Iwas born in , right in the middle of the American baby boom. For any person growing up as I did in the middle decades of the twentieth century, the future and its terrifying possibilities were defined by two books, George Orwell's first published in , and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World published in The novel was about what we now call information technology: central to the success of the vast, totalitarian empire that had been set up over Oceania was a device called the telescreen, a wall-sized flat-panel display that could simultaneously send and receive images from each individual household to a hovering Big Brother. The telescreen was what permitted the vast centralization of social life under the Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Love, for it allowed the government to banish privacy by monitoring every word and deed over a massive network of wires. Bokanovskification, the hatching of people not in wombs but, as we now say, in vitro; the drug soma, which gave people instant happiness; the Feelies, in which sensation was simulated by implanted electrodes; and the modification of behavior through constant subliminal repetition and, when that didn't work, through the administration of various artificial hormones were what gave this book its particularly creepy ambiance.
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In it, he discusses the potential threat to liberal democracy that use of new and emerging biotechnologies for transhumanist ends poses. Fukuyama defines human nature as "the sum of the behavior and characteristics that are typical of the human species, arising from genetics rather than environmental factors.
Possession of moral choice, human language, reason, sociability, emotions, sentience, and consciousness constitute distinguishing qualities that differentiate humans from animals.
Fukuyama refers to the irreducible totality of these qualities as "Factor X", "the complex whole" as opposed to "the sum of simple parts", which forms the foundation of human dignity. Moreover, he believes that "every member of the human species possesses a genetic endowment that allows him or her to become a whole human being, an endowment that distinguishes a human in essence from other types of creatures.
Francis Fukuyama argues that informed discussion of human rights requires understanding of human purposes, which themselves rest on a concept of human nature and human dignity. Therefore, biotechnology targeting human nature will inevitably affect the discourse of values and politics. He provides several arguments to defend his human nature-based theory of rights:. Fukuyama recognizes that translation of human nature into rights is difficult, but possible through a rational discussion of human ends.
In his opinion, control of biotechnology is a political necessity. Fukuyama rejects the notion that biotechnology cannot be controlled. Nuclear weapons, nuclear power, ballistic missiles, biological and chemical warfare, illegal human organ trade, neuropharmacological drugs, genetically modified foods, human experimentation have been the subject of effective international political control.
Occasional breaking of the law, cannot be used as an excuse not to pursue legislature at all. The fact that they do has never been a reason for giving up on the law or on attempts to enforce it. Author outlines several issues that need to be address to establish an effective international regulation of biotechnology: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. The Guardian. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Works by Francis Fukuyama. Categories : non-fiction books in the environment 21st-century history books Philosophy books Transhumanist books Works by Francis Fukuyama History books about philosophy History books about science History books about medicine History books about politics Books about human rights Criticism of transhumanism.
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Our Posthuman Future
In it, he discusses the potential threat to liberal democracy that use of new and emerging biotechnologies for transhumanist ends poses. Fukuyama defines human nature as "the sum of the behavior and characteristics that are typical of the human species, arising from genetics rather than environmental factors. Possession of moral choice, human language, reason, sociability, emotions, sentience, and consciousness constitute distinguishing qualities that differentiate humans from animals. Fukuyama refers to the irreducible totality of these qualities as "Factor X", "the complex whole" as opposed to "the sum of simple parts", which forms the foundation of human dignity.
Don't mess with human nature...
A decade after his now-famous pronouncement of "the end of history," Francis Fukuyama argues that as a result of biomedical advances, we are facing the possibility of a future in which our humanity itself will be altered beyond recognition. Fukuyama sketches a brief history of man's changing understanding of human nature: from Plato and Aristotle to the modernity's utopians and dictators who sought to remake mankind for ideological ends. Fukuyama argues that the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person's descendants will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, even if undertaken with the best of intentions. In Our Posthuman Future , one of our greatest social philosophers begins to describe the potential effects of genetic exploration on the foundation of liberal democracy: the belief that human beings are equal by nature.