Presentation on theme: "Fukuyama Slide Show CRTW 201 Dr. Fike. Our Objective The goal here is to summarize the rest of the book, not to apply the elements, though we will have."— Presentation transcript:
Our Objective The goal here is to summarize the rest of the book, not to apply the elements, though we will have time for some of that at the end.
The Book’s Outline Part I: Pathways to the Future (1-6): science Part II: Being Human (7-9): philosophy Part III: What To Do (10-12): politics
Chapter 6: Why We Should Worry Why SHOULD we worry? Answer: Because eugenics will expand reproductive rights, not restrict them (87).
Objections to Eugenics Religion Utilitarian considerations Philosophical principles
The Religious Objection Religion’s starting premise: Human beings are made in God’s image. Therefore, manipulating what God has created amounts to the following: –Violating God’s will –Playing God –Violating human dignity
Three Possible Orientations Religion > science (“many religious conservatives damage their own cause by allowing the abortion issue to trump all other considerations in biomedical research” ) Science > religion (“a widespread view that religious conviction is tantamount to a kind of irrational prejudice that stands in the way of scientific progress” ) Religion and science are compatible: I think that F favors this relationship.
Abortion: The Key Issue for Conservatives “As Charles Krauthammer has pointed out, religious conservatives have focused on the wrong issue with regard to stem cells. They should not be worried about the sources of these cells but about their ultimate destiny” (91).
Philosophical Principles Political correctness –Example: Harming children by aborting females. –David Reimer (“today David Reimer is reportedly a happily married man” ) –A genetic arms race Deference to nature: Since ecosystems are self- regulating, we should leave well enough alone and let nature run its course. The family: A major obstacle to social justice Libertarian position: “…we should be skeptical of libertarian arguments that say that as long as eugenic choices are being made by individuals rather than by states, we needn’t worry about possible bad consequences” (99-100).
Fukuyama’s Major Assumptions “…fear that, in the end, biotechnology will cause us in some way to lose our humanity” (101). Rights, justice, and morality are all based on human nature. Therefore, if genetic engineering alters human nature, it will also alter rights, justice, and morality.
What Ridley Would Say 297: The government is the problem, not the solution; it should be restrained. Abortion: “But for a dependent, non-sentient embryo, not being born is not necessarily the same as being killed” (298). 298: Screening should be an individual choice. 299: Eugenics is okay as long as it is a private choice. If we nationalize it, it will become coercive. 300: The dangers of eugenics are governmental, not scientific.
Chapter 7 Q@I: What is right, and where does it come from? Fukuyama’s answer: Human rights (e.g., justice) Human ends or purposes (e.g., to live a good life) Human nature (???) If you want to understand whether humans have a right to pursue genetic engineering, you first have to understand human nature and the ends or purposes that emanate from it.
Procreative Liberty Genetic engineering may be a “procreative liberty” supported by “ethical individualism” (107).
Where Rights Come From Religion: no consensus possible Nature: the “naturalistic fallacy” argues that nature does not provide “justifiable basis for rights, morality, or ethics,” that “human nature gives us absolutely no guidance as to what human values should be” (112). Man: “Human rights are, in other words, whatever human beings say they are” (112)
In Favor of the Naturalistic Fallacy Hume: You cannot get to “ought” from “is.” A fact about behavior does not imply a moral imperative (a “should”). Even if we could derive “ought” from “is,” the “is” might be undesirable.
Fukuyama’s Case Against the Naturalistic Fallacy Basically, he believes that human rights do rest upon human nature. He reasserts this relationship: Human rights (e.g., justice) Human ends or purposes (e.g., to live a good life) Human nature (???)
Chapter 8: Human Nature Definition: Human nature “is the sum of the behavior and characteristics that are typical of the human species, arising from genetic rather than environmental factors” (130).
Opposing View “…there are no true human universals that can be traced to a common nature” (133). DNA “does not fully determine its phenotype (the actual creature that develops from the DNA)” (135). Learning accounts for a good deal of human variation.
What IS Human Nature? In other words, what is it at birth? –Cognition –Ability to learn language –Perception of time and color –“There are in fact what amount to innate ideas or, more accurately, innate species-typical forms of cognition, and species-typical emotional responses to cognition” (141). –Moral universals like the Golden Rule of reciprocity are not just learned behavior. –Parental drive to protect children –Conscience –Emotional responses
Question So Fukuyama wonders whether some of these things will be changed if we use genetic engineering.
Chapter 9: Human Dignity Factor X: The thing that underlies human dignity. Q@I: “So what is Factor X, and where does it come from?” (150). Kant’s answer: the capacity for moral choice, which proceeds from free will
Why not use the power of genetic manipulation? Answer: There would be a genetic overclass as in Brave New World. 156: “…large genetic variations between individuals will narrow and become clustered within certain distinct social groups.” Fukuyama favors the “genetic lottery” because it is “profoundly egalitarian” (156-57). But he admits that GE might also lead to greater equality if it were used “to raise up the bottom” of society” (159).
What Fukuyama Opposes Reductionism, the idea that everything can be understood in terms of material causes. Example of why F thinks that this is problematic: human sociability + language politics. But politics > human sociability or language. Another example: Consciousness is more than the biology of the brain; it is also a matter of nonmaterial things.
Fukuyama’s Point 170: “It is this leap from parts to a whole that ultimately has to constitute the basis for human dignity....” 171: What gives us human dignity is the fact that we are “complex wholes rather than the sum of simple parts.” Factor X is thus “all of these qualities coming together in a human whole”: moral choice, reason, language, sociability, sentience, emotions, and consciousness.
Fukuyama’s Fear He fears that biotechnology might “seek to make us less complex” (172). Again, if you tinker with human nature (the foundation), you might affect the things that proceed from it: Human rights (e.g., justice) Human ends or purposes (e.g., to live a good life) Human nature (???)
Chapter 10: The Political Control of Biotechnology Thesis: “…countries must regulate the development and use of technology politically, setting up institutions that will discriminate between those technological advances that promote human flourishing, and those that pose a threat to human dignity and well-being. These regulatory institutions must first be empowered to enforce these discriminations on a national level, and must ultimately extend their reach internationally” (182).
Chapter 11: How Biotechnology Is Regulated Today “The regulatory regime for human biotechnology is much less developed than for agricultural biotech…” (200). Examples of lack of regulation (201): –Thalidomide scandal –Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital scandal –Tuskegee syphilis scandal Nuremberg Code: “medical experimentation could be performed on a human subject only with the latter’s consent” (202). Helsinki Declaration: “establishes a number of principles governing experimentation on human subjects, including informed consent” (202).
Chapter 11’s Conclusion “Despite variations in practice and occasional lapses, the case of human experimentation shows that the international community is in fact able to place effective limits on the way in which scientific research is conducted, in ways that balance the need for research against respect for the dignity of research subjects. This is an issue that will need to be revisited frequently in the future” (202).
Chapter 12: Policies for the Future 206: Issues to consider: –Preimplantation diagnosis and screening –Germ-line engineering –Chimeras using human genes –New psychotropic drugs 207: Might there be both moral and practical reasons for reproductive cloning—like cloning a child with leukemia so that the offspring could provide bone marrow?
Fukuyama’s Position Therapy is okay. Enhancement is not.
Human Cloning 216: “It may be the case that regulations concerning human cloning will have to await the birth of a horribly deformed child who is the product of an unsuccessful cloning attempt.”
Again Fukuyama maintains that “much of our political world rests on the existence of a stable human ‘essence’ with which we are endowed by nature, or rather, on the fact that we believe such an essence exists” (217).
His Conclusions on Page 218 “…the posthuman world could be one that is far more hierarchical and competitive than the one that currently exists, and full of social conflict as a result.” “We do not have to regard ourselves as slaves to inevitable technological progress when that progress does not serve human needs.”