The relationship between Christianity and human enhancement/transhumanism was the focus of a two-day symposium hosted by Niagara University’s Ostapenko Center for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare Sept. 9-10, 2022. Experts in bioethics and Christian philosophy discussed both the opportunities and the risks of using science and technology to assist in human evolution during the event.
On Friday, Amy DeBeats from the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine explored the effects of increasing technological inequities through a theological lens, and Brent Waters of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary addressed the question of whether or not widespread pursuit of enhancement would threaten distinctly Christian virtues.
The following day, presentations by NU professor of philosophy and director of the Ostapenko Center for Ethics in Medicine and Healthcare Dr. James Delaney; David Hershenov from the University at Buffalo; Jeffery Bishop and Jason Eberl from Saint Louis University; and Jeanine Thweatt from Flagler College focused on topics including the ethical issues involved with human enhancement from the perspective of natural law theory; why Christians should reject extreme transhumanism; and whether or not biotechnology can enhance human flourishing.
This is the second symposium hosted by the center, which is dedicated to investigating the various ethical issues related to healthcare and medicine facing our local and global communities. The first event discussed the topic of Christianity and the doctor/patient relationship.