• Open Access

GETTING MORAL ENHANCEMENT RIGHT: THE DESIRABILITY OF MORAL BIOENHANCEMENT

Authors


Prof. Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford – Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Suite 8 Littlegate House, 16-17 St Ebbe's Street, Oxford OX1 1PT, UK. Email: julian.savulescu@philosophy.ox.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

We respond to a number of objections raised by John Harris in this journal to our argument that we should pursue genetic and other biological means of morally enhancing human beings (moral bioenhancement). We claim that human beings now have at their disposal means of wiping out life on Earth and that traditional methods of moral education are probably insufficient to achieve the moral enhancement required to ensure that this will not happen. Hence, we argue, moral bioenhancement should be sought and applied. We argue that cognitive enhancement and technological progress raise acute problems because it is easier to harm than to benefit. We address objections to this argument. We also respond to objections that moral bioenhancement: (1) interferes with freedom; (2) cannot be made to target immoral dispositions precisely; (3) is redundant, since cognitive enhancement by itself suffices.

Ancillary