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Ethics: The Fundamental Questions of Our Lives

by Wolfgang Huber Georgetown Univ Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 264 pages
AU$69.00 NZ$72.17
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In the twenty-first century the basic questions of ethics are no longer the abstract terms of ethical theory, but the concrete and burning issues related to the influence of life sciences, the impact of a globalized economy, and the consequences of present decisions for the future of humankind.

Ethics: The Fundamental Questions of Our Lives analyses twenty ethical issues that address education and culture, labour and economy, the environment and sustainability, democracy and cosmopolitanism, peace and war, and life and death. Each chapter describes a concrete example showing the relevance of the fundamental ethical question, then provides an explanation of how one can think through possible responses and reactions. Huber emphasizes the connections between personal, professional, and institutional ethics and demonstrates how human relationships lie at the center of our ethical lives. His aim is to articulate a theology of what he calls "responsible freedom" that transcends individualistic self-realization and includes communal obligations.

1.What is ethics about?
2. Life in Common: Does the family have a future?
3. Human Dignity: Is there such a thing as a "trial pregnancy"?
4. Handicap: Do we want the perfect human being?
5. Basic Needs: Isn't eating too a moral question?
6. Poverty: How is it possible to dismantle injustice?
7. Culture: Is there such a thing as cultural basic foodstuffs?
8. Conscience: Is it possible to learn freedom of conscience - and protect it?
9. Responsibility: How does one become a world citizen?
10. The information age: Do the media control us?
11. Work: Do we live in order to work?
12. Profit: What is the economy for?
13. Science: Are we permitted to do everything that we can in fact do?
14. Medicine: Is there a human right to health?
15. Politics: Is it possible to combine power and morality?
16. Tolerance: How much differentness can we take?
17. War and peace: How far does our responsibility go?
18. Intergenerational justice: What do we leave behind for those who come after us?
19. Old age: What does it mean to "honor your father and mother"?
20. Dying: When has the time come to die?
Index of Persons
Index of Subjects

Wolfgang Huber is a German theologian and ethicist who was professor of systematic theology at the University of Heidelberg and, later, bishop of the Evangelical Church in Germany. He retired in 2009. In 1989 he was a visiting professor at Emory University. A true public intellectual, Huber is the author and editor of numerous books, including Violence: The Unrelenting Assault on Human Dignity and Christian Belief.