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Article

Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings

1
Boston College Law School, Boston College, Newton Centre, MA 02459, USA
2
GTC Law Group PC & Affiliates, Westwood, MA 02090, USA
Philosophies 2021, 6(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005
Received: 12 November 2020 / Revised: 21 December 2020 / Accepted: 23 December 2020 / Published: 14 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Enhancement Technologies and Our Merger with Machines)
The phenomenon and ethics of “voting” will be explored in the context of human enhancements. “Voting” will be examined for enhanced humans with moderate and extreme enhancements. Existing patterns of discrimination in voting around the globe could continue substantially “as is” for those with moderate enhancements. For extreme enhancements, voting rights could be challenged if the very humanity of the enhanced was in doubt. Humans who were not enhanced could also be disenfranchised if certain enhancements become prevalent. Voting will be examined using a theory of engagement articulated by Professor Sophie Loidolt that emphasizes the importance of legitimization and justification by “facing the appeal of the other” to determine what is “right” from a phenomenological first-person perspective. Seeking inspiration from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948, voting rights and responsibilities will be re-framed from a foundational working hypothesis that all enhanced and non-enhanced humans should have a right to vote directly. Representative voting will be considered as an admittedly imperfect alternative or additional option. The framework in which voting occurs, as well as the processes, temporal cadence, and role of voting, requires the participation from as diverse a group of humans as possible. Voting rights delivered by fiat to enhanced or non-enhanced humans who were excluded from participation in the design and ratification of the governance structure is not legitimate. Applying and extending Loidolt’s framework, we must recognize the urgency that demands the impossible, with openness to that universality in progress (or universality to come) that keeps being constituted from the outside. View Full-Text
Keywords: human enhancements; voting; human rights; ethics; discrimination; racism; speciesism; ableism human enhancements; voting; human rights; ethics; discrimination; racism; speciesism; ableism
MDPI and ACS Style

Blodgett-Ford, S.J. Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings. Philosophies 2021, 6, 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005

AMA Style

Blodgett-Ford SJ. Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings. Philosophies. 2021; 6(1):5. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blodgett-Ford, S. J. 2021. "Human Enhancements and Voting: Towards a Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of Beings" Philosophies 6, no. 1: 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies6010005

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