Monday, March 12, 2007

Fun with Eugenics (?!)

The Undergraduate Bioethics Society will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) evening, March 13. The speaker will be Elizabeth Fenton, a graduate student in Philosophy who has just published the article "Liberal Eugenics & Human Nature: Against Habermas" in the Hastings Center Report.

Who: Elizabeth Fenton, Cand. PhD
What: Liberal Eugenics: Against the Critics
When: 7:00-8:15 PM, March 13
Where: 101 Cocke Hall

We are all rightly horrified by the kind of eugenics that inspired the Nazis and the American sterilization movement, but what are the prospects for a more benign, positive brand of eugenics--i.e., genetic enhancement for the betterment of individual lives, freely chosen by individual parents? Some critics, like the famous German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, claim that such genetic tinkering undermines the distinction between the natural and the manufactured, and thereby undermines the ability of "enhanced" children to see themselves as the authors of their own lives. They thus condemn genetic enhancement technology as unethical. Elizabeth Fenton disagrees.

Rumor has it that light refreshments will be served along with good conversation.

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