So our final judgment on "what’s wrong" with Huxley’s brave .. Excerpted from OUR POSTHUMAN FUTURE by Francis Fukuyama. Francis Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future fears that biotechnology will make monsters of us. Steven Rose weighs the evidence. The power to genetically enhance future generations could be a boon for humanity – or it could lead to an era of violent rebellion against the.

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So who is to tell us that being human and having dignity means sticking with a set of emotional responses that are the accidental by-product of our evolutionary history? People were again quick to point out that these two events–the collapse of totalitarian empires and the emergence of the personal computer, as well as other forms of inexpensive information technology, from TVs and radios to faxes and e-mail–were not unrelated.

Indeed, this is one of the few things in a politics of the future that people are likely to rouse themselves to fight over. But for his purposes, such errors in biological understanding aren’t important, and his assessment of the direction in which such work is heading seems about right.

Many assume that the posthuman world will look pretty much like our own – free, equal, prosperous, caring, compassionate – only with better healthcare, longer lives, and perhaps more intelligence than today.

Unnatural selection

With Fukuyama’s move into this territory, it may be that bioethicists are going to be upstaged by political economists. For people on the left to support genetic engineering for the disadvantaged, they would first have to admit that genes are important in determining intelligence and other types of social outcome.

Occasional breaking of the law, cannot be used as an excuse not to pursue legislature at all. For a political economist to derive a conclusion abstracted from either practical politics or economy almost makes one wish for the return of the bioethicists. Raising the bottom is something that can only be accomplished through the intervention of the state.

Huxley is telling us, in effect, that we should continue to feel pain, be depressed or lonely, or suffer from debilitating disease, all because that is what human beings have done for most of their existence as a species. That some of us are sceptical about its feasibility should not prevent us from looking hard at its potential consequences.

Much of this hostility is driven by the stronger environmental movements in Europe, which have led the campaign, for example, against genetically modified foods.

For it seems highly unlikely that people in modern democratic societies will sit around complacently if they see elites embedding their advantages genetically in their children. That moral order did not completely break down in the west in the wake of the destruction of consensus on traditional religious values should not surprise us either, because moral order comes from within human nature itself and is not something that has to be imposed on human nature by culture.


The notions that women were too irrational or emotional to participate in politics, and that immigrants from southern Europe had smaller head sizes and were less intelligent than those from northern Europe, were overturned on the basis of sound, empirical science. T he reasons for the persistence of the notion of the equality of human dignity are complex.

In any event, as philosophers from Hume onwards have pointed out, one cannot derive an “ought” from an “is”. Social transformations are an inevitable corollary of the dramatic changes in the nature of work and communication generated by technology. They want to maximise the freedom of parents to choose the kind of children they have, the freedom of scientists to pursue research, and the freedom of entrepreneurs to make use of technology to create wealth.

Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution is a book by Francis Fukuyama. But in the future, the full weight of modern technology can be put in the service of optimising the kinds of genes that are passed on to one’s offspring.

What the emergence of a genetic overclass will do to the idea of universal human dignity is something futute pondering. Today, many bright and successful young people believe that they owe their success to accidents of birth and upbringing, but for which their lives might have taken a very different course.

As Peter Huber has argued, the personal computer, linked to the Internet, was in fact the realization of Orwell”s telescreen. Hence, he argues, there is a human nature on which human rights can be based.

Review: Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama | Books | The Guardian

He has been rowing fuouyama ever since. Books of the Week. A fukuysma 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.

The actual threat has always afflicted man in his essence. To use biotechnology to engage in what another Christian writer, C. Genetic fukkuyama technology is likely to be expensive and involve some risk, but even if it were relatively cheap and safe, people who were poor and lacking in education would still fail to take advantage of it.

But the situation is paradoxical, as US conservative religious views on, for instance, stem-cell research clash with an otherwise deregulatory agenda. August Learn how and when to remove this template message.

John Rawls argues in A Theory of Justice that the unequal distribution of natural talents is inherently unfair. In his dense, well-researched new book, political scientist Fukuyama The End of History correctly predicts monumental forthcoming changes through biotechnology, raising challenging social, political By this I mean not just fighting metaphorically, in the sense of shouting matches among talking heads on TV and debates in Congress, but actually picking up guns and bombs and using them on other people.


It is easy to see what”s wrong with the world of And sometimes he is way off course, as when he repeats the once-fashionable 19th-century nostrum that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” – ie, that a human foetus relives its evolutionary history in the nine months prior to birth. The political prescience of the other great dystopia, Brave New World, remains to be seen.

But another important reason for the persistence of the idea of the universality of human dignity has to do with what we might call the nature of nature itself.

This is the only scenario in which it is plausible that we will see a liberal democracy of the future get back into the business of state-sponsored eugenics.

Fukuyama argues that “the most significant threat” from biotechnology is “the possibility that it will alter human nature and thereby move us into a ‘posthuman’ stage of history.

The left has historically sought to play down the importance of heredity in favour of social factors in explaining human outcomes. We should be warned by the example of Sir Ernest Rutherford, who knew more about the structure of atoms in the early decades of the past century than anyone else, but still insisted that the prospect of atomic power was “moonshine”.

Fukuyama will be speaking at the Guardian Hay festival on Saturday June 1. Discover what to read next. The bad old form of eugenics discriminated against the disabled fkuuyama the less intelligent by forbidding them to have children. This may one day include not only characteristics such as intelligence and beauty, but behavioural traits such as diligence, competitiveness and the like.

More By and About This Author. User Review – Flag as inappropriate I’m an undergraduate student witha a double major: This is the world of classical tyranny, technologically empowered but not so different from what we have tragically seen and known in human history.

All of this could change with the impact of future biotechnology. The philosopher Peter Sloterdijk raised a storm of protest uor when he suggested that it will soon be impossible for people to refuse the power of selection that biotechnology provides, and that the questions of breeding something “beyond” man that were raised by Nietzsche and Plato could no longer be ignored.

Some on futue left have begun to make the case for genetic engineering.