On the Present Reality of our Posthuman Future

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This chapter probes contemporary beliefs about the utility and functionality of conceptual distinctions between therapy and enhancement. Beginning with an examination of the approaches of Aristotle and Plato to academic research in ethics, the chapter suggests that contemporary ethics should learn from ancient ethics the importance of engaging common moral opinions. This chapter is an exactment of just this work in describing an investigation of student beliefs. Do they believe that therapy can, or should be, distinguished from enhancement? The paper recounts a classroom experiment evoking student reactions to documentary films. After several years of investigation, it seems clear that undergraduate students today typically have little use for the therapy-enhancement distinction. Although it is hard to maintain this distinction from an academic point of view, the chapter argues that it is best not to follow Gerald McKinney in doing away with the distinction and instead seek ways to critically resist the popular message that we have no choice but to embrace the idea of becoming better, rather than just than well. The theological grounds for this claim rest on a theological premise that part of the human task is to discover the limits that are intrinsic to being a creature as gift.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBeing Human in a Technological Age
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Theological Anthropology
EditorsS.C. van den Heuvel
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789042941823
ISBN (Print)9789042941816
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameChristian Perspectives on Leadership and Social Ethics
PublisherPeeters Publishers


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