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Biocentrism and Artificial Life

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Biocentrism maintains that all living creatures have moral standing, but need not claim that all have equal moral significance. This moral standing extends to organisms generated through human interventions, whether by conventional breeding, genetic engineering, or synthetic biology. Our responsibilities with regard to future generations seem relevant to non-human species as well as future human generations and their quality of life. Likewise the Precautionary Principle appears to raise objections to the generation of serious or irreversible changes to the quality of life of non-human species. Objections to the application of all this to new life-forms produced by synthetic biology are considered and addressed from a biocentric perspective. The bearing of biocentrism on religions is also considered, together with contrasting views about science, religion and the creation of life.

Keywords: artificial life; biocentrism; creation; flourishing; future generations; precautionary principle; religion

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-02-01

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  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2015) of 1.311.
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