IEET > Vision > Directors > Mark Walker > CyborgBuddha
In Praise of Bio-Happiness (IEET White Paper 02)
Mark Walker   Dec 31, 2006   IEET Monographs  

Abstract: Most agree that our lives and our world are better if we are happier. So linking the moral goal of greater happiness with our biological understanding of happiness seems obvious. Let us think of the position that it is permissible for individuals to make this linkage—to use pharmacology and other technologies in the service of increased happiness—as the ‘bio-happiness’ proposal. Several different technologies might be used in pursuit of this goal, e.g., pharmacological agents (“happy pills” ) might be developed, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select embryos with genes associated with a high level of happiness, or genetically engineering embryos for happiness.  Most of the paper is devoted to defending bio-happiness against criticisms. The field of which may be characterized as follows:

(1)  Happiness is not of moral importance.
(2)  Bio-happiness cannot increase our happiness.
(3)  Bio-happiness will come at too great a cost to other moral values.

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Mark Walker Ph.D. serves on the IEET Board of Directors, and is Associate Professor of Philosophy at New Mexico State University, where he occupies the Richard L. Hedden Endowed Chair.

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