Lutterworth Press to Release A GREATER FREEDOM By Stephan Kampowski
We live in a time when developments in bioethics and biotechnology mean that scientists are beginning to discover ways to slow down the ageing process and to cure previously incurable diseases in a bid to further alleviate the prospect of dying prematurely. The chief promise of biotechnology, therefore, is to increase our freedom 'by overcoming the limits of the human condition'. The greater freedom is not simply freedom from constraints but freedom for our destiny: the freedom to be the benevolent, responsible and spontaneous authors of our lives, capable of communion and love. This greater freedom is the touchstone for evaluating any biotechnological procedure.
It is a fear of death which, in turn, creates a 'culture of death'. As a result, we are left with a 'technological imperative', now an imperative of modern life, whereby anything that can be done about the problem of death, should be done.
In this volume Kampowski, drawing on the works of Hans Jonas, one of the pioneers and founding fathers of bioethics, and Jürgen Habermas, who applied Jonas's work to the current debate on bioethics, encourages the reader to see that this technological imperative, which provides humanity with nothing more than a 'utopian hope', serves no purpose other than to corrupt humanity, as it inspires us to live as if we are our own creators.
Biotechnology promises to provide us with greater freedom by giving us greater strength, more intelligence, and a longer life. However, Kampowski views this as fundamentally opposed to our human destiny, which he takes to be love. This is due to the reality that love cannot be manufactured by biotechnology which, he argues, diminishes our ability to love, thereby reducing our freedom. As such, Kampowski, bringing Jonas and Habermas, and other voices into conversation, helps us to realise that a philosophical case can be made against the technological imperative. In doing so, he encourages us to see the dystopic impact that utopian technology could have on humanity.
In an age where an alarmingly increasing number of people are hopeful that technology can help eradicate our inherent and fundamental fears, Kampowski's tome provides the perfect read for both Christians and non-Christians as it serves to remind people that the increase in technological ability does not necessarily improve our lives or increase our freedom. In fact, it could have the opposite effect.
A Greater Freedom: Biotechnology, Love, and Human Destiny
(In Dialogue with Hans Jonas and Jürgen Habermas)
By Stephan Kampowski
Due for pre-release: 27/02/2014
About the Author: Stephan Kampowski is Associate Professor of Philosophical Anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome. He is the author of Arendt, Augustine, and the New Beginning: The Action Theory and Moral Thought of Hannah Arendt in the Light of Her Dissertation on St. Augustine (2008).
About the Publisher: The Lutterworth Press has been trading since the eighteenth century and is one of the longest established and best-known independent publishers in the United Kingdom. It has been associated with James Clarke & Co. since 1984.