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Eclipse of Man

Human Extinction and the Meaning of Progress

Tomorrow has never looked better. Breakthroughs in fields like genetic engineering and nanotechnology promise to give us unprecedented power to redesign our bodies and our world. Futurists and activists tell us that we are drawing ever closer to a day when we will be as smart as computers, will be able to link our minds telepathically, and will live for centuries — or maybe forever. The perfection of a “posthuman” future awaits us. Or so the story goes. In reality, the rush toward a posthuman destiny amounts to an ideology of human extinction, an ideology that sees little of value...

Neither Beast nor God

The Dignity of the Human Person

Appeals to human dignity are at the core of many of the most contentious social and political issues of our time. But these appeals suggest different and at times even contradictory ways of understanding the term. Is dignity something we all share equally and therefore the reason we all ought to be treated as equals? Or is dignity what distinguishes some greater and more admirable human beings from the rest? What notion of human dignity should inform our private judgments and our public life? In Neither Beast nor God, Gilbert Meilaender elaborates the philosophical, social, theological, and political implications of the question of dignity, and...

In the Shadow of Progress

Being Human in the Age of Technology

We live in an age of unprecedented human mastery — over birth and death, body and mind, nature and human nature. In every realm of life, science and technology have brought remarkable advances and improvements: we are healthier, wealthier, and more comfortable than ever before. But our gratitude for the benefits of progress increasingly mixes with concern about the meaning and consequences of our newfound powers. If we can dream about a new age of genetic medicine, we can also shudder at a new age of weapons of mass destruction. As we welcome longer lives, we wonder if we will...

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