The potential for dual use of research in the life sciences to be misused for harm raises a range of problems for the scientific community and policy makers. Various legal and ethical strategies are being implemented to reduce the threat of the misuse of research and knowledge in the life sciences by establishing a culture of responsible conduct.
It has long been recognized that Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling is a cryptogram. Encoded within a series of reflections and commentaries on Genesis 22 is a deeper message directed at a reader or readers presumably capable of deciphering the hidden meaning. That this is true is suggested by the book's epigraph: ‘What Tarquinius Superbus said in the garden by means of the poppies, the son understood but the messenger did not.’.
The text in which the original JRE editors announced the mission of their newly launched scholarly journal is susceptible to different readings. While Ronald Green has interpreted it as an intention to "effect" a "movement from Christian ethics to religious ethics," the author expresses doubt that any such general framework of "religious ethics" can be discerned in or imposed on distinctive religious traditions. He suggests that the problem of "parochialism and Western bias" is best addressed not through the imperialism (...) of the generic but through sustained attention to the distinctive and particular in all its variations. (shrink)
It is true that we draw nearer the key significance of Fear and Trembling if we supplement the now too standard readings of the text as an exploration of the moral force of divine commands, but to do that we need not resort to reading the work exclusively as a treatment of justification by faith. Kierkegaard presents Abraham as an exemplar whose faith is informed by, but not constricted by, the ethical and whose example has, and is meant to have, (...) normative force. (shrink)
Careful examination of the facts of record shows that the JRE has been as successful as its competitors in expanding the cultural range and scope of inquiry in religious ethics. Yet it should be noted that the debate between cultural particularists and philosophical ethicists, a debate that has shaped the actual practices of the field of comparative religious studies, has not been vigorously pursued in these pages. Likewise, the JRE has not yet realized its potential to foster collaborative work among (...) scholars working in different religious traditions, to encourage attention to neglected topics, or to enlarge, through fuller attention to diverse religious traditions, the range of ethical and metaethical interests that dominate inquiry in religious ethics. (shrink)
Perkin and Resnik advocate the use of muscle relaxants to prevent the “agony of agonal respiration” arguing that this is compatible with the principle of double effect. The proposed regime will kill patients as certainly as smothering them would. This may lead some people to reject the argument as an abuse of the principle of double effect. I take a different view. In the absence of an adequate theory of intention, the principle of double effect cannot distinguish between the intentional (...) and merely foreseen termination of life, and cannot rule out end-of-life decisions that are often regarded as impermissible.What Perkin and Resnik are in effect saying is that there are times when physicians have good reasons to end a patient’s life—deliberately and intentionally—for the patient’s sake. Why not say so—instead of going through the agony of trying to match sanctity of life and patient-centred medical care? (shrink)