On the Incompatibility of Genetic Axioms with Axioms of Justice and Ethics: Requirement of a Third Space for Ethical Deliberation

Prof. Ross T. Barnard,
Mr David Turnbull
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Free will and individual responsibility are cornerstones of the justice system and widely accepted as axiomatic. In the present work we use predicate calculus to illustrate that there is a clash of assumptions between biological theory and these axioms of justice and ethics. This creates a conflict with the justice system, for from the assumption that self-consciousness and free will determines actions, punishment is legitimised whenever social, moral and legal norms are violated.If we accept that voluntarist and determinist assumptions are mutually exclusive and necessarily generate either separate or incoherent working spaces in current models, the discussion about such models requires a third space for deliberation. A third space for dialogue offers an opportunity to generate fresh approaches, with implications not only for re-modelling our current concepts of justice, but also for re-modelling our current approaches to science.

Keywords: Genetic Axioms, Justice, Third Space Turing Machine, Predicate Calculus
Stream: Politics, Public Policy and Law
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
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Prof. Ross T. Barnard

Biotechnology Program Coordinator, School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Ross Barnard is Associate Professor and Coordinator of
the Biotechnology Programme at the University of Queensland. He received his
PhD from the University of Queensland in 1990. He held a National Health and
Medical Research Council of Australia C.J. Martin fellowship at the University
of California and an NHMRC R.D. Wright fellowship at the University of
Queensland. He has had a stint in industry (as nucleic acids programme director
at Panbio Ltd., Brisbane) and is involved in basic and applied research in
academic and several industry collaborative projects in the fields of antibody
engineering, infectious disease diagnosis and cancer treatment. He has filed
several patents in the field of diagnostics and published more than 75 refereed
papers in molecular endocrinology, molecular biology, applications of
mathematics in biology and in knowledge and innovation management.

Mr David Turnbull

PhD candidate, Contemporary Studies, Ipswich Campus, The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Qld, Australia

David holds a BA in philosophy from UQ and a research MA in Applied Ethics from QUT. Since 1998 he has worked in bioethics for Queensland Advocacy Incorporated (QAI). His association with OPPE began in 2001 with the convening of BEING (Biotechnology and Ethics Interest Group). In June 2002 QAI and BEING jointly conducted a workshop which featured a wide variety of researchers in biotechnology and ethics. This was followed by a workshop in October 2002 “Genetics and Disability: Exploring Different Spaces, Different Futures” which brought together previously disparate groups from clinical genetics and the disability sector.

Ref: I06P0321