What it means to be human is one of the central – and biggest – questions in the Western cultural tradition and, consequently, proposals for re-shaping the nature of humanity have been deeply controversial. These debates have historically been speculative because modifications were not possible, but it is now increasingly possible to modify humanity through tools such as “gene editing.” Philosophers and theologians have been re-engaging with the big questions at stake in human enhancement, such as whether human instrumental control over ourselves is too great an intervention in nature or in God’s design.
The public debate about human enhancements would be better if the wisdom embodied in religious traditions can be raised, but there are two impediments. First, theological work is in its infancy. Second, the more subtle theological views of human enhancement may be crowded out by errant absolutist views of many religious citizens. This would in turn de-legitimate the input of religious perspectives in society. Social science can be used to improve the theological debate by investigating the society that theology operates within. Theologians can use this research to learn about the various audiences they must appeal to, including their co-religionists, and to anticipate the questions that people will be looking to answer in a few short years.
The purpose of this planning grant is then ultimately to produce a larger proposal for a social science RFP project, pre-test empirical tools for a subsequent study of what motivates the public’s views of human enhancement, and produce a white paper used as both the basis of the RFP project proposal and as information for future potential grantees. The successful deliverables will be the white paper and grant proposal that lay the groundwork for the RFP project, which will in turn improve the philosophical and theological debate about human enhancement.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.
Usted está viendo Templeton.org en español. Tenga en cuenta que solamente hemos traducido algunas páginas a su idioma. El resto permanecen en inglés.
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