Behind the bioethical debates surrounding cloning and genetic engineering and other medical advances is a deeper question about what it all means for humanity. Philosopher Francis Fukuyama envisions a future where our understanding of humanity is completely turned upside-down — and he says we are already on our way.
It is a future where mood altering drugs like Prozac reach perfection; where the perfect babies are created; where humans are living well into their hundreds. All of these efforts seek to eliminate those things that make us human: imperfection; sadness; death. The generation of humans living in this future may have solved many of humanity’s traditional problems, but they will have lost what it means to actually be human.
But what is the alternative to Fukuyama’s Brave New World? Societies that resist scientific development must reject modernism, argues one critic. Unless the whole culture consciously decides to cease being modern, the biotechnology machine will continue to roll onward.
This hour, Francis Fukuyama looks ahead at the upcoming advances in biotechnology and how it could change the meaning of humanity.
Francis Fukuyama, professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins University, author of “Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution”, member of the President’s Council on Bioethics