Pro-Enhancement Versus Anti-Enhancement

Healthy life extension is human enhancement, just like efforts to create bigger muscles or better minds. There is absolutely nothing wrong in turning our efforts to improving our lot in life - and better bodies, health and life span are a perfectly valid part of the quest for self-improvement.

In his latest piece at Betterhumans, James Hughes takes a look at the split between forward-looking and conservative factions - over human enhancement, needless to say - in the bioethics and nanotechnology communities. If you're interested in hearing about some of the butting of heads and disagreements going on behind the scenes, then dive right on in.

A battle royale between bioconservatives and transhumanists is brewing in US politics. From ground-zero communities such as bioethicists and nanotechnologists, the struggle for our right to use technology to control our own bodies and minds is spreading.

Of course, I'm not at all fond of bioethics as a field - and I certainly don't see bioethicists as a "ground zero community." Are bioethicists out there performing essential medical research? Of course not - they're the ones consuming fat salaries while trying to stop esential medical research from happening at the best possible speed.

However, some important points are touched on in this article. It is worth remembering that in even "free" societies today, you do not have full legal rights over your own body and mind. You are forbidden from undertaking a great many things, in fact. Medical research and the practice of medicine are similarly constrained. So long as government interference in private lives and contracts is accepted in our societies - thus allowing conservative groups to prevent or slow progress - we will continue to see progress towards healthy life extension technologies that is far slower than it might otherwise be.


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