Re: the "not to be born" right

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Sat Nov 25 2000 - 16:18:19 MST

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> Anders Sandberg asks,
> > ...Many anti-enhancement people base their position on their
> > view that prenatal enhancements are against the integrity and dignity
> > of the person. What would a transhumanist defence of such enhancements
> > be in terms of our views of personal integrity and human dignity? And
> > reverse, from these views, what would not be allowed?
> I would defend enhancements of whatever kind on the grounds that they
> increase personal integrity and expand human dignity. Because that's what
> enhancements do. They make things better, more beautiful, more free, more
> excellent, healthier, more competent. Anyone who would argue against such
> things simply and plainly does not understand the meaning of the word
> "enhancement."
> Reasonable people would not allow modifications or bio-engineering which
> does not result in the enhancement (IOW improvement) of human life.

A bit of devil's advocate, so we can more fully understand (and thus
better rebut) the opposition:

When I try the above argument, the usual reply is that my statement
(that enhancements really are enhancements) are met with vague,
unformed responses that boil down to calling me a liar. As near as I
can tell, they are worried that, no matter what potential is promised,
what will be/is being/has been sold as "enhancements" always turns out
to be snake oil, i.e. it profits the seller and is either benign or
actually harmful to the buyer. The justification derives from past
enhancements like "mystical" potions and steroids (which get more
press, at least these days, than enhancements that actually do work -
for instance, keeping clean, better medicines, et cetera - which tend
to fade into the backdrop of accepted everyday life until they are no
longer "enhancements").

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