January 10, 2006

Shall we enhance?

Elaine Jarvik of the Deseret Morning News wonders if we shall enhance. In her fairly balanced article, Jarvik discusses transhumanism and talks to James Hughes, executive director of the World Transhumanist Association.

It's science fiction based on science fact, a trajectory that begins with emerging technologies like cyberkinetic chips and gene therapy, says James Hughes, president of the World Transhumanist Association and author of "Citizen Cyborg." Actually, says Hughes, that trajectory began as soon as our Paleolithic ancestors started taking care of everyone who was toothless, a point at which we first transcended natural selection, he says. We have relied on technologies of one sort or another for millennia — from eye glasses to antibiotics — to continually make ourselves better than we naturally are.

But where do we draw the line? Or should we draw a line at all? How smart should we be allowed to be? How tall? How happy? If we can make depressed people less depressed, should we make happy people more happy? If we can make our children healthier and smarter, if we can eliminate much of the suffering in the world through technology, do we have a moral responsibility to do so? Or do we have a moral responsibility to speak out against it?
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to know whose piece of art that is.