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Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness [Paperback]

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Item description for Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness by President's Council on Bioethics...

This clear, concise, and groundbreaking report examines the reach, and potential, of biotechnology in every aspect of our daily life. Healthy children, superior physical performance, age longevity, overall happiness---our desires and the emerging means to fulfill them raise a host of ethical challenges. Accompanied by a foreword by Leon R. Kass, an introduction by renowned columnist William Safire, and additional comments from member scientists on the President's Council on Bioethics, this report considers those possibilities in all their breadth and complexity.

"Most government reports . . . are guaranteed to put you to sleep at night. This one will keep you awake."---Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal

"Draws attention to the power of commercial enterprise to shape people's desires."---Nicolas Wade, New York Times

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Item Specifications...

Pages   400
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.8" Width: 6" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   1.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 4, 2003
Publisher   Dana Press
ISBN  1932594051  
ISBN13  9781932594058  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Medicine > General
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Engineering > Bioengineering > Biotechnology
4Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Biological Sciences > Biotechnology
5Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Evolution > Genetics
6Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Biotechnology
7Books > Subjects > Science > Evolution > Genetics
8Books > Subjects > Science > General
9Books > Subjects > Science > History & Philosophy > Science

Reviews - What do customers think about Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness?

Garbage of A THEOCRAT  Apr 8, 2006
Leon R. Kass, M.D., P.h.D., is chairman of the 'President' George W. Bush's Council on Bioethics. This book was intelligently written without any reference to religion but the whole underlying message was "Do not touch Gods property even if it means healing the sick." These religious fundamentalists will do anything to STUNT us in our pursuits of happiness. This guy is for KEEPING PARALYZED PEOPLE PARALYZED. "Dr." Kass is for KEEPING AMPUTEES AMPUTATED. He's for KEEPING the depressed and suicidal DEPRESSED AND SUICIDAL. Ill spare you the bull and say what Dr. Kass really wants to say - "I want you to follow Jesus with all your heart no matter how much pain and suffering you are in. If God made you depressed than thats how you should be. If God made you paralyzed then thats how you should be. If you are miserable in your existance then thats obviously how God wants you to be and thats how you will be with our new conservative laws that will effectively ban progress to help people". For this is the ONLY real argument you can use to support the banning of progress designed to help humans. - He wants everyone to follow the 'divine' rule of sanctity of life, not quality of life - an ugly ethic for a very stupid man.
A first - rate consideration of the human condition  Jun 30, 2004
This work goes well beyond the framework of a President's Commission Report to be an informative and challenging inquiry into the current state of biotechnological research , and its philosophical implications. It considers in separate chapters the work that is being done to increase human performance- level in sport, to as it were `produce better children', to prolong and increase the quality of human life, and to bring us closer to ` human happiness'. The tone of this work is measured and responsible, the information presented that which has been weighed and tested. Above all in considering each of these areas the debate is carried on with a broad- minded and deep consideration of the meaning of what it is to be human. Thus there is neither the ` gung-ho' utopianism of certain kinds of over- optimistic futurists, nor the paralyzing pessimism of various over- protectors of their own narrow conceptions of the human past. In each of the areas a balanced discussion provides the reader, not with definite and final answers to the problems and possibilities raised, but with suggestions for thought.
We have long since learned that scientific and technological advances usually have their ` price' in one way or another. Here trade-offs in the various areas are made explicit. The new technology which enables us to decide upon the sex of the child has already let to tremendous imbalances in among other areas, the populations of China and India. The prolonging of life is in many cases the prolonging of what seems to be senseless suffering. The ability to enhance moods through chemical means raises the question of what happiness means when it is devoid of the context of human relationship. The possibility of prolonging life indefinitely raises the question of what this might mean for future generations , and the whole spirit of renewal that the birth of a new generation gives to the world.
Leon Kass a moral thinker of the first order, and the director of this enterprise has often been unjustly accused of being a ' super- conservative' and even' fundamentalist'. Such nonsense does not do justice either to Kass impressive scholarly enterprise, or to the great human feeling and consideration with which he approaches these subject. It seems to me that his position is much closer to that of what might be called a traditional liberal meliorist, who is looking to see how the human condition can be improved without those improvements leading to its radical undermining. His understanding in this sense of the place of the family and of human relations in the good life, and in happiness starkly contrast him with those ivory- tower ` transhumanists' and ` cyber- champions' who would replace mankind with their own solipsistic minds.
This is an important work not for its definite conclusions but for the serious contribution it makes to the ongoing quest of humanity to understand itself and define and realize its varying conceptions of the good life.
A Fundamentalist Christian's View of Biotechnology  May 22, 2004
This book is just Leon Klass's latest treatise on all the possible (but not necessarily probable) negative aspects of biological research and progress.

Leon Klass was appointed by George W. Bush as his "Bioethics" committee board chairman - and Leon quickly filled the board with other right-wing christian fundamentalists. To assuage concerns that the board was just a group designed to rubber stamp Bush's foregone conservative opinions he added Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn to the board - a well known scientist out of UC Berkeley.

When it became clear that Dr. Blackburn was too vociferous in her defense of the many benefits to humanity of gene therapy, genetic engineering, stem cell research, etc. - Leon Klass fired her from the board.

Leon Klass is well known for his long history of anti-biotechnology diatribes - including one in which he extols the virtues of a short life (saying that people who want a longer, healthier life are greedy and devaluing the experience of life).

If you choose to read this book - be sure to balance the opinions of this extreme Right fundamentalist - with some modern researchers and ethicists - such as Gregory Stock (UCLA), and John Brockman (see the book The Next Fifty Years : Science in the First Half of the Twenty-first Century).

If you care about helping anyone with Cancer, Alzheimers, Diabetes - or any other serious disease that could potentially be helped by stem cell treatments - you probably won't want to adopt the views of Leon Klass. If Leon Klass' opinions continue to be put into law (as was the Stem Cell ban) progress will slow to a crawl in the US biotech industry and many people will die early deaths due to delayed treatments.

The essential reader on bioethics  Apr 6, 2004
Comprehensive bodyof work detailing the current debates in biotech
Will be standard reference for the field  Dec 19, 2003
This is a through and comprehensive study of the issues, more than 300 pages with ample references. The report is organized into sections covering the following topics: Biotechnology and the pursuit of happiness; Better children; Superior performance; Ageless bodies; Happy souls; General reflections. The text was carefully prepared, various viewpoints on each issue are brought in, and the writing is very clear.

The membership of the Council that prepared this report is outstanding. It is one of the best ever assembled to study a scientific policy issue. Thirteen of the seventeen members hold named professorships at leading universities. Their expertise covers the full range of relevant fields, from basic biology through clinical medicine to philosophy, religion and law.

The volume is very timely, given widespread concern over the reappearance of eugenics in recent years. All who are interested in the impact of biotechnology on human life should read this volume.


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