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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, January 10, 2006

And the Debate Rages On -- The Bioethics of Biotech Enhancement -- Bio, Noo, Soc

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My recent "Kass Speaks!" article discussed some of the views of bioconservatives -- sometimes called bioskeptics -- on using biotech to enhance the abilities of humans. To enable people to become "Better than Well" -- smarter, stronger, faster, healthier -- or to develop new abilities altogether. A more balanced set of arguments can be found here on Reason.Com's debate on human enhancement. Participating in the debate were Ronald Bailey, Reason’s science correspondent and the author of Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution; Eric Cohen, director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Biotechnology and American Democracy Program and editor of the group’s journal, The New Atlantis; and Joel Garreau, a reporter and editor for The Washington Post and author of Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies, and What It Means To Be Human.

To quote moderator Nick Gillespie:

Our panelists tonight will not agree on very much, but on this basic point I suspect they’re in complete agreement: Forget all the talk about Social Security solvency, income tax rates, blue states, red states, even the war in Iraq. The most fundamental social and political issue facing the world today — and tomorrow — is the question of human enhancement.

Unfortunately, the format prevented any real sparring or discussion between the participants (other than the moderator). But this exchange was still a useful overview, especially for anyone relatively new to the debate. I wish they could have produced something a bit more extensive but this piece is still worth a glance.


Future Imperative

7 Comments:

Blogger Gina said...

Perhaps you could try to develop another opportunity?

January 19, 2006 7:47 PM  
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