The Case Against Perfection

  • Filename: the-case-against-perfection.
  • ISBN: 9780674036383
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Number of pages: 162
  • Author: Michael J Sandel
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press

What is wrong with re-engineering genetics? In this work, Sandel argues that the pursuit of perfection is flawed for reasons that go beyond safety and fairness. He contends that the genetic revolution will change the way philosophers discuss ethics and will force spiritual questions back onto the political agenda.


  • Filename: the-case-against-perfection.
  • ISBN: UVA:X030110396
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Number of pages: 176
  • Author: Michael J Sandel
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press

Believing the quest to attain human perfection endangers the view of human life as a gift, argues against proposals to bioengineer human life through cloning and gene modification.

Babies by Design

  • Filename: babies-by-design.
  • ISBN: 0300138571
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Number of pages: 279
  • Author: Ronald M. Green
  • Publisher: Yale University Press

Product Description: We stand on the brink of unprecedented growth in our ability to understand and change the human genome. New reproductive technologies now enable parents to select some genetic traits for their children, and soon it will be possible to begin to shape ourselves as a species. Despite the loud cries of alarm that such a prospect inspires, Ronald Green argues that we will, and we should, undertake the direction of our own evolution. A leader in the bioethics community, Green offers a scientifically and ethically informed view of human genetic self-modification and the possibilities it opens up for a better future. Fears of a terrible Brave New World or a new eugenics movement are overblown, he maintains, and in the more likely future, genetic modifications may improve parents' ability to enhance children's lives and may even promote social justice. The author outlines the new capabilities of genomic science, addresses urgent questions of safety that genetic interventions pose, and explores questions of parenting and justice. He also examines the religious implications of gene modification. Babies by design are assuredly in the future, Green concludes, and by making responsible choices as we enter that future, we can incorporate gene technology in a new age of human adventure.

Better than Human

  • Filename: better-than-human.
  • ISBN: 9780199797998
  • Release Date: 2011-07-01
  • Number of pages: 256
  • Author: Allen Buchanan
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

Is it right to use biomedical technologies to make us better than well or even perhaps better than human? Should we view our biology as fixed or should we try to improve on it? College students are already taking cognitive enhancement drugs. The U.S. army is already working to develop drugs and technologies to produce "super soldiers." Scientists already know how to use genetic engineering techniques to enhance the strength and memories of mice and the application of such technologies to humans is on the horizon. In Better Than Human, philosopher-bioethicist Allen Buchanan grapples with the ethical dilemmas of the biomedical enhancement revolution. Biomedical enhancements can make us smarter, have better memories, be stronger, quicker, have more stamina, live much longer, avoid the frailties of aging, and enjoy richer emotional lives. In spite of the benefits that biomedical enhancements may bring, many people instinctively reject them. Some worry that we will lose something important-our appreciation for what we have or what makes human beings distinctively valuable. Others assume that biomedical enhancements will only be available to the rich, with the result that social inequalities will worsen. Buchanan shows that the debate over enhancement has been distorted by false assumptions and misleading rhetoric. To think clearly about enhancement, we have to acknowledge that human nature is a mixed bag and that our species has many "design flaws." We should be open be open to the possibility of becoming better than human, while never underestimating the risks that our attempts to improve may back-fire.

Atheism And The Case Against Christ

  • Filename: atheism-and-the-case-against-christ.
  • ISBN: 9781616145828
  • Release Date: 2012-09-25
  • Number of pages: 332
  • Author: Matthew S. Mccormick
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books

Hundreds of millions of people believe that Jesus came back from the dead. This cogent, forcefully argued book presents a decidedly unpopular view —namely, that the central tenet of Christianity, the resurrection of Jesus, is false. The author asks a number of probing questions: Is the evidence about Jesus as it has been relayed to us over the centuries of sufficient quantity and quality to justify belief in the resurrection? How can we accept the resurrection but reject magic at the Salem witch trials? What light does contemporary research about human rationality from the fields of behavioral economics, empirical psychology, cognitive science, and philosophy shed on the resurrection and religious belief? Can we use contemporary research about the reliability of people’s beliefs in the supernatural, miracles, and the paranormal to shed light on the origins of Christianity and other religions? Does it make sense that the all-powerful creator of the universe would employ miracles to achieve his ends? Can a Christian believe by faith alone and yet reasonably deny the supernatural claims of other religions? Do the arguments against Christianity support atheism? By carefully answering each of these questions, this book undermines Christianity and theism at their foundations; it gives us a powerful model for better critical reasoning; and it builds a compelling case for atheism. Without stooping to condescension or arrogance, the author offers persuasive arguments that are accessible, thoughtful, and new. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Case Against Punishment

  • Filename: the-case-against-punishment.
  • ISBN: 0814731589
  • Release Date: 2005-01
  • Number of pages: 219
  • Author: Deirdre Golash
  • Publisher: NYU Press

What ends do we expect and hope to serve in punishing criminal wrongdoers? Does the punishment of offenders do more harm than good for American society? In The Case against Punishment, Deirdre Golash addresses these and other questions about the value of punishment in contemporary society. Drawing on both empirical evidence and philosophical literature, this book argues that the harm done by punishing criminal offenders is ultimately morally unjustified. Asserting that punishment inflicts both intended and unintended harms on offenders, Golash suggests that crime can be reduced by addressing social problems correlated with high crime rates, such as income inequality and local social disorganization. Punishment may reduce crime, but in so doing, causes a comparable amount of harm to offenders. Instead, Golash suggests, we should address criminal acts through trial, conviction, and compensation to the victim, while also providing the criminal with the opportunity to reconcile with society through morally good action rather than punishment.

Enhancing Evolution

  • Filename: enhancing-evolution.
  • ISBN: 9781400836383
  • Release Date: 2010-09-27
  • Number of pages: 272
  • Author: John Harris
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press

In Enhancing Evolution, leading bioethicist John Harris dismantles objections to genetic engineering, stem-cell research, designer babies, and cloning and makes an ethical case for biotechnology that is both forthright and rigorous. Human enhancement, Harris argues, is a good thing--good morally, good for individuals, good as social policy, and good for a genetic heritage that needs serious improvement. Enhancing Evolution defends biotechnological interventions that could allow us to live longer, healthier, and even happier lives by, for example, providing us with immunity from cancer and HIV/AIDS. Further, Harris champions the possibility of influencing the very course of evolution to give us increased mental and physical powers--from reasoning, concentration, and memory to strength, stamina, and reaction speed. Indeed, he says, it's not only morally defensible to enhance ourselves; in some cases, it's morally obligatory. In a new preface, Harris offers a glimpse at the new science and technology to come, equipping readers with the knowledge to assess the ethics and policy dimensions of future forms of human enhancement.

Glenn Beck s Common Sense

  • Filename: glenn-beck-s-common-sense.
  • ISBN: 9781439169506
  • Release Date: 2009-06-16
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Author: Glenn Beck
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster

#1 New York Times bestselling author and popular radio and television host Glenn Beck revisits Thomas Paine's Common Sense. In any era, great Americans inspire us to reach our full potential. They know with conviction what they believe within themselves. They understand that all actions have consequences. And they find commonsense solutions to the nation’s problems. One such American, Thomas Paine, was an ordinary man who changed the course of history by penning Common Sense, the concise 1776 masterpiece in which, through extraordinarily straightforward and indisputable arguments, he encouraged his fellow citizens to take control of America’s future—and, ultimately, her freedom. Nearly two and a half centuries later, those very freedoms once again hang in the balance. And now, Glenn Beck revisits Paine’s powerful treatise with one purpose: to galvanize Americans to see past government’s easy solutions, two-party monopoly, and illogical methods and take back our great country.

Human Enhancement

  • Filename: human-enhancement.
  • ISBN: 0199594961
  • Release Date: 2010-10-28
  • Number of pages: 432
  • Author: Julian Savulescu
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford

To what extent should we use technological advances to try to make better human beings? Leading philosophers debate the possibility of enhancing human cognition, mood, personality, and physical performance, and controlling aging. Would this take us beyond the bounds of human nature? These are questions that need to be answered now.

Against Autonomy

  • Filename: against-autonomy.
  • ISBN: 9781107024847
  • Release Date: 2012-11-08
  • Number of pages: 206
  • Author: Sarah Conly
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Argues that laws that enforce what is good for the individual's well-being, or hinder what is bad, are morally justified.

The Case Against Assisted Suicide

  • Filename: the-case-against-assisted-suicide.
  • ISBN: 0801867924
  • Release Date: 2002-02-27
  • Number of pages: 371
  • Author: Kathleen M. Foley
  • Publisher: JHU Press

"A major contribution to our understanding of the practice, theory, and limitations of assisted suicide and euthanasia in seriously ill patients. The book is superbly written and intellectually challenging. I am convinced that it will become standard reading for all -- whether advocates or opponents of assisted suicide -- who want to think more deeply and learn more about what we need to do to improve end-of-life care." -- The Lancet "The writing is of uniformly high quality, and the book achieves stylistic consistency while still reflecting an individual voice in each chapter. The book is sorely needed." -- New England Journal of Medicine "The methods of palliative care, or comfort care, have in the past few decades reached a level of effectiveness such that suffering thought at first to be intractable can almost always be relieved. And this is the ultimate message of this vastly important book that now makes its timely appearance." -- New Republic


  • Filename: justice.
  • ISBN: 9780374532505
  • Release Date: 2010-08-17
  • Number of pages: 308
  • Author: Michael J. Sandel
  • Publisher: Macmillan

A Harvard professor assesses the role of justice in today's society as well as the moral responsibilities faced by everyday citizens, weighing a range of issues from euthanasia and abortion to affirmative action and tax structuring. Reprint. A best-selling book.

Disputed Moral Issues

  • Filename: disputed-moral-issues.
  • ISBN: 0199946795
  • Release Date: 2013-10
  • Number of pages: 736
  • Author: Mark Timmons
  • Publisher: OUP USA

Ideal for courses in contemporary moral problems, moral theories, applied ethics, and introduction to ethics, Disputed Moral Issues: A Reader, Third Edition, is a comprehensive anthology that brings together engaging articles on a wide range of contemporary moral issues.

Beyond Humanity The Ethics of Biomedical Enhancement

  • Filename: beyond-humanity-the-ethics-of-biomedical-enhancement.
  • ISBN: 9780199587810
  • Release Date: 2011-01-01
  • Number of pages: 304
  • Author: Allen E. Buchanan
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford

Biotechnologies already on the horizon will enable us to be smarter, have better memories, be stronger and quicker, have more stamina, live longer, be more resistant to diseases, and enjoy richer emotional lives. To some of us, these prospects are heartening; to others, they are dreadful. In Beyond Humanity a leading philosopher offers a powerful and controversial exploration of urgent ethical issues concerning human enhancement. These raise enduring questions about what itis to be human, about individuality, about our relationship to nature, and about what sort of society we should strive to have. Allen Buchanan urges that the debate about enhancement needs to be informed by a proper understanding of evolutionary biology, which has discredited the simplistic conceptions ofhuman nature used by many opponents of enhancement. He argues that there are powerful reasons for us to embark on the enhancement enterprise, and no objections to enhancement that are sufficient to outweigh them.

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