Friday, July 11, 2008

Female as a human enhancement?

A rather nice argument by Robert Sparrow (A Melbourne based bioethicist) suggests that the transhumanist arguments that human enhancement is a moral imperative imply that we ought to use reproductive technology to ensure that our children are female rather than male.

The core of the argument is that women have a significant number of advantages over men in terms of longevity etc and given that we could do without men (using IVF etc) then the pro-enhancement argument implies we ought to do so. Full article here:
Men on a slippery slide in future hermaphrodite world

5 comments:

Meg said...

Wow, that article was fascinating! Despite the fact that it's tongue and cheek he has interesting points, especially when we consider how males have dominated society for most of history.
Do you guys (the authors of this blog) think that in the future people might actually view it as a possible option? It seems somewhat horrific to dismiss half the world's population as useful only for breeding (although that's how females were percieved for much of history I suppose) and even that for only a short while longer!

David Hunter said...

Hi Meg

I can't speak for the others, but I suspect and rather hope it is unlikely.

Phil Hoffmann said...

Meg,

Actually, from a strictly biological perspective the argument makes good sense, tongue in cheek or not. Biologically speaking, sperm is cheap and plentiful, so you don't need a lot of males for a good supply. (Keep a few hunks and Einstein types around and you've got everything you need.) Ova, and the bearers of them, on the other hand, are precious commodities, and so we need to save lots more of them.

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