What Might Theologians Think About Nano Ethics?
When we turn to motives, nanotech investors are obviously
motivated by visions of a big financial return. Those who will line up to
purchase nanobiotech services such as brain augmentation may be motivated to
increase their competitive edge. Most of the ethical questions above are
directed toward protecting the wider society and environment from risks posed
by investors and self-enhancers.
This does not cut much mustard with theologians, however.
This is because theologians begin their ethical deliberations with a transcendent
ground for value, God. What is good for us is the vision of well being God has
in store for us. To manifest that vision of well being, Jesus gave us a double
commandment: love God and love your neighbor. In bioethics, this translates
into the principle of beneficence - that is, if you see an opportunity to
do good, take it.
What is not clear to date from future scenarios regarding
nanotechnology is whether its advances will offer anything relevant to our
commitment to love God and love our neighbor. One manifestation of such love,
of course, is striving for justice in society. Perhaps Christians and other
religious persons committed to the love ideal will put their energies into
ensuring fair distribution of nanotech benefits. Perhaps the U.S. government
and other governments might find the pursuit of distributive justice worthy of investing
effort as well.
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| Contributed by: Ted Peters