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Introduction to the Project on Bioethics for Informed Choices - page 20 / 115





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550Challenges for Bioethics from Asia


Leavitt: I enjoyed the story. My comment is that we Jews are not allowed to eat pig. We are allowed to touch them, to do anything, we can even have xenotransplantation, but not to eat them. Islam is different. But I won’t comment on that.  Second, if Jerry were neither Jewish, Islamic or Vegetarian, would he eat Bibi?

De Castro: I refuse to answer on grounds that I might offend some people.

Pollard: This is one of the most exciting papers. I think that it is really important that these things should be started early. I was thinking about the title, how about philosophy for and by children because they have so much to teach us.

De Castro: There’s been actually a lot of discussion about the title for this discipline. Some philosophers say, why not philosophy with children, for children, or among children and so on.

Pollard: Because children have an innate sense of justice and can observe things really well. So it would be good to teach this class to children before they are indoctrinated by the environment.  They have so much to tell us and I think that the title should express this position.

De Castro: Yes, I agree with you.

Aksoy: Regarding the use of pigs, and you can confirm this with Islamic religious scholars, pig can not be used as products, but it can be used for xenotransplantation if it is the only way to save lives. Second, thank you for your excellent talk, it is as good as the previous talks that I have heard from you for the past ten years.  I would also like to change my former position on teaching bioethics to children. I think if this is the way you teach bioethics, it can really be taught. So it is very important how bioethics is presented.

De Castro: Thank you.

Miller: I would just like to introduce a little of dispute. Your method of teaching is wonderful and clearly that’s an excellent way to teach children. What concerns me is how you evaluate this and its effectiveness and your use and other people’s use of polemic and statements that we don’t know are necessarily correct. For example, children have a lot to teach; for example, children need to know this or don’t need to know this- this may or may not be correct but the fact is that by making these statements as if they were and working on that assumption, and that concerns me, because if we do that, we dumb down what our final aim should be.

Wawrzyniak: There are two things about your presentation that I would like to comment on. First, is that we must be careful that when we talk to children, we have to be careful not to mislead them.  Second, is that xenotransplantation also has a biologically potential harm, not just ethical ones.

De Castro: Philosophy for children is a growing discipline. Discussions have gone on about the points that you have raised. And there are various views about how to evaluate, and discussions still go on. The accuracy of curricular content is something that needs to be discussed properly and discussed with scientists. There is always danger, but that danger is something that exists not only in children but even in a group such as this. We go on talking about a lot of things such as cloning, but I’m sure that a number people here have different notions about the science behind different practices. Many of us, I’m sure, have the wrong views about what is going on in science, but we go on anyway and we must be clear about the exactness of the science upon which our discussions take place. So, that was a valid observation. And what I’m only saying is that what we can make about children, we should make also with adults. That’s how we learn about these things and translate from children learning to adult learning.

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