Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (3):131-132 (2021)

Olaf has a theory about advancing technologies being both our saviour and our doom. While we ought to avoid over-analysing claims of fictitious snowmen, we can pause to consider whether it is possible for an advancing technology to be both our saviour and our doom. I will maintain that it is. But for now, note how it is tempting to resolve the overlap by thinking about advancing technologies and individuals. In a possible reformulation of Olaf’s claim, advancing technology can be one person’s saviour, but in being so, is another person’s doom. This reformulation is a type of an ‘individualisation argument’ against advancing technology. Specifically, it is the claim that while an individual’s use of technology may solve their iteration of a problem, it may also undermine a societal response to the broader problem. Peterson, in this edition’s Feature Article, has this type of ‘individualisation argument’ in his sights when he considers its application to non-medical egg freezing. That is, freezing an egg for social reasons rather than medical reasons. Peterson formulates the ‘individualisation argument’ in the following way1: > P1: It is morally wrong to let individuals use technology X—in order to try to handle a problem that is social in nature—if the use of X will somehow work against a social solution to a social problem P. > > P2: If individuals make use of a technology like …
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DOI 10.1136/medethics-2021-107284
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Individual Solutions to Social Problems.Ole Martin Moen - 2021 - Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (3):173-174.

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