Human Flourishing and Contentment in a Biotechnological Context

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Abstract

Flourishing and contentment are connected but distinct. In Christian perspective, the goal of human enhancement is not conducive to human flourishing, whereas a therapeutic approach to the body is. However, the virtue of contentment means willingness to forgo even therapeutic treatment under certain circumstances. This article attempts to argue for these conclusions with reference to the contrast between the natural and the transhuman and by considering the significance of disability and the church as the body of Christ.

Keywords: contentment, enhancement, flourishing, nature, therapy, transhumanism

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Cite as: Stephen Williams, “Human Flourishing and Contentment in a Biotechnological Context,” Ethics & Medicine 37, no. 2–3 (2021): Early Access.

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About the Author

Stephen N. Williams, PhD
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Stephen N. Williams, is Honorary Professor of Theology at Queen's University, Belfast, and Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He earned his Ph.D. from Yale University, and has published in the areas of theology and intellectual history. His most recent book is on the occasion of the four hundredth anniversary of the birth of Blaise Pascal: A Thinking Reed: Pascal's Voice, Yesterday and Today (Wipf & Stock, 2023).

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