Imperative outlines how genetic engineering and nanotechnology will abolish suffering in all sentient life.
This project is ambitious
but technically feasible. It is also instrumentally rational and ethically mandatory. The
metabolic pathways of pain and malaise evolved only because they once served the
fitness of our genes. They will be replaced by a radically different neural
architecture. Sublime happiness is destined to become the genetically
pre-programmed norm of mental health. The world's last aversive experience will be a precisely dateable event.
Two hundred years ago,
powerful synthetic pain-killers and surgical anesthetics were unknown. The notion that
physical pain could be banished from most people's lives would have seemed absurd. Today most of us in the urban-industrial nations take its routine absence for
granted. The prospect that what we describe as psychological pain, too, could be eradicated
is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition turns its deliberate
retention into an issue of social policy and ethical choice.