Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Some thoughts on the Morality of Human Enhancement

Following our initial inclinations unfortunately tends to be far from the best course of action in most situations. Many aspects of a wide variety of ethical systems pertain to restraining our base instincts. Indeed, this is one of the major functions of ethics in society. Attempts at human enhancement are often criticized as breaching our natural limits. Any modifications we may become able to make to our bodies and minds entail a complex set of issues, such as ensuring that any such changes are always voluntary and available to as many people as possible. However, efforts toward human enhancement carry a moral argument that is often overlooked. We generally agree that striving to become better versions of ourselves is a good thing. At least in democratic societies, we interact with each other under an implicit assumption that we are unique and valuable individuals, yet we still try to hone our talents, treat others more civilly, learn new skills etc. Would it not be morally valid for us to use our technology as an aid in becoming more the people we wish to be?


Anonymous said...

I'll admit I first read the title of this post as "Masturbation as a moral imperative".

Glad you're blogging again, Matt. Hope you'll keep at it.

--Michael G.R.

Matt Duing said...

lol Thanks for the heads-up Michael. I think I may write about the tendency of our brains to do that sometime.