John Harris's Beyond Humanity: The Ethics Of Transhumanity
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The present description focuses on the works of two philosophers: 1) chapter four of Allen Buchanan book, Beyond Humanity?: The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement; and 2) John Harris’s contribution, Transhumanity: A Moral Vision of the Twenty-First Century, in Ethics and Humanity: Themes from the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover.
Both Buchannan and Harris have points of convergence; however, it is unnecessary to paraphrase all of their views here and we will not do so. We will only highlights some of their main points. Before considering their presuppositions we should note the three tenants of their argument. First, the idea that we ought not to appeal to human nature in ethics of enhancement discuss. The second centres on the efficacy of evolutionary…show more content… Recurring to human nature, he argues, cannot serve as a moral arbiter nor can it restrained us from any form of enhancement that could destroy our human nature. Furthermore, since there is no unanimous consensus regarding human nature, the debate can only be substantiated by an argument that is grounded on the Darwinian theory of evolution. The only guaranteed knowledge of human nature is that which is derived from a scientific knowledge not from common sense conception. For this reason, the appeal to human nature is at odds with the scientific knowledge. Debate on enhancement ought to be informed by scientific understanding of human nature, therefore any understanding outside of this parameter will be a mere…show more content… They include claims that human nature is the determiner of: 1) practical rationality; 2) constraint on morality; 3) constrain on what is good for humans; 4) substantive moral rule; and, lastly, the notion that human nature “exhibits extreme connectedness.”
On the first point, it has long been considered that rationality is a constituent part of human nature and enhancement, if allowed as critics postulate, could possibly destroy human ability to reason practically. Buchannan finds this objection as not convincing because it gives no clue whether enhancement ought to be pursued. For Buchanan, damages on practical rationality that might emanate from enhancement can be chattered without reference to human nature.
Concerning the second appeal, moral philosophers and contemporary neuroethics enunciate the need for a realistic understanding of morality. They argue that we ought to take into account the evolutionary “cognitive and motivational limitations of human beings” in moral discuss. For Buchannan, if this “cognitive or motivational limitations” can be “relaxed or removed” as a result of biomedical enhancement, what need be deliberated upon is whether it would be good to proceed with such removal. This second appeal adds nothing to the understanding of enhancement, neither does it lend any support as to why enhancement is wrong. Enhancement technologies