Human Enhancement

The Slippery Slope of Normality: Lessons from Neuroethics (Part 1)

This lecture was originally delivered as a combined institute session during our 2009 preconference institutes. In this part of the lecture Dr. Cheshire explores the nature of slippery slope arguments, the meaning of normality, developments in cognitive enhancement, and arguments in favor of neuroenhancement.

Podcast Episode: 
146

Grey Matters: Just Enhancement

As the United States considers how best to restrain the growth of healthcare costs while ensuring quality and access, the potential economic impact of proposals for enhancement medicine should not be overlooked. This essay makes the case that the practice of neuroenhancement, if it were to become widespread, would infringe upon the ethical principle of distributive justice.

Podcast Episode: 
144

The Future of the Human Species (Part 2)

 

Part I

 

Podcast Episode: 
135

The Future of the Human Species (Part 1)

The promise of the posthuman project is the creation of beings that live healthy, productive, and happy lives, and most importantly beings that live for very long time—perhaps forever. The ultimate promise is immortality. The accompanying peril, however, is that the cost is exorbitant. The price of perfecting humankind is its destruction, for in becoming posthuman humans cease being human. The peril of the posthuman project, in short, is that its optimism disguises an underlying death-wish for the human species.

Podcast Episode: 
134

Revitalizing Medicine: Empowering Natality vs. Fearing Mortality Part II

One of the great accomplishments of modern medicine is arguably the gains that have been made in extending longevity. Throughout the twentieth century, average life expectancy increased dramatically across the globe, a trend being continued in the twenty-first century with the notable exceptions of sub-Saharan Africa and Russia. For the first time in history it now seems “normal” that a person should live a long, healthy, and active life. Although the trend line is still moving up, it has started to plateau.

Podcast Episode: 
128

Revitalizing Medicine: Empowering Natality vs. Fearing Mortality

One of the great accomplishments of modern medicine is arguably the gains that have been made in extending longevity. Throughout the twentieth century, average life expectancy increased dramatically across the globe, a trend being continued in the twenty-first century with the notable exceptions of sub-Saharan Africa and Russia. For the first time in history it now seems “normal” that a person should live a long, healthy, and active life. Although the trend line is still moving up, it has started to plateau.

Podcast Episode: 
127

Grey Matters: Accelerated Thought in the Fast Lane

  • Download audio file
  • Length: 13:50 minutes (15.85 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Joint stereo 44kHz 160Kbps (CBR)

The quest for speed has increasingly driven the course of progress. The history of technology records remarkable innovations to advance the cause of speed in communication and travel in particular. Emerging neuropharmaceutical technologies now introduce the prospect of accelerating the speed of thought.

Podcast Episode: 
122

Nip & Tuck: A Parable

Cosmetic surgery for many elicits an unbidden, irresistible reaction of repugnance. The growing reality of nose jobs, breast and pectoral implants, buttock lifts, and liposuctions – it appalls and disturbs. In a different context, Leon Kass popularized the notion of the ‘wisdom of repugnance.’ This negative response or ‘yuck factor’ is a strong intuition that something is wrong or morally amiss. Folks who worry about Botox rituals discern the stink of ethical death in the cultural air. Their repugnance is an ethical gatekeeper, a barometer of all things pernicious to genuine human flourishing: This far you can go, and no further.

It is worth asking, however, whether this custodial ethical wisdom has anything going for it. To many the issue seems simple enough – we do not need the nuance of philosophers to realize that cosmetic surgery goes against the grain of what nature and her God have granted us. Few will chastise parents who warn their children against the surgical woes of the recently deceased pop star Michael Jackson. This seems obviously wrong. Likewise, the antics of a Jocelyn Wildenstein can be easily dismissed, her face a shocking specter of multiple surgeries. Yes, something has obviously gone awry.

Podcast Episode: 
126

Extending Human Life to What End: Ethical Reflections on Regenerative Medicine (Part 2)

  • Download audio file
  • Length: 28:11 minutes (32.27 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Joint stereo 44kHz 160Kbps (CBR)

The second and final part of a 2004 lecture by Brent Waters, DPhil, originally delivered on the campus of Trinity International University. The lecture is entitled “Extending Human Life to what End: Ethical Reflections on Regenerative Medicine.”

Podcast Episode: 
105

Pages