Biotechnology

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

The Challenges of Biotechnology: An interview with C. Ben Mitchell, PhD and John Kilner, PhD

Issues: 

As technology continues to advance rapidly, it has begun to affect the very nature of what it means to be human.

Do we as the church weigh the costs and benefits before participating in these technologies? In Biotechnology and the Human Good (Georgetown University Press, 2007), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professors Dr. John Kilner and Dr. C. Ben Mitchell join the Chair of the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics Dr. Edmund Pellegrino, University of Chicago professor Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, and Biola University Professor Dr. Scott Rae to consider the nature of biotechnology from a Christian perspective and ways in which we can evaluate current trends.

Podcast Episode: 
88

Technology in Biblical and Historical Contexts -- Part 2

In this edition of The Bioethics Podcast, we bring you the second in an ongoing series entitled "CBHD Classics," where we periodically revisit classic audios from our CBHD archives. In this particular edition, we bring you the conclusion of a two-part broadcast of Nancy Pearcey and a paper she presented at Trinity International University entitled “Technology in Biblical and Historical Contexts.” In this piece, Ms. Pearcey explains the inability of most people to justify their moral intuitions about technology, and the conversational opportunity that creates.

Podcast Episode: 
70

Technology in Biblical and Historical Contexts -- Part 1

In this edition of The Bioethics Podcast, we bring you the second in an ongoing series entitled "CBHD Classics," where we periodically revisit classic audios from our CBHD archives. In this particular edition, we bring you the first of a two-part broadcast of Nancy Pearcey and a paper she delivered at Trinity International University “Technology in Biblical and Historical Contexts.” In this piece, Ms. Pearcey explains the inability of most people to justify their moral intuitions about technology, and the conversational opportunity that creates.

Podcast Episode: 
69

Transhumanism and the Convergence of Emerging Technologies

Editor's Note: Parallel Paper Presentation from CBHD's 2007 Annual Conference, Bioethics Nexus: The Future of Healthcare, Science and Humanity.

Podcast Episode: 
65

Dominion, Providence, and Art: The Integral Role of Aesthetics in the Next Phase of Christian Bioethics

For more than a generation, the field of bioethics has dealt with issues of giving and taking human life, defining the nature of the physician-patient relationship, and establishing normative protocols for clinical ethics.  Increasingly, though, these issues are being supplanted with questions surrounding the extent to which human creativity may reshape life.  Should we design animals to have human organs, and vice versa?  Is it permissible to fashion our bodies or the bodies of our children through biomedicine to suit our aesthetic tastes?  Does the Bible give humans permission to reengineer the creation as we see fit?  These questions stretch classical bioethics to the breaking point; we need new wineskins to grapple with these ethical challenges.  This paper will argue that developing aesthetic thought is a necessary step in forming an ethics of biotechnology and human creativity.  Furthermore, the arts offer an invaluable forum for theological and socio-cultural reflection for the next generation of Christian bioethics, as well as a fertile avenue for communication biblical conceptions of human dignity and creativity with those outside of the field.

Podcast Episode: 
64

Can Technology Change Human Nature?

Groups like the World Transhumanist Association hope that we will soon be able to change human nature and become posthuman. Recent advances in the neurosciences and biotechnology have fueled these hopes. Christians rightly recoil from attempts to change human nature because we recognize the fundamental importance of being created in the image of God. David B. Fletcher has pointed out that certain of these technological advances would alter the moral standing of “engineered” individuals, because they “would no longer straightforwardly be persons, but would in fact be in important respects, things.”[1] This line of reasoning is consistent with a long philosophical tradition that holds that the mind is the sine qua non of personhood and that it is personhood that grants one membership to the moral community.

Podcast Episode: 
63

Joy Riley Interviews Calum MacKellar

Dr. D. Joy Riley, Executive Director of the Tennessee Center for Bioethics and Culture, interviews Dr. Calum MacKellar, Director of Research for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Podcast Episode: 
50

Conservative and Liberal Bioethics: Part 2

In this special lecture edition of The Bioethics Podcast, we conclude a two-part lecture delivered by Amy Laura Hall, PhD. In this lecture delivered at Trinity International University Dr. Hall addresses the topic of “Conservative and Liberal Bioethics,” which was in part material she developed for a consortium at the Hastings Center.

 

Podcast Episode: 
49

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