Discussions of genetic enhancements often imply deep suspicions about human desires to manipulate or enhance the course of our future. These unspoken assumptions about the arrogance of the quest for perfection are at odds with the normally hopeful resonancy we find in contemporary theology. The author argues that these fears, suspicions and accusations are misplaced. The problem lies not with the question of whether we should pursue perfection, but rather what perfection we are pursuing.
The author argues that to think theologically about genetic enhancement is to think prayerfully about how to locate all one's uses of medicine, recognizing that they must all be lodged in the Christian struggle to holiness. He is critical of the essays in this issue because they often appear to take on a scholastic life of their own outside of the all-consuming struggle to salvation of Christians across the millennia.
This essay explores a proper Confucian vision on genetic enhancement. It argues that while Confucians can accept a formal starting point that Michael Sandel proposes in his ethics of giftedness, namely, that children should be taken as gifts, Confucians cannot adopt his generalist strategy. The essay provides a Confucian full ethics of giftedness by addressing a series of relevant questions, such as what kind of gifts children are, where the gifts are from, in which way they are given, and for what purpose they are given.
The New Bioethics: A Multidisciplinary Journal of Biotechnology and the Body
The literature on Human Enhancement may indeed have reached a critical mass yet theological engagement with the subject is still thin. Human Enhancement has already been established as a key topic within research and captivating visions of the future have been allied with a depth of philosophical analysis. Some Transhumanists have pointed to a theological dimension to their position and some who have warned against enhancement might be seen as having done so from a perspective shaped by a Judeo-Christian worldview.