Truly Human Enhancement: a Philosophical Defense of Limits by Nicholas Agar, is a book focusing not only on human enhancement in today’s society, but also on what should be the limits of enhancement.
A summary of the chapter I focused on can be given as a discussion of how genetically enhancing people would result in an increased moral status that could cause negative consequences. Agar states that while the possibility of the consequences exists, they should be avoided. Raising a person’s moral status through genetic engineering can result in the destruction of non-enhanced humans, as they are now dispensable. Agar also believes this society of some enhanced humans and some non-enhanced humans will not work because there is no way to smoothly transition from our society now to one half full of unnatural creations that are still considered human and half full of the same humans that have always existed.
Other chapters in Agar’s book focus on the interest behind genetic enhancement, as well as more details in enhancement itself. The chapter I focused on for my research was relating moral status to genetic engineering and the inequality that it creates.
Key ideas overall in Agar’s book are the many ways that genetic engineering would change the world, and how that is a bad thing. This book is relevant to many topics not only from the conference presentations, but in general research, as genetic enhancement is becoming more and more likely. It is already happening on a lower scale in labs with foods, but there is also genetic engineering for humans at the theoretical level. It is very possible in the near future, that we could be trying out gene enhancement on humans.
Whether you agree or not with genetic engineering in humans, it is an interesting topic to look into, and Agar’s provides his side as well as some counter points to the genetic engineering debate.
Agar, Nicholas. Truly Human Enhancement: a Philosophical Defense of Limits, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014, pp. 181-194. EBSCO, http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook/bmxlYmtfXzY3NTc4NF9fQU41?sid=4f00f12e-ce1b-4ca1-aca3-2b288e94c1ce@sessionmgr120&vid=0&format=EB&rid=1