Verantwoordelikheid en die nuwe genetiese tegnologiee : filosofiese perspektiewe op die relevansie van 'n etiek van verantwoordelikheid vir morele besinning oor kloning en stamselnavorsing

Dick, Liezl (2008-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: New genetic technologies (e.g. stem-cell research, gene-therapies and cloning) raise some of the most enigmatic moral problems in the field of bioethics. My aim in this thesis is to explore the philosophical and ethical significance of the idea of an “ethics of responsibility” (as, particularly, developed in the work of Hans Jonas, Zygmunt Bauman and Emmanuel Levinas) for moral reflection on these problems. “Ethics of responsibility” is a new approach to ethics that represents an alternative to both rule morality (where moral action is identified with the application of rules) and utilitarianism (where moral action is identified with establishing the best consequences for the most people). Rule morality has the serious shortcoming of being unable to deal with real and actual moral dilemmas, and of being unclear as to which rule applies in which situation. Utilitarianism has the serious shortcoming of often being way too counter-intuitive: deeds that we normally find morally abhorrent, such a lying, stealing and even torturing can, within the utilitarian calculus, sometimes be justified. The notion of an ethics of responsibility has been promoted by the mentioned authors both to counter the simplistic idea that a rule exists in terms of which every moral action can be determined, but also to counter the crassness of the utilitarian calculus. It represents an approach to ethics in which the interests of the other are taken as seriously as possible within the confines of the situation in which action is called for. My aim is to explore this approach critically, and to invesitgate its desirability, applicability and efficacy with particular reference to the moral problems raised by the new genetic technologies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Nuwe genetiese tegnologieë bv stamselnavorsing en kloning, opper enigmatiese morele probleme binne die veld van bio-etiek. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om die filosofiese en etiese belang van die idee van “ ‘n etiek van verantwoordelikheid” (soos dit in die werk van Hans Jonas, Zygmunt Bauman en Emmaneul Levinas ontwikkel is) vir morele refleksie van hierdie probleme te ondersoek. ‘n Etiek van verantwoordelikheid is ‘n nuwe benadering binne etiek wat ‘n alternatief daarstel vir onderskeidelik utilitarisme (waar ‘n moreel korrekte aksie dié aksie is wat die beste gevolge vir die meeste mense tot stand bring) en deontologie of reël-moraliteit (waar ‘n moreel korrekte aksie dié aksie is wat die morele reëls gehoorsaam). Albei hierdie tradisionele etiese teorie beskik oor tekortkominge. Utilitarisme voer byvoorbeeld aan dat ‘n aksie wat gewoonlik as kontraintuitief beskou word, moreel korrek is. Aksies soos steel, die vertel van leuens en marteling kan volgens die utilitaristiese beskouing moreel regverdig word. Deontologie slaag weer nie daarin om sinvol met werklike en aktuele morele probleme om te gaan nie, en dit is dikwels onduidelik watter morele reël voorkeur moet kry wanneer dit op ‘n morele dilemma toegepas word. ‘n Etiek van verantwoordelikheid wat deur bogenoemde outeurs voorgestaan word, bied ‘n alternatief vir die simplisitese idee dat vaste morele reël bestaan wat op ‘n universele wyse kan bepaal wanneer ‘n aksie moreel reg of verkeerd is. ‘n Etiek van verantwoordelikheid beweeg ook weg van die kras benadering van utilitarisme, en bied ‘n maak ruimte vir ‘n meer komplekse, genuanseerde benadering tot die etiese problematiek. Dit verskaf ‘n benadering tot etiek waar die belange van die ander binne die etiese besluitnemingsproses, ernstig opgeneem word. Die doel van hierdie tesis is om die tradisionele etiese teorie krities te benader, waarna die toepasbaarheid en effektiwiteit van ‘n etiek van verantwoordelikheid, ondersoek sal word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21775
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