What It Means to Be HumanBook - 2004
Shakespeare, The Tempest
New scientific developments are changing the world, but whether the world of our children and grandchildren will be the hell of Huxley's Brave New World or the sheltered paradise described by Shakespeare depends on how we choose to use these developments.
That choice will frequently be driven by our appreciation of what human beings really are. In this thought-provoking book Pete Moore presents an antidote to the scientific reductionism that so frequently seeks to narrow any definition of our species by single features, such as our genes or the ability of our brains. This exploration of the nature of humanity reveals the rainbow spectrum that makes us who we are. Through discussions with individuals whose lives help us to focus on individual aspects of our make up, Moore explores the difficult issues that are facing us.
This book provides a timely reminder that technology cannot be separated from its impact on real people and how their lives are changed for the better or worse. Medical developments offer tremendous opportunities for good, but if we lose sight of what it is to be human they also have the ability to be used for very dangerous, even evil purposes. We have a chance to influence this future. We should not ignore the challenge.
DR PETE MOORE is a medical journalist and an official rapporteur at Windsor Castle and the House of Lords. He is the author of Blood and Justice (0470 848421, Hbk / 0470 84844 8 Pbk).