Genetic engineering and the dignity of creatures

The Swiss expert report suggests thatthe inherent dignity of a living being be identifiedwith its inherent value. But the phrase ``inherentvalue of a living being'' seems to connote two conceptsof inherent value. One has a morally obligatingcharacter but is counterintuitive because of itsegalitarianism. The other is one of non-moral value.It is more compatible with considered intuitions butinsufficient for substantiating the expert report'sclaim that human beings have moral duties towardsanimals and plants. The paper discusses theseconcepts. Consideration is then given to the problemof how discursive support can be generated for theexpert report's claim that human beings have the moralduty to abstain from impairing those functions andabilities of a nonuman being that members of itsspecies as a rule can practice.
Keywords genetic engineering  inherent value  moral obligation  Swiss constitution
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DOI 10.1023/A:1009503412364
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Anders Melin (2004). Genetic Engineering and the Moral Status of Non-Human Species. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 17 (6):479-495.

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