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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Indeed, there is no such thing as the human race any longer, since they have been bred by the Controllers into separate castes of Alphas, Betas, Epsilons, and Gammas who are as distant from each other as humans are from animals.

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. More By and About This Author. Works by Francis Fukuyama. Fukuyama sketches a brief history of man’s changing understanding of human nature: Some environmentalists see themselves as defending nature from human poshuman, and seem to be more concerned with threats to nonhuman than to human nature.

No one takes religion seriously any longer, no one is introspective or has unrequited longings, the biological family has been abolished, no one reads Shakespeare. The bad old form of eugenics discriminated against the disabled and the less intelligent fjkuyama forbidding them to have children.

But in the future, the full weight of modern technology can be put in the service of optimising the kinds of fiture that are passed on to one’s offspring. Fukuyama rejects the notion that biotechnology cannot be controlled. There are no fixed human characteristics, except for a general capability to choose what we want to be, to modify ourselves in accordance with our desires.

A new trade of bioethics fukhyama grown up around such prospects, providing gainful, albeit generally vacuous, employment to otherwise out-of-work moral philosophers.

They may, in short, feel themselves to be fukiyama, and unlike aristocrats of old, their claim to better birth will be rooted in nature and not convention. Today, the “genetic lottery” guarantees that the son or daughter of a rich and successful parent will not necessarily inherit the talents and abilities that created conditions conducive to the parent’s success.

Sound conclusion, faulty premises. Bokanovskification, the hatching of people not in wombs but, as we now say, in vitro; the drug soma, which gave people instant happiness; the Feelies, in which sensation was simulated by implanted electrodes; and the modification of behavior through constant subliminal repetition and, when that didn”t work, through the administration of various artificial hormones were what gave this book its particularly creepy ambiance.


Fukuyama argues that the ability to manipulate the DNA of all of one person’s descendants will have profound, and potentially terrible, consequences for our political order, gukuyama if undertaken with the best of intentions.

Until the midth century, utopias – from those of Francis Bacon and Samuel Butler to that of HG Wells – all envisaged a technologically stable society. All of this could change with the impact of future biotechnology.

Our Posthuman Future – Wikipedia

Fukuyama looks almost enviously at the tighter regulatory structures in Europe as a harbinger of hope that biotechnology’s post-human world does not have futude be competitive, hierarchical and full of social conflict – a future he sees as probable if unregulated biotechnology delivers on its promises. Occasional breaking of the law, cannot be used as an excuse not to pursue legislature at all.

Whether certain forms of radical environmentalism will translate into hostility to human biotechnology remains to be seen. Naturalism would claim that there is an intrinsic universal human nature, and that therefore ethics, and as a ruture human “rights”, can be derived from it.

Unnatural selection

Macmillan- Science – pages. Many assume that the posthuman world will look pretty much like our own – free, equal, ou, caring, compassionate – only with better healthcare, longer lives, and perhaps more intelligence than today. If people get upset enough about genetic inequality, there will be two courses of action.

I’m an undergraduate student witha a double major: There is even a government ministry to ensure that the length of time between the appearance of a desire and its satisfaction is kept to a minimum. Throughout, Fukuyama avoids ideological straitjackets and articulates a position that is neither Luddite nor laissez-faire.

Until now, the left has on the whole been opposed to cloning, genetic engineering and similar biotechnologies for a number of reasons, including traditional humanism, environmental concerns, suspicion of technology and of the corporations that produce it, and fear of eugenics. The philosopher Peter Sloterdijk raised a storm of protest in when he suggested kur 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.

With Fukuyama’s move into this territory, it may be that bioethicists are going to be upstaged by political economists. 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. So what should we do about it? What the emergence of a genetic overclass will do to the idea of universal human dignity is something worth pondering.

The Christian tradition maintains that man is fukuyma in God”s image, which is the source of human dignity. We do not have to regard ourselves as slaves to inevitable technological progress when that progress does not serve human ends.


But this revolution has only just begun; the daily avalanche of announcements of new breakthroughs in biomedical technology and achievements such ffukuyama the completion of the Human Genome Project in the year portend much more serious changes to come.

The novel was about what we now call information technology: The political prescience of the other great dystopia, Brave New World, remains to be seen.

Don’t mess with human nature…

The most clear and present danger is that the large genetic variations between individuals will narrow and become clustered within certain distinct social groups. He provides several arguments to defend his human nature-based theory of rights:. Fukuyama recognizes that translation of human nature into rights is difficult, but possible through a rational discussion of human ends. Partly it is a matter of force of habit, and what Max Weber once called the “ghost of dead religious beliefs” that continues to haunt us.

But the situation is paradoxical, as US conservative religious views on, for instance, stem-cell research clash with an otherwise deregulatory agenda. The telescreen was what permitted the vast centralization of social life under the Ministry of Truth and the Ministry of Love, for it allowed oour government to banish privacy by monitoring every word and deed over a massive network of wires.

Francis Fukuyama achieved fame – or notoriety – when, 10 years ago, he published The End of History. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Although refreshingly sceptical about the claims made for the power and scope of such drugs, he rightly argues that at the least they are harbingers of increasingly effective new generations of psychochemicals.

These assumptions together constitute what has been called the naturalistic fallacy. Selected pages Title Page. In his opinion, control of biotechnology is a political necessity. There is no “nature” outside social context, and within the limits of evolved human biology the societies that we have created are extraordinarily diverse.

He begins by summarising what he sees as the current state of play in the science and technology of genetic and brain sciences, in terms of their capacity to extend healthy human life, to understand the roots of human behaviour intelligence, aggression, sexual orientationand to control and change that behaviour with drugs Prozac, Ritalin and so on.

Of course, there has always been a degree of genetic selection: