Biotechnology, Ethics, and the Politics of Cloning

As we move into a new millennium fraught with terror and danger, a global postmodern cosmopolis is unfolding in the midst of rapid evolutionary and social changes co-constructed by science, technology, and the restructuring of global capital. We are quickly morphing into a new biological and social existence that is ever-more mediated and shaped by computers, mass media, and biotechnology, all driven by the logic of capital and a powerful emergent technoscience. In this global context, science is no longer merely an interpretation of the natural and social worlds, rather it has become an active force in changing them and the very nature of life. In an era where life can be created and redesigned in a petri dish, and genetic codes can be edited like a digital text, the distinction between “natural” and “artificial” has become greatly complexified. The new techniques of manipulation call into question existing definitions of life and death, demand a rethinking of fundamental notions of ethics and moral value, and pose unique challenges for democracy.
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Tony Smith (1999). Biotechnology and Global Justice. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 11 (3):219-242.

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