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Conclusion


Alasdair MacIntyre thinks that the virtues that we learn are taught to us via the myths and stories of our childhood and I wholeheartedly agree57. These stories form the stuff of life, which is essentially narrative58. He also thinks that the stories that we tell and live through are tragic in nature. This means that an expectation that there will be a single answer to a given ethical situation is wrong. Ethical decisions are difficult precisely because they are to do with weighing up equally valid alternatives. When one future is chosen over another there is always a sense of loss for what otherwise might have been. What becomes important therefore is not the future we aim at but how we live our life. Modern western society has lost sight of this perspective and is lost in the process of producing more choices in the hope that one of them will give us happiness: this is technization.
Human cloning is the archetype of technization: it is the final resting-place where the consumer finally becomes the product. I have shown that the ethical debate as stated so far by the Warnock and the Stem Cell Inquiries leave the way open for commercial exploitation once technical difficulties are overcome. There is no cogent argument to prohibit reproductive cloning. This is because they have focused on the product rather than the practice of science. They have so focused because they think the practice of science is divorced from society.
This I believe to be erroneous and think that the amoral practice of science infects and is infected by society in a vicious circle. The answer to this is to present and interpret the history of science so that it can be seen in context and return to the original human project of discovering what constitutes the good life. This project is endless, rather than pointless as it is so often presented, because although there are ethical limitations on what we should do there are always choices to make. This may result in some people’s current or future needs no longer being met. This constitutes the tragedy of human existence but without it there could be no rejoicing in small mercies which is what makes life worthwhile and is the foundation of true happiness. What is required therefore is not a decision on whether human cloning should or should not be prohibited but rather a comprehensive review of scientific practice to re-introduce and re-value ethical mores. This must be done by choosing a past and a future that has ethical intelligibility. So, yes, narrative based ethics can not only provide a framework but is in fact the only way that the ethical issues of human cloning can be intelligibly discussed.

Epilogue


In Brave New World there are two societies: a rigid work orientated mass produced society kept happy by the use of soma; and a wild, brutish culture that lives outside the walls where people are free to do as they wish. Both are tragic in their own way but we aspire as a society towards freedom and it is the tragedy of the somatized that is the more poignant: perhaps because it is closer to the truth.

Bibliography


  1. Aristotle, The Nichomachean Ethics, Oxford World’s Classics, OUP, 1998.

  2. Editorial in The Lancet, The Ethics Industry, Volume 350, Number 9082, 27 September 1997

  3. Editor's choice, Western medicine: a confidence trick driven by the drug industry?, BMJ 2002;325 ( 3 August )

  4. Gadamer, H. Apologia for the Art of Healing in Gadamer, H., The Enigma of Health Oxford: Polity Press 1996.

  5. Habermas, J., Science and Technology as Ideology, Exert from Toward a Rational Society, translated by Shapiro, J., Heinemann, 1971.

  6. Heidegger, M. The Question Concerning Technology, in Krell, D.F. (ed.), Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, RKP 1978.

  7. Husserl, E., The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, Part II, From trans. Carr, D. Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1970.

  8. Illich, I. Limits to Medicine. Penguin, London 1990.

  9. Jonsen, A.R. & Toulmin, S.T., The Abuse of Casuistry, University of California Press, 1988.

  10. Kant, I., What is Enlightenment?: http://eserver.org/philosophy/kant/what-is-enlightenment.txt

  11. MacIntyre, A., After Virtue, Duckworth. Second (corrected) Edition (with Postscript), London 1985.

  12. Mynihan, Ray et al, Selling Sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering, BMJ Volume 324 13 April 2002.

  13. Oakeshott, M., Rationalism in Politics and other essays, Methuen, London, 1962.

  14. Rachels, J., The Elements of Moral Philosophy, McGraw-Hill, 1999. Third Edition,

  15. Ricoeur, P. Life in Quest of Narrative, in Wood, D. (ed.), On Paul Ricoeur London: Routledge 1991.

  16. Rollin, B., The Frankenstein Syndrome, Cambridge University Press, 1995.

  17. Select Committee on Stem Cell Research Report © Parliamentary copyright 2002.

  18. Shelley, M., Frankenstein (or, the Modern Prometheus), Guild Publishing London, 1980.

  19. Sokolowski, R., Introduction to phenomenology. CUP 2000.

  20. Verhoog, H. Morality and the Naturalness of Transgenic Animals, First Draft 1993. Paper presented at the Summer conference of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Sciences of Biology, Boston, July 1993.

  21. Warnock, M A Question of Life, Oxford, 1985. Blackwell Publishers. Crown Copyright 1984.

1 Habermas, J., Science and Technology as Ideology, Exert from Toward a Rational Society, translated by Shapiro, J., Heinemann, 1971.

2 Cf. Locke’s theory of property where the ownership of property passes to whoever mixes their labour with it

3 Select Committee on Stem Cell Research Report APPENDIX 6 © Parliamentary copyright 2002 to be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldstem/83/8316.htm#note72

4 Warnock, M A Question of Life, Oxford, 1985. Blackwell Publishers. Crown Copyright 1984.

5 Ibid. Pg. xvi.

6 Ibid. Pg. viii.

7 Ricoeur, P. Life in Quest of Narrative, in Wood, D. (ed.), On Paul Ricoeur London: Routledge 1991.

8 Warnock, M A Question of Life, Oxford, 1985. Blackwell Publishers. Crown Copyright 1984. Section 12.11-12.14.

9 Ibid. Pg. viii.

10 Ibid. Pg. ix.

11 Ibid. Pg. xi.

12 Ibid. Pg. xiii.

13 Ibid. Pg. xv.

14 Ibid. Pg. xv

15 Ibid. Pg. xvi.

16 Ibid. Pg. xvi.

17 Select Committee on Stem Cell Research Report APPENDIX 6 © Parliamentary copyright 2002 to be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldstem/83/8316.htm#note72

18 Select Committee on Stem Cell Research Report Chapter 1 to be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldstem/83/8302.htm

19 Summary Of Conclusions And Recommendations, Paragraph 3, to be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/cgi-bin/htm_hl?DB=ukparl&STEMMER=en&WORDS=stem+cell+research+&COLOUR=Red&STYLE=&URL=/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldstem/83/8310.htm#muscat_highlighter_first_match

20 Warnock, M A Question of Life, Oxford, 1985. Blackwell Publishers. Crown Copyright 1984. Pg. viii.

21 Habermas, J., Science and Technology as Ideology, Exert from Toward a Rational Society, translated by Shapiro, J., Heinemann, 1971.

22 Select Committee on Stem Cell Research Report APPENDIX 6, Paragraph 2, © Parliamentary copyright 2002 to be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldstem/83/8316.htm#note72

23 Editorial in The Lancet, The Ethics Industry, Volume 350, Number 9082, 27 September 1997

24 Rwanda, Bosnia etc.

25 Heidegger, M. The Question Concerning Technology, in Krell, D.F. (ed.), Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, RKP 1978. Pg.322.

26 Kant, I., What is Enlightenment?, to be found at http://eserver.org/philosophy/kant/what-is-enlightenment.txt

27 Ibid.

28 Rollin, B., The Frankenstein Syndrome, Cambridge University Press, 1995.

29 Mynihan, Ray et al, Selling Sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering, BMJ Volume 324 13 April 2002. Pg. 886-890

30 Rachels, J., The Elements of Moral Philosophy, McGraw-Hill, 1999. Third Edition, Pg.14-15

31 Illich, I. Limits to Medicine. Penguin, London 1990.

32 Ibid.

33 Select Committee on Stem Cell Research Report APPENDIX 6, Paragraph 2, © Parliamentary copyright 2002 to be found at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200102/ldselect/ldstem/83/8316.htm#note72

34 Ibid.

35 Chadwick, R., Personal communication

36 Ricoeur, P. Life in Quest of Narrative, in Wood, D. (ed.), On Paul Ricoeur London: Routledge 1991.

37 Chadwick, R., Personal communication

38 MacIntyre, A., After Virtue, Duckworth. Second (corrected) Edition (with Postscript), London 1985. Pg. 205

39 Verhoog, H., Morality and the Naturalness of Transgenic Animals, First Draft 1993, Pg. 7. Paper presented at the Summer conference of the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Sciences of Biology, Boston, July 1993.

40 I shall always refer to this knowledge as episteme to distinguish it from my use of the word science to describe its contemporary practice.

41 Aristotle, The Nichomachean Ethics, Oxford World’s Classics, OUP, 1998. Pg. 140.

42 Ibid. Pg. 144

43 Oakeshott, M., Rationalism in Politics and other essays, Methuen, London, 1962. Pg. 1-37.

44 Jonsen, A.R. & Toulmin, S.T., The Abuse of Casuistry, University of California Press, 1988. Pg. 26

45 Gadamer, H. Apologia for the Art of Healing in Gadamer, H., The Enigma of Health Oxford: Polity Press 1996. Pg. 31-44.

46 MacIntyre, A., After Virtue, Duckworth. Second (corrected) Edition (with Postscript), London 1985. Pg. 209

47 Husserl, E., The Crisis of the European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, Part II, From trans. Carr, D. Evanston, Northwestern University Press, 1970, Pg.46.

48 http://www.lancs.ac.uk/depts/philosophy/d04bl2.htm, Pg. 7.

49 Oakeshott, M., Rationalism in Politics and other essays, Methuen, London, 1962. Pg. 1-37.

50 Habermas, J., Science and Technology as Ideology, Exert from Toward a Rational Society, translated by Shapiro, J., Heinemann, 1971. Pg. 357.

51 Ibid. Pg. 354.

52 Ibid. Pg. 354

53 Ibid. Pg. 365.

54 I would not suggest that all such diagnoses are erroneous or that all existing diagnoses are sufficient to explain all illnesses, or that existing diagnoses are necessarily more legitimate than new ones. However, as Ivan Illich has pointed out, it is all good business. Illich, I. Limits to Medicine. Penguin, London 1990

55 Shelley, M., Frankenstein (or, the Modern Prometheus), Guild Publishing London, 1980.

56 Editor's choice, Western medicine: a confidence trick driven by the drug industry?, BMJ 2002;325 ( 3 August )

57 MacIntyre, A., After Virtue, Duckworth. Second (corrected) Edition (with Postscript), London 1985. Pg. 216

58 Sokolowski, R., Introduction to phenomenology. CUP 2000. Pg. 130-145


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