Neuroethics 14 (2):315-325 (2021)

Ole Moen
University of Oslo
According to the Norwegian philosopher Peter Wessel Zapffe, human life is filled with so much suffering that procreation is morally impermissible. In the first part of this paper I present Zapffe’s pessimism-based argument for anti-natalism, and contrast it with the arguments for anti-natalism proposed by Arthur Schopenhauer and David Benatar. In the second part I explore what Zapffe’s pessimism can teach us about biomedical enhancement. I make the case that pessimism counts in favor of pursuing biomedical enhancements. The reason is that the worse we take the baseline human condition to be, the stronger are our reasons to try to alter humanity, and the weaker are our reasons to fear technology-driven extinction. The prospect of enhancement, I further argue, gives pessimists a reason to reject anti-natalism.
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DOI 10.1007/s12152-021-09458-8
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References found in this work BETA

The Case Against Perfection.Michael J. Sandel - 2004 - The Atlantic (April):1–11.
Moral Enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.

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