Ronald Bailey commenta una recentissima conferenza di Leon Kass, l’ex presidente del Comitato americano di bioetica, intitolata «Defending Human Dignity» («On Human Dignity», Reason, 9 febbraio 2007). Per Kass il pericolo maggiore che minaccia la dignità umana è l’aspirazione a migliorarla per mezzo delle nuove tecnolgie biomediche; ma Bailey non è d’accordo:
Kass fears that the biotechnological quest to satisfy “venerable human desires” will lead to humanity’s self-degradation, that it will cause us to lower our own dignity. In our attempt to become more than human we will end up less than human. Kass cited Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World as an example of human degradation. And he is right. The fictional inhabitants of Brave New World are degraded. But they are not degraded because of biotechnology or because of their voluntary choices. No, they are degraded because they are ruled by a totalitarian elite that abuses technology to stunt their bodies, their minds and their moral capacities. Tragically, the Epsilons, Gammas, Deltas, Betas and even the Alphas are not superhuman or transhuman, but subhuman. Surely the salient lesson we learn from Brave New World is that we must guard against tyranny, not against technological progress.