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Worth Your Time: Selections from the Bioethics Library

June 15, 2023 • Posted in Blog

C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D. Distinguished Fellow The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture


Adam Kirsch, The Revolt Against Humanity: Imaging a Future Without Us (Columbia Global Reports, 2023)

In this dystopian non-fiction work, Kirsch, an editor at the Wall Street Journal, claims that the future will be better off without human beings. As he puts it in the introduction, “the premise of the book is that the revolt against humanity is a real and significant phenomenon even if it is “just” an idea, and its predictions of a future without us never comes true.” The revolt against humanity is, as he puts it, “a spiritual more

Podcast Interview: Transhumanism and the Quest for Technological Immortality

August 4, 2022 • Posted in Blog

In this episode of The Political Animals, our Distinguished Fellow C. Ben Mitchell, Ph.D., discusses transhumanism. Listen below!

The Political Animals

In this episode, Jonathan talks to bioethicist Ben Mitchell about transhumanism. They discuss the origins, philosophy and goals of the transhumanist movement, the movement’s desire for a post human future, the impact of technology on the human being, including the possibility of uploading consciousness to a computer, or merging the human brain with technology, and finally what it actually means to be human. Listen now.


GATTACA: 25 Years On

June 30, 2022 • Posted in Blog

Joyce A. Shelton, Ph.D. Professor of Biology Emerita Trinity International University

(Editor’s Note: The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture screened GATTACA at the end of June at the international bioethics conference held by the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity at Trinity International University. Dr. Shelton presented opening remarks, which, lightly edited, are presented here.)

The movie, GATTACA, is entertaining to watch as is, but is also rife with symbolism and subtle—and some not so subtle—philosophical messages. 25 years on: it has proved to be prescient in a number of ways.

GATTACA depicts a dystopian world in which there is a new type of social more

Futurist: We’ll someday accept computers as human — CNN Tech

March 13, 2012 • Posted in Emerging Technologies

By Brandon Griggs

12 March 2012

Nigel Cameron at AMPLIFYfestival

July 8, 2011 • Posted in Emerging Technologies

Rappaccini’s Daughter Wasn’t Enough, Either

April 12, 2010 • Posted in Emerging Technologies

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director The Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture July 2007

In “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” Nathaniel Hawthorne tells us the story of a scientist, Dr. Rappaccini, who is intrigued to the point of obsession with the knowledge of science.  His particular interest is in poisonous plants, for within them, he is convinced, lie “all medicinal virtues.”  He has a daughter, Beatrice, renowned for her beauty, but rarely seen.  That is, until Giovanni Guasconti, student at the University of Padua, comes to live next door.  From his lodgings, Giovanni looks down into an incredible garden, and eventually, glimpses Beatrice Rappaccini there, more

Transhumanism: Towards Borgification

April 12, 2010 • Posted in Emerging Technologies

Melanie Unruh, R.N., B.S.N. Intern, The Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture July 2007

“I was born human. But this was an accident of fate…” Such a quote sounds like a great opening to a science-fiction movie, but it is in fact the statement of Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at the University of Reading, England. Warwick belongs to a growing group of scientists and philosophers who consider themselves to be transhumanists. But what exactly is a transhumanist? 

The word transhuman is an abbreviation of the words “transitional human.” The concept implies that we humans are simply a transitional form along the evolutionary more