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Document Details :
Author(s): PATTYN, Bart
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Date: March 2005
People hope that their efforts will count towards the fulfilment of a fundamental duty, a just struggle, or a hopeful development. While such an affirmation will hearten them, conversely a negation will mean injury or humiliation. This is perhaps the reason why in each community, certain projects become idealised, and take the form of new dreams at every turn. These dreams give people courage and self-confidence. Where this sort of justifying project traditionally had an explicitly religious character, in latter days they often stand under the sign of economic progress, or of one or another hope-giving technological development. Once a project has acquired this inspirational character in a community, it will face very little criticism and will in political addresses, or academic statements of intent often be treated with staggering solemnity. If ethicists do not wish to portray reality as more rosy than it is, they must take the critique of ideology seriously. This at least seems to be the conviction of Lars Reuter, who believes that the discourse in which biotechnology appears as a most promising science may be shown as a contemporary example of a platform used for giving meaning.