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Price: $25.00


Publisher: Wipf and Stock

H. Tristram Engelhardt, JR.


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Bioethics and Secular Humanism - The Search for a Common Morality

Bioethics is vitally important in our day because it represents the critical expression of interest in the proper use of medical science to provide health care. Secular humanism is important because it is a central factor in constructing a common morality that does not make special appeal to such things as religious assumptions.

The argument of this book, therefore, will be of profound interest to all who are concerned for the well-being of humanity in today's world.

Imagine, the author says, Roman Catholics and committed atheists disputing over proper abortion policies. Imagine individuals who wish to organize a for-profit surrogate mother service, confronting individuals who view such endeavors as exploitation of women. To what moral premise do they appeal? Are power and influence the deciding factors, or is it possible to establish certain principles to which all may appeal?



Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

I Secular Humanism, Bioethics, and the Post-Modern World 1

1 Secular Humanism: A Critical Reception 1

2 The Weakening of Traditional Religious Controls on Western Society 4

3 Post-Modernity 5

4 Bioethics and Secular Humanism 9

5 Pluralism: An Embarrassment of Riches 12

6 Towards a Common Bioethics 15

II The Secular as a Neutral Framework 20

1 The Concept of the Secular 20

2 Seven Senses of Secularity 22

3 The Secular as a Neutral Moral Framework for Health Care 31

4 The Yuppie as Prophet of a Secular Tradition for Health Care 33

5 Towards a Secular Vision of Health Care Delivery 40

III Humanism, Humaneness, and the Humanities 43

1 A Cluster of Visions 43

2 Human Thought and Human Form: The Historical Roots of Humanism 52

3 Zeal for the Divine versus Zeal for Humanitas: Competing Bases for Heath Care Policy 61

4 Human Well-being in Human Terms 69

5 The Medical Humanities 80

IV Competing Foundations for Bioethics and Health Care Policy 87

1 The Two Secular Humanisms 87

2 The Particular, the Parochial, and the Universal: Competing Visions of Human Well-being 98

V A Secular Health Care Policy: Of This World but not Opposed to the Other 102

1 The Secular and the Religious 102

2 The Death of God, the Death of Man, and the Death of Nature 111

3 The Will to Morality: Coming to Terms with Nihilism and Relativism in the Post-Modern Era 118

4 Health and Medicine in a Secular Humanist Perspective 126

5 Secular Humanism After the Death of Man 138

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