The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Tag: enhancement

Transhumanism purifies human misery

The human is a miserable being. Although we are pleased about the new and better-paid job, we soon acquire more costly habits, richer friends, and madder professional duties. We are back to square one, dissatisfied with life and uncomfortable with ourselves. Why can life never be perfect? Discontent makes us want to escape to better […]

Neuroethical reflection in the Human Brain Project

The emergence of several national level brain initiatives and the priority given to neuroscientific research make it important to examine the values underpinning the research, and to address the ethical, social, legal, philosophical, and regulatory issues that it raises. Neuroscientific insights allow us to understand more about the human brain: about its dynamic nature and […]

Ethics, human rights and responsible innovation

It is difficult to predict the consequences of developing and using new technologies. We interact with smart devices and intelligent software on an almost daily basis. Some of us use prosthetics and implants to go about our business and most of us will likely live to see self-driving cars. In the meantime, Swedish research shows […]

The brain develops in interaction with culture

The brain develops dramatically during childhood. These neural changes occur in the child’s interaction with its environment. The brain becomes a brain that functions in the culture in which it develops. If a child is mistreated, if it is deprived of important forms of interaction, like language and care, the brain is deprived of its […]

What does responsibility mean within a widespread doping culture?

We tend to hold individual athletes responsible for doping behavior. This makes it tempting to assume that if we are to fight doping in sports, we need to more efficiently identify these individuals and impose sanctions on them. But what if doping is a phenomenon with many ramifications? What if doping isn’t invented by individual […]

Save humanity from the human

We must enhance the human; or else humanity will come to an end. Thus dramatically one could summarize the bioethicist Julian Savulescu’s TEDx-talk in Barcelona in July. The talk lasts fifteen minutes; you can watch and listen to it yourself: The Need for Moral Enhancement. The idea is that we urgently need medicine and technology […]

Athletes’ feeling that doping is okay is socially created

Doping is often discussed as the individual athlete’s own decision. The athlete wants to win and strategically chooses to take drugs to reach the goal. When the cyclist Lance Armstrong recently confessed that he used performance enhancing drugs while he won Tour de France seven times, he personally took responsibility for his actions and presented […]

Do I have a self?

Viewing neuroscience as a box opener is tempting. The box conceals the human mind; opening the box reveals it. According to this image, neuroscience uncovers reality. It lays bare the truth about our taken for granted notions of mind: about our concepts of ‘self,’ ‘will,’ ‘belief,’ ‘intention’… Neuroscience reveals the underlying facts about us humans. How […]

Collection of papers brings out neglected aspect of ethics

If you wrestle with ethical and legal difficulties associated with genetic science, a recent virtual issue of the Hastings Center Report could be good to think with. The issue collects earlier material on ethics and genetics. There are pieces about the perils of genetic-specific legislation; about the difficulties of understanding behavioral genetics; about the prospects of […]

Political ambitions threaten the intellectual integrity of bioethics

Is there a need to enhance the way bioethicists discuss enhancement? Contemporary ethical debates on human enhancement sometimes resemble bitter political debates in a city council. Implicit or explicit political agendas are expressed as normative claims and are passed as “moral” arguments because they serve “the right cause.” Consider, for instance, James Watson who said […]

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