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Truly Human EnhancementA Philosophical Defense of Limits$
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Nicholas Agar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026635

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026635.001.0001

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Why Moral Status Enhancement Is a Morally Bad Thing

Why Moral Status Enhancement Is a Morally Bad Thing

(p.181) 9 Why Moral Status Enhancement Is a Morally Bad Thing
Truly Human Enhancement

Nicholas Agar

The MIT Press

This chapter presents a moral argument for avoiding the creation of post-persons. Degrees of cognitive enhancement that risk moral status enhancement should, by implication, also be avoided. This argument points to bad consequences of moral status enhancement. These consequences are not certain. They are however sufficiently probable and bad to justify limiting cognitive enhancement. I style post-persons as especially morally needy beings. The enhancement of their moral status means that their many needs should take precedence over our own. A predictable consequence is that the needs of mere persons will go unmet. We are subject to no obligation to create post-persons in the first place. We can and should avoid creating their morally weighty needs by avoiding creating them.

Keywords:   Moral status, Moral status enhancement, Mere person, Post-person, Mixed society, Orderly transition, Supreme emergencies, Supreme opportunities

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