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Unfit for the FutureThe Need for Moral Enhancement$
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Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653645.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 Introduction
Source:
Unfit for the Future
Author(s):

Ingmar Persson

Julian Savulescu

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653645.003.0001

It is easier for us to harm each other than to benefit each other, e.g. easier to kill than to save life. The extraordinary progress of scientific technology has increased our powers of action so that we can cause ultimate harm, i.e. render worthwhile life forever impossible, by weapons of mass destruction or by deleterious climate change and environmental destruction. There is considerable risk that we shall cause such harm, since our psychology and morality have evolved for a life in small societies with primitive technology and have not developed in pace with the changes brought about by technology. Since we shall continue to depend on advanced technology to support a huge and growing human population, we are in need of moral enhancement, by traditional or novel biomedical means, to bring down the risk of ultimate harm. This chapter also surveys the following nine chapters of the book.

Keywords:   climate change, environmental destruction, moral enhancement, scientific technology, weapons of mass destruction

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