Secularism, Liberalism, and the Human Future, with Russell Blackford

November 8, 2013

Emerging and proposed technologies such as human cloning and genetic engineering have drawn a chorus of objections from politicians, pundits, and scholars. In this talk, Russell Blackford eschews the heated rhetoric that surrounds these technological developments and examines them in the context of secular and liberal thought.

Some perceive emerging technologies as challenging the values of liberal democracy. Dr Blackford argues that the challenge is not, as commonly supposed, the urgent need for strict regulatory action. Rather, the challenge is that fear of these technologies has created an atmosphere in which liberal tolerance itself is threatened. He argues that some controversial technologies would be genuinely beneficial, and that liberal democracies would demonstrate their liberal values by tolerating and accepting emerging technologies that offer prospects of human enhancement.

Russell Blackford is a Fellow of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Evolution and Technology, and a Conjoint Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

2pm–4pm, Saturday 9th November

Venue: Room 532, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square WC1E 7HX, London.