clone, as in a science fiction movie. Eventually, modifying genes will be just another result of science in our daily life. But, is it ethical to change what nature produces?

A few years ago, what we know as making a ‘perfect’ baby was created in the USA by selecting abilities like strength or intelligence, or physical aspects like being tall or blond. From my point of view, it isn’t ethical to modify embryos to create a better human. If we begin creating these types of humans, in the future we will be all like robots and everyone will be equal.

                On the other hand, I understand that if we know that the embryo has a malformation in its genes that will harm its life or even die, then I think this is what genetic engineering is made for, to help or cure those who need it, not to create “robots”.

                To sum up, genetic engineering is one of the greatest advances of science, and it could help cure lots of diseases, which wasn’t possible so far. But it has to be used to help, not to our own benefit.

Silvia S.

Pros and cons of living on your own

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Sources: Eurostat. UK ONS, US Census Bureau

Going grocery shopping, washing the dishes and your clothes, cleaning up, paying the bills, etc… These are the main chores one has to do if they decide to become independent. Do you think you’re ready? The age for emancipating has increased over the last few years, mainly because of how luxurious it’s living with your parents or because of the inability to sustain yourself economically-wise. And of course there are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to living on your own.

First of all, the pros of emancipating are that you learn the basics of the household, such as cleaning, cooking, and paying bills. Besides, you also learn to be responsible, like for example in locking your house, not spending all your money at once, etc… On the other hand, no one will tell you what to do, but this can also be negative, because no one will give you a little reminder to clean the kitchen or turn on the dishwasher.

Finally, moving out also has some negative aspects, such as having to do everything by yourself. For example, dinner will not be ready when you come home or your clothes won’t wash themselves, you will have to do it. Most importantly, you should be able to sustain yourself money-wise, and to do so you will have to find a job with a steady income, because you will have to pay a lot of bills, like for example your rent, groceries, water, light, wi-fi, etc…

In conclusion, becoming independent is not that easy. Those are probably the reasons why the age for emancipating is increasing. In addition to that, in Spain a lot of people don’t have a job which makes it hard to move out. Do you see yourself doing all those things?

Kimmy H.

So there you are. You’re about to be 30 years old and you’re still under your parents’ roof. You don’t want to be there, not because you hate your parents or anything remotely similar. You just want to live your own life, be able to decide what to do by yourself. But you can’t. It looks like the beginning of a tragic novel, but it’s what most of the “young” adults have to face.

The main problem that causes that late emancipation is the actual lack of financial stability, mostly related to the amount of trash jobs that these people have. These trash jobs give no money. Well, they surely do, but it’s not enough to emancipate, which causes that our 30 year-olds need their parents to survive. This can also cause emotional breakdowns, mainly because they can’t live the life they want to live.

The solution that, in the first place, looks really obvious, is the creation of jobs. Many governments boast about being the kings of “unemployement rate decrease”, but the kind of jobs they promote are the same that causes the problem. What they need to promote is steady jobs that make it easier for people to become independent.

All in all, as we all can agree, late emancipation is a huge problem that requires a solution as big as the problem is. And yes, it seems overwhelming, and maybe impossible to fix, but if we don’t try fixing it, it surely won’t fix by itself.

Arnau P.

Living the ‘here and now’

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The reading of Jack Kerouac´s novel On the Road reminds us of one of the most common phrases: ‘live the here and now,’ which is certainly a great motto to describe the typical teenage mindset. We can assure that all of us have reflected upon the pros and cans of following his statement at some point in our lives.

In the first place, in case some individual defined their lifestyle according to the ‘here and now,’ it seems quite obvious that it would be much easier to enjoy and avoid the routine, adding to this the spontaneous behaviors and self-development which this experience would bring to that person.

Nevertheless, it must be said that to live ignoring the existence of some ‘tomorrow’ might break into pieces our possibilities to find a job, which is required to afford a house and sustain ourselves and our families in the future.

Considering each of these facts, we can end with a conclusion: acting as if there´s no tomorrow should be taken seriously, otherwise we will suffer the consequencies sooner or later.

Ángela N.

People can live for a hundred years without really living for a minute, wanting to live  as if there was no tomorrow. Carpe Diem. They are all different ways of expressing the “here and now” lifestyle. But what are the pros and cons of living this kind of lifestyle?

                By living the “here and now”, by forgetting that there’s a tomorrow, life is more enjoyable, because it prevents you from being a prisoner of the past, no errors can be made, there are no limits at all, there is nothing you can’t do. The positivity that soaks  it all comes from the certainty that by focusing on the present you can live better, which leads to a positive approach to life. Besides, by taking risks and erasing all concerns, mental health is improved, because it means leaving behind sadness and insecurity. Furthermore, this lifestyle implies a seek for renovation and freedom, wanting to be 100% yourself, to improve; it encourages you to be better.

                On the other hand, by forgetting that there is a tomorrow, that what you do today might have an impact on what you’ll do tomorrow, you lose sight of the future. All actions have consequences, and being reckless can be damaging. What’s more, when living on the edge you can hurt yourself, or even hurt someone else. By focusing only on living like there’s no tomorrow, the existence of other people can be forgotten, and therefore their health or security aren’t taken into account. Besides, it is necessary to look at the past, because it’s a way of learning, of not repeating the same mistakes you once made.

                We can conclude by saying that living the “here and now” allows you to enjoy life, breaking the chains that restrain your freedom, and it also leads to a healthier mind. But all acts have consequences, and lessons can be learned from the past. It is paramount to take into account other people’s lives so they aren’t hurt. Let us find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live, as Criss Jami said.

Mireia B.


¨Carpe Diem¨ is a very common expression that many people have heard at least once in their life. Translated from Latin, the sentence would mean something similar to ¨seize the moment¨. This idea of worrying just about the ¨here and now¨ has had a lot of influence in different movements, such as the ¨Beat Generation¨ of the mid 50s in America. As any other idea, this philosophy presents pros and cons, which should be analyzed in order to determine the benefits and disadvantages that this type of lifestyle may present.

 For a start, living the current moment without worrying about the future is at first sight something easier than trying to live a life which follows an established course, eliminating the typical concerns which people are usually exposed to. In addition to this, the fact of not being attached to making decisions which could compromise your future allows people to expand their freedom and self-determination, which are greatly valued concepts  in today´s society.

However, this kind of philosophy is clearly not designed for everyone, mainly because it is not essay to abandon the stereotypes of a perfect life which we have been listening to since our childhood. Studying, growing up, getting married, and having kids could seem as not vital or of great importance, but many of the people which have spent their entire lives enjoying the present day discover in the end that those are vital elements that can bring us more happiness than all of the superficial joy obtained through applying the ¨carpe diem¨ idea.

In conclusion, dedicating your life to living the present moment is something not many people can do, despite the fact that it could seem like the easiest option. However, it looks like all the satisfaction obtained through this kind of lifestyle is not enough to leave the traditional values aside and replace them for what fans of the ¨Beat generation¨ would consider a life worth living.

Juan S.

The limits of privacy and intimacy

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Paparazzis waiting outside a celebrity’s home. Business Insider, 2018.

Imagine being at your house, watching your favorite show, and when you look outside the window, hundreds of photographers and reporters are waiting for you to come out. How would you feel? This situation is what many celebrities have to face every single time they want to leave their house. In my opinion, reporters and paparazzi don’t respect famous people’s privacy.

 From my point of view, celebrities are constantly been treated like objects and some people forget that they are humans just like the people who take advantage of them. They have the right to have their own personal space just as we do, like their home. This is supposed to be a safe space, where you can relax, but having paparazzi at your door and in the windows trying to take pictures of you doesn’t allow you to have that kind of peace .

Besides that, many times when celebrities actually talk to reporters, they end up making up information. This happens a lot with the love life of famous people who normally don’t want to talk about that because it is something private.

Finally, I believe that with social media this situation is getting worse. A bad picture or an article about you in a magazine can be spread around the world and this leads to a lot of hate to celebrities even wishing them to be dead. To conclude, celebrities are normal people that should not be harassed by reporters. Or would you like to feel the same way?

Marta N.

Nowadays the social media have assumed a huge transcendental role when it comes to communication and socializing. Some influential people on the internet have been lately complaining about the supposed abuse reporters commit with regards to their privacy. Even if it sounds as a clear violation of intimacy, the reality is that  celebrities have created a business from selling their private life.

First of all, we must  mention the fact of the economic benefit both groups make thanks to those news, in which exclusive information is released about the famous people´s privacy. In the second place, this causes an enormous social impact , which means that their fame and influence grow. The third and last reason why influencers should not complain about paparazzis is the duty they have when accepting to be role models, as they assume the role of icons for a whole generation.

In conclusion, reporters are right in their position related to the conflict caused by the struggles celebrities have  when managing their own fame.

Gonzalo L.

Passive resistance to solve problems?


How many times have we felt the urge of punching someone in the face? How many times have we kept our wildest desires locked because they were too strong? How many times have we wanted to tell the others what we really thought? In our daily life we must face tons of problems and we all react in different ways. Is passive resistance effective? Or is it better to confront them violently? We need to stand up and face them, but no t with violence.

                Violence doesn’t solve anything; in fact it makes it all worse. By using violence when facing a problem we are being just as wrong as the problem itself, we are putting ourselves in the same position. Furthermore, we provoke a violent answer which leads to a bigger problem. Such is the case of wars, where through violent ways human losses are caused. Auschwitz is a perfect example of the consequences of violence. All actions have consequences, and the more aggressive an action, is the more tragic its outcome will be.

                Secondly, if we respond badly towards the problem, we are letting it bring us down. It is important for this not to happen, we need to stand up to our values and let the silence, or the words (if they don’t cause a worse reaction), be our shield. By the use of non aggressive, and therefore passive resistance, we are letting what is causing us pain not bring us down and undermine our values.

                On the other hand, sometimes by not confronting a problem directly we are causing so much pain that it’s essential to respond by opposing actively. By acting passively we are creating a bigger problem, such is the case of the Iraq mess where the only possible solution is to confront the enemy. The problem needs to be stopped or it’ll grow into something far more tragic.

                We can conclude that the use of violence when facing a problem is useless, because it involves tragic consequences. However, there are cases where opposing actively is the only possible solution, but those are exceptions. We need to stand up and not let the problem bring us down. As Lucretius said: ‘The drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence but by oft falling.’

Mireia B.

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So let´s say that you are walking down the street on your way back home, and by the time you are about to open your house’s door, you see an old woman getting robbed. What do you do? Everyone would say that they would go and kick the burglar’s butt, but we all know that many of them wouldn’t even look at the scene because it’s none of their business, and after a few hours they’d tweet something like: “I just saw a granny getting robbed. How disgusting! #StopRobbing”. That’s what passive resistance is about, and it’s actually useless.

A few days ago, while I was watching TV an ad popped out saying: “There are two kinds of people: the ones who say we need a change, and the people who make things change”. It was from the Red Cross, and the person claiming that is completely right. Because words are beautiful, but action is what makes the difference.

I can’t stop thinking about people saying the exact same thing as I do, such as Michael Jackson in his song “Man in the mirror”: “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make the change”, or a Spanish rapper named Calle 13, in his song “La vuelta al mundo”, in which he talks about how no one is going to fix anything for you, and if you want something to be done, you have to do it yourself.

All in all, I truly believe that passive resistance is not useful, and even more: passive resistance is probably what brought our society this close to –at least it seems to me- the beginning of World War III, and that’s mainly because we have let everyone do whatever they wanted because, again, it’s none of our business. Everyone wants to change the world, but no one wants to try.

Arnau P.

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“I would prefer not to”. We all want to say that a few times a day just like Bartleby in the book “Bartleby – The Scrivener”. However, we can’t, we have obligations to follow and work to do. Yet is it really effective to be passively resistant? I think that in some cases it would be a good solution to show some resistance, but not always.

First of all, violence is never a solution to a problem. However, some people might think it’s the best way of showing and teaching someone a lesson, but in most cases it will make it only worse. Nevertheless, if you use violence, how can the other person understand your perspective? The answer is that they can’t and won’t understand it.

So, the best way to show resistance is to say so, but we have obligations, bills to pay, food to buy… You can and should say no to the things you don’t want to do, but some others are just inevitable and you shouldn’t let it get out of control like Bartleby.

Finally, the most important fact is that if you resist you should give and think of solutions. You can’t just say you don’t want to do it and that’s it, you should show interest in improving and resolving the problem or situation.

In conclusion, in my opinion you should resist in some cases, but in others it’s nonsense because in the end everyone has to do it, like for example going to work or paying bills. Besides, I think that Bartleby is not a good example to follow.

Kimmy H.

Which should the age of consent be?

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The age of 18 is the border between being or not fully responsible, not only because you are allowed to drive, but also you must take care of what you do. This frontier is not the same as the age of consent, established between 14 and 16 years old, and this difference can provoke controversial situations in some specific cases.

As far as I’m concerned, according to science your body completes all the physical and psychological development at the age of 18, at the age when people start being adults. Even so, in most European countries the age of consent is between two and four years earlier so, why are people prepared to have sex at the age of 15 but they can’t drive until they’re 18?

Despite that controversy, in order to have a relationship you don’t only need the same responsibilities than for driving, but also while being a teenager you can be more mature than people above 20 years old. Furthermore, for having sex you don’t require being fully developed, you just have to be sure about why are you doing it, and most importantly with whom.

Finally, this is a controversial topic so even if you argue with scientific facts about what is the perfect age to start copulating, not everyone will accept it. Because of that, and taking into account all the other facts, the age of seventeen would be, at least, the best one to establish the age of consent, because you’re allowed to have sex before you are 18 in case you are mature, and besides it is not as distant from the current consent age.

Carlos V.

Jack the Ripper museum debate: historical interest or morbid appeal?

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Jack the Ripper Museum main entrance (12 Cable St, Whitechapel, London)


Typical Victorian room with exhibits (Jack the Ripper Museum)


Who doesn’t like a bit of fun and excitement? A museum dedicated to a serial killer? Why not? It sounds like fun, but is it? Is it only created to amuse us? Or is there anything else it wants to make us understand? There are billions of questions that we can ask about that topic. A museum dedicated to a famous murderer doesn’t sound like a bad idea, but is it ethical? There are several pros and cons about it.

The main goal a museum such as this has is to honour the victims’ memories so society doesn’t forget them. If their stories weren’t told or seen, then we would forget them quickly, as they’re not an important part of our lives. That’s why their story must be told -and seen-, that way society will be aware of what really happened. Furthermore, they wouldn’t see the murderer as just another character but as the awful person he really was, as someone who killed and destroyed lives just for fun. That way, we could see how it happened and what the consequences were, and we would be aware of the misery he brought with him. And for that, the museum needs to show things as they happened, neither to embellish history nor to make it more macabre. They must show it as it really was, so visitors will be shocked and the message can be correctly told.

On the other hand, it can also become a dangerous idea. If what was supposed to be honorable at first turns to be a mere amusement, then the message it should transmit isn’t. People would not see the museum as a representation of the victims’ story but as something fun to do and from which we wouldn’t learn any lesson. That’s why it has to be shocking and real. Besides, the story can be told from the wrong point of view -like a sexist one- so the museum -instead of honouring the victims’ memory- would blame them for what happened to them, and the lesson it would teach wouldn’t be the right one, and thus the museum should be closed.

We can conclude that having a museum dedicated to a famous murderer isn’t a bad idea. In fact it should be done, as long as its goal is to honour the victims’ memory and make people aware of what happened so they wouldn’t see it as just another story. But it’s necessary that the story it tells is shown as it really happened to be unforgettable. If it’s just made to amuse people, or it’s told from a sexist point of view, then it shouldn’t be done.

Mireia B.

Lots of people in Cable Street have criticized the opening of a museum dedicated to women that turned into a horror house. The museum is now dedicated to a serial killer called Jack the Ripper, but the creators said that it is focused on the victim´ perspective. This looks crazy and irresponsible, but is it really like this?

From the beginnings of history, there have been lots of people who committed crimes and brought to the world bad memories, from serial killers to tyrannical rulers who started wars. All of these people are remembered despite the bad things they did, so why can´t a bunch of people make a museum for one of them? It´s part of history and it´s there, we can´t change the past but we can learn about it. The people who really don´t want or like the museum, just have to avoid it or not visit it, it is only a reconstruction of the scenes and it´s very interesting to know how Jack the Ripper killed his victims and how he escaped from the police

From the perspective of the murderer or from the victims it doesn´t matter, the important question is if you like it or not. There are lots of tourists who will visit the museum for curiosity or for fun, whether the East End citizens like it or not, as it provides part of the Victorian era culture.

Johnny S.


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Imagine being a mother or a father whose daughter has been brutally murdered by an assassin who killed other women. Imagine if all of a sudden after you finally learned how to live a normal life without her, a museum is opened to glorify the killer of your daughter and publish pictures of her corpse. That would make you revive your daughter’s death, seeing how people spend their money on seeing her dead. This situation is one that many parents could suffer is museums about killers started to open all around the world. We should not permit that because it is disrespectful, it gives these crimes an attention they should not have and it can encourage other people to do the same.

First of all, a museum like this is very disrespectful to the victims because -despite being dead- should still be treated like humans, and to the families that already had enough with losing a member of their family and don´t need a constant reminder that a mentally disturbed person killed their beloved one.

In the second place, even though this is a very intelligent way of teaching the world how the mind of a person that goes that far with another person’s body works, or at least to try to understand it -which I think no one can-, it gives the assassin more power and more attention than the one he should have. He should be in prison and his attack classified, not in a museum where people spend their money.

Another important aspect is that people who suffer from mental disorders similar to the ones assassins can have, could be motivated or encouraged to do something like that. They could see the pictures and admire them instead of being horrified, or they may think that, because of that museum, that murderer is famous and they want the same thing, fame by being the killer of a huge number of people.

To conclude, museums like the one dedicated to Jack the Ripper should not be permitted and should not exist because they degrade the victims and are a celebration of those horrible acts. Neither you nor anyone wants to be that parent whose dead daughter’s pictures are being displayed for everyone to see.

Marta N.

Jack the Ripper is a well-known London character that committed several murders in the Victorian Era. That´s why they have done a museum, which in my opinion should be closed.

First of all, I find it sexist, because it shows women as victims of a man. Portraying these women as an entertainment and not as a problem to solve leave aside the gravity of the situation. Moreover, the museum exposes lots of gory details, which could shock some of the visitors. For instance, there are pictures of the women mutilated by Jack the Ripper.

However, the owners of the museum stated that it´s done to show history, but it´s just a way of attracting tourists and make money.

In light of the above, this museum doesn´t have any historical interest for Londoners. From my point of view, it just has a morbid and economic interest, which keeps showing women as the weak gender.

Silvia S.

Technology: freedom, privacy and security

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We live in a world in which technology is an essential part of our lives; we practically live with our phones with us 24/7 and probably couldn’t get along without the use of Google Maps. This being said, where should the boundaries between freedom, security and privacy be in regards to technology?

To start, we should focus on freedom: freedom is a basic human right and many believe it shouldn´t be restricted. This is of course true; freedom should prevail over anything and everything. We don’t want to end in a dystopian society where everything is monitored and punished like in Orwell´s 1984, in which the government made sure everyone was safe and yet so very controlled and restricted.

What about privacy? You may be asking yourself privacy is a more complicated issue since opinions on the use and regulation on user information are very strong. But if thought rationally, one can determine that people should be monitored to keep people safe. Yet, this surveillance ought to be kept public, since accustoming the citizens to realizing the importance of surveillance is key to keeping a society safe. Some may argue that this affects our freedom and privacy, but it doesn´t -the general public’s private life is only regulated by the government (an entity that is supposed to be benevolent) and not individuals with ill intent.

This being said, after reviewing freedom and privacy, where does security fall into this equation? Well, security is naturally essential to a functioning society. For this matter, a good idea is not government surveillance, for example shutting down websites, but rather educating society to teach themselves how to face potential risks. You don´t isolate a society because there´s a disease, rather you make a vaccine and therefore teach individuals to fight it.

Taking into consideration the information stated earlier, we can conclude that the boundaries between freedom, privacy and security in regards to technology ought to be the following: freedom should prevail, while education in relation to privacy and security must be implemented.

Gabriel D. A.

The dangers of nuclear energy


Exterior of the Graphite Reactor at the X-10 site in Oak Ridge in 1950 (Tennessee, USA)

Obtaining energy and heat from a nuclear reactor is something that has been occurring since September 1948, when electricity was generated in a nuclear power station for the first time in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Back then they just wanted to power a light bulb, but nowadays this energy is used for industry, mining, farming or medicine. However, this way of producing energy is very dangerous.

Building a nuclear power plant is very expensive and also risky for both the environment and humans because it can cause a catastrophe -like the one in Chernobyl in 1986. Its waste can be very harmful, especially when it comes to radiation. This kind of energy is non-renewable and there are better energy sources. In addition, nuclear waste can be used for terrorist attacks.

In conclusion, I don’t think running nuclear power plants is the best way to get energy, due to the endless list of disadvantages. Nevertheless, nuclear energy along with some other energy sources will play an important role in the following years, that’s for sure.

Lucía M. D.