As developments in biotechnology inevitably continue to advance, the technologies regulation is discussed as ethics are questioned. As it is understood that the ethics of biotechnology should be fundamentally the same as other situations, there is a discourse questioning its role in the world. Within article ‘Don’t mess with human nature’ published by The Guardian in 2002, Francis Fukuyama’s book ‘Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution’ is discussed and critiqued by journalist Steven Rose.
As Fukuyama argues that human rights are established on a basic human nature, human biotechnology threatens to? interfere this. Within the book, he discusses the ways in which one clear human rights and human nature have been blurred through a rejection of naturalism. It is as result of this that it needs to be regulated. While Rose agrees with this, he states “Sound conclusion, faulty premises.” Rose, among others, refers to this as the ‘naturalist fallacy’, holding the belief that without human context there is no nature.
According to Rose, the majority of biotechnology of research is done within the US and that which is unregulated is outside federal laboratories. However he states “But the situation is paradoxical, as US conservative religious views on, for instance, stem-cell research clash with an otherwise deregulatory agenda. (Legislation to ban so-called therapeutic cloning is currently before Congress, at the same time as the US withdraws from the Kyoto and Start treaties and weakens environmental protection.)”
Within Europe, regulatory structures are more strict, Fukuyama looking enviously at this as it offers hope of the posthuman world as it “does not have to be competitive, hierarchical and full of social conflict – a future he sees as probable if unregulated biotechnology delivers on its promises”
The Guardian. 2002. Don’t mess with human nature…. Website Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/jun/01/highereducation. (Accessed 26 July 13)
Fukuyama, F,F, 2002. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. New York: Picador.