Printed: 2019-04-20

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies





IEET Link: https://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/jet20091221

Two New Articles in the Journal of Evolution and Technology




December 21, 2009

Mark Walker thinks through the ethics of Americans being denied both the right to health care and the right to self-medicate, while Philippe Verdoux suggests that taking the transhumanist path to the future may only be the best of a lot of very bad options.

Philippe Verdoux “Transhumanism, Progress and the Future”

This paper argues that one can advocate a moral imperative to pursue enhancement technologies while at the same time rejecting the historical reality of progress and holding a pessimistic view of the future. The first half of the paper puts forth several arguments for why progress is illusory and why one has good reason to be pessimistic about the future of humanity (and posthumanity). The second half then argues that this is entirely consistent with also championing the futurological vision of transhumanism. The claim is that, relative to the alternatives proposed, this vision actually offers the safest route into the future, even if it also entails an increase in the probability of self-annihilation.

Mark Walker “Uninsured, Heal Thyself, Or: A New Argument for Universal Health Care”

Approximately one in six persons in the U.S. lacks medical insurance. Legislation permits only physicians to prescribe many common medicines. This state of affairs is unjust. A just society cannot have it both ways: legislation cannot say that the expertise of physicians is so precious that only they can prescribe medicine and that not everyone is guaranteed reasonable access to their services. If there is no guarantee of reasonable access, then physicians should not have a monopoly on writing prescriptions, and if there is a monopoly on writing prescriptions then people should have reasonable access to their services. To remedy this situation we must ensure that all citizens have reasonable access to medical services, or allow the uninsured to self-medicate.

We soon be publishing one or two reviews, and that will conclude the current issue of JET, 20(2). Next will be the Nietzsche/European posthumanisms issue. We expect to publish two full issues in 2010, as in 2009.


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