Abstract 摘要

Modern genetic technology improves the human ability to control and cure illnesses. But at the same time, it threatens the independence and freedom of humanity. So it is the duty of applied ethics to overcome this problem.

The modem Western idea of human dignity cannot deal with the problem. On one side, the modem Western idea regards mankind as independent and free individuals. It emphasizes the dignity of man. However, modem genetic technology provides new reasons to raise the bar. Modern genetic technology gives new support to eugenics, which enables mankind not only to control the evolution of living beings from the outside, but also to change them from the inside. It threatens deeply not only the independence, but also the dignity of man. If people are distinguished between “designer” and “designed”, the principle which assumes that all people should be equal will be destroyed.

On the other side, the modem Western idea regards man as the only one species that has initiative. Man can have the intention to change the world, but other beings cannot. This point makes those who accept the idea that science and technology can improve the world support eugenics. This will lead to disaster.

The ancient Chinese idea of human dignity presents a new way to deal with this problem. The ancient Chinese put more energy into their own cultivation of an ideological morality which expresses their dignity. This way is different from the Western way of conquering nature. The Chinese idea emphasizes the harmony between humanity and nature, and the idea that humans and nature become one, which will help humans overcome problems caused by modem genetic technology. We must understand that we should display dignity through our cultivation of an ideological morality, rather than appropriating power of God and nature.


現代西方關於人的尊嚴的觀念處理這樣一類問題。一方面,這些觀念把人看成是獨立自由的個體,從而強調人的尊嚴。但是,現代基因技術給種族歧視提供了新的理由。現代基因技術不再是對生命進化“外部”框架條件的控制,而是有目的地改變生命體的“內部”形成機制,從而給優生學提供新的支持。這不但威脅到人的獨立性,而且更深地威脅人的尊嚴! 如果人可以被區分為“設計者”以及“被設計者”,那麼假設“所有人生來平等”的原則就被摧毀了。

另一方面,現代西方觀念視人為唯一具有創造性的生物。人可以有目的地改造世界,而其他生物則作不到 。這一觀點使那些認為科學技術能改善世界的人熱烈支持基因優生學。最終,這一行為將導致大災難。