How does scientific knowledge affect religous ethics?
First component: Read Clayton’s Religion and Science – Chapter 8
Second component: Compose your reflection essay (minimum of 400 words) and post it on the discussion board
Your reflection essay should respond to one of the following sets of discussion questions:
Formulate your own responses to the five urgent ethical issues you have been reading about: stem cell research, modifying our genes, treatment of patients at the end of life (euthanasia), the rights of human subjects in experiments, and warfare technologies. Which one is the hardest for you to answer, and which one is easiest? In what ways do your religious or anti-religious views play a role in the way that you answer?
Do you find yourself able to give definitive answers to the ethical problems considered in this chapter, or do you see only multiple shades of gray? Name some ethical dilemmas where a person’s religious values might lead to a definitive answer, and others where you would say that the answer is relative to the context and persons involved. What makes the difference between these two different kinds of cases?
What role should religion play in public ethical debates, such as those surrounding warfare technology or the use of the new CRISPR technology? Is it better to separate government and religion when making ethical decisions, or can religion play an important role in national debates about burning ethical issues in these fields? Why should people in ‘secular’ contexts take religious arguments seriously?
How does scientific knowledge affect religous ethics? In the end-of-life debate, for example, to what extent should the results of a brain scan determine how we respond to a person in a coma? Are there any religious ethical commitments that ‘trump’ scientific data? If so, what are they, and why do they ‘trump’ in this way?
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