Bioethics (forthcoming)

Authors
Abram Brummett
Oakland University
Parker Crutchfield
Western Michigan University School Of Medicine
Abstract
Some bioconservatives reject the use of biotechnology for moral enhancement while simultaneously purporting to accept standard theism and process virtue (STPV). Standard theism holds that God is a personal, omniscient, omnibenevolent, omnipotent, transcendent being. Process virtue holds that intrinsically valuable virtue can only be obtained through a specific process and not by means of biotechnological shortcuts. We describe two internal critiques, one conceptual and the other moral, that arise by combining standard theism and process virtue to reject moral enhancement. First, the conceptual critique argues there is an inconsistency that arises when the process virtue view is applied to the concept of God himself. STPV inconsistently holds that intrinsically valuable virtue must arise through a process, yet also posits the existence of an immutable, omnibenevolent God, whose intrinsically valuable virtue never arose through a process. Theistic bioconservatives must either give up the notion that God has always been perfectly virtuous or give up their claim that virtue must be obtained through a particular kind of process. Second, the moral critique argues that rejecting moral enhancement on a process virtue basis is selfish, which is held to be a vice on all mainstream manifestations of standard theism. Process virtue is selfish because it requires prioritizing the intrinsic value of developing one’s own virtue through a process over using moral enhancement that will improve one’s ability to help others. We conclude that the combination of standard theism and process virtue does not serve as a strong basis from which to oppose moral enhancement.
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References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Oxford University Press USA.
Moral Enhancement and Freedom.John Harris - 2011 - Bioethics 25 (2):102-111.
Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.

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