Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Bioethics/Biotech, Image of God/Created Co-creator, Science, Technology & Religion

The Purpose of Technology

Still thinking about beneficence and technology. Some random quotes from that process.

Peterson, James C. Genetic Turning Points: The Ethics of Human Genetic Intervention Critical Issues in Bioethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2001.

The question for any technology is, how can we develop this to best love God and our neighbors? Asking that question is not trying to be God; it is following God’s orders, fulfilling a God-give mandate to maximize our service while we are here. Such development and intervention is not playing God. It is fulfilling a God-give mandate to serve. Whether our current physical nature is a starting point God intends us to improve upon, broken in the devastation of the fall, or both, it is clear the we could be physically better. We are responsible to do the best we can with what we have. As God’s people we are being created, redeemed, and transformed by God. Part of our calling is to participate in that process by sustaining, restoring, and improving what has been temporarily entrusted to us. (p.89)

Peters, Ted. “The Soul of Trans-Humanism.” Dialog 44, no. 4 (2005): 381-395.

Drawing a bright sharp line between therapy and enhancement seems easy to do. Therapy is ethical, whereas enhancement is not. Yet, is it so easy? For the theologian, the line gets blurry quite quickly. Let’s ask: if therapy focuses on health, does this refer strictly to bodily function? Let’s also ask: if the Christian faith emphasizes redemption, would this lead to embracing all forms of human betterment, even enhancement? Still one more question: would good health within Christian theology include enhancement? (p.384)

Spezio, Michael L. “Brain and Machine: Minding the Transhuman Future.” Dialog 44, no. 4 (2005): 375-380.

Will such enhancements actualize dormant human possibilities, or will they rather make it more difficult for that which is most human to be actualized, in the individual and in relationships? (p.377)

Graham, Elaine. “Bioethics after Posthumanism: Natural Law, Communicative Action and the Problem of Self-Design.” Ecotheology 9, no. 2 (2004): 178-198.

Yet to speak of an orderliness to nature, of its integrity as a mediation of divine purpose, is not the same as inferring an immutability to nature which forbids the ‘unnatural’ interventions of technology or cultural diversity. So we must be ware of attributing to ‘nature’ a fixity and purpose – or even a homogeneity and determinism – which it does not possess. Human relationships to nature are altogether more complex, and appeals to what is ‘natural’ provide little help when, as in the age of advanced biotechnology, this is the very category which is revealed to be malleable and problematic.(p.184-185)

Socio-economic inequalities may thus represent as profound a threat to human dignity as biotechnologies. (p.189)

Hansen, Bart, and Paul Schotsmans. “Cloning: The Human as Created Co-Creator?” Ethical Perspectives 8, no. 2 (2001): 75-89.

In brief, the power of mastering (human) nature through (therapeutic) cloning raises the question whether the human being, as the image of God, is permitted to carry out this task or whether God alone may exercise this right? (p.82)

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