… as the only way to save the species? From Bryan Walsh at Medium:
“Our morality and our moral dispositions evolved to stop us from killing ourselves within our small group and to make sure that we cooperated with our small group,” says Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. “But they didn’t evolve to provide benefits to strangers or to deal with large numbers of individuals at risk. All those features mean we’re particularly badly placed to deal with large statistical threats like the use of biological weapons or global collective action problems like climate change.”
Essentially Savulescu believes that we “lack the moral capacities to deal with the sort of world we’ve created for ourselves.” Fortunately, he has a solution.
As Savulescu sees it, the same cutting-edge biotechnology that poses an existential risk could one day be used to engineer more ethical and more moral human beings. As we learn to identify the genes associated with altruism and a sense of justice, we could turn them up in the next generation, creating children who would innately possess the wisdom not to use that terrifying bioweapon, who would see the prudence in curbing their present-day consumption to ensure that future generations have a future. (They also might be more apt to do their chores.) The options for self-destruction would still exist, but our morally bioenhanced offspring would be too good to choose them. “We have to decide what kind of people we want,” Savulescu says. “It’s not something we’ve begun to embrace because we have this sort of liberal neutrality, this relativism about morality that says, ‘Wow, we can’t really decide which moralities are better than the others.”More.
Needless to say, it if were “in the genes,” it wouldn’t be ethics. There seems a natural tendency for people who want to save the whole world to also want absolute control. We’ve been here before—Nietzsche’s Superman and all that.
But then some think the only solution is to do us all in.
But maybe… Jeff Bezos: We must colonize the Moon in order to survive
Oh but no! The ethics of colonizing other planets. Some think it’s wrong.
See also: Voluntary human extinction movement?