Side-effects of drugs - brain damage, addiction (300 espresso in a day will kill you)
Unknown long-term effects, risks of operations
But nothing is risk free
Medicine as remedy and therapy
What is the purpose of medicine?
Enhancements for minors and incompetent individuals
What count as "normal"? The debate about hearing implants for deaf children.
Procreative choice and eugenics
The value of accomplishments - process and product. Nozick's experience and result machines.
Hyper-agency, playing God, transhumanism
Francis Fukuyama: "The original purpose of medicine is to heal the sick, not turn healthy people into gods." Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution
Technology allows us to do whatever we want to ourselves. Is there anything that is not allowed?
Issues of fairness
Is enhancement "cheating"? Compare the case with sports.
Competition among individuals - what count as "good enough"?
What would happen to socioeconomic gaps?
Access opportunities to technologies (individual / countries)
Government takes on different roles. Adapted from the Arizona State U report.
Individual freedom and choice most important
Minimal government intervention in the market
Would individuals, companies and the market make the right choices?
Managed technological optimism
Technology is liberating and brings positive benefits
The role of the government is to promote innovation, ensure efficient and fair distribution of resources, and manage risks
The government does not restrict technology other than due to harm or risks.
Technology is not developed for its own sake. Market is not always infallible and in the public interest.
The government should actively encourage and help people lead a good and valuable life.
Technology enhancing the good life will be promoted and those that do not will be discouraged or prohibited.
Starts with a conception of human essence that should not be modified.
The government regulates technology in accordance with such a conception.
"There is no sharp division between mild forms of cognitive enhancement such as education and caffeine and other kinds of technologies. So there is no reason to allow some and not allow the others."
"If we allow people to have operations to make themselves more beautiful, there is no reason why they cannot have operations to make themselves more clever." Discuss this argument.
One version of the harm principle is the following: An action should be prohibited only if it is likely to cause harm to innocent third-parties. Should cognitive enhancements be allowed as long as the harm principle is not violated? Think about the arguments for and against this position.
Do you think cognitive enhancements are likely to decrease or increase inequality in society?
Employers in the future might want to employ only cognitively enhanced individuals which would do their jobs better. Should this be allowed or is this a form of discrimination?