A Need For Christian Bioethicists

I’ve been thinking more about the J. Wesley Smith article on “personhood theory”. When the definition of “life” can be so twisted that animals and some machines are considered “persons” while the disabled and newborns are not, there is a clear and present need for those who value life to choose this field as a career.

Think on this: A future in which the weakest in our society–the unborn and the functionally disabled–are “strip-mined”, to use Smith’s term, for spare parts to keep the rest of us healthy.
We need Christians with scientific training to step into the breach, people who can make the proper arguments and have the credentials to back them up. I can rant all I want, but my degree is in Economics and I have no track record in that field anyway. My best hope of influencing the debate is with the gifts I’ve been given. This issue will be prominent in a forthcoming novel, tentatively titled Blood Into Gold.

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2 responses to “A Need For Christian Bioethicists

  1. Pingback: Proverbs Daily

  2. It’s an unfair argument to present this view as if it’s saying that merely being disabled is enough for someone to become no longer a person. The kind of disabling that would make someone no longer a person, according to this view, is the kind that could make someone have no consciousness, no desires, no sensory awareness whatsoever. They say that if you do something to that sort of being, then you’re not doing it to a person because there’s no one left there to do it to. It’s a straightforward consequences of psychological accounts of personhood, something many of people’s basic intuitions about persons will support. I don’t agree with it myself, but it’s totally unfair to portray it as if mere disablement means someone isn’t a person. That’s not what the view says. This sneaky tactic was used in polling on Terri Schiavo, which explains why some of the polls differed so radically.

    I don’t think anyone believes that any machines besides humans and maybe higher animals are persons. The view is that machines besides humans and higher animals could at some point be persons if we get good enough to make a conscious, self-aware machine artificially.

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