Applied political philosophy: combatting the dangers of transhumanism by placing human dignity in the battle over bioethics and human enhancement in America
human enhancement, transhumanism
The desire for human enhancement dates back to the initial conception of human civilization. For thousands of years we have continuously attempted to enhance physical and mental capabilities through various means, sometimes with inconclusive, comic, or even tragic results. The industrial and technological revolutions alleviated many of our social and individual health requirements, but also intensified our desire for enhancement. However, up until this point in human history, most biomedical advances, whether successful or not, merely attempted to restore things that were perceived to be deficient, such as vision, hearing, or mobility. Inventions that have attempted to improve on nature, such as anabolic steroids or Ritalin, have been relatively modest, incremental, or detrimental to overall long-term human health. Regardless, recent scientific and technological developments in areas such as biotechnology, information technology, and nanotechnology, humanity appears to be on the cusp of an enhancement revolution (Masci, 2016, para 3). If, or more likely when it comes, this societal transformation will be prompted by continuous efforts to aid people with disabilities and heal those who are diseased. While biomedicine is constantly making rapid progress in new restorative and therapeutic technologies, these could in turn have immense implications for human enhancement.
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