Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future

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Basic Books, 2004 - Computers - 294 pages
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"A loose coalition of groups - including religious conservatives, disability rights advocates, and environmental activists - has emerged to oppose the use of genetics to enhance human beings. And with the appointment of conservative philosopher Leon Kass (an opponent of invitro fertilization, stem cell research, and life extension) to head the President's Council on Bioethics, and with the recent high-profile writings by authors like Francis Fukuyama and Bill McKibben, this stance has become more visible - and more infamous - than ever before. In the opposite corner, a loose transhumanist coalition is mobilizing in defense of human enhancement, embracing the ideological diversity of their intellectual forebears in the democratic and humanist movements. Transhumanists argue that human beings should be guaranteed freedom to control their own bodies and brains, and to use technology to transcend human limitations." "Identifying the groups, thinkers, and arguments in each corner of this debate, bioethicist and futurist James Hughes argues for a third way, which he calls democratic transhumanism. This approach argues that we will achieve the best possible posthuman future when we ensure tech nologies are safe, make them available to everyone, and respect the right of individuals to control their own bodies. Hughes offers fresh and controversial answers for many other pressing biopolitical issues including cloning, genetic patents, human genetic engineering, sex selection, drugs, and assisted suicide - and concludes with a concrete political agenda for protechnology progressives, including expanding and deepening human rights, reforming genetic patent laws, and providing everyone with healthcare and a basic guaranteed income."--BOOK JACKET.
 

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Contents

Better Living Through Science and Democracy
3
Controlling the Body
11
Living Longer
23
Getting Smarter
33
Being Happier
43
From Future Shock to Biopolitics
55
Cyborg Citizenship
75
B Defenders of Natural Law
107
LeftWing BioLuddites
125
Upwingers Extropians and Transhumanists
155
Democratic Transhumanism
187
Further Resources
267
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

James Hughes is the producer of the public affairs program, Changesurfer Radio, and the Executive Director of the World Transhumanist Association. He lives in Willington, Connecticut.

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