February 26, 2024

Savulescu gets major grant for neuroethics

Centre will deal with profound ethical challenges

One of the world’s most influential utilitarian
philosophers has received a £800,000 grant to set up a centre at Oxford
University to study the new field of neuroethics. Professor Julian Savulescu,
the director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, received the
grant from The Wellcome Trust. The interdisciplinary centre will focus on
questions about the enhancement of cognition and mood; borderline consciousness
and severe brain impairment; free will, criminal responsibility, and addiction,
and the neural basis of moral decision-making.

Professor Savulescu said: “Neuroscience
studies the brain and mind, and thereby some of the most profound aspects of
human existence. In the last decade, advances in imaging and manipulating the
brain have raised ethical challenges, particularly about the moral limits of
the use of such technology, leading to the new discipline of neuroethics.

Professor Savulescu has become notorious
for arguing that we should genetically enhance the human species by improving
IQ, behaviour, mood, character and morality. “
Biological manipulation to
increase opportunity is ethical,” he once said. If we have an obligation to
treat and prevent disease, we have an obligation to try to manipulate these
characteristics to give an individual the best opportunity of the best life.” He has even argued that parents have a moral responsibility to
select the best children they could have. It will be interesting to see what
sort of ideas about brain manipulation will emerge from the well-funded new
centre. ~ Oxford

Julian Savulescu

One thought on “Savulescu gets major grant for neuroethics

  1. Look up 19th century Francis Galton. He was the genius who coined the phrase “eugenics” and was a major populizer of basically the same concepts

    Breed a “better” human race…

    His “spiritual” descendants in Britain & the US then inspired the UBER Eugenicists of the 20th century the Nazis.
    (Did you know they killed off – or forcibly sterilized thousands of their so called “Aryan” citizens who didn’t meet their racial “breedcow” standards? This was before they murdered the millions of Jews & others…which was also eugenically motivated…)

    But compare to the ancient Christians – who took care of both their weak, sick, & dying and then…amazed the ancient Romans (who might toss out a sick slave onto the streets) The early Christians took care of the cast off Romans. They applied the ethics of their Jewish leader and Jewish apostles –

    Maybe there’s a paradox – If you care for the sick, the weak, those supposedly “lesser”, maybe you actually strengthen your society.

    And if you “purge” the weak, maybe you actually destroy your society! Maybe such eugenicists will inadvertently cause some kind of self devouring (a la Saturn devouring his children – 21st century style)!!!

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