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Cloning the Buddha – The Moral Impact of Biotechnology

10 juni 2010

By Richard Heinberg.

265 Pages | First Quest Edition 1999 | Hardcover | Quest Books, U.S.A. | ISBN: 0835607720.

Is Cloning a wonderful opportunity for the human race or a dangerous attempt to play God?

With penetrating common sense, eco-philosopher and journalist Richard Heinberg tackles some of the thorniest ethical questions we face. Fascinating examples from plant and animal research; interviews with scientific, political, and religious leaders; and a clear overview of the helpful and harmful effects of biotech on our food supply, reproductive choices, and environment give thinking readers ample evidence for making up their minds.

From Chapter 8 - 'Cloning the Buddha' (p. 230):

" Ultimately, if we as society wish to employ some form of genetic technology for truly beneficial purposes we must begin, not with the technology itself, but with an ethical reappraisal and reform of our collective institutions and priorities. "

Are humans playing God when they manipulate natural processes to achieve the results they want? Now that scientists can manipulate genetic materials, won't someone eventually use such technology to create a "perfect race"? Would it be desirable to "clone the Buddha," to use biotechnology to create compassionate people? Heinberg (A New Covenant with Nature) examines these and other questions in his survey of morality and biotechnology. He argues that science and morality often have little to do with each other simply because scientists very often lack a spiritual perspective. "The intuition, perception, or belief that other beings have a self and interior experience comparable to one's own is the basis for ethics," the author writes. Heinberg asserts that this inner self is purposeful and an end in itself, and he compares this definition of the inner self to the core experience of the sacred. Moreover, he contends, this inner self is caught in a web of life with other selves whose lives and well-being are dependent on one another. Such interdependence, he says, regards "nature as the ultimate model of economy, cooperation, simplicity, beauty, and purpose." Given such a view of nature, biotechnology is not an avenue for producing a society filled with cooperative and compassionate people. Rather, he says, we can create such a society by "working diligently on our own personal moral refinement, collectively confronting power and its abuses, and creating a nurturing context for our children and grandchildren." For the most part, Heinberg doesn't stray far from ground already covered in conversations about science, morality and religion.

auteur: Heinberg, L.
ISBN: 0835607720

Prijs: € 29,50

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