About a possible method of bioethics: The patristic model and personal accountability

  1. Lemma
  2. Despre o posibilă metodă a bioeticii: Modelul patristic şi asumarea responsabilităţii
  3. Romanian
  4. Stavinschi, Alexandra
  5. Ethics - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology
  6. 2-2-2017
  7. Godeanu, Victor [Author]. About a possible method of bioethics: The patristic model and personal accountability
  8. The new representation of the world
  9. bioethics - Early Church Fathers - Canon law
    1. 171-185
    1. The purpose of this article is to warn of the risks posed by the lack of caution and responsibility in addressing issues lying outside the scope of a discipline, with a focus on theology and with an eye on bioethics, without discrediting either of them.

      The article is divided in three sections: in the first part, entitled „Theological ethics”, the author defines the scope of theology, which lies at the intersection between theory and practice. He explains the historical mistakes and misunderstandings that pushed man away from the ecclesial spirit and mentions as an example the failure of ecumenical efforts to bring all Christians together.

      In the second part, entitled „Ethics and Patristics”, the author suggests that the Fathers of the Church can be taken as an excellent source of inspiration. He does not intend to provide a list of erudite citations, first of all because they did not show explicit interest in the discipline, much less in the ethical perplexities of the year 2005. However, they provided much more than a code of ethics, namely a working method that we are invited to follow in order to find the best answers to our anxieties.

      The Christian bioethicists tend to use the Church canons literally in order to fit their discipline into a line of ecclesial continuity. As a result, says the author, they commit two fundamental errors. The first is to overlook the fact that canon law no longer applies in a secularised world, except for the institution of the church. The second is related to the historical context to which the canonical tradition refers, given that the continuity of the periodical ecumenical councils was interrupted 1218 years ago, in the year 787. In addition, the author mentions a wider problem, namely that mankind does not unanimously recognize the exclusive right of Christianity on behavioral evaluation.

      The third section of the article is entitled „The Christian model and Biological Ethics - a critical view”. The author concludes that we must make sure that we look at the evangelical parables with the eyes of the third millennium; on the one hand, we need to see there the injunction to protect the human evolution towards personal fulfillment, regardless of any historical circumstances; on the other, we should understand that this can not be done without our total involvement and individual responsibility, for all of our actions.