Philosophical Analysis of the Perception of Biotechnology in the Context of Religious Values

  1. Lemma
  2. Филосовский анализ восприятия феномена биотехнологий в контексте религиозных ценностей
  3. Russian
  4. Asliturk, Miriam
  5. Ethics - Scientific theories and disciplines > Biology - Scientific theories and disciplines > Medicine - Orthodox view on technology and engineering
  6. 13-07-2018
  7. Абросимова, Светлана Олеговна [Author]. Филосовский анализ восприятия феномена биотехнологий в контексте религиозных ценностей
  8. Ученые записки Петрозаводского государственного университета
  9. Judaism - Buddhism - Catholicism - Russian Orthodox Church - biotechnology - bioethics - abortion - genetics - Cloning - in vitro fertilisation - surrogacy - eugenics - Anthropocentrism - stem cell technologies
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    1. <p>Абросимова, Светлана Олеговна (2014). Философский анализ восприятия феномена биотехнологий в контексте религиозных ценностей. <em>Ученые записки Петрозаводского государственного университета</em>, (1 (138)), 90-93.</p>
    1. The article summarises and compares the attitudes of different religious traditions toward biotechnologies. The author points out that the Catholic Church has shown the greatest attention to the phenomenon. Catholicism stresses the difference between humans and animals, which is why any experiments on embryos that can damage them are unacceptable even if parents agree to carry them out. Equally unacceptable is the transplantation of human embryos into animals, freezing embryos or eggs, artificial insemination, and cloning. The Vatican is wary of gene therapy for therapeutic purposes and is against its use if the changes are inherited or if it is not applied for a treatment. The use of prenatal diagnostics for non-therapeutic purposes is considered to be a eugenic practice. The therapeutic use of stem cells is considered to be ethically neutral, provided that the source of stem cells is not human embryos.

      The position of the Orthodox Church on biotechnology is reflected in the "Foundations of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church" (2000). Like the Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church is sceptical of many legal norms, such as the right to abortion. The Russian Orthodox Church believes that, along with biotechnology, the ideology of reproductive rights is propagating the primacy of adult interests over the interests of the child and society, which is contrary to Orthodox Christian values. At the same time the Russian Orthodox church does not forbid the use of in vitro fertilization using the husband's sperm, provided it is done without destroying the created embryos and without using surrogate motherhood. The use of biotechnology to combat hereditary diseases does not seem reprehensible to the Russian Orthodox Church unless the technologies are aimed at improving the human race. The use of prenatal diagnosis for non-therapeutic purposes is considered unacceptable. Like the Vatican, the Russian Orthodox Church treats cloning negatively, indicating that the clone does not have a soul.

      Judaism has similar concepts toward biotechnologies. It does not however have a ban on cloning. Opinions on this question differ and range between the recognition of cloning (as not contradicting the laws of God) to considering the clone not as a human, but as an animal.

      In Islam the use of reproductive technologies is determined by the notion that an embryo acquires a soul only on the 40th-42nd day of its development. Therefore, abortion is allowed until the 7th week of pregnancy. This attitude opens up ample opportunities for experimentation without ethical consequences. For example, in Islam, the reduction of superfluous embryos with in vitro fertilization does not seem to be reprehensible. The attitude to cloning in Islam is ambiguous. Cloning of animals and plants is allowed. Moreover, some believe that cloning, performed by dividing cells at the embryonic stage of development, is permissible if marriage-related relations are not violated.

      Buddhism, according to the author, is not anthropocentric. This affects Buddhist bioethics, which does not see much difference between the cloning of humans and animals. As regards other biotechnologies, Buddhism shares most concepts and bans with other world religions.