The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Tag: embryos (Page 1 of 2)

Exactly when does a human being actually come into existence?

The one who prepares the food may announce, “The food is ready now!” when the food is ready. However, when exactly is the food actually ready? When the kitchen timer rings? The potatoes are cooked then. Or when the saucepan is removed from the stove? The cooking ends then. Or when the saucepan is emptied […]

Ethical issues when gene editing approaches humanity

Gene editing technology, which already is used to develop genetically modified organisms (GMOs), could in the future also be used clinically in humans. One such application could be genetic modification of human embryos, editing genes that would otherwise cause disease. Of course, the scenario of ​​clinical uses of genetic modification in humans arouses deep concern […]

Who belongs to us?

Bioethics has a problem with human beings, the philosopher Roland Kipke writes. It must ask who belongs to our moral community. Who has rights? Who has human dignity? Who has the moral status usually attributed to healthy adult humans? Who has the right to life? The question is: Who belongs to us? Are human embryos […]

Reality surpasses our concepts

After thinking for some time about donation of human eggs and embryos to stem cell research, I want to express myself as in the headline. Reality surpasses our concepts of it. This is not as strange as it sounds. For, if our concepts already reflected reality, then no one would need to do research, or […]

Dangers of moral words

The philosopher Bernard Williams distinguished between thick ethical concepts such as “brave” and “brutal,” which have both descriptive and evaluative content, and thin ethical concepts such as “right” and “wrong,” which are purely evaluative. “Murder” and “exploitation” are thick ethical concepts that sometimes play a central role in ethical debate. They have descriptive content combined […]

Bioethics dissolving misdirected worldliness

When we feel low, we often make the mistake of scanning the external environment to find the cause of our state of mind out there. One could speak of the depressed person’s misdirected worldliness. We are convinced that something in the world makes us depressed. We exclude that we ourselves play a role in the […]

Big questions do not have small answers

Some questions we perceive are “bigger” than other questions. What does it mean to live, to be, rather than not to be? When does life begin and when does it end? What is a human being? Does life have a meaning or do we endow it with mere façades of meaning? We do not expect […]

Taking people’s moral concerns seriously

I recently published a post on how anxiety can take possession of the intellect: how anxiety, when it is interpreted by thoughts that rationalize it, can cause moral panic. A common way of dealing with people’s moral concerns in bioethics is to take the concerns intellectually seriously. One tries to find logical reasons for or […]

Moral panic in the intellect

Moral panic develops intellectually. It is our thoughts that are racing. Certain mental images make such a deep impression on us that we take them for Reality, for Truth, for Facts. Do not believe that the intellect is cold and objective. It can boil over with agitated thoughts. This is evident in bioethics, where many […]

Sliding down along the slippery slope

Debates on euthanasia, abortion or embryonic stem cell research frequently invoke slippery slope arguments. Here is an example of such reasoning: Legalizing physician-assisted suicide (PAS) at the end of life pushes healthcare morality in a dangerous direction. Soon, PAS may be practiced even on people who are not at the end of life and who […]

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