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Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing$
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Erik Parens and Josephine Johnston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190940362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190940362.001.0001

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Can We Care about Nature?

Can We Care about Nature?

Chapter:
(p.86) 6 Can We Care about Nature?
Source:
Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing
Author(s):

Gregory E. Kaebnick

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190940362.003.0007

The debate about human enhancement turns partly on the view we take about the ideal human relationship to nature, but those views are hard to articulate and are frequently misunderstood. Often, those who raise concerns about human enhancement on grounds of beliefs about the human relationship to nature are seen as holding that human enhancement is simply “against nature” and therefore flatly wrong. But there are alternative ways of describing the ideal human relationship to nature. The belief that enhancement is against nature requires understanding moral values, nature, and the human relationship to nature in rather rigid ways. Alternative ways of understanding those things can lead to a significantly more moderate view—that the concern about nature is not about violating nature but simply about striking a balance between remaking nature or preserving it.

Keywords:   gene editing, flourishing, enhancement, playing God, nature, natural law, Mill, Hume, nature–human relationship

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