Our Posthuman Future

Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution

Author: Francis Fukuyama

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847653707

Category: Science

Page: N.A

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Is a baby whose personality has been chosen from a gene supermarket still a human? If we choose what we create what happens to morality? Is this the end of human nature? The dramatic advances in DNA technology over the last few years are the stuff of science fiction. It is now not only possible to clone human beings it is happening. For the first time since the creation of the earth four billion years ago, or the emergence of mankind 10 million years ago, people will be able to choose their children's' sex, height, colour, personality traits and intelligence. It will even be possible to create 'superhumans' by mixing human genes with those of other animals for extra strength or longevity. But is this desirable? What are the moral and political consequences? Will it mean anything to talk about 'human nature' any more? Is this the end of human beings? Our Posthuman Future is a passionate analysis of the greatest political and moral problem ever to face the human race.
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Exits to the Posthuman Future

Author: Arthur Kroker

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745682251

Category: Social Science

Page: 224

View: 4359

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Exits to the Posthuman Future is media theory for a global digital society which thrives, and sometimes perishes, at the intersection of technologies of speed, distant ethics and a pervasive cultural anxiety. Arthur Kroker’s incisive and insightful text presents the emerging pattern of a posthuman future: life at the tip of technologies of acceleration, drift and crash. Kroker links key concepts such as “Guardian Liberalism” and Obama’s vision of the “Just War” with a striking account of “culture drift” as the essence of real world technoculture. He argues that contemporary society displays growing uncertainty about the ultimate ends of technological innovation and the intelligibility of the digital future. The posthuman future is elusive: is it a gathering storm of cynical abandonment, inertia, disappearance and substitution? Or else the development of a new form of critical consciousness - the posthuman imagination - as a means of comprehending the full complexity of life? Depending on which exit to the posthuman future we choose or, perhaps, which exit chooses us, Kroker argues that a very different posthuman future will likely ensue.
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Law and the Technologies of the Twenty-First Century

Text and Materials

Author: Roger Brownsword,Morag Goodwin

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139510525

Category: Law

Page: N.A

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Law and the Technologies of the Twenty-First Century provides a contextual account of the way in which law functions in a broader regulatory environment across different jurisdictions. It identifies and clearly structures the four key challenges that technology poses to regulatory efforts, distinguishing between technology as a regulatory target and tool, and guiding the reader through an emerging field that is subject to rapid change. By extensive use of examples and extracts from the texts and materials that form and shape the scholarly and public debates over technology regulation, it presents complex material in a stimulating and engaging manner. Co-authored by a leading scholar in the field with a scholar new to the area, it combines comprehensive knowledge of the field with a fresh approach. This is essential reading for students of law and technology, risk regulation, policy studies, and science and technology studies.
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The Dome of Eden

A New Solution to the Problem of Creation and Evolution

Author: Stephen H. Webb

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630874221

Category: Religion

Page: 374

View: 1565

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What would biology look like if it took the problem of natural evil seriously? This book argues that biological descriptions of evolution are inherently moral, just as the biblical story of creation has biological implications. A complete account of evolution will therefore require theological input. The Dome of Eden does not try to harmonize evolution and creation. Harmonizers typically begin with Darwinism and then try to add just enough religion to make evolution more palatable, or they begin with Genesis and pry open the creation account just wide enough to let in a little bit of evolution. By contrast, Stephen Webb provides a theory of how evolution and theology fit together, and he argues that this kind of theory is required by the internal demands of both theology and biology. The Dome of Eden also develops a theological account of evolution that is distinct from the intelligent design movement. Webb shows how intelligent design properly discerns the inescapable dimension of purpose in nature but, like Darwinism itself, fails to make sense of the problem of natural evil. Finally, this book draws on the work of Karl Barth to advance a new reading of the Genesis narrative and the theology of Duns Scotus to provide the necessary metaphysical foundation for evolutionary thought.
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The Good Life in a Technological Age

Author: Philip Brey,Adam Briggle,Edward Spence

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136445811

Category: Philosophy

Page: 18

View: 5395

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Modern technology has changed the way we live, work, play, communicate, fight, love, and die. Yet few works have systematically explored these changes in light of their implications for individual and social welfare. How can we conceptualize and evaluate the influence of technology on human well-being? Bringing together scholars from a cross-section of disciplines, this volume combines an empirical investigation of technology and its social, psychological, and political effects, and a philosophical analysis and evaluation of the implications of such effects.
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Humans in Nature

The World As We Find It and the World As We Create It

Author: Gregory E. Kaebnick

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199347239

Category: Medical

Page: 272

View: 1790

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Contemporary debates over issues as wide-ranging as the protection of wildernesses and endangered species, the spread of genetically modified organisms, the emergence of synthetic biology, and the advance of human enhancement, all of which seem to spin into deeper and more baffling questions with every change in the news cycle, often circle back to the same fundamental question: should there be limits to the human alteration of the natural world? A growing number of people view the human capacity to alter natural states of affairs -- from formerly wild spaces and things around us to crops and livestock to our own human nature -- as cause for moral alarm. That reaction raises a number of perplexing philosophical questions, however: Can we identify "natural" states of affairs at all? Does the idea of being morally concerned about the human relationship to nature make any sense? Should such a concern influence public policy and politics, or should government stay strenuously neutral on such matters? Through a study of moral debates about the environment, agricultural biotechnology, synthetic biology, and human enhancement, Gregory E. Kaebnick, a research scholar at The Hastings Center and editor of the Hastings Center Report, argues that concerns about the human alteration of nature can be legitimate and serious, but also that they are complex, contestable, and of limited political force. Kaebnick defends attempts to identify "natural" states of affairs by disentangling the nature/artifact distinction from metaphysical hoariness. Drawing on David Hume, he also defends moral standards for the human relationship to nature, arguing that they, and moral standards generally, should be understood as grounded in what Hume called the "passions." Yet what counts as "natural" can be delineated only roughly, he concludes, and moral standards for interaction with nature are less a matter of obligation than of ideals. Kaebnick also concludes, drawing on an interpretation of the liberal principle of neutrality, that government may support those standards but must be careful not to enforce them. Thus Kaebnick looks for a middle way on debates that have tended toward polarization. "As differences between nature and artifact become steadily less substantial, problems about preservation run to the core of how people can make sense of themselves, of each other, and of our shared world. Kaebnick's solutions are creative and compelling, theoretically elegant and politically practical. Providing distinctive ways forward, when much academic and policy discussion seems exhausted, his book demands wide attention. In return, it inspires hope." - James Nelson, Michigan State University
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Blue Labour

Forging a New Politics

Author: Ian Geary,Adrian Pabst

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857737813

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 2320

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Following Labour’s defeat at the polls in 2015, and at time when the Party is attempting to redefine its meaning, values and even identity, there is an urgent need for new thinking. Most people agree that a fresh start is required. But in which direction should Labour turn? A crucial conversation is beginning, and it is in this fluid and volatile context that Blue Labour ideas could make a decisive difference. Seeking to move beyond the centrist pragmatism of both Blair and Cameron, and attempting to inject into politics a newfound passion and significance with which people can truly engage, this essential work speaks to the needs of diverse communities across the country. Critiquing the dominance in Britain of a social-cultural liberalism linked to the left and a free-market liberalism associated with the right, Blue Labour blends a ‘progressive’ commitment to greater economic equality with a more ‘conservative’ disposition emphasising personal loyalty, family, community and locality. It is the manifesto of a vital new force in politics: one that could define the thinking of the next generation and beyond.
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Ageless Nation

The Quest for Superlongevity and Physical Perfection

Author: Michael G. Zey

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412854318

Category: Social Science

Page: 368

View: 537

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In this intriguing volume, futurist and author Michael G. Zey imagines a time in which technology has stretched human life spans to four hundred years or more. Genetic engineering, cloning, and stem-cell technology will eradicate diseases and allow for nanoscopic repair and maintenance of the body. "Smart drugs" and caloric restriction programs will largely stop aging and ensure healthy bodies and sharp minds indefinitely. Grounding his speculation in contemporary scientific research, Zey’s optimistic vision sees retirement replaced by hiatuses between careers, and leisure time spent in multi-generational homes. Key players in the debate include supporters like Cambridge University scientist Aubrey de Grey, who envisions five-thousand-year life spans, and the radical futurist author Ray Kurzweil, who foresees the merging of humans and computers. Organizations such as the Coalition to Extend Life lobby the government for immortality research funding and find opposition in the President’s Council on Bioethics and "deep ecologists" advocating zero-population growth. Criticizing current environmental trends as anti-progress and anti-human, Zey’s own solutions include controversial measures like human control of weather, colonization of outer space, and genetically modifying food. He concludes that the eventuality of a modern Fountain of Youth is closer than we think. Zey’s predictions about the future are thoughtful and fascinating.
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Environmental Protection, Law and Policy

Text and Materials

Author: Jane Holder,Maria Lee

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781139463386

Category: Law

Page: N.A

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This 2007 book examines environmental law from a range of perspectives, emphasising the policy world from which environmental law is drawn and nourished. Those working within the discipline of environmental law need to engage with concepts and methods employed by disciplines other than law. The authors analyse the ways in which legal activities are supported and legitimated by work in traditional scientific or technical domains, as well as by certain more obscure but also influential cultural or philosophical assumptions. A range of regulatory techniques is explored in this book, through a close examination of both pollution control and land use. The highly complex nature of current environmental problems, demanding sophisticated and responsive legal controls, is illustrated by several in-depth case studies, including legal and policy analysis of the highly contested issues of genetically modified organisms and renewable energy projects.
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Ethical Futures

Bioscience and Food Horizons : EurSafe 2009, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2-4 July 2009

Author: Kate Millar,Pru Hobson West,Brigitte Nerlich

Publisher: Wageningen Academic Pub

ISBN: 9086861156

Category: Science

Page: 445

View: 4297

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In an ever changing interconnected world, the agriculture and food system faces constant challenges in many forms, such as the impacts of climate change, uncertainty surrounding the use of novel technologies and the emergence of new zoonotic diseases. Alongside these challenges professionals working in the food system are faced with opportunities to improve food production and distribution. As decision-makers attempt to balance these threats and opportunities in order to secure more sustainable production systems, the key question that arises is: What do we envisage as the future for agriculture and food production? With numerous voices advocating different and sometimes conflicting approaches, ranging from organic farming to wider use of GMOs through in vitro meat production, this discussion of the future raises significant ethical questions.The contributions in this book bring together a diverse group of authors who explore a set of themes relating to the ethical dimensions of the agriculture and food futures, including the role of novel technologies, the potential issues raised by the use of biofuels, the ethics of future animal production systems, concepts of global food security, as well as chapters on food governance priorities and educational aspects. It is intended that this volume serves as an interesting collection and acts as a source of stimulation that will contribute to wider debate and reflection on the future of the agriculture and food system.
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