Liberal democracy and the genetic supermarket: autonomy and freedom in Jürgen Moltmann’s political theology and biotechnology.
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In this article, the concept of “liberal democracy” and its implications for biotechnology such as human genetic engineering will be examined. Liberal democracy is characterised by a number of features, some of which has extensive repercussions on biotechnology, especially concepts such as the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties, political freedom for all people and autonomy and libertarianism. Advocates of human genetic engineering for purposes other than the healing of genetically transmitted diseases often appeal to these features in the quest for its legalisation. I will examine whether the attributes of liberal democracy would indeed justify the use of this type of biotechnology and if yes, what a possible theological response would be, drawing on the political theology of Jürgen Moltmann.