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American Journal of Bioethics.

Egalitarianism and Moral Bioenhancement

A number of philosophers working in applied ethics and bioethics are now earnestly debating the ethics of what they term “moral bioenhancement.” I argue that the society-wide program of biological manipulations required to achieve the purported goals of moral bioenhancement would necessarily implicate the state in a controversial moral perfectionism. Moreover, the prospect of being able to reliably identify some people as, by biological constitution, significantly and consistently more moral than others would seem to pose a profound challenge to egalitarian social and political ideals. Even if moral bioenhancement should ultimately prove to be impossible, there is a chance that a bogus science of bioenhancement would lead to arbitrary inequalities in access to political power or facilitate the unjust rule of authoritarians; in the meantime, the debate about the ethics of moral bioenhancement risks reinvigorating dangerous ideas about the extent of natural inequality in the possession of the moral faculties.

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Volume 14, Issue 4
April 2014

Target Articles.

Is There an Ethical Obligation to Disclose Controversial Risk? A Question From the ACCORD Trial Joseph P. DeMarco, Paul J. Ford, Dana J. Patton & Douglas O. Stewart