Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity is largely a collection of previously published.
In this book the Chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics,.
Leon Kass, sorts out the ehtics of new biotechnological breakthroughs and explains how.
biotechnology is starting to threaten our human dignity. According to Kass biotechnology has allowed many of us to live longer and healthier lives, but at the same time some have threatened to technologically alter our humanity.
In this book all Kass assesses all of the major issues in biotechnology, such as: cloning and stem cell research, in vitro fertilization and organ transplantation, euthansia and end of life decisions, and many other recent developments. Kass also discusses some of the questions biotechnology faces, such as: What is the moral status of the human embryo? Should there be limits to where we are heading in biology?.
Kass begins his book with a reflection on "the problem of technology and liberal democracy." The two are somewhat linked together. While technological progress assumes the kind of intellectual and economic freedom that liberal democracy ensures, liberal societies must rely on technology for assistance. We look towards technology for healthy foods, everyday electronics, and right now improved military technologies. Although technological progress has its benefits, it also has its consequences. As Kass shows, the greatest problem posed by today's "brace new biology" doesn't come from the technologies it produces, but rather from the scientific view from which it is derived. Kass say, " the benevolent uses of humanitarian technologies often have serious unintended and undesired consequences." .