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Making nice: Julian Savulescu and the case for moral bioenhancement

Philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu joins host Peter Mares for a conversation on the potential for moral bioenhancement through direct brain stimulation, pharmacology or genetics, and the ethical implications of such interventions.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

PETER MARES
I'm Peter Mares, thanks for joining us. The idea that we can build a better society by improving human behaviour has been profoundly influential throughout history. It's a concept that is central to the world's great religions and one that has animated philosophical discussions across the centuries. Primarily there are two established ways in which we seek to enhance ethical behaviour. The first is through education, starting with the way we bring up children, teaching them from a young age to understand the difference between right and wrong. The second is through setting rules and sanctions, which may take the form of religious teachings, unwritten cultural expectations or codified laws. But the prospect of a very different form of moral enhancement is now on the horizon, one that harnesses our growing understanding of human psychology and human cognition to improve behaviour through the application of technology. This might involve the direct stimulation of neurons in the brain, for example, or perhaps administering drugs to alter the brain's chemical balance or maybe hormones to influence emotional responses. For some, the very idea of using technology to change morality amounts to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.