Transhumanist genetic enhancement: Creation of a 'New Man' through technological innovation
Transhumanist genetic enhancement: Creation of a 'New Man' through technological innovation.
The New Bioethics, 27 (2), 105-126.
The transhumanist project of reshaping human beings by promoting their improvement through technological innovations has a broad agenda. This study focuses on the enhancement of the human organism through genetic modification techniques. Transhumanism values and a discussion of their philosophical background provide a framework to understand its ideals. Genetics and ethics are employed to assess the claims of the transhumanist program of human enhancement. A succinct description of central concepts in genetics and an explanation of current techniques to edit the human genome serve to assess the capabilities and limitations of editing techniques. Potential benefits and liabilities of human enhancement through genome editing are discussed to appraise its feasibility. Ethical considerations of genome editing inform a reflection on the implications of introducing heritable changes in the genome of individuals. It is concluded that the transhumanist program is underpinned by a large number of hypotheses rather than by sufficient evidence.
Transhumanism, Modernism, Genome editing, Human enhancement, Ethics, Eugenics