Jürgen Mittelstrass

La nuova biologia e l'etica

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords:

The current debate about cloning is an example of difficult relations between science and ethics. As a rule, cloning humans is taken to be a severe infringement of human dignity, inasmuch as the natural individuality of humans is abrogated. Nonetheless it should be recognized that there is an infringement of human dignity neither in the identity of the genomes of two people, non in the procedure of cloning itself. Cloning is not reprehensible in itself, but only in connection to human intentions. The debate on ethical problems of biology extends far beyond bioethics in the direction of an environmental ethics. The point of departure of such a conception of ethics is often a "going against nature" argument. Those who think this way are confusing the empirical (biological states of affairs) with the normative, and commit the naturalistic fallacy: biology is expected to be not only an advisor but also a legislator in ethical affairs. Scientific facts must be acknowledged and taken into account in ethics, but always bearing in mind the (philosophical) fact that from an "is" no "ought" can be derived.

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