Thursday, June 07, 2012
Nathan Van Camp on the question concerning biotechnology.
The essence of modern science, Heidegger argues, reveals itself in the victory of the scientific method over science, because it is the method that determines in advance which phenomena are experimentally accessible and which ones are not. For Heidegger the victory of the scientific method manifests itself pre-eminently in what was at the time considered to be the science of the future, namely cybernetics. Cybernetics – from the Greek kybernētēs, steersman – only accepts the reality of information flows between different systems and subsystems. Significantly, it does not differentiate between organic and inorganic systems. In cybernetics it is assumed that both are steered by the same basic principle, namely the feedback loop of information. It is by applying these principles to the study of the human body, Heidegger argues, that the life sciences discovered that the germ cell contains the information that regulates the living character of human beings [Das Lebendige im Leben des Menschen], their “life plan” [Lebensplan], so to speak. It is by gaining access to this information that “one day we will be able to techno-scientifically produce and breed human beings.” However, the problem with this biotechnological future as projected by what Heidegger calls “futurology” [Futurologie] is that it is merely a “stretched present” [eine verlängerte Gegenwart]. Biotechnology remains a project of the epoch of subjectivity, but it strangely enough ignores the fact that its accomplishment will actually nullify the distinction between subject and object.
For me, this paper is an outstanding piece of contemporary theologizing. No references to the divine are made, and yet the sources for our Western notions of the divine are fully present.

For me, the issue becomes, "What do you worship?" Human action without limit? Or an inspired understanding of limits?
Based on empirical research, overheard round mall, I have found that most worship the deity Awesome.

I take that to be a neologism for thaumazein, provisionally.
Maybe so, but the competition from OMG! remains in contention.
"For me, the issue becomes, "What do you worship?" Human action without limit? Or an inspired understanding of limits?"

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