Bioethics

Thinking through Technology Part I

As a roadmap of where we are heading, here are a few guideposts. First, we will set the stage surveying the current landscape in technological innovation generally speaking. We, then, will turn our attention to discern the nature of technology and to mine the resources of two fields of study likely unfamiliar to many of us (i.e., philosophy of technology and computer ethics) in a section entitled “In Search of a Philosophy of Technology.” While you might be surprised to hear that such a field as computer ethics exists, the issues presented by the convergence of bioethics with communication and information technologies make an understanding of this field critically important. Finally, we will offer some preliminary questions and assessments of the emerging biotech discussion with particular interest in those issues that focus on the remaking of humanity under the rubric of technological responsibilism. My working proposal is that many of the difficulties presenting us with these emerging technologies focus on our underlying inability to assess technology and its relationship to humanity, and that much of this can be alleviated by some attention to a philosophy and more importantly a theology of technology.

Podcast Episode: 
93

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Podcast Episode: 
93

Healthcare and the Common Good

The U.S. healthcare system is at once the envy of the world and in very deep trouble. Some resist the word “crisis” to describe our situation, suggesting that the diagnosis is too cynical. Others, like the Hudson Institute, have predicted that the impact of Boomers on the healthcare system will lead to the collapse of employer-provided healthcare (see William Styring and Donald Jonas, Health Care 2020: The Coming Collapse of Employer-Provided Health Care).

Podcast Episode: 
91

Beyond Perfectionism

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With the Olympics soundly behind us and the rhythms of the fall launch of new television episodes well established, several reflections come to mind. An interesting thread below all of the accomplishments of the  elite athletes during the Beijing Olympics were concerns over doping of various sorts. Artificial enhancements, steroids, hormones. These are not new issues surrounding the elite athletic competitions of our day, but they increasingly are becoming difficult to evaluate.

Podcast Episode: 
102

Extracts from chapter 2 of Christian Bioethics: A Guide for the Perplexed

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Arguing on Lockean lines, the Princeton philosopher Peter Singer adopts as sole criterion of personhood the actual possession of certain mental abilities, among them self-consciousness and a degree of rationality. For this reason he does not count all members of the human family as persons. So who does he count as a person?

Podcast Episode: 
90

A Tale of Two Centers: The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity

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John Kilner was working at the Center for the Study of Health, Faith, and Ethicswhen, in the summer of 1993, he joined fourteen other leaders in bioethics to evaluate the state of Christian bioethics in North America. A graduate of both Yale and Harvard, Kilner had been researching and teaching ethics for two decades. As he joined Nigel Cameron, Harold O. J. Brown, Ben Mitchell, and others around a table in Trinity's Rockford Room, the problem was clear: There was little to no evangelical engagement of these issues. Furthermore, there was no vehicle to bring Christians together across institutional and denominational lines to try to foster that engagement.

Podcast Episode: 
86

Why I Founded CBHD: Some Personal Reflections 15 Years on

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But in all these busy years it seemed to me that one effort would be perhaps the most consequent: our initiatives in bioethics. I had focused on this emerging field since the early 80s, having established the journal Ethics and Medicine in 1983. It surprised me much back in the UK that evangelical Christians seemed so little interested in anything beyond abortion, just as the wider world was shaping a multidisciplinary effort with the relations of human nature and technology at its epicenter of its agenda. When we moved stateside, surprise turned into astonishment. Here was the home of “bioethics” (it is basically an American invention) and here is also the global base of the pro-life movement. And here was a nation uniquely endowed with religious institutions and resources. Had no-one joined the dots?

Podcast Episode: 
84

Pediatric Lead Levels in Toys and Ethics of Care

Issues: 

n response to the discovery of high levels of lead in an alarming number of toys, the giant toymakers and distributors have appropriately established a recall notice complete with customer service phone numbers and suspect product serial number lists. Ostensibly, the reason for this action is care and concern, but—and perhaps somewhat cynically—exoneration is also in the equation. No one wishes to be found responsible; but eventually someone will likely be accused for the elevated lead levels in children’s toys.

Podcast Episode: 
72

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