Altering Nature: Volume One: Concepts of ‘Nature’ and ‘The by B. Andrew Lustig, Baruch A. Brody, Gerald P. McKenny

By B. Andrew Lustig, Baruch A. Brody, Gerald P. McKenny (auth.), B. Andrew Lustig, Baruch A. Brody, Gerald P. McKenny (eds.)

The volumes of changing Nature examine the advanced ways in which suggestions of 'nature' and 'the usual' are understood and the relevance of these understandings to discussions of biotechnology. quantity One, suggestions of 'Nature' and 'The normal' in Biotechnology Debates, deals nuanced money owed of the ways in which nature is invoked and interpreted, either descriptively and prescriptively, through various disciplines, together with views from spirituality and faith, philosophy, technology and drugs, legislations and economics, and aesthetics. within the context of that extensive dialogue, quantity , faith, Biotechnology, and Public coverage, stories fresh non secular and moral analyses of 4 particular components of biotechnology: assisted copy, genetic treatment and enhancement, human-machine incorporation, and biodiversity. It identifies and explores the richer normative issues that tell specific debates and indicates ways in which coverage offerings in biotechnology can be illuminated by way of devoting better consciousness to spiritual views.

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23 The medieval Midrash Tanhuma (Tazria 7) presents a debate between Rabbi Akiba and a pagan, Turnus Rufus. The pagan asked which works were preferable, those of God or those of humans. Akiba answered that human works could be preferable, giving the example of stalks of grain and loaves of bread. Turnus Rufus argued that if the circumcised state were preferable, God should have made boys be born circumcised. Akiba responded that there is value in humans being given an opportunity for significant action.

The aim of life is the dispelling of ignorance (avidya), which obscures the true nature of the Self and God. When that is achieved, life is all bliss, although it is strictly proportionate to the intrinsic worth of each Self. This brief survey of the Hindu myth of Nature as Body of God has yielded lineaments of a “spiritual science” that attempts to explain the hidden significance of the world that surrounds us, with hints at how we might interact with nature. The perspective delineated here is relevant to two of the assumptions that accompany efforts to alter nature.

Man is conceived as the body of God. On the one hand, God and humans are different; on the other, they are inseparably related as soul and body. Second, a human is also conceived as an “attribute” of God. Being eternal and sentient, he is like God; but because he is finite and dependent, he is different. Though God and humans are different, they are also inseparable, as in a substance-attribute relationship. As an attribute, man derives his substantiality from God, is inseparably related to him, and is dependent on him for his own being.

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