Modeling the Social Dynamics of Moral Enhancement: Social Strategies Sold Over the Counter and the Stability of Society

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (3):431-445 (2017)
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How individuals tend to evaluate the combination of their own and other’s payoffs—social value orientations—is likely to be a potential target of future moral enhancers. However, the stability of cooperation in human societies has been buttressed by evolved mildly prosocial orientations. If they could be changed, would this destabilize the cooperative structure of society? We simulate a model of moral enhancement in which agents play games with each other and can enhance their orientations based on maximizing personal satisfaction. We find that given the assumption that very low payoffs lead agents to be removed from the population, there is a broadly stable prosocial attractor state. However, the balance between prosociality and individual payoff-maximization is affected by different factors. Agents maximizing their own satisfaction can produce emergent shifts in society that reduce everybody’s satisfaction. Moral enhancement considerations should take the issues of social emergence into account.



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Virtue Theory for Moral Enhancement.Joao Fabiano - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12 (2-3):89-102.
The gene-editing of super-ego.Bjørn Hofmann - 2018 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (3):295-302.

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Moral enhancement.Thomas Douglas - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):228-245.

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