Our Future as Human Beings and Citizens

Edited by Sean D. Sutton

Subjects: Ethics, Science And Technology, Comparative Religion, Philosophy, Philosophy Of Science
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy and Biology
Paperback : 9781438426860, 208 pages, July 2009
Hardcover : 9781438426853, 208 pages, July 2009

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Table of contents

Introduction: Biotechnology, Human Being, and Citizen
Sean D. Sutton

1. Biotechnology and Our Human Future: Some General Reflections
Leon R. Kass

2. Who’s Afraid of Posthumanity? A Look at the Growing Left/Right Alliance in Opposition to Biotechnological Progress
Ronald Bailey

3. Bioethics and Human Betterment: Have We Lost Our Ability to Dream?
Ronald M. Green

4. Biotechnology in a World of Spiritual Beliefs
Lee M. Silver

5. Jewish Philosophy, Human Dignity, and the New Genetics
Hava Tirosh-Samuelson

6. The Bible and Biotechnology
Larry Arnhart

7. A Transcendent Vision: Theology and Human Transformation
Richard Sherlock

Suggested Further Readings

About the Contributors


Considers the ethics and challenges of biotechnology.


An essential introduction to a controversial yet crucial field of research, Biotechnology surveys recent advances in the field and offers a wide range of opinions for and against expanding this new branch of science. Incisively examining such key topics as therapeutic cloning, genetic enhancement, stem cell therapy, and the use of psychotropic drugs such as Prozac and Ritalin, contributors to this volume agree that biotechnology will inevitably change human life. However, they debate the right way to balance the potential to cure disease and relieve human suffering with the need to respect life and preserve human dignity. Several explore the way major religions—both Eastern and Western—treat the subject. Others analyze the role of government in biotechnology and specific applications of the technology that should be practiced. Serving as an introduction to this ethically complicated and significant scientific movement, the book ultimately raises the broader, fundamental question of the meaning of human flourishing.

Sean D. Sutton is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rochester Institute of Technology and coeditor (with John A. Murley) of Perspectives on Politics in Shakespeare.


"The chapters present the insights of authors working in biology, ethics, history, philosophy, political science, religious studies, scientific journalism, and medicine. In this way, each affords a disciplinary vision and, when taken together, each and all contribute to the discourse (and debate) about whether biotechnology is the most current, shining attribute of our humanity, or a tool and trend that moves us farther from our nature. " — Quarterly Review of Biology

"…[a] stimulating book. " — CHOICE

"There is no other book by such a wide spectrum of thinkers—Sutton offers us original articles with well-articulated alternative positions. " — Carl Mitcham, Colorado School of Mines