20 December 2007

Myopic Natural History, Continued

By way of follow-up, an excerpt from this recent article by Cardinal Schönborn sums up the key ideas of my post on A Short History of Nearly Everything:

As the philosopher Hans Jonas was writing his important work The Imperative of Responsibility (1979), it became clear to him that it makes no sense to speak of ethics and responsibility if there is no such thing as the spirit, the soul, reason, and free will. Genes do not assume responsibility. After all, they are not subject to judgment when they produce cancer cells. Animals also are not answerable to responsibility. Only human beings carry responsibility and must (finally before the judgment of God) give an account for their deeds.

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