On the Human Body in Igor Kiss's Humanized Deontology

Christian Bioethics 18 (3):312-324 (2012)
The basis for the analysis is the approach of Christian ethics toward the issue of the human body and sexuality. Based on the views of some present-day Christian, especially Protestant, ethicists, the author points out the effort to establish this area in contemporary Christian theology and ethics, which is, for instance, represented by the theology of sexuality and Christian sexual ethics. Consequently, the author pays attention to the opinions of the significant Slovak Lutheran theologian and ethicist Igor Kišš and his theory of humanized deontology. Within this framework, he studies his opinions on the issue of the human body, sexuality, artificial insemination, genetic engineering, and embryonic stem cell research. The author comes to the conclusion that Kišš has created a highly modern and liberal theory of Protestant ethics based on the principle of humanity (love to one’s neighbor) as a central principle. The principle of humanity, together with the emphasis on the examination of consequences and a potential need for the lesser evil, aims at giving reasons for a possible diversion from rigorous extreme deontology. This creates space for accepting liberal views within Christianity or Protestantism, which, however, must be in accordance with the value of humanity. The author claims that Kišš’s theory of humanized deontology is a theological version of ethics of social consequences (a kind of nonutilitarian consequentialism)
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DOI 10.1093/cb/cbs024
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