The self-effacing academic author of this critique of the abolitionist project has asked to remain anonymous. I publish the paper here with his kind permission. DP.

Objections to bioethical abolitionism from a non-hedonistic perspective


  1. Introduction
  2. The Abolitionist Project
    1. Goals of the Abolitionist Project

    2. Techonolgy

      1. Wireheading

      2. Designer drugs

      3. Gene therapy

      4. Lab meat

      5. Wild animals

  3. Criticism of the Abolitionist Project

    1. Desirability

    2. Loss of Freedom

    3. Morality

    4. Arrogance, Totalitarianism and Paternalism

  4. Response to Criticism

    1. Response to "Desirability"

    2. Response to "Loss of Freedom"

    3. Response to "Morality"

    4. Response to "Arrogance, Totalitarianism and Paternalism"

  5. Summary and Conclusion

  6. Literature

  7. Statement of Authorship

I. Introduction

Bioethical Abolitionism is a philosophy that is inspired by the ideas of utilitarianism and transhumanism. Transhumanism is :

"a class of philosophies of life that seek the continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology, guided by life-promoting principles and values." (Max More 1990) [1]

The goal of Abolitionism is to create a world devoid of suffering and with increased happiness - by altering and improving human- and non-human organisms. The reason to engineer organisms is the idea that the individual happiness of a human being is highly dependent on a genetically predetermined happiness set point that cannot be changed by external factors like income [2]. So otherwise than already failed political ideologies like communism who tried to redeem people by changing their environment the aim of abolitionist is to change humans and their ability to feel pain and pleasure.

From a pathocentric point of view abolitionist philosophers like David Pearce wants all sentient beings to profit from bioengineering - as mentioned in the Abolitionist Project [3].

The notion of happiness and suffering put forward by the abolitionists is clearly a hedonistic one in which pleasure equals happiness and pain equals suffering.

But what shall all those people who are not hedonists think of the idea to bioengineer human beings to abolish their sensation of unwell-being and to promote their experience of pleasure?

Critics of hedonistic utilitarianism have called it a "pig's philosophy" [4] because it values "swinish pleasures" instead of so called higher ideals - like self-realization, education, love or wisdom.

However, increasing happiness and reducing suffering is not necessarily detrimental to those ideals. Besides abolitionism there is still place for other ideals in the transhumanist movement. My aim is to find out in how far this is true.

First, I will present the main ideas and visions of bioethical abolitionism. Then I will take a look at criticism of abolitionism and I will present abolitionist counter-arguments.

In the end I will summarize the best non-hedonistic arguments for supporting bioethical abolitionism.

2. The Abolitionist Project

2.1 Goals of the Abolitionist Project

The Idea of abolitionism was mainly developed by David Pearce. The foundational document of this movement is the "Hedonistic Imperative" [5] written in 1995 by David Pearce. In this paper he argued for the use of biotechnology to abolish suffering. Nick Bostrom a postgraduate Philosopher from Oxford University read it and got involved. In 1997 both funded an organization called World Transhumanist Association or Humanity plus [6].

Unlike some people who think that happiness and suffering comes from external causes Pearce believes that the human proneness to suffering has evolutionary reasons and is therefore a apart of human nature:

"Pain and suffering exist today because they have been genetically adaptive. The signalling properties of our nastier primal emotions (sadness, disgust, anger, fear, etc) helped the genes of organic robots leave more copies of themselves ("maximise their inclusive fitness") in the ancestral environment of adaptation. Each core emotion has its own anatomical and neurochemical signature; and ancient functional role." [7]

But Pearce also acknowledges that the same biological reasons for the suffering of humans also cause suffering to nonhuman animals because the distinctions between humans and nonhuman animals "are real but ethically irrelevant" [8]. He is a convinced vegan[9] and wants to end animal abuse in factory farms. But he is also concerned about the suffering of wild animals. In other texts he criticizes the romantic view of nature many modern people have. In one text about predation, he quotes Richard Dawkins:

"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. It must be so." [10]

This vast amount of suffering in the wild convinces him that it is not just enough to leave wild animals alone - as it is often demanded by environmentalist and animal rights advocates - but to intervene to end suffering. [11] In "The Hedonistic Imperative" there is an intentionally provocative statement that compares cats torturing mice to Nazis persecuting Jews. In the eyes of Pearce both is natural - because it's physically determined - but both still needs to be stopped [12]. David Pearce dreams about some kind of "Pan-Species Welfare State" [13]. For the case that suffering is not just a planet-earth-problem and "such horror might exist anywhere else in the cosmos" he suggest to accomplish "inter-stellar rescue missions"[14].

All actions that not only intend to end suffering but to increase wellbeing are called "paradise engineering" [15]. As this paper covers both abolishing suffering and increasing happiness the mentioning of Abolitionism will also include paradise engineering.

2.2 Technology

2.2.1 Wireheading

He plans to get rid of suffering in three steps. The first one is wireheading. Microelectrodes are implanted into a person's brain and the pleasure centers become stimulated. However this stimulation is unrelated to any internal or external activity of the patient and is therefore not useful to motivate the patient to do anything - let alone to make him/her reproduce. Therefore wireheading with its indiscriminate bliss is just a viable option for a few extremely depressive people [16].

2.2.2 Designer Drugs

The second step according to Pearce is the development of designer drugs that will cause constant well-being without unacceptable side-effects. Unlike contemporary drugs they would not just cause euphoric mania but all kinds of "cerebral, empathetic, aesthetic and perhaps spiritual well-being" [17]. Even if these designer drugs aren't invented yet, there are a lot of precursors who are already applied to improve the mood and the state of mind of its patients [18].

2.2.3 Gene Therapy

But as the proneness to suffering still belongs to human nature the only final solution to suffering is altering the human nature itself with gene therapy - both somatic and germline therapy. The aim is to make all people hyperthymic - that means extraordinarily happy while being able to respond and to adapt to their environment in an appropriate manner -unlike maniacs [19].

But even hyperthymic people sometimes feel sad and are suffering to a certain degree. In the Darwinian life pain and suffering has played an important role to motivate humans to avoid physical harm. Pearce believes that if we recalibrate the motivational structure of the human brain we could cause the same kind of harm avoiding behavior - or any kind of self-sustaining behavior - with gradients of well-being alone [20].

2.2.4 Lab Meat

In order to end animal abuse, Pearce predicts that lab grown in vitro meat will eventually replace common meat and turn all people into vegans. He hopes this will happen because people who aren't vegan yet were rather moral apathetic than malevolent and "will choose the cruelty-free option" - if lab meat has become as cheap and tasty as traditional meat [21].

2.2.5 Wild Animals

Concerning wild animals, the first step would be to take care of big animals as elephants which have a long life expectancy. It would be already possible to protect elephant infants from predators, controlling the population by delivering contraception, healing injuries and treating physical and mental illnesses with medication. Pearce expects the program for helping all 500,000 African elephants to cost two to three billion dollars each year [22]. However he does not cite any source for that figure.

A more ambitious - and more utopian - suggestion is to end predation. One proposal is to distribute contraception to predator species and let them go extinct. The other idea is reprogramming predator species by implanting electrodes into animals which "reward" them for nonviolent behavior or genetically engineer them to lose their preying instinct. The next step would be to engineer the respective prey species to lose their fear of their former predator. However the impacts of such interventions on the food chain/ the food web are unknown and it would need an unimaginable understanding of the ecosystem to manipulate it without messing everything up [23]. Abolitionism is detrimental to the idea of species conservation as predators species either die out or turn into a herbivore species.

3. Critics of the Abolitionist project mainly have four objections:

3.1. Desirability

Saying a life which consists of pure pleasure and no suffering is not desirable.

Adam Riggio thinks pure hedonistic pleasure is overrated. After quoting a passage from "The Hedonistic Imperative" he writes that he transhumanist vision was "no less petty than the most intense everlasting session of masturbation conceivable". In his vision of utopia, people are [re]building something [24] "through personal toil and labour." [25]

3.2. Loss of Freedom

The renowned politologist Francis Fukuyama is afraid that the technologies recommended by David Pearce could be used to pacify people so that they could be ruled by authoritarian elites like in Aldous Huxleys novel Brave New World. [26] Apparently, Fukuyama values freedom more than happiness and comfort.

3.3. Morality

Some people think that striving for happiness without suffering and without having any other aim is egoistic and immoral. As Robert Ettinger [27] wrote:

"Taken to the extreme, Jack Erfurt's slogan of "fuck guilt" would lead us in the direction of Pearce's "hedonistic imperative" so that we always find a way to do what is best without any taint at all of pain or even discomfort. [28]"

3.4. Arrogance, Totalitarianism and Paternalism

There are concerns that abolitionism will force people to be happy [29] and mess with the natural environment. Political science professor Charles T. Rubin [30] speculates how we might react if we were the targets of an inter-stellar rescue mission:

"Imagine this rescue fleet arriving on our doorstep; it seems likely that its promise of the complete reconstruction of human psychology and terrestrial ecology would be greeted with alarm." [31]

Rubin regards the promises of changing human nature as an "echo[…] of 20th century totalitarianism" [32]. Nathan Adams is concerned about biotechnological experiments who neglect the individual because "Post-Darwinian [33] hedonists care […] only about their vision of an improved human race." [34]

Bioethicist Wesley Smith [35] wrote that the "fear of suffering is becoming so neurotic that […] the desire to eliminate suffering mutated to eliminating the sufferer"[36] [37].

Smith also regards the Abolitionist Project as a threat to Human Exceptionalism as Pearce gives equal moral value to a human child and a zebra. However if you have the pretentiousness to end all suffering in the world you need to acknowledge that humans are something special. Smith claims that this is a contradiction because the moral responsibility of humans of every other species reaffirms Human Exceptionalism. But to Smith, Pearce defends some kind of "anti-human exceptionalism" which "is self hatred" and "drives people animal crackers." [38]

4. Response to Criticism

Pearce has already responded to some criticism [39] in his writings[40] [41]. I will present some of his answers and examine and comment them (in italics). When there is no official response to a critic's argument I will try to find a new one.

4.1. Responses to "Desirabiliy"

Apart from the fact that artificially caused happiness (wiredheading drugs) is no less "real" [42]than happiness caused by other means (friends, familily, food or sex), emotional enhancement might even increase a person's ability to pursue other goals because "perennial happiness can as easily lead to more being done in one's life rather than less" [43].

Therefore even people who "toil and labour" [44] might profit from an increased happiness.

However some people might discontinue to work and to achieve as soon as a life without inconvenience becomes possible. This cannot be refuted.

Superhappiness does not need to be shallow. As Pearce notes designer drugs could trigger spiritual experiences "transcending the ecstasies of the holiest mystic or the hyper-religiosity of a temporal-lobe epileptic." [45]

Pearce says that hedonistic ecstasy, even orgasms are not less detrimental to human dignity as many other things they already do, like the "pursuit of money, power and status". Pearce also argues that being made to suffer is "the greatest indignity of all". [46]

I would wonder what Pearce's stand on the dignity of voluntary [47] suffering [48] is. The concept of human dignity is very subjective. Some may find that receiving stimulation from electrodes is an insult to humans - others may protest. You cannot argue against taste. At least enhancement may help humans to do things they deem dignified and avoid actions and situations they find undignified [49] .

If it would be the case that people were forced to undergo enhancement [50] so that their happiness could contribute to the total happiness - you would treat them as a mean to an end - and therefore violating their dignity according to Kantian standards.

4.2. Responses to "Loss of Freedom"

In response to the allegations of promoting a "Brave New World" Pearce wrote an apologia called "Brave New World? A defense of Paradise-Engineering" [51]. He points out various differences between his vision and the utopia/dystopia in Huxley's book: In Brave New world suffering and discomfort still exist, the drug soma only numbs feeling, there is no technical progress and the Brave New Worlds Cast system only exist because you cannot optimize every single citizen with the help of genetic engineering. [52]

Concerning the danger of authoritarianism, the transhumanist Pearce replies that happier [53] people are less likely to be controlled than depressed ones. [54] Similar discoveries have been made in animal experiments that have shown that "mood-boosters […] dramatically and consistently increase the status in the social pecking-order". [55] James Hughes even believes that making people happier will benefit Democracies [56].

I agree and disagree. Regimes that are already authoritarian could selectively use drugs to keep their citizens subservient by allowing drugs who make them calm and docile and banning those drugs who promote self-esteem. At the moment freedom is essential for the happiness of many people. But if well-being could be generated independent from external circumstances then the desire for liberty and self-determination - or any other non-hedonistic value - could suffer.

4.3. Responses to "Morality"

Indeed happiness can make people more selfish. Psychologist Joe Forgas found out that happy people " rely more on their own thoughts and preferences, and pay less attention to the outside world and social norms" [57] .

Pearce's solution to this is not just making people happier but to morally enhance them as well. The task of drugs shall be to "chemically predispose us to act […] in the very way we would wish." [58]

I have no doubt that you can influence people disposition with drugs. Today there are even drugs that have the side effect of making people less racist [59] [not that would recommend anyone to take them. It's for lowering blood pressure]. But once formerly predetermined dispositons become changeable this will raise a lot of questions: Which predispositions are desireable? Should we allow people to change their disposition at will? What if a person who is racist, sexist or homophobe wishes to enhance their dispositions - because (s)he believes them to be moral? Who in the end will judge which predispositions will be allowed? Or even required?

In the end, Pearce hopes that "morality in the contemporary sense may no longer be needed when suffering has been cured. [60]" This may be true from a purely utilitarian point of view. [61] But Kantians would still care about persons being instrumentalised and virtue ethicists would still observe the existence of vices like profligacy [62] or cowardice [63] . The Hedonistic Imperative might offer some solutions to non-utilitarian ethical problems [64] but these solutions are not perfect [65] as the concept of bioethical abolitionism originates from hedonistic utilitarianism and not from anything else.

4.4. Responses to "Arrogance, Totalitarianism and Paternalism"

In my mind, there is no way that the aim of abolishing all suffering is not paternalistic or even totalitarian. David Pearce still tries to find a compromise: He argues only for the abolition of all involuntary suffering. But on the other hand he predicts that all suffering will be abolished [66] - not taking into account that there might be people who seriously would choose suffering [67] .

Pearce replies to concerns about biotechnological experimentation that "there can be no principled utilitarian objection to subjecting both human and non-human animals to a great deal of enjoyment in the course of medical research." [68] This implies that nothing could go wrong during the experiment and that there wouldn't be any unintended and adverse (medical) effects for the subject of the experiment. But untested technologies can be assumed to be anything but safe.

With regard to the allegations of being paternalistic Pearce tries to argue that even if humans nowadays seem to exactly know what they want, super-intelligent extraterrestrials would see "primitive Homo sapiens, as comparatively no less mentally defective than are toddlers or pets"[69]. Pearce admits that his ideas are paternalistic and he was nothing to offer in reply to critics who value self-determination more than everything.

He is aware that:

"the spectre of dissident emotional primitives being dragged kicking and screaming into the pleasure chambers must not become the defining image of abolitionist ideology. Conjuring up such a travesty of paradise-engineering doesn't show{sic!] that a utilitarian ethic is mistaken. Instead it illustrates that the advocacy of compulsion is not a truly utilitarian policy at all." [70]

So when Pearce emphasizes that his focus is on ending only involuntary suffering - you can assume that this is mainly a tactical move as " even the hint of compulsion causes distress to most people - thereby sabotaging the abolitionist project and defeating the utilitarian's own ends." [71]

5. Summary and Conclusion

Among all brands of transhumanism, bioethical abolitionism is the only one asking for perfection [72]. And this absolutist demand to bring an end to all suffering will scare away more liberty - minded people - even if - when asked - it is replied that the purpose is just to end "involuntary suffering".

The Abolitionist Project is only obligatory if one is a Negative Utilitarian like David Pearce [73] who thinks that the only moral value is to minimize negative utility - namely suffering [74].

However adherents of any other value system - including me [75] - strongly feel that suffering can be compensated with the appropriate amount of happiness - or any other good they choose to value. So even if a life without suffering is optimal - it is not necessary as long as the suffering stays within tolerable limits, as long it does not make us loose our optimism [76] and as long everybody deem the own life worth living [77]. That's fine by me.

However we are far from a state in which every human or nonhuman being can live a good life. There are 800,000 people committing suicide each year [78]millions more are struggling with starvation or severe physical or mental diseases. Every year there are 56 billion farm animals slaughtered for food [79]. The suffering of wild animals is not even mentioned here.

I have my doubts that you can reconstruct the "motivational structure" of living beings so that they work "by gradients of bliss" alone. And I think that would be acceptable because that meant that we could still be extremely happy - even if we suffer from time to time - which is far better than the recent situation - and far, far better than the second best method to end suffering - namely by ceasing to exist.

So if we want that biological solutions to the suffering of humans and even wild animals [80] become popular not just among utilitarian nerds but among people with different values we need to water down the absolutist demand of the Abolitionist Project to end all suffering.

I would rather suggest a form of Abolitionism light that can be adopted by more moderate transhumanists. Let's strive - not for the abolition of all suffering - but for the abolition of all unbearable suffering and all despair. Sentient beings might still keep their sensitivity to pain or other form of unwell being - as long it is necessary to sustain their "motivational structure" to prevent them from harming or neglecting themselves - while otherwise leading totally happy lives. Giving up the ambition to end all suffering will also comfort people who like to feel sad from time to time.

But even then many people won't feel attracted to the idea of using biotechnology artificially creating a more pleasant life - perhaps due to moral objections. Transhumanist Hughes acknowledges that utilitarianism is an "unattractive moral logic" and proposes instead to combine the approach of improving capabilities with moral enhancement - to promote virtue [81] - something that people desire as an end in itself.

Pearce suggest designer drugs to cure certain kind of malaise; Hughes thinks about using them to promote his seven virtues: temperance, persistence, compassion, fairness, mindfulness, intelligence and transcendence [82].

Abolitionism light may not only get support from more transhumanist it might also help transhumanists to get more support. The prospect of a more pleasant life with - no unbearable suffering - but still enough suffering to feel human (if you wish) - may also help the transhumanist cause of ending ageing and achieve biological immortality - because one of the most common objections to ending ageing is the fear of an eternal life with infinitive boredom. This has not to be the case - thanks to Abolitionism light.

6. Literature


Ettinger, Robert C.W.: Youniverse. Toward a Self-Centered Philosophy of Immortalism and Cryonics. Boca Raton, 2009. Page 124. ISBN-10 1-59942-979-9 ISBN-13 978-1-59942-979-3

Hughes, James J.: Citizen Cyborg. Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future. New York, 2004. Page 49. ISBN-10 0-8133-4198-1 ISBN-13 978-0-8133-4198-9

Articles & Studies:

Adams, Nathan A.: AN UNNATURAL ASSUALT ON NATURAL LAW. Regulating Biotechnology Using A Just Research Theory. In: Colson, Charles W.; de S. Cameron, Nigel M.[ed.]: Human Dignity in the Biotech Century. A Christian Vision for Public Policy. Downers Grove, 2004. Page 167. ISBN 0-8308-2783-8

Rubin, Charles T.: What is the Good of Transhumanism? In: Chadwick, Ruth; Gordijn, Bert[ed.]:Medical Enhancement and Posthumanity. Berlin, Luxemburg, 2008. Pages 141-146. ISBN 978-1-4020-8851-3

More, Max: The Philosophy of Transhumanism. Oxford,2013. (retrieved version) Page 14.[15.03.2015 ].

Horta, Oscar: Disvalue in nature and intervention. In: Pensata Animal No. 34. 2010.[15.05.2015 ].

Hughes, James J.: After Happiness, Cyborg Virtue. In: Free Inquiry 32(1). Amherst (New York), 2011.[15.03.2015].

Riggio, Adam: A Transhuman Remains All Too Human, or What's the Point of Bio-Technological Enhancement If You'll Still Be the Same Old Jerk? Part II. In: Ranish, Robert; Sorgner, Stefan Lorenz [ed.]: Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective, 2015 Vol. 4, No. 2, 5-9. Page 7f.

Smith, Wesley J.: Elimate Predators to Eliminate All Suffering! In: National Review July 31 th 2014.[13.03.2015].

Kahneman, Daniel; Krueger, Alan B [et al.]: Would You Be Happier If You Were Richer? A Focusing Illusion. San Diego, Michigan, 2006.[15.03.2015 ].

Internet sources:

Publications by David Pearce:

Pearce, David: The Hedonistic Imperative. 1995. (last updated 2007)[15.03.2015]. Also cited as: Pearce, David: 1995 (2007). (The links in the footnotes lead to certain chapters and sections)

Pearce, David: The Abolitionist Project.[15.03.2015].

Pearce, David: Reprogramming Predators. Blueprint for a Cruelty-Free World. 2009.

Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998. (last updated 2008)[15.03.2015].


Pearce, David: The Antispeciesist Revolution. 2012.[13.03.2015 ].

Pearce, David: A Welfare State For Elephants? A Case Study of Compassionate Stewardship. BTLC Research, 2012.[13.03.2015 ].

Pearce, David: The Post-Darwinian Transition. Hedweb, 1996.[15.05.2015].

Interviews with David Pierce:[12.03.2015 ].[13.03.2015 ].[13.03.2015 ].

Further Internet Sources:[15.03.2015 ].[15.03.2015 ].[13.03.2015 ].[13.03.2015].[12.03.2015 ].[12.03.2015 ].[13.03.2015 ]. [15.03.2015].[15.03.2015 ].

7. Statement of Authorship


[2] Kahneman, Daniel; Krueger, Alan B [et al.]:2006.

[3] Pearce, David: The Abolitionist Project. 2007.


[5] Pearce, David: The Hedonistic Imperative. 1995 (2007).[12.03.2015].



[8] Pearce, David: The Antispeciesist Revolution. 2012.


[10] Pearce, David: Reprogramming Predators. Blueprint for a Cruelty-Free World. 2009.

[11] The case for intervention in nature has also been made by ethicist Oscar Horta. Horta, Oscar: 2010.

[12] Pearce, David: 1995(2007).[13.03.2015].

[13] Pearce, David: Reprogramming Predators. Blueprint for a Cruelty-Free World. 2009.

[14] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[15] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[16] Pearce, David: The Abolitionist Project. 2007.

[17] Pearce, David: The Abolitionist Project. 2007.


[19] Pearce, David: The Abolitionist Project. 2007.

[20] Pearce, David: The Abolitionist Project. 2007.

[21] This cited article also mentions the research on vegan alternatives for cheese.[13.03.2015].

[22] Pearce, David: A Welfare State For Elephants? A Case Study of Compassionate Stewardship. BTLC Research, 2012.

[23] Pearce, David: Reprogramming Predators. Blueprint for a Cruelty-Free World. 2009.

[24] He refers to the SciFi-Film "Wall-E" in which humans first are taken care for by robots [in this situation he calls humans "obese fools"] and then become independent and rebuild the earth's ecosystem.

[25] Riggio, Adam:2015. Page 7f.

[26] Hughes, James J.: 2004. Page 49.

[27] I don't know if Ettinger meant that comment in a critical way - Ettinger is a transhumanist himself - but those objections could be made by other people as well.

[28] Ettinger, Robert C.W.: 2009. Page 124.

[29] This argument is different from 3.2. Because 3.2. is about mood enhancement having the potential to be abused to control people whereas 3.4. says that the idea of abolishing all suffering is inherently illiberal and pretentious.


[31] Rubin, Charles T.2008. Page 141.

[32] Rubin, Charles T. 2008. Page 146.

[33] Post-Darwinian is a self-description of abolitionists: Pearce, David:The Post-Darwinian Transition. Hedweb, 1996.

[34] Adams, Nathan A. 2004.


[36] Smith, Wesley J.2014.

[37] Smith is a strong opponent of euthanasia and assisted suicide,

[38] Smith, Wesley J.2014.

[39] His responses are not necessary directed at the critics mentioned in this paper. Some of his statements may even be a response to only hypothetical objections.

[40] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[41] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[42] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[43] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[44] Riggio, Adam. 2015. Page 8.

[45] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[46] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[47] If you define suffering as any adverse feeling then voluntary suffering cannot exist. However choices that lead to suffering as a side-effect can still be voluntary.

[48] Imagine masochistic pleasures or even choosing/accepting suffering for spiritual/religious reasons.

[49] By improving will power and self-control.

[50] This topic will be covered in 4.4.

[51] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[52] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[53] Also see 4.3.

[54] Current and historical Authoritarian regimes don't control people by making them happy but by terrifying them, isolating and dividing them or arousing hatred towards a "scapegoat" - like a minority group or an external enemy.

[55] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[14.03.2015].

[56] Hughes, James J.: 2004. Page 50.


[58] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[59] Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias.[15.03.2015].

[60] Pearce, David: Brave New World? A Defence Of Paradise-Engineering. BLTC Research, 1998.

[61] And even then classical utilitarianism requires more than minimizing suffering. The increase of happiness would still be mandatory even if everybody was happy. Then utility maximization would demand to bring about more sentient beings.

[62] Provided that wastefulness still means something in an age of abundance.

[63] You might accuse all people who choose to be passively happy to be cowards.

[64] See my comments about moral enhancement.

[65] There can still be inequality of opportunities even if everyone is happy.

[66] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[67] I guess this question might be dependent on whether you regard the pain that masochists experience as a form of pleasure or happiness or as some kind of suffering.

[68] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[15.03.2015].

[69] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[70] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[13.03.2015].

[71] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[12.03.2015].

[72] More, Max: 2013. Page 14.

[73] Pearce, David: 1995 (2007).[12.03.2015].


[75] I'm intellectually a classical utilitarian and emotionally leaning towards left-libertarianism.

[76] Even keeping suffering within tolerable limits is rather enhancement than therapy because even healthy people are sometimes exposed to unbearable suffering - and despair.

[77] I mean "worth living" for your own sake. If you live for the sake of other people to give meaning to your own suffering - as many mothers and "saints" do - it doesn't count as inherently "worth living". In the latter case your life is merely a tool for other people.



[80] It is important to include wild animals because they outnumber both farm animals and human beings.

[81] Hughes, James J.: 2011. Page 1

[82] Hughes, James J.: 2011. Page 5 f.

* * *

(Published here with kind permission of the author. DP)

The Abolitionist Project (2007)