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Biohappiness is the elevation of utility in humans through biological methods, including germline engineering through screening embryos with genes associated with a high level of happiness, or the use of drugs intended to raise baseline levels of happiness. The object is to facilitate the achievement of a state of "better than well."

Proponents of biohappiness include the philosophical abolitionist David Pearce, whose goal is to end the suffering of all sentient beings; and the Canadian ethicist Mark Alan Walker. Walker has sought to defend biohappiness on the grounds that happiness ought to be of interest to a wide range of moral theorists; and that hyperthymia, a state of high baseline happiness, is associated with better outcomes in health and human achievement.[1][2]

The concept of biohappiness also has its high-profile critics, including Leon Kass, who served on the President's Council on Bioethics during the presidency of George W. Bush.[3]


  1. ^ Mark Alan Walker, "In Praise of Biohappiness," IEET Monographs No. 2, December 2006, at
  2. ^ Ronald Bailey, "Freezing or Uploading: Which Road to Immortality Would You Choose?" at
  3. ^ Leon Kass, "The Pursuit of Biohappiness," Washington Post, October 16, 2003, at

External links[edit]

  • [1] David Pearce's homepage
  • [2] Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness (The President's Council on Bioethics, Washington, D.C., October 2003).

See also[edit]