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Volume 25 • Number 1

January 2011



 

 

A Tory and Liberal Spar on the Ethics of a Posthuman Future


by Rita Risser


In her Massey lecture series "The Ethical Imagination," bioethicist Margaret Somerville argues that we humans have a moral duty to preserve what is most basic to being human, namely, the human form itself. We should not, therefore, tolerate the development and application of technologies in the life sciences (including genetics, reproductive technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and so on) in ways that would result in radically altering the human form. The concern, here, is not simply with human enhancement. The concern is more specific: we should not tolerate the development and application of the technosciences, for either health or enhancement, that would alter the natural identity of the human species—as when, for example, an individual's germline cells are altered in the treatment of a condition, or when human bodies are integrated with technology to create cyborgs. With such alterations, over time the human form could be lost altogether in the creation of a posthuman form.


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ISSN: 2152-0542