Enhancing Humans and Sustainability: The Reunion of Bioethics and Environmental Ethics
AbstractEmerging technologies are hyped as ‘transformative’ by their proponents, who prophesize that these new technologies will significantly and beneficially change our world. Concerns have been raised about the potential environmental impacts of these technologies. Emerging technologies and their implications on humans, society, and the environment challenge our understanding of our responsibilities to the environment and future generations. Utilizing Van Potter’s sense of bioethics that meant the normative study of humanity’s place in the biosphere, I attempt to reintegrate bioethics and environmental ethics, to address questions about human well-being in the future, its dependence on complex environmental systems, and the impact of emerging technologies particularly enhancement technologies upon it. Ultimately, I argue that the future envisioned by proponents of human enhancement technologies is not consistent with our responsibilities to future generations which including leaving certain amounts of natural capital, including human ones.
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