Fascinating, fascinating thread. You guys have really made me think, and I normally don't have time these days to just hop into such a hot debate thread. Actually, of all the debate threads I've seen in awhile, this is one of the better ones thus far, keep it up! I really have missed out on news, lately too. That'll teach me not to check Yahoo for a day or two!
Your hypothetical situations edlib are marvelous. I have my own idea of how I'd react to them, but I'm curious to see how SD will respond to them (don't want to ruin the challenge). I can only guess you were inspired by sci fi (which is another reason I think Sci Fi is a great medium for discussing hypotheticals in the debate on moral issues in a less controversial setting).
I don't think our time in a debate such as this is wasted at all, rather I think we have the ability to practice articulating our ideas and perhaps, even if in a small way, grow in our thinking. I for one, feel like I have just by reading it. For that, kudos...
Edit: Wow, 3 new posts just appeared in this thread as I was posting this one (but my kudos still stand!). Truly a hot topic, in any case. Normally I'm one of the guys with fast posting skillz... then again I take that back, usually my posts are really long and take more time to post, though they tend to seem fast despite the volume of text, thanks to nimble fingers.