Monday’s Food for Thought: The Age of Enhancement

How far would you go to have the edge?

Coffee keeps us awake to pull an all-nighter, energy drinks offer a boost for that mid-afternoon slump.  Some take significantly stronger (and potentially more harmful) stimulants such as Adderall or Provigil before exams or job interviews in an attempt to perform better.

But what if you could safely go beyond even this?  A pill to improve memory or enhance problem solving capabilities or steady your hand?  A video game that when played boosts brain function?  Artificial limbs that could replace and work better than human ones?  Would you take advantage of it?  Furthermore, depending on your job, would it be irresponsible not to?

This article published by the NY Times earlier this month gives a quick taste of the possibilities and ethical implications and is worth the few minutes it will take to read it.

“…besides basic safety questions, [there is] the issue of who would get the enhancements, how much they would cost, and who would gain an advantage over others by using them. In a society that is already seeing a widening gap between the very rich and the rest of us, the question of a democracy of equals could face a critical test if the well-off also could afford a physical, genetic or bionic advantage. It also may challenge what it means to be human.”

Something to think about this Monday morning!

-Deanna, a current graduate wife

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