Moral Content, Tradition, and Grace: Rethinking the Possibility of a Christian Bioethics
Engelhardt, H. Tristram
Christian Bioethics. 1995 Mar; 1(1): 29-47.
Birth, suffering, disability, disease and death were by medicine's successes placed within a context of seemingly novel challenges that cried out for new responses. Secular bioethics rose in response to the demands of these new biomedical technologies in the context of culture fragmented in moral pluralism. While secular bioethics promised to unite persons separated by diverse religious and moral assumption, this is a promise that could not be fulfilled. Reason alone cannot provide canonical, content-full moral guidance or justify a moral community capable of binding all persons. Christian bioethics, as part of a way of life enbedded in authentic worship, offers content, meaning and understanding where secular bioethics has failed. For Christians, resolution of bioethical controversies will not be found through appeals to foundational rational arguments or isolated scriptural quotations, but only in a Christian community united in authentic faith.
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