Human Enhancement


I am preparing for a discussion based philosophy course in which we debate various moral issues. Today’s topic is human enhancement. I am reading Buchanan and Crawford’s essay on “Cognitive Enhancement” and they seem to make a very strong case. I am personally inclined to agree with them. However, I have heard that the Church opposes human enhancement. Why is this? Is this capital-D Dogma? Aside from quoting Ignatius de Loyola on white and black, how can I defend a Dogma I am unsure of?


Which essay? You aren’t talking about Buchanan’s book, are you?

In any case, I think that the argument against CE comes less from formally-defined dogma, and more from objections from Catholic Moral Theology.

All other things aside, it would seem that one could make a social justice argument against the implementation of CE – that is, that we would be further widening the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots”.


Human enhancement does not take into account the complexity of the human body. Of course, the military is taking the lead as far as investigating useful applications. As technology advances, “volunteers” are subjected to experimentation that can have lasting, unpredictable results, which can include the loss of a degree of cognitive or physical function or both. The approach is the usual ‘trial and error.’ The Church is aware of this issue.


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