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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

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The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Worth of a Life -- Part II -- Bio, Gov, Soc

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Patricia Bauer just wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post entitled "The Debate No One Wants to Have" arguing that many Americans take it for granted that if genetic testing makes it possible to screen babies with major disabilities while they are still embryos, it would be kinder to simply abort such an imperfect being rather than bring him or her into the world.

Whatever your political views on this particular question, we are beginning to see the first leading edges of a debate on various methods of human biological optimization, of which simple genetic screening is one of the simplest and crudest. If aborting an embryo, no matter how crippled, apalls you, how would you feel if you had the technology to cure that unborn child completely? Even to enhance his or her capabilities permanently?

How much is that child's original genetic code an inalienable right, a fundamental element of their being?

These are heady questions, but what is fascinating is that they are increasingly coming out of the obscure corners where they have been debated by ethicists, geneticists, biochemists and enthusiasts and are moving into the cultural and political mainstream.

As a fan of informative public debate, I must say this looks promising, whatever its ultimate outcome.


Future Imperative

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