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Design and DestinyJewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification$
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Ronald Cole-Turner

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262033732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262033732.001.0001

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Freedom, Conscience, and Virtue: Theological Perspectives on the Ethics of Inherited Genetic Modification

Freedom, Conscience, and Virtue: Theological Perspectives on the Ethics of Inherited Genetic Modification

Chapter:
(p.167) 8 Freedom, Conscience, and Virtue: Theological Perspectives on the Ethics of Inherited Genetic Modification
Source:
Design and Destiny
Author(s):

Celia Deane-Drummond

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262033732.003.0104

This chapter, which concentrates on the question of human moral agency and how traditional notions of conscience and virtue might apply to case-by-case uses of germline modification, highlights those features of the human person that are particularly relevant to the discussion of inheritable genetic modifications (IGM) in terms of ethical practice. It argues that freedom is an integral aspect of humanity, and specifically analyzes how far IGM is in principle a genuine act of freedom which fosters humanity. The chapter suggests that Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of conscience was best situated within his more developed sense of prudence.

Keywords:   human moral agency, conscience, virtue, germline modification, inheritable genetic modifications, freedom, humanity, Thomas Aquinas, prudence

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