Navigation Links
Religion and the narrative of biological science
Date:5/12/2008

Chicago, IL May 12, 2008 There exists much ethical controversy brought about by advances in biology and medicine and the relationship to religion. In a new essay in The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Laurie Zoloth takes an approach to medical ethics that draws upon Jewish texts, traditions, and philosophy to show how acting to change the world is indicative of this faith tradition.

Genetic explanations for how the natural world functions and why humans behave as we do can challenge what has historically been the moral province of religion: the questions of befalleness, suffering, healing. A question to be explored then is whether genetic enhancement of human capabilities, in addition to in their use in curing disease, is also a legitimate goal for biomedical science and technology.

Like other faith traditions, Jewish discernment of the moral choices we make as we face advances in genetic and medical research is based not only in a contemporary assessment of their social use, but of their meaning in relationship to particular religious traditions, texts, and law. Judaism has a long tradition of narratives, many of which are found within the Hebrew Bible and the tradition of commentary collectively called halacha, or rabbinic law. In the case of new technology, Jewish ethics is a complex, reasoned argument about how such Biblical texts and historical judgments are brought to bear on a particular case at hand.

Healing is mandated and saving a life is a priority over other ritual commandments or community costumes in the Jewish tradition. Since Jewish ethical reasoning privileges the responsibility to save life above all other responsibilities, actions that save lives are prompted by this account. This has provided a justified context for virtually all experimental therapy, including genetic research.

Thus the sum of Jewish argument has been to positively encourage genetic research and intervention if it can improve the human condition. Using technology to alter the human body has long been an accepted part of Jewish tradition, from the use of spectacles to artificial hips, and thus genetic enhancement for the same end would seem not impermissible within the Jewish tradition. In fact, the demands of halachah call on Jews to make changes to the body and some, such as circumcision, an obligation. Intricate narratives about tikkun olam or the duty to repair a world understood as broken frame the response to medicine in a general sense. .

We remain in discussion with the Torah, the Talmud, and the medieval commentators, Zoloth concludes. Indeed, our capacity to learn from our past is the very sign of our ability to teach toward the future.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
201-748-8844
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. AIBS honors outstanding contributions to the biological sciences
2. Negligent, attentive mouse mothers show biological differences
3. Ancient DNA: reconstruction of the biological history of Aldaieta necropolis
4. U. Iowa study finds biological link between pain and fatigue
5. NYU dental professor discovers biological clock linking tooth growth to other metabolic processes
6. Systems biology approach identifies nutrient regulation of biological clock in plants
7. Lensless camera uses X-rays to view nanoscale materials and biological specimens
8. MIT applies engineering approach to studying biological pathways
9. Systems biologist finds novel solutions to fundamental biological problems
10. Story ideas from the Journal of Biological Chemistry
11. Emerging field of neuroecology is showcased in December issue of the Biological Bulletin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS The ... at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period ... primary factor for the growth of the stem cell ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market ... and geography. The stem cell market of the product ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... , March 30, 2017 Trends, opportunities ... (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, ... recognition, and others), by end use industry (government and ... immigration, financial and banking, and others), and by region ... , Asia Pacific , and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade ... industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life science researchers to analyze and ... researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major contribution to the discovery of ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... ... is a basic first aid supply for any work environment, but most personal eye wash ... if a dangerous substance enters both eyes? It’s one less decision, and likely quicker response ... piece. , “Whether its dirt and debris, or an acid or alkali, getting anything in ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, ... Educator (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS ... care professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering ... health care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... implantation and pregnancy rates in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) ... and maternal age to IVF success. , After comparing the results from the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: