Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Making Enhancement Acceptable

A possible way forward for transhumanists is emerging. Since there is such a strong bias in our politically correct society against the idea of making human enhancement available to humans, and since the negative bias tends to focus on the distinction between restoration of function and enhancement, transhumanists are beginning to use the word enablement and point out that there is no clear line between therapy and enablement.

Zack Lynch reports on this transformation and posts a link to a just-published report from a human enhancement workshop held in D.C. back in June 2006. He highlights this particular paragraph from the report:
The line between therapy or restoration and enhancement is another piece of ongoing debates about HE. After noting at the workshop that the line between therapy and enhancement is particularly faint and subjective, Zack Lynch, managing director of NeuroInsights, recommended the term “enablement” as a replacement for the current buzz-word “enhancement.” He believes the term enhancement is already politically charged in both its meaning and use among science policy players. He sees no hard line between “therapy” and “enhancement”; instead, there is a range of capacities already in normal distribution among the population, and enablement refers to maximizing each person’s latent potential. While these arguments are explored in greater detail later in this essay, this report will utilize the more familiar term of “enhancement.”
Could this be the way forward?

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