Human Enhancement

[ By on December 17, 2014 ]

In this recent article in the Guardian newspaper, Kostas Kostarelos debates whether or not Human Enhancement should be restricted to certain people. Human Enhancement is the application of technology to overcome physical or mental restrictions of the body. Kostarelos touches on different types of developing technologies such as chips that can be implanted into the brain to increase memory and other implants that allow connectivity between brains. He also discusses the critical relationship between these new technologies aiding and enhancing human capability and at what point is human enhancement no longer moral. He finishes by stating that he believes it is ethical to allow human enhancement for disabled people and various other patient groups, but he asks, should we restrict it to only these people? Let me know your opinions on this critical topic.

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4 Comments on “Human Enhancement”

  1. reedlipman

    Kelley Nicholson-Flynn

    [ December 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm ]

    I would do anything to have an extra memory pack in my brain! Just kidding. Maybe.

    Two of my favorite articles about this are Michael Sandel’s “The Case Against Perfection” and Julian Savulescu’s “The Obligation to Enhance.”

  2. reedlipman

    Really interesting question! Definitely brings up equity questions — if everyone can do it, can everyone afford to do it? And if not, I wonder where the line of “acceptable” enhancement candidates would be drawn…
    -SDC

  3. reedlipman

    A moral issue you might want to address is the use of mesenchymal stem cell therapies on individuals who have autism. Currently there are no medications FDA approved for treating autism. However there is considerable research being done on this application of stem cells and the results are promising. One organization lauded the work as finding the cure to autism. The issue is people in patient groups and support groups are concerned about how the word “cure” is being applied to autism patients and the implications of this application. The question is if mesenchymal stem cells can “cure” or reduce considerably the symptoms of autism, then does that imply that people with autism are infected? Or sick? Patient groups worry that these terms would strip individuals who have autism of their humanity.

  4. reedlipman

    I think the bionic future is all around us. It is only a matter of time before the available upgrades are better than the stock model and people would be willing to sacrifice working, normal anatomy to get them. The body modification devotees are already experimenting in this area. Would I give up my nearsighted eyes for a replacement pair that had 20/20 vision and google glass built in? I suppose it depends on the price point. I also think as more and more veterans of recent conflicts are left without limbs the demand for and technological improvements of artificial limbs are increasing dramatically. It may soon get to the point where a replacement for a biological part is normal. See for example: http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_on_running?language=en

Hi Stranger, reply with your thoughts:

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