22.9.03

Not So Bad

Here is a moderate article from Yuval Levin, a staff member of the President's Council on Bioethics. If you remember them, they appeared to take a conservative and restrictive stance on biomedical and biotechnological developments, clothed in a partisan moral discourse.

Levin warns about scientism and the tendency of transhumanists to favour utopian solutions. They remind me of some of the critics that coined "Pragmatic Optimism" as a nuanced defence.

Still, the argument is positive:

They (or, to be precise, a subset among them) are the new utopians -- strident, rationalist, atheist, materialist proponents of a technical substitute for political authority. But they are also deeply committed to liberty, and this makes them different and better than most of the cold-blooded dreamers of old. We could certainly do worse.

TechCentral Station is always worth casting an eye over and the New Atlantis is a take it or leave it site.

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