Reflections on the human being in the face of techno-science domination

Prof. Dr. Bernard Ars, M.D., Ph.D.. FIAMC/ESPHIN http://www.arsbernard.com

1. Societal facts and definitions

Society is changing. It is not a time of change, these are actually changing times.

Techno-sciences are pervading all fields, including medicine, and are particularly affecting three main medical approaches: chemical and digital interventions on brain functions, genome modifications, as well as the use of robots.

If techno-scientific progress is to be encouraged, domination must be regulated. It in fact induces the transhumanist ideology whose challenging character lies in the anthropological rupture that it entails.

But what is this ‘transhumanism’?

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Medical robotics: a few ethical guidelines

HONDA_ASIMO
Photo: Honda’s ASIMO Robot (GNU License)

Dr. Bernard Ars M.D., Ph.D.,
Prof. Dominique Lambert Ph.D.
Université de Namur
Département Sciences-Philosophies-Sociétés
61 rue de Bruxelles B-5000 Namur (Belgium)

A world invaded by robots

Today, robotics plays a fundamental role in both our individual and collective lives, especially in medicine. Robotization, current or future, is welcomed, perhaps even sought, not only because it has already proved its practical effectiveness, but also because it allows some to dream about surpassing the limitations and weaknesses inherent to the human being. But it is precisely here that the whole issue lies: in the essential difference between a reality at the service of man and a potentially destructive fantasy. The field of medicine is no exception to this technological invasion and the growing attraction for robotics.

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Transhumanism

transhumanismIt sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie – being able to “upload” our minds to computers to live on after we die, to freeze our bodies only to bring them back in the future, or to pop pills to enhance our mood and intelligence.
While these may seem like impossible notions, these are the kinds of things the transhumanism and posthumanism movements are hoping for and working toward. However, as with most technological advancements, these proposals have bioethicists and theologians questioning: just because we can, does that mean we should?

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