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The Moral Status of Artificial Life

Bernard Baertschi

Environmental Values 21 (2012): 5-18. doi: 10.3197/096327112X13225063227907

ABSTRACT

Recently at the J. Craig Venter Institute, a microorganism has been created through synthetic biology. In the future, more complex living beings will very probably be produced. In our natural environment, we live amongst a whole variety of beings. Some of them have moral status - they have a moral importance and we cannot treat them in just any way we please -; some do not. When it becomes possible to create artificially living beings who naturally possess moral status, will this artificiality modify their status? Many people contend that it will, but I am not of the same mind and will develop three arguments against it.


KEYWORDS

Moral status, intrinsic value, artificial life, moral responsibility

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: The Ethics of Engineering. John O’Neill


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