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AbstractAbstract: In their 2008 paper, Persson and Savulescu suggest that for moral bioenhancement (MBE) to be effective at eliminating the danger of ‘ultimate harm’ the intervention would need to be compulsory. This is because those most in need of MBE would be least likely to undergo the intervention voluntarily. By drawing on concepts and theories from epidemiology, this paper will suggest that MBE may not need to be universal and compulsory to be effective at significantly improving the collective moral standing of a human populace and reducing the threat of ultimate harm. It will identify similarities between the mechanisms that allow biological contagions (such as a virus) and behaviours (such as those concerned with ethical and unethical actions) to develop, spread, and be reinforced within a population. It will then go onto suggest that, just as with the epidemiological principle of herd immunity, if enough people underwent MBE to reach a minimum threshold then the incidence and spread of immoral behaviours could be significantly reduced, even in those who have not received MBE.
CitationMedicine, Health Care and Philosophy, volume 24, issue 1, page 45-54
DescriptionFrom Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router
History: accepted 2020-10-01, registration 2020-10-01, online 2020-10-06, pub-electronic 2020-10-06, pub-print 2021-03
Publication status: Published
Funder: University of Manchester