Spotted: A New Patheos Blogger with a Dedicated ‘Transhumanist’ Tag

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.The trouble is, that the newest addition to Patheos's Catholic Portal is dead set against it.  In his intro post for God and the Machine, Thomas L. McDonald writes: Emerging technologies are shaping, reshaping, and sometimes warping, our perception of reality. This cannot happen in moral vacuum. It cannot exist without a moral dimension. Anything that i … [Read more...]

Intelligently Designed Bodies

new yorker hip replacement

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.Before a very delicate operation on his arm, the patient says to his surgeon, "Doc, Doc, I gotta know, you can give it to me straight.  After the operation, will I be able to play piano?"The doctor answers in the affirmative and the patient sighs, "Gee, Doc, that's swell! I could never do it before." Medicine is usually focused on restoring a broken o … [Read more...]

Evolution Isn’t On Our Side

richmond-antlers-b_1737366i

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.Looks like there are still some questions about why I'm drawing a distinction between selecting for and selecting against in my post on how evolution doesn't optimize for ethics.  One commenter wrote: I see what you are saying, but isn’t it easier to think in terms of “selecting for” when considering how sexual selection gives rise to traits like large antl … [Read more...]

Evolution Doesn’t Select for Ethics

local maxima

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.The second most incorrect thing people say about evolution is that it is the survival of the fittest.  (The most incorrect award has to go to the claim it doesn't exist).  The problem with this framing is that it sets up a picture of evolution-as-craftsman, carefully scrutinizing genetic variations and selecting and nurturing the most promising varian … [Read more...]

No ‘Healthy Outlet’ for Bad Habits

Remember you can vote once per day for the About.com Atheism Awards.  I'm one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.This is part two of my response to Brian S. about my choice to give up free food during Lent.  The first focused on why I glommed on to Lent in the first place.  Now we're addressing the substance of the change I'm trying to make.  Brian wrote: I disagree [that the feeling of having cheated someone is a bad pleasure to cultivate], or at any rate don’t feel … [Read more...]

Futzing Around with Final Causes

Paralympic athlete Aimee Mullins

This post is part of a series on Aquinas, Aristotle, and Edward Feser's explanation of them both.Back to Feser and Aristotle for a bit.  Later on in The Last Superstition, Feser talks about some of the obvious final causes we can observe.  He's using this section to defend natural law against the accusation that it's proponents want us to go back to pre-modern technology and to set up his attack on homosexuality.  I'm not interested in those points, so you can look them up yourselves.  I want … [Read more...]

Finding the Morality Pill Hard to Swallow

tank-man

After a week of talking about transhumanism, brain-hacking, and the persistence of identity, I couldn't pass up a chance to comment on Brian Appleyard's slam on using science to improve people's moral character. Moral enhancement cannot be a scientific project because neither term has any measurable meaning that can be universalised. Rather, it is an ideological project which would hand power to an oligarchy of neuropharmacologists who would be permitted to decide that somebody – probably them – … [Read more...]


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