Abolitionism (bioethics)

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This article is about a movement to eliminate involuntary sentient suffering. For other uses, see Abolitionism (disambiguation).

Abolitionism is a bioethical school and movement that promotes the use of biotechnology to maximise well-being and eliminate suffering. The term “abolition” is used for the name of the movement, in the context of “the abolition of suffering". One of the things Abolitionists propose is paradise engineering.[1][2]


Abolitionism was primarily inspired by Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarian ethic.[3]

People have been found in studies to achieve a “baseline happiness,”[4] sometimes called the hedonic treadmill, a pre-determined happiness set point that a person will return to throughout their lives. This set point is regardless of their personal income.[5]

According to evolutionary theory, humans evolved through natural selection and follow genetic imperatives that seek to maximize reproduction,[6] (not happiness).

Abolitionism requires as a premise that emotions have a physically manipulable, not spiritual, source, such that by altering the human brain we can fundamentally change the way that humans experience life.[7]

Scientific advancements[edit]

Recent laboratory breakthroughs have bolstered the idea that happiness is physically based and can be influenced through scientific methods. In 2006, Guillaume Lucas of McGill University and his colleagues published a study on the biochemistry of depression and the development of depression resistance.[8] Mice born without a gene coding for the expression of a potassium channel found in depression-related neurons have resistance to depression (as tested by standard behavioural measures in the rodent model) comparable to that of naive mice treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).[9]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "Interview with David Pearce". Archived from the original on 3 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  4. ^ David Lykken and Auke Tellegen. "Happiness Is a Stochastic Phenomenon". Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  5. ^ RA Easterlin. "Will Raising the Incomes of All Increase the Happiness of All?". Archived from the original on 2006-11-26. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  6. ^ Raymond Bohlin. "Sociobiology: Evolution, Genes and Morality". Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  7. ^ Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. "The Abolition of Suffering". Archived from the original on 5 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-03. 
  8. ^ Heurteaux C, Lucas G, Guy N, et al. (Sep 2006). "Deletion of the background potassium channel TREK-1 results in a depression-resistant phenotype". Nat Neurosci. 9 (9): 1134–41. doi:10.1038/nn1749. PMID 16906152. 
  9. ^ news article; discovery of a gene therapy for depression

External links[edit]