"The Perils of Cognitive Enhancement and the Urgent Imperative to Enhance the Moral Character of Humanity."

This article is less of an explanation of cognitive enhancement, and instead an appeal to encourage that moral enchantment must come along with it, suggesting that if our personal, mental capabilities were to be enhanced, then a minority of truly evil people would be enhanced as well. It would be in the best interest of society then, to encourage moral advancement; rather than strictly cognitive enhancement. One point that clearly stood out to me was the efficiency with which our knowledge has advanced based on our ability to pass down information from generation to generation. When a scientist sits down to work, they are not having to start from scratch by reinventing the wheel, they are adding to the collective works of all that have come before them. Image then, just what we will be capable of if, for example, our brightest minds were given implants that stimulate creative thinking. Imagine how fast we would take to the stars if the scientists at NASA were given some sort of super-drug that enhanced cognitive ability. Not only would they be working more efficiently, they would be laying better foundations for those that come after them to continue working on.

As much as cognitive enhancement seems like it could be a massive boon, the potential of enchantment also comes with some worries. If the best minds at NASA or the CDC get cognitive enhancement, that seems like it would be good for everyone, but if a warmonger or terror cell found a way to get them, it could prove detrimental to many people. This is the key concern expressed in the article, and an example of the need for moral improvements that follow along with cognitive enhancement.

This moral enhancement is said to come from biological and genetic means, as the article suggests that our altruistic tendencies are a byproduct of evolutionary process. If this is truly the case, and morality is at least partially attached to some physical manifestation of chemicals and stimuli in our body, then morality could be enhanced via pharmaceutical medication as well as implanted technology.

While the article is certainly convincing in its push for moral enhancement, it seems to hinge wholly on the claim that catastrophic evil will be the result of cognitive enhancement without directly correlating moral enchantment. The counter argument then, is that cognitive enhancement would also decrease some of the sentiments that lead to catastrophic evil. A person with a brain modified to increase intelligence would probably be less prone to racism, bigotry, and senseless aggression, as all of those things most likely stem from bias and ignorance.

I also feel that it is worth mentioning that the claim of some terror cell building a nuke because their leader has been given cybernetic brain enhancements would be a fantastic plot for a J.J. Abrams movie. Genetically modified Navy Seals hunting down a terror cell that has cybernetic enhancements on its operators so they can take down an evil super genus before he nukes a country? Come on, that's a box office record breaker, but it makes for a rather silly grounding for an ethical argument designed to encourage moral enhancement that coincides with cognitive enhancement.