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Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing$
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Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190940362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190940362.001.0001

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Creaturehood and Deification as Anchors for an Ethics of Gene Editing

Creaturehood and Deification as Anchors for an Ethics of Gene Editing

(p.172) 12 Creaturehood and Deification as Anchors for an Ethics of Gene Editing
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing

Michael Burdett

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers what it means to be human in an era of gene editing technologies, using ideas from philosophical and religious scholarship. I call these ideas “visions of the human being.” These visions are central to understanding the relationship between gene editing and human flourishing because they are “at work” in the definition of human flourishing, and they shape people’s responses to the technologies. Proposed is a postsecular, Christian vision of the human being and flourishing in the context of gene editing as the successful navigation between two elements of human existence: “creaturehood” and “deification.” Both elements are important for developing a robust conception of human flourishing and for allowing us to respond well to the uses of gene editing applications.

Keywords:   Christianity, visions of humans, anthropology, human nature, human enhancement, gratitude, creativity, deification, creaturehood, postsecular bioethics

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