RE: Engaging Bioethics

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 08:27:04 MDT

Greg Burch wrote:
> >The discipline of bioethics has come under some severe criticism on
> >this list. I have been invited to join a dozen prominent bioethicists
> >at an intimate conference, and to publish my contribution.
> >The conference is and
> >my paper is below. It is not overtly extropian, but perhaps abstractly
> >subversive of conventional bioethics.
>I think we'd all be very interested in a report on this conference from
>you Robin. I'd be especially interested in the general tone and whether
>there were any well-defined general positions being advicated relative to
>human genetic augmentation vs. "cure".

I just got back from the conference, but I'm not sure I have much to
"report." The point of meeting people, as opposed to reading them, is
largely to unconsciously learn a bunch of things about them from
their style, conversation, etc. I feel I have learned lots of such
things, but find it hard to summarize them.

Regarding my talk, they had no complaints about my ethics, but
had doubts about my social science. I'll be presenting the same paper
in a few weeks to some social scientists - let's see if they complain
mainly about my ethics :-).

The people I talked to seemed to think that genetic augmentation issues
were mostly a big overblown yawn. They were mostly reasonable people.
They thought cryonics was too silly even to think about.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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