David Pearce (philosopher)
|Residence||Brighton and Hove, United Kingdom|
David Pearce is a British utilitarian philosopher. He believes and promotes the idea that there exists a strong ethical imperative for humans to work towards the abolition of suffering in all sentient life. His book-length internet manifesto The Hedonistic Imperative outlines how technologies such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, pharmacology, and neurosurgery could potentially converge to eliminate all forms of unpleasant experience among human and non-human animals, replacing suffering with gradients of well-being, a project he refers to as "paradise engineering". A transhumanist and a vegan, Pearce believes that we (or our future posthuman descendants) have a responsibility not only to avoid cruelty to animals within human society but also to alleviate the suffering of animals in the wild.
He has never married, but has two brothers, one of whom is vegan and the other vegetarian. He also has two nieces.
Pearce is the owner of BLTC Research, a website that was set up by Pearce in 1995. Based in Kemptown, Brighton, UK, the site publishes online texts in support of the biochemical and biotechnological methods by which its proponents believe sentient suffering could be abolished in future generations.[non-primary source needed]
In 1998, Pearce co-founded the World Transhumanist Association (WTA) with Nick Bostrom, an Oxford philosopher. The association, which later changed its name to Humanity+, advocates transhumanism — an ideology and movement which has emerged to support the recognition and protection of the right of citizens either to maintain or modify their own minds and bodies so as to guarantee them the freedom of choice and informed consent of using human enhancement technologies on themselves and their children.
In 2002 Pearce co-founded the Abolitionist Society with Pablo Stafforini, Sean Henderson, and Jaime Savage, in order to help promote the idea of abolitionism of suffering and to discuss the implications involved with a wider range of audience.
"The Hedonistic 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 different sort of neural architecture. States of sublime well-being are destined to become the genetically pre-programmed norm of mental health. The world's last aversive experience will be a precisely dateable event."
"I predict we will abolish suffering throughout the living world. Our descendants will be animated by gradients of genetically pre-programmed well-being that are orders of magnitude richer than today's peak experiences."
See also 
- Will Drugs Make Us Smarter and Happier?. Popular Science. 2005.
- Bostrom, Nick (2005). A History of Transhumanist Thought (PDF) 14 (1). Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
- "The Hedonistic Imperative".
- "The Genomic Bodhisattva". H+ Magazine. 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Criação animal intensiva. Um outro Holocausto?". Revista do Instituto Humanitas Unisinos. 2011.
- "Paradise Engineering : The BLTC Library".
- "Humanity+ FAQ #45".
- The Abolitionist Society. "Abolitionism". Archived from the original on February 1, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
- "Medical Hypotheses' Editorial Board".
- "Lifeboat Foundation's Futurist Board".
- Lifeboat Foundation Bios: David Pearce
- Philosophical "-Isms" - Philosophy Research Base - erraticimpact.com
- [p.114 Ethics Matters by Peter and Charlotte Vardy - SCM Press, 2012]
- David Pearce's The Hedonistic Imperative
- Vanity Fair interview with Pearce
- Russian magazine interview with Pearce
- A World Without Suffering? An interview with David Pearce - by Marcia Rosane Junges
- NanoAging interviews Pearce
- Bostrom and Pearce interviewed by Cronopis
- The Genomic Bodhisattva (James Kent interviews David Pearce in Humanity+ magazine)
- Should we eliminate the human ability to feel pain?
- Video interview with David Pearce on the Hedonistic Imperative
- Video of David Pearce's talk on Prophetic Narratives at Humanity+ @San Francisco 2012