1. What does Sandel think the dissolution of "giftedness" would change about the "moral landscape"? (Name one of the three features it would transform.)
2. As more is subject to choice, less is attributed to what?
3. What's "playing naked"? -"flying blind"?
4. What is the inadvertent result of insurance industry practice that creates a de facto social safety net?
5. Is "changing our nature to fit the world" necessary or desirable, according to Sandel?
6. Who called the new technologies of genetic intervention a "cosmic event"?
Sandel on Philosophy Bites
==J Appl Philos. 2011 Nov;28(4):355-368.
Mastery Without Mystery: Why there is no Promethean Sin in Enhancement.
Several authors have suggested that we cannot fully grapple with the ethics of human enhancement unless we address neglected questions about our place in the world, questions that verge on theology but can be pursued independently of religion. A prominent example is Michael Sandel, who argues that the deepest objection to enhancement is that it expresses a Promethean drive to mastery which deprives us of openness to the unbidden and leaves us with nothing to affirm outside our own wills. Sandel's argument against enhancement has been criticized, but his claims about mastery and the unbidden, and their relation to religion, have not yet received sufficient attention. I argue that Sandel misunderstands the notions of mastery and the unbidden and their significance. Once these notions are properly understood, they have surprising implications. It turns out that the value of openness to the unbidden is not just independent of theism, as Sandel claims, but is in fact not even fully compatible with it. But in any case that value cannot support Sandel's objection to enhancement.This is because it is not enhancement but certain forms of opposition to enhancement that are most likely to express a pernicious drive to mastery.
Free PMC Article
Julian Savulescu's powerpoint...
1. Is "openness to the unbidden" a universally shared attribute of good parents? Are over-controlling or helicoptering parents too preoccupied with avoiding the unbidden?
2. How would you characterize an appropriate level of parental responsibility? (Example: we visited our daughter this past weekend. She complained that the heat in her dorm room has been out during the recent cold spell. Her mother threatened to call the school. Appropriate?)
3. Do you sympathize with athletes who choose not to "play naked" or parents who won't "fly blind"? Do you blame them? Would you behave differently?
4. Do you agree that the good fortune of some implies an obligation to assist the least advantaged members of society? 91
5. Is it disloyal to our predecessors or unfair to our successors, to contemplate changes to our heritable nature? Are human nature and world realities separable or inter-related?
6. Do you see enhancement technology more as "an inadvertent by-product of biomedical progress" or an expression of Promethean over-reach? Is it inevitable?
- How advertising promotes expensive drugs and treatments you may not need - nyt
- The Stress Test-Rivalries, intrigue, and fraud in the world of stem-cell research. NYer
- Love & Death (letters) - nyt - "...Except for palliative care teams, the health care professionals entrusted to shepherd most of us to our deaths require better training. Poetry and engagement with the humanities not only enhance a doctor’s empathy, but are requisite to all of us living meaningfully..."