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 radically different neural architecture. Sublime happiness is destined to become the genetically preprogrammed norm of mental health.

        Two hundred years ago, powerful synthetic pain-killers and surgical anaesthetics 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 banished is equally counter-intuitive. The feasibility of its abolition turns its deliberate retention into an issue of social policy and ethical choice.