From Self-preservation to Human Enhancement


  • Michael Cheng-tek Tai Chungshan Medical University


moral duty of self-preservation, human enhancement, egoism, altruism


The ancient sages, both in the East and in the West, all taught that we should not harm others, rather we must love our neighbors. But what about loving oneself? In Jahr’s discussion on the 5th Commandment as an expression of the moral law, he talked about the duty of self-preservation. He said: ”… in Christian perspective every human life as such is morally sacred – including one’s own life. Preservation of life – and one’s own life not excluded – is a duty.“ This is an interesting statement. Looking at today’s world especially the progress of biomedical technology, human beings have attempted to preserve themselves through the bio-technological enhancement. Is it what Jahr means that we have a duty of self-preservation? This paper will discuss Jahr’s view on life preservation and also look at the ongoing debates of human enhancement in the world today.

Author Biography

Michael Cheng-tek Tai, Chungshan Medical University

chair professor

School of Medicine