[ExI] circumcision again

Anders anders at aleph.se
Tue Sep 27 21:37:35 UTC 2016

On 2016-09-27 19:57, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> It got me to thinking:  the basic objection is that it was done 
> without permission.
> Now I assume that many of us in this group are in favor of genetically 
> modifying embryos to eliminate undesirable traits, and perhaps even to 
> enhance desirable ones.
> How can you reconcile the two attitudes?

General purpose goods.

Being healthy, long-lived, intelligent etc. is good for nearly all 
plausible life projects. These general purpose goods increase the range 
of possibilities open for the person. Circumcision is something that 
does not provide a good except for a fairly narrow range of life projects.

There is also a timing issue: most of the above GPGs need to be given on 
the embryo stage for them to provide their benefits. Circumcision can be 
done later (and voluntarily).

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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