Talk:Abolitionism (bioethics)

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Note to editors[edit]


before you throw stones or jump to conclusions.

I'm happy to debate why or why not the Abolitionist Society satisfies wikipedia's 'notability' requirements.

before deleting as is your inclination (by design)

why not add to the article yourself? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abolitionist (talkcontribs).

Hello! I'm actually not an administrator, just an editor. The reason I tagged the article was due to the fact that it does not cite any reliable sources, making it very difficult for anyone to add to the article! Also, reliable secondary source mentions are what qualifies an article's subject as notable under the notability guidelines. If you need any assistance in adding source mentions into the article, I'd be quite happy to help! (The templates placed on the article do not request its deletion, though that may be a possibility if notability cannot be established.) Seraphimblade 16:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

are the sources provided not 'reliable'?

this article was 'speed deleted' before - which proves my theory about the motivation of moderators - for clearly there is quality content to be added here for the benefit of mankind.

Wikipedia is an extension of culture - not 'neutrality'.

Actually, the neutral point of view is a critical policy of Wikipedia-in fact, it's considered one of its pillars. Verifiability is another such policy. The sources provided appear to be either primary (published by the group itself), unreliable (such as a forum), or irrelevant (in that they do not mention this group at all). A reliable source would be, for example, a newspaper article, a book not published by the group itself, or the like. Web mentions are acceptable in many cases, but they must be a source which is unaffiliated with the group and undergoes editorial review, not simply a forum or blog. Seraphimblade 16:21, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it is a pillar, but false nonetheless. For neutrality is not possible. Wikipedia attempts to use cultural methods of determining notability. The links provided in the forum are to the real articles in medical hypothesis journal.

Reliability is not established by editorial review, only by the scientific process of verification.

The articles are relevant in that they establish the authenticity of the philosophy (according to your own definitions for notability.)

They also preceed the formation of the Society. BLTC, the Hedonistic Imperative, etc.. are all here on wikipedia - and the Abolitionist Society is the extention of these - formed partly by David Pearce. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abolitionist (talkcontribs).

If one thinks it's a false premise, one could lobby to change it. Until then, ignoring it constitutes vandalism against Wikipedia, where it's an adopted standard amongst the community, both by consensus and dictat. – Kieran T (talk) 16:40, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
As some notability is asserted, and the article is not promotional in tone, it won't be speedily deleted. However, I will nominate it for the articles for deletion process, where the community will decide whether or not to keep it. You are, of course, welcome to comment at the deletion debate. Seraphimblade 16:43, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

And what is your motivation for this game? What is the purpose of wikipedia or your standards? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Abolitionist (talkcontribs).

I have listed my reasons for listing the article at the AfD page. No games involved-there are policies here, and articles written must follow them. Also, it is customary to sign comments using four tildes (~~~~)Seraphimblade 16:47, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

the policies are infact a game

They do not lead to the maximization of happiness and minimization of suffering or towards acquiring accurate knowledge.

It is simply about cultural distinctions - not edifying culture. Editorial review has never been an indicator of reliability - only marketing. Is the information inaccurate on this article page? Of course not.

As Kieran T points out, all editors are welcome to contribute to discussions on policy, and that certainly includes you! However, it would probably be more productive to express more specific concerns, and to do so on the talk pages for the relevant policies. Seraphimblade 16:54, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Specifically the criteria for notability and reliability as I've pointed out above.

What could be more notable than the sole online community for the only candidate philosophy to address the human condition?Abolitionist 16:57, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Once again, I encourage you to express your concerns at the relevant policy discussions-the comments here will not be seen by many. Do keep in mind, however, that these policies tend to have longstanding consensus behind them. Also, we do discourage those close to a subject from editing or creating articles on it, due to potential conflict of interest-it's difficult to remain impartial in such cases! Seraphimblade 17:08, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is based on people caring about the subjects enough to create, write and continue to improve great encyclopaedia articles on a subject. If no one cared about any of the topics, no one would be reading Wikipedia and certainly no one would be writing for it, either. As long as one remains neutral and edits according to Wikipedia guidelines within the article, I do not see an inherent conflict of interest in writing about what you know and care about. 17:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't signed in a minute ago, but that comment was by me.Gloriamarie 17:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

New (Old?) Article[edit]

I've rewritten the article, providing complete references (if you do not believe I have done so, please add citations, add a citations tag or make a comment here rather than taking the step of nominating the article for deletion). Most of it is restored from a previous version of this article-- it seems that it was deleted without discussion at a previous time, a move I certainly don't agree with and which seems unnecessary, especially with no discussion or chance to improve the article, since I believe I wrote a great article and I spent a good amount of time on it a few months ago. It seems clear to me that this is a notable group and the article should stay. 17:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC) Gloriamarie 17:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I also redirected the article, as it's true the article is more about the philosophies behind the organization rather than the organization itself. I removed the tag as well.Gloriamarie 17:27, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

What The?[edit]

Darwinian humans are programmed for maximum reproduction

What in the sam hill is a "Darwinian human"? As opposed to a non-darwinian human? This article needs some serious work. Could there be an anymore pretentious way to say "Humans have evolved to maximiz e reproduction". Eschew obfuscation and employ colloquialisms, where they are adequate, in lieu of abstruse erudite argot. Especially when that that erudite argot isn't really all that erudite. Nobody ever says "Darwinian humans" except maybe a freshman philosophy student. And saying "evolution" is a form of "programming" might be going out on a philosophical limb unnecessarily. Brentt 19:04, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Can you work on this? --Loremaster 20:00, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I have a darwinian suggestion: how about we delete everything below the intro--you know, artificial selection. Brentt 22:29, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I would strongly disagree with this. --Loremaster 15:44, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

A Darwinian human is one created through Darwinian processes (including genetic "roulette" and limited genetic screening) as opposed to deliberate knowledge-based genetic engineering - the opposite of a Darwinian is a posthuman. --SeanHenderson 16:39, 07 October 2007 (UTC)

Hans Selye[edit]

Critics of this brand of abolitionism might be interested in examining the work of Hans Selye, who felt that stress (and suffering) was absolutely necessary to any living organism, in that even micro-organisms might feel stress from heat or the lack of. ADM (talk) 09:56, 14 March 2009 (UTC)


After a quick read through of the article, one large issue presents itself: Is the article about abolitionism, or is it about the abolitionism society? The majority of the article seems to be about the philosophy itself, with random bits of information on the society scattered throughout. If the article is meant to be of the philosophy (which I believe it to be) notes of the society should be confined to a single section, and a criticism section should be added like any other ethical theory's page. I'll wait a few weeks and attempt a major rewrite of the article if there are no objections, currently swamped with essay writing so can't work on it for a bit. Comments and suggestions welcome, NeilHynes - TalkEdits 16:12, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Edit - Posting a link to my sandbox, feel free to edit as you please right here NeilHynes - TalkEdits 20:09, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Removing commentary by Jacob M. Appel -- October 2010[edit]

I have removed non-notable commentary sourced to a website not meeting WP:RS that was added by a blocked sockpuppet. Please see Talk:Jacob M. Appel and gain consensus here before trying to readd content. Flowanda | Talk 09:58, 30 October 2010 (UTC)


While there's already a "citation needed" sign, I think the sentence

"A depressed person can usually feel better only by attacking the physical root of the depression (e.g. by taking an antidepressant that changes serotonin re-uptake levels in the brain)"

Is at best, speculative, and more likely completely wrong. The cause of depression is probably not physical. It's an enormous issue in itself, with a huge pool of opinions. There could be several causes in each case of depression, rather than one "root".

I think this sentence needs removing, and replacing with something more concrete. There are other, more certain metaphors one could use. (talk) 11:49, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

It's very wrong, as the physical root of depression is a bad concept in the first place--it looks like the diathesis-stress model works best, and the unintended consequences of removing the ability to be depressed should be considered. Werhdnt (talk) 21:25, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Citation and general update required[edit]

I've spent considerable time cleaning up the article's grammar and style. However:

  • Numerous citations need to be added to substantiate the claims made in the article.
  • The existing citations 1, 2 and 10 need fixing.
  • Citation 3 is self-published.
  • It is very unclear whether abolitonism was either "primarily inspired" by Bentham or "inspired" by Pearce. Can someone please clarify?

flyingkiwiguy (talk) 13:02, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Comment on article[edit]

Parts of the existing article make me wince; but I haven't edited the text because I'm cited. Bentham? Arguably, a commitment to the abolition of suffering is implicit in an ethic of classical utilitarianism. However, a classical utilitarian must allow tradeoffs, i.e. the creation or perpetuation of suffering offset by a greater abundance of pleasure, if and when such tradeoffs are unavoidable. Either way, the prospect of phasing out the biology of suffering was only utopian dreaming until the advent of modern science. Likewise with Buddhism: Gautama Siddharta ("Buddha") reputedly said: "I teach only two things; the cause of suffering, and how to end suffering." Traditionally, Buddhist techniques to overcome suffering do not rely on science; and consequently have limited efficacy. Yet as the Dalai Lama observed at the Society for Neuroscience Congress in November 2005: "If it was possible to become free of negative emotions by a riskless implementation of an electrode - without impairing intelligence and the critical mind - I would be the first patient."

In my view, Lewis Mancini deserves credit for the first published scientifically literate blueprint for an entirely pain-free world - certainly a pain-free human world. [I wasn't aware that Lewis Mancini uses the term "abolitionism" in the bioethical sense in his published work.] A few years ago, I stumbled across an abstract of his paper, "Riley-Day Syndrome, Brain Stimulation and the Genetic Engineering of a World Without Pain" Medical Hypotheses (1990) 31. 201-207.) on Medline and contacted the then editor of Medical Hypotheses, Bruce Charlton, for a copy of the full paper - which turned out to be available only on microfiche with the publishers Elsevier in the Netherlands. The paper is now available online: and an html-ised version: With difficulty, I managed to contact the reclusive Mr Mancini to congratulate him. It transpires he doesn't use email or even a computer.

If Wikipedians would like my input on improving the existing entry, then I'm happy at least to make suggestions. For example, abolitionist bioethics doesn't entail a commitment to "maximise happiness" - although anyone who is also a classical utilitarian will consider maximising happiness should be our ultimate ethical goal. DCP — Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidcpearce (talkcontribs) 16:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

  • David, would you say that Abolutionists look to your writing or Bentham's in order to develop their abolitionary ethical system? I'm guessing that most have not heard of Mancini? -- flyingkiwiguy (talk) 18:35, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

--Davidcpearce (talk) 21:15, 19 January 2014 (UTC)If the article had a Historical Antecedents section, then Buddhism and Bentham would feature prominently. Yes, Mancini's name is not well known even among the (small) community of people today who explicitly identify with abolitionist bioethics. Mancini's original article apparently sunk almost without a trace. Once I became aware of its existence, I was keen to ensure that the text was available online and Lewis Mancini is properly credited.

[I came across this Wikipedia entry quite some time ago. Despite its obvious limitations, I still don't feel I can properly edit it. But if no one strengthens it soon, I might add a short text to this Talk section that any Wikipedia contributor can draw upon if they wish. Not ideal, I know.]

Please do so. The Transhumanist 21:35, 4 July 2014 (UTC)