Book Discussion on Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity

CSPAN, October 25, 2002.

Professor Leon Kass discussed his book Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics, published by Encounter Books, at the Commonwealth Club of California. According to Dr. Kass, modern biomedical technology is threatening to create a future reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. He believes that scientific effort to master cloning and stem cell research, reproduction, aging, and illness will result in a post-human future that will exclude humanity from the equation. Dr. Kass describes humanity as “our awareness of need, limitation, and mortality to craft a way of being that has engagement, depth, beauty, virtue, and meaning.” He calls for a new bioethics and a new biology that will take into account the not only the physical but the social, spiritual and psychological aspects of humanity as well. Following his presentation, Dr. Kass answered questions from members of the audience.