Edizione originaleAutore: Leon R. Kass
Titolo: Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness
Editore: Harper Perennia
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"A groundbreaking new exploration of the promises and perils of biotechnology--and the future of American society."
"This work goes well beyond the framework of a President's Commission Report to be an informative and challenging inquiry into the current state of biotechnological research , and its philosophical implications. It considers in separate chapters the work that is being done to increase human performance- level in sport, to as it were `produce better children', to prolong and increase the quality of human life, and to bring us closer to ` human happiness'. The tone of this work is measured and responsible, the information presented that which has been weighed and tested. Above all in considering each of these areas the debate is carried on with a broad- minded and deep consideration of the meaning of what it is to be human. Thus there is neither the ` gung-ho' utopianism of certain kinds of over- optimistic futurists, nor the paralyzing pessimism of various over- protectors of their own narrow conceptions of the human past. In each of the areas a balanced discussion provides the reader, not with definite and final answers to the problems and possibilities raised, but with suggestions for thought.
We have long since learned that scientific and technological advances usually have their ` price' in one way or another. Here trade-offs in the various areas are made explicit. The new technology which enables us to decide upon the sex of the child has already let to tremendous imbalances in among other areas, the populations of China and India. The prolonging of life is in many cases the prolonging of what seems to be senseless suffering. The ability to enhance moods through chemical means raises the question of what happiness means when it is devoid of the context of human relationship. The possibility of prolonging life indefinitely raises the question of what this might mean for future generations , and the whole spirit of renewal that the birth of a new generation gives to the world.
Leon Kass a moral thinker of the first order, and the director of this enterprise has often been unjustly accused of being a ' super- conservative' and even' fundamentalist'. Such nonsense does not do justice either to Kass impressive scholarly enterprise, or to the great human feeling and consideration with which he approaches these subject. It seems to me that his position is much closer to that of what might be called a traditional liberal meliorist, who is looking to see how the human condition can be improved without those improvements leading to its radical undermining. His understanding in this sense of the place of the family and of human relations in the good life, and in happiness starkly contrast him with those ivory- tower ` transhumanists' and ` cyber- champions' who would replace mankind with their own solipsistic minds.
This is an important work not for its definite conclusions but for the serious contribution it makes to the ongoing quest of humanity to understand itself and define and realize its varying conceptions of the good life. "
Terzo libro di bioetica anti-transumanista del capofila dei bioludditi americani.