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Problems of Bioethics


Lukas Ohly

This book criticizes the suggestive implication of newer bioethics that we need a new ethical paradigm in order to handle with the innovations of medicine and biotechnology. It holds that these innovations have a suggestive character at all which is not relevant however in order to justify a paradigm shift in ethics. Especially the suggestions of reproduction, genetics, mercy killing and neuroscience reveal a misunderstanding about ethics. Moreover they show inevitably theological implications they actually like to avoid especially in secular ethics.


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7 Preface This book is based on lectures I was holding in the St. John of Damascus Insti- tute of Theology at spring 2010. Because of the strong ecumenical relationship between the Greek Orthodox Church (Syria and Lebanon) and the Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Waldeck (Germany) I was invited to lecture about bio- ethical issues. I was grateful for the interest of audience and the hospitality of the members of the institute during the trimester. The lectures develop an ecumenical perspective on several issues of bioethics. Therefore I use arguments which transcend the perspective of a special Christian confession. The main focus is to reveal religious implications of hopes and sce- narios in biomedicine and biotechnological research. Often these scenarios are similar to theological presuppositions in form or even content. It seems to me that religious implications are an implicit part of a new science, so that there need to be no contradictions between faith and science in the technological age, at least in principle. What I want to show is that no actual bio-ethical position can avoid religious or metaphysical implications even if it might seem possible. It seems to me that religious philosophy can build a common platform which might support theologians of all confessions arguing with one voice about bio- ethical innovations. Thus, these lectures of a protestant theologian in an ortho- dox faculty were a challenge to build such a platform. For correcting my papers I thank Daniel Fitzpatrick whose linguistic skill supports the publishing as strong...

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