Francis Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future fears that biotechnology will make monsters of us. Steven Rose weighs the evidence. The power to genetically enhance future generations could be a boon for humanity – or it could lead to an era of violent rebellion against the. Is a baby whose personality has been chosen from a gene supermarket still a human? If we choose what we create what happens to morality? Is this the end of .

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Or it could be the kind of soft tyranny envisioned in Brave New World, in which everyone is healthy and happy but has forgotten the meaning of hope, fear, pisthuman struggle.

Those ends are not rigidly determined; human nature is posthman plastic, and we have an enormous range of choices conformable with that nature. The much more common dystopic writing of the past 50 years has largely been posited on disruptive scientific and technological fantasies.

This means that social elites may not just pass on social advantages but embed them genetically as well.

Unnatural selection

The bad old form of eugenics discriminated against the disabled and the less intelligent by forbidding them to have children. Fukuyama argues that the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person’s descendants will have profound, and potentially fuyure, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken with the best of intentions.

Legislation to ban so-called therapeutic cloning is currently before Congress, futre the same time as the US withdraws from the Kyoto and Start treaties and weakens environmental protection.

Partly it is the product of historical accident: Despite the poor repute in which concepts such as natural rights are held by academic philosophers, much of our political world rests on the existence of a stable human “essence” with which we are endowed by nature, or rather, on the fact that we believe that such an essence exists.


Moreover, he believes that “every member of the human species possesses a genetic endowment that allows him or her to become a whole human being, an endowment that distinguishes a human in essence from other types of creatures. Partly it is a matter of force of habit, and what Max Weber once called the “ghost of dead religious beliefs” that continues to haunt us.

By this I mean not just fighting metaphorically, in the sense of shouting matches among talking heads on TV and debates in Congress, but actually picking up guns and bombs and using them on other people.

Our Posthuman Future – Wikipedia

It may be that we are somehow destined to take up this new kind of freedom, or that the next stage of evolution is one in which, as some have suggested, we duture deliberately take charge of our own biological makeup rather than leaving it to the blind forces of natural selection.

He lives in McLean, Virginia.

Sound conclusion, faulty premises. Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering. In it, he discusses the potential threat to liberal democracy that use of new and emerging biotechnologies for transhumanist ends poses. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine.

Fukuyama accepts their claims to universalism in order to build fukuyxma case that the naturalistic fallacy is itself fallacious. Instead we are treated to an unflinchingly conservative position that the only way to combat negative outcomes is to pass the burden of biotech research regulation to political bodies which will be successful in hedging these outcomes to the degree that they are successful in orchestrating global consensus to outlaw biotech research.

Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Nothing imaginative here, just the usual fear mongering.


Review: Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama | Books | The Guardian

He – and we – should be so lucky. He is on less firm ground when dealing with genetic claims, where he accepts at face value the rather suspect evidence for so-called “smart” or “aggressive” mice engineered by adding or removing DNA from their genomes.

In his dense, well-researched new book, political scientist Fukuyama The End of History correctly predicts monumental forthcoming changes through biotechnology, raising challenging social, political Evolutionary psychologists reject the first criticism, and despite their protestations that they wouldn’t dream of doing so, happily spend their time deriving multiple oughts from diverse ises.

But for his purposes, such errors in biological understanding aren’t important, and his assessment of the direction in which such work is heading seems about right. Certainly, no one ever got elected to Congress on such a platform. The year came and went, with the United states still locked in a Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union. The Study of Human Nature: English Choose a language for shopping. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. I’m an undergraduate student witha a double major: Many of the grounds on which certain groups were historically denied their share of human dignity were proven to be simply a matter of prejudice, or else based on cultural and environmental conditions that could be changed.

Author outlines several issues that need to be address to establish an effective international regulation of biotechnology: Of the nightmares evoked by these two books, Brave New World”s always struck me as more subtle and more challenging.