The Case Against Perfection by Michael Sandels

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Recent breakthroughs in the field of genetics and biotechnology have brought attention to the ethical issues surrounding human enhancement. While these breakthroughs have many positive aspects, such as the treatment and prevention of many debilitating diseases and extending human life expectancy well beyond its current limits, there are profound moral implications associated with the ability to manipulate our own nature. Michael Sandel’s “The Case Against Perfection” examines the ethical and moral issues associated with human enhancement while Nick Bostrom’s paper, “In Defense of Posthuman Dignity” compares the positions that transhumanists and bioconservatists take on the topic of human enhancement. The author’s opinions on the issue of …show more content…
Without the sense of mutual obligation, the divide between enhanced humans and normal humans will grow dangerously wide. In Sandel’s opinion, human dignity is defined by the constant drive to achieve perfection.
In contrast to Sandel’s position on enhancement, Bostrom favors human enhancement and believes that it can significantly improve the human condition. Bostrom elaborates his position by stating his belief that as long as enhancement is made equally accessible to all, our individuality and freedom of choice will be preserved. Bostrom admits that hazards associated with enhancement must be identified and avoided though he advocates adopting human enhancement technology while “strongly defending human rights and individual choice”. Bostrom centers his pro-enhancement argument on the concept of human and posthuman dignity. He provides two different notions of dignity, one of dignity as moral status of having the right to a basic level of respect and two, that dignity is the quality of being worthy or honorable. Bostrom argues that human and posthuman dignities are “compatible and complimentary”. Bostrom sums up his position by claiming there are no immoral consequences from enhancement and that defending dignity promotes a more inclusive and ethical future society.
The subject of human nature is a reoccurring theme throughout both articles. Sandel believes that human enhancement
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