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  • Writer's pictureCrone

For a while, farewell... the squirrel.

I am going to start drafting my second essay, for the module on Well Being, Disability and Enhancement. I have chose to write on whether human enhancement is possible.

So, this is the kind of argument I propose:

  1. Human enhancement is not possible because there is no essence of 'human' that can be enhanced. The concept of species is a slippery thing - there is no quality that only and all humans have. It is unscientific to consider that some unique distinguishing feature evolve do novo in only humans and as enhancement is a scientific process it can only enhance scientifically verifiable qualities.

  2. The enhancement of humanity is possible - and indeed it has been ongoing for many thousands of years. The 'domestication' of humans (as argued by Rutger Bregman) has decreased aggression and increased friendliness. Culture acts as a conglomerative process as the education and learning of previous generations can be applied to later generations. Commerce, democracy and expanding circles of tolerance have all bettered the human condition. Average life span has increased. Humanity has enhanced the ability to travel, to communicate and to produce food. Well being - in terms of security, health and aesthetic pleasures - has been enhanced.

  3. The enhancement of human capacities is possible. Vaccines take immunity beyond natural limits. 'Smart' drugs increase memory and attention. Drugs used in sport enhance muscle growth and endurance.

  4. Do such enhancements added together lead to human enhancement? No - because as disability is mere difference not bad difference, increased ability is mere difference not good difference.

  5. What about beyond a certain level? No - because then humans become post-humans.

I will need to define enhancement and will need to go into the mere difference argument. I will need to briefly address claims that enhancements also may confer negatives (like the loss of 'a sense of achievement' in overcoming trials or the loss of 'dignity' through being made rather than naturally created).

Anyway, that all seems pretty convincing. Sort of.

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