Choose a current issue in science and discuss how rhetoric 'at its truest' as portrayed by Weaver might help us make choices about and/or resolve some of the complexities associated with that issue. If applicable, provide a critique of the prevailing rhetoric surrounding your issue--discuss whether you would characterize it as primarily 'neutral,' 'base' or 'noble.'
In a world where the boundaries between Sci-Fi and Science are rapidly blurring, the issue surrounding Genetically Modified/Engineered Foods (GM/GE) is coming to the forefront as a potentially major issue, specifically in the US, as more and more GE materials are created and dispersed throughout the country. The reason the issue is more specifically a problem for the US as compared to most of the world is that GE's are legal for production/distribution within the US (many countries have made it illegal) and secondly the US has no laws that force distributors to mark their products with a GE stamp (again as opposed to most European and many Asian countries whose food has to be marked) so that it is almost impossible to know if the food being consumed is a non GMO product. A third issue that has immerged recently with the unbanning of Alfalfa and the soon to be introduced Frankenfish is the potential for cross contamination of organic foods with these GM strains.
At the current time there are two (obvious) rhetorical focus'. Those against it approach it with the standard concern rhetoric. The opposition likewise follows suit with the 'for the greater good'. A big problem however is the lack of publication of this issue. Once in a while the public sees an article on something big like the Frankenfish, yet this quickly disappears and receives little to no follow up. The problem with trying to apply Weavers idea of 'at its truest' is convoluted as is much of his argument. His ambiguous use of 'greater good' and 'truth' and 'proper art' are such over generalization of a black/white dichotomy yet at the same time is tainted by a seeming lack of understanding of the concepts of subjectivity when such broad terms are used. Who's good are we talking about? The corporations and certain scientists would argue that despite the misgivings of the general populace about GE's that it is in their greater interest due to food supply issues, disease and a host of other ideas. That like children, the masses need to be dragged kicking and screaming to their senses. Isn't it a scientists duty to enhance the life of his fellow humans? So using Weavers theory then this line of rhetorical theory that we need to achieve a "place [that] the highest good man can intuit", then this would be acceptable form of 'Goodness'.
Personally, I might argue against this due to facts such as the Frankenfish has their growth hormone stimulated nonstop from birth and doesn't stop until the day it dies essential doubling its growth in the span of half the time. Yet who am I to argue with the FDA that a food pumped full of growth hormone is bad when they have my "Greater Good" at heart. With that stated then why would I need to be able to discern the organic with GE when the mutations are so obvious a healthy choice? The problem isn't whose rhetoric is right or wrong it's that Weavers sense of 'good', 'EVIL' and 'neutral' is too generalized. If I wanted to be a humanist, I could argue that none of this is conclusive enough to judge. If Weaver's terms had to be used then the corporate aspect would be labeled 'EVIL' and the opposing side 'good'. The issue is that neither rhetorical side is right. When it comes down to it, some of the GE's might be good but since the whole industry is clouded in secrecy and legislature it is nearly impossible to pierce this shroud. It is this shroud that also keeps this issue in the dark. "True Rhetoric" would need to open up the conversation more broadly so that a good sense of cause/effect can be looked into beyond the FDA's 'outside' testers. People need to know what foods they are consuming and be given a choice. But again using Weaver's models creates too many sinkholes and weakness' to clearly apply this functionaly.