mercoledì 11 maggio 2016

Human Enhancement by Julian Savulescu, Nick Bostrom

Human Enhancement by Julian Savulescu, Nick Bostrom
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Last annotated on May 11, 2016
Contents Acknowledgements vii Introduction Human Enhancement Ethics: The State of the Debate 1 Nick Bostrom and Julian Savulescu Part I. Human Enhancement in General 1. Can Anyone Really Be Talking About Ethically Modifying Human Nature? 25 Norman Daniels 2. What’s Taxonomy Got to Do with It? ‘‘Species Integrity,’’ Human Rights, and Science Policy 43 Eric T. Juengst 3. Should We Improve Human Nature? An Interrogation from an Asian Perspective 59 Ryuichi Ida 4. The Case Against Perfection: What’s Wrong with Designer Children, Bionic Athletes, and Genetic Engineering 71 Michael J. Sandel 5. What Is and Is Not Wrong With Enhancement? 91 Frances Kamm 6. Enhancements Are a Moral Obligation 131 John Harris 7. Playing God 155 C. A. J. Coady 8. Toward a More Fruitful Debate About Enhancement 181 Erik Parens 9. Good, Better, or Best? 199 Arthur L. CaplanRead more at location 6
10. The Human Prejudice and the Moral Status of Enhanced Beings: What Do We Owe the Gods? 211 Julian Savulescu Part II. Specific Enhancements 11. Is Selection of Children Wrong? 251 Dan W. Brock 12. Parental Choice and Human Improvement 277 Peter Singer 13. Reasons Against the Selection of Life: From Japan’s Experience of Prenatal Genetic Diagnosis 291 Susumu Shimazono 14. Medical Enhancement and the Ethos of Elite Sport 315 Torbjorn T ¨ annsj ¨ o¨ 15. Life Enhancement Technologies: Significance of Social Category Membership 327 Christine Overall 16. Paternalism in the Age of Cognitive Enhancement: Do Civil Liberties Presuppose Roughly Equal Mental Ability? 341 Daniel Wikler 17. Enhancing Our Truth Orientation 357 Robin Hanson Part III. Enhancement as a Practical Challenge 18. The Wisdom of Nature: An Evolutionary Heuristic for Human Enhancement 375 Nick Bostrom and Anders Sandberg Index Read more at location 7
Note: CONTENT Edit
Medical Enhancement and the Ethos of Elite Sport Torbjörn Tännsjö ∗ Abstract We should distinguish between negative medical interventions (intended to cure disease), positive interventions (intended to improve, within the normal range, functioning) and enhancement (where a person is pushed beyond species normal functioning). It seems that, within medicine in general, even if these distinctions can make a difference with respect to who shall pay for the service, they make no principled difference as to whether the services can be provided. However, in sports medicine, they do make a difference. In this chapter, I investigate what kind of difference. Negative interventions seem to be unproblematic, positive interventions problematic, and enhancement forbidden. Why? Is there a rationale behind this to be found within the ethos of sport as such?Read more at location 324
The ethos of elite sport So, what is the ethos of elite sport? Several components come to mind. Elite sport is, first and foremost, a cultural phenomenon. It is supposed to provide the viewer with a fascinating performance. This means that the performance should hold a certain aesthetic quality. Read more at location 329
Moreover, elite sport is competitive. It is a matter of winning or losing. The viewer is supposed to take an interest in who wins and who loses. This requires that the outcome is not too easily predictable. Read more at location 329
Finally, there is an element of fairness involved in elite sport. As far as possible, conditions that are irrelevant to the competition should be eliminated. In a sense, all who compete should have the same chance to excel.³ Read more at location 330
Why would we not allow a person who has been provided with threemetre long legs to compete in the high jump? It suffices here to note that this would spoil the high jump for simple aesthetic reasons. Read more at location 330
Suppose an extremely short-legged person gets the length of his legs increased through what I have classified as a positive intervention. His legs are now somewhat above average length. Would this disqualify him for high jump? Or, consider the case with a person who is born with just one leg. Suppose through advanced medical techniques involving stem cell technology we can provide him with a prosthetic for his lacking leg. Is he then fit to enter the Olympic high jump competition? Or, consider an athlete who has his Achilles tendon hurt. His physician offers him a new artificial elastic transplant, which he accepts. He is soon back in competition and excels as usual. I suppose we have nothing to object to. But then there is another athlete, who has always had trouble with his weak Achilles tendon and never been able to train as much as he has wanted. He too asks for the artificial transplant and receives it, even though, for the moment, his own Achilles tendon is healthy. He nowRead more at location 331
becomes able to train much harder than before and, eventually, he takes over the world record. Would this be acceptable? My intuitions are not quite settled here, but I tend to believe that none of this would be accepted, at least not if the person operated upon not only competes, but does so very successfully and excels. We would not be happy to celebrate any one of these persons as the winner of high jump in the Olympics.Read more at location 332
Games. Pistorius is facing fierce resistance from the track and field’s world governing body, however, which is seeking to bar him on the grounds that the technology of his prosthetics may give him an unfair advantage over sprinters using their ‘natural’ legs: Read more at location 332
Is there a way of explaining this kind of reaction? He would, after all, both contribute to the aesthetic quality of the competition, if he were allowed to compete, and this would also render the outcome of the competition less certain. Read more at location 332
Is there anything more to high jump than aesthetics and competition with an uncertain outcome? Read more at location 333
The first answer to the question of why this person should not be allowed to compete would be that this person had an unfair advantage over other persons. Read more at location 333
We could easily avoid it by ascertaining that everyone who wants to do so can have his (or her) legs increased in this manner. Indeed, if we are interested in levelling out differences, we could also have a rule about the maximum length of legs, actually levelling out existing differences.Read more at location 333
So, why not accept three-metre long legs in high jump? Well, I tend to think that we should accept this. But I think I understand the rationale behind what seems to be the received wisdom, to wit, a denial that people should be allowed to compete in high jump with three-metre long legs. The rationale has to do with a notion of elite sport as a way of exploring the limits of human nature. Read more at location 333
It might be thought that, while this reference to the ethos of sport explains why enhancement is not acceptable, it doesn’t explain why positive measures are not acceptable. Read more at location 333
why should we not allow a person who is born weak to increase his strength, through all sorts of medical interventions? Read more at location 334
This is a notion of justice insisting that we all must accept the ticket we have actually drawn in the genetic lottery. Genetic differences are not irrelevant to the outcome of the competition. Indeed, genetic differences are what should be decisive, once we have eliminated other differences. This is a Nietzschean view of justice, according to which it is unfair if those who are less fit pool their resources and rob the genuinely strong Übermensch of his genetic advantage. Read more at location 334
See my chapter ‘Is Our Admiration for Sports Heroes Fascistoid?’, in Torbjörn Tännsjö and Claudio M. Tamburrini, Sports and Values: Elitism, nationalism, gender equality, and the scientific manufacture of winners Read more at location 334
8. Conclusion There is a striking difference between sports medicine and medicine in general, as we have seen. In medicine in general we can accept both positive measures and enhancement. However, in sports medicine both positive measures and enhancement are viewed with suspicion. The rationale behind this suspicion has to do with a very special aspect of the ethos of elite sport, the idea that in elite sport we search for the limits of what a human being can do, together with a very special notion of justice according to which we are allowed to admire the individual who has drawn a winning ticket in the natural genetic lottery and excels. If we give up this aspect of the ethos of elite sport we need no special medical ethics for sport medicine. Just as we can allow a piano player to acquire two extra fingers, in order to play better, we can allow an athlete to acquire three-metre long legs, in order to jump higher. What counts, in both music and sport, is the aesthetic quality, providing for good entertainment. And it is incumbent upon the medical personnel to see to it that the medical measures resorted to are safe. As a matter of fact, I believe this is the direction in which we are heading. Once enhancement of all kinds become common outside the elite sport context, in particular within recreational sports, it will become increasingly more difficult to keep it out of elite sport itself.Read more at location 335
17 Enhancing Our Truth Orientation Robin Hanson ∗ Abstract Humans lie and deceive themselves, and often choose beliefs for reasons other than how closely those beliefs approximate truth. This is mainly why we disagree. Three future trends may reduce these epistemic vices. First, increased documentation and surveillance should make it harder to lie and self-deceive about the patterns of our lives. Second, speculative markets can create a relatively unbiased consensus on most debated topics in science, business, and policy. Third, brain modifications may allow our minds to be more transparent, so that lies and self-deception become harder to hide. In evaluating these trends, we should be wary of moral arrogance.Read more at location 366