Can you hear me, cont.

8 05 2013

One more small bit on normal:

Some bioethicists who worry about enhancement don’t worry about normalization; some embrace enhancement precisely because they think it offers a way out of normalization.

Neither position makes sense insofar as enhancement and normalization are linked.

The enhancement-worriers fret about new techs or practices taking us away from a baseline normal human, yet don’t wonder about the creation of that baseline normal human. The enhancement- embracers think other-than-normal is just dandy, yet don’t consider that enhancement can lead to new normals.

This is not, I must say, the position of all those who write on enhancement and normalization; one of the things I like about Parens’s book Enhancing Human Traits is that it includes plenty o’ pieces by those who weigh both enhancement and normalization.

Me, I think the real issue is normalization, such that my concerns about enhancement are precisely that they might become the new norm. Enhancement leads to questions; normalization feeds off forgetting.

I think forgetting is a bigger problem for humans than questioning.

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6 responses

8 05 2013
dmfant

9 05 2013
9 05 2013
9 05 2013
absurdbeats

I had to do a double-take on “Erin Manning”—Canadian philosopher, not American Catholic blogger. . . .

10 05 2013
geekhiker

Heh – So I wonder if the enhancers think that Lance Armstrong is cool, because he was more “enhanced” than normal…

11 05 2013
TheDeafia | Can you hear me? Part 1 & 2

[…] Can you hear me, cont.One more small bit on normal: Some bioethicists who worry about enhancement don’t worry about normalization; some embrace enhancement precisely because they think it offers a way out of normalization. Neither position makes sense insofar as enhancement and normalization are linked. […]

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