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Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life


Comment on this article

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism


Marcelo de Araujo

June 2014 Oct, 2014

Link to article

The possibility of morally enhancing the behavior of individuals by means of drugs and genetic engineering has been the object of intense philosophical discussion over the last few years. However, although moral enhancement may turn out to be useful to promote cooperation in some areas of human interaction, it will not promote cooperation in the domain of international relations in those areas that are critical to state security. Unlike some moral enhancement theorists, I argue that, because of the structure of the system of states, moral enhancement cannot be used to avert such major threats to humankind as terrorism and nuclear conflict. My analysis of the political implications of moral enhancement is pursued through a critical discussion of two different versions of political realism, namely human nature realism and structural realism. I conclude that, as far as major threats to the survival of humankind are concerned, moral enhancement can at most be used as a means to change the present structure of the system of states.


COMMENTS



Posted by instamatic  on  10/12  at  10:40 AM

Four random thoughts:

Didn’t read the whole article, so you might have mentioned DARPA. Preceding it, as you know, the first controlled rocket was designed by von Braun and company—who later came to the US and was a big aid in further advances in rocketry. Not a great moral encouragement, that.

Many communities depend for employment on defense contracts. Many communities depend on military (‘Defense’) bases for employment. Not a great moral encouragement, that.

Russia ceased being totalitarian and is now Mafiyarian. Asked a Russian agent if Russia is dominated by the Mafiya, and he replied the Russian govt and the Mafiya are fused; one and the same. Thus the largest nation in the world is Mafiarian. Our dear southern neighbor, Mexico, is shall we write, narco-nihilist. Not a great moral encouragement, that.

Virtually every criminal (save for the stupid ones) in virtually every nation now has a cellphone. Virtually every criminal in every nation has access to the Web. Not a great moral encouragement, that.

 





Posted by instamatic  on  10/12  at  11:09 AM

...in the interest of optimism will hastily add (this linked piece doesn’t have the edit function available) to the following paragraph:

Preceding it, as you know, the first controlled rocket was designed by von Braun and company… not a great moral encouragement, that.

If space can be colonized, it would be a gamechanger. After all, transhumans exist; space colonizers don’t really exist. Space travelers do exist—but today only in Earth orbit. ‘We’ haven’t been so far to the Moon in close to 42 years. We went to the Moon to beat the Russians there, that was the prime motivation. An ex-Nazi rocket engineer was important in beating the Russians to the Moon. Not a great moral encouragement, that.
But if space colonization does become a reality, will take back every negative comment I’ve posted at IEET.






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