Ron Bailey, whose book Liberation Biology I cannot recommend enough, points out just how bioconservative a lot of “liberals” and “progressives” really are:
But a quick reading of the book suggests that the divide between some bioethical progressives and conservatives isn’t particularly wide. With the notable exception of the abortion issue, the above list of quotations shows that there is considerable overlap between self-described conservatives and progressives when it comes to banning various proposed and actual biotechnological interventions. Both conservatives and progressives endorse the application of the so-called precautionary principle to bioethics. A profound attack on new technologies, the precautionary principle requires innovators to prove that their new technologies are totally safe before they are allowed to introduce them into the marketplace.
But don’t think he just lumps everyone together:
Bioethicist James Hughes, another contributor to Progress in Bioethics, is correct when he identifies Darnovsky, Hayes, Annas, and others as “leftwing bioconservatives.” Ultimately, when it comes to bioethics some progressives have progressed so far across the ideological spectrum that they are, in policy terms, not much different from the neoconservatives and conservatives they affect to despise.
Hughes and Bailey were the first authors I read on transhumanism and, in my mind, remain the two best exemplars, respectively, of democratic transhumanism and libertarian transhumanism out there. These guys are smart and work hard. My work is deeply indebted to both.
Bioethics is controversial.
No one endorses the ideas or concepts explored here, not even me.
You will develop a strong opinion about something you find here. I want to hear it. Philosophy is a conversation.
popbioethics [at] gmail [dot] com
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