Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (2):219-237 (2021)

Jeffrey Bishop
Saint Louis University
Boaz Goss
Azusa Pacific University
Full-Blooded religion is not acceptable in mainstream bioethics. This article excavates the cultural history that led to the suppression of religion in bioethics. Bioethicists typically fall into one of the following camps. 1) The irreligious, who advocate for suppressing religion, as do Timothy F. Murphy, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. This irreligious camp assumes American Fundamentalist Protestantism is the real substance of all religions. 2) Religious bioethicists, who defend religion by emphasizing its functions and diminishing its metaphysical commitments. Religious defenders empty religion of its theology to present its feel-good functions in a way that is acceptable to the irreligious. However, religion reduced to its functions dissolves into a counter-culture that may counteract materialism but lacks the power to motivate much more. This article criticizes both camps, as both presume Enlightenment myths and consequently neuter religion. Both irreligious and religious bioethicists commonly presume Enlightenment myths about secularity and religion. Secularity is presumed neutral and rational. Religion is presumed divisive and irrational. This myth provides built-in value-judgements; we have already judged secularity as good and religion as bad. Much of the debate over religion in bioethics is arguing over false stereotypes of religion. Consequently, mainstream bioethics neuters religion, while the irreligious are gifted political power to define the field.
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DOI 10.1093/jmp/jhaa035
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Biomedical Ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1979 - Oxford University Press.
After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Critique of Pure Reason.I. Kant - 1787/1998 - Philosophy 59 (230):555-557.
The Birth of Bioethics.Albert R. Jonsen - 1998 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Whose (Ir)Religion? Which Bioethics?Benjamin N. Parks - 2021 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 46 (2):147-155.

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