On Crossing the Line between Human and Nonhuman: Human Dignity Reconsidered
Recently, in discussing possible scientific creation of human/animal chimeras, the question of whether it is morally wrong to cross the line between human and nonhuman has become more controversial. While it is popular to show negative reactions toward the notion of “crossing the line” by referring to the concept of human dignity, moral theorists often claim that such reactions are not based on moral intuition, but rather understood as reflecting cosmological and social categories specifically provided by the Bible. In this article, the author takes the third position to provide good reasons to cross this line, without depriving the concept of dignity of its central meaning. The author elaborates on this position by examining the utilitarian account of anti-speciesism by P. Singer and J. McMahan and E. Kittay’s criticism against them, and connects this debate to M. Nussbaum’s capability approach and her account of the notion of dignity.
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