Are We Obliged to Enhance for Moral Perfection?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In recent years a number of philosophers have discussed whether we have a duty to morally enhance ourselves through biomedical means if the opportunity were available. This paper investigates the possible limits of such a duty through investigating the related question of whether it would be desirable to create a world populated entirely with morally perfect people. I will argue that we have reason to be grateful that we do not live in a world in which everyone is morally perfect, which should serve as a limitation on attempts to morally improve people through the use of technology. I will also argue that the less ambitious forms of moral enhancement currently being explored in the literature give us no reason to worry about preventing valuable non-moral ways of life. Rather, they might serve as an aid to help people fulfill valuable non-moral goals in a way that is morally permissible.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medicine and Philosophy
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Perfection
Philosopher
Enhancement
Way of Life

Keywords

  • moral enhancement
  • moral philosophy
  • moral obligation
  • bioenhancement
  • Supererogation

Cite this

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title = "Are We Obliged to Enhance for Moral Perfection?",
abstract = "In recent years a number of philosophers have discussed whether we have a duty to morally enhance ourselves through biomedical means if the opportunity were available. This paper investigates the possible limits of such a duty through investigating the related question of whether it would be desirable to create a world populated entirely with morally perfect people. I will argue that we have reason to be grateful that we do not live in a world in which everyone is morally perfect, which should serve as a limitation on attempts to morally improve people through the use of technology. I will also argue that the less ambitious forms of moral enhancement currently being explored in the literature give us no reason to worry about preventing valuable non-moral ways of life. Rather, they might serve as an aid to help people fulfill valuable non-moral goals in a way that is morally permissible.",
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author = "Alfred Archer",
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Are We Obliged to Enhance for Moral Perfection? / Archer, Alfred.

In: Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Vol. 43, No. 5, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AB - In recent years a number of philosophers have discussed whether we have a duty to morally enhance ourselves through biomedical means if the opportunity were available. This paper investigates the possible limits of such a duty through investigating the related question of whether it would be desirable to create a world populated entirely with morally perfect people. I will argue that we have reason to be grateful that we do not live in a world in which everyone is morally perfect, which should serve as a limitation on attempts to morally improve people through the use of technology. I will also argue that the less ambitious forms of moral enhancement currently being explored in the literature give us no reason to worry about preventing valuable non-moral ways of life. Rather, they might serve as an aid to help people fulfill valuable non-moral goals in a way that is morally permissible.

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