New ethics for a mutant world

The implications of an uncertain boundary

The distinction between natural and unnatural seems, on the face of it, simple enough. So, too, do we readily accept value judgments that hold the natural superior to the artificial. But the conditions for naturalness quickly become murky. When it comes to the ethical and ontological implications, this boundary is yet more uncertain, writes Alex McKeown. 

At first sight it seems to be an obvious question with an obvious answer: What is natural? Well, it’s anything that occurs naturally. But this answer is question-begging, as it presupposes we know what it means to be ‘naturally’ occurring, as opposed to occurring through some other, non-natural means.

So perhaps we could say it means anything non-artificial. This answer, though, invites the further question of what it is for something to be ‘artificial’. A

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Min_Hen 3 November 2020

I think that we need to fight these developments as hard as possible. Whether or not natural and unnatural is a workable logical distinction at its very core, we tend to realise that these distinctions are nonetheless valuable. The natural human life and the natural human body is the source of pleasure and value in this world. If we loose this we are completely Lost.