2nd St Cross Special Ethics Seminar

Date: Monday, 22 February, 5.30pm (followed by drinks and dinner)
Speaker: Professor Julian Savulescu
Title: "Unfit For Life: Genetically Enhance Humanity or Face Extinction"
Venue: St Cross Room, St Cross College, St Giles, Oxford

Abstract: In a letter to his friend and mentor Joseph Hooker, Darwin wrote 'What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horridly cruel works of nature!' Human beings have the biology of Pleistocene man, that of a hunter-gather. I will examine the nature of human beings as products of evolution and identify moral limitations in human nature. I will examine the implications of our limited altruism, co-operation and ability to take account of the future consequences of our actions in a world of advanced technology and liberal democracy. I will argue that our biology and psychology are unfit for the kind of society we live in. If we are to avoid technological disaster, we must either alter our political institutions, severely restrain our technology or change our nature. Or face annihilation by our own design

Booking: If you would like to attend the seminar or the dinner afterwards, please email nicholas.iles@philosophy.ox.ac.uk.

Further details: Presentation devised by Professor Julian Savulescu and Professor Ingmar Persson, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford. The seminar will be followed by a drinks reception, and a dinner afterwards.

 

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