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FleshFactor: For Your Information



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A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"
(http://www.aec.at/fleshfactor/arch/)
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If you will recall, a little over a month ago I directed your attention to
an article by Tom Wolfe entitled "Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died" 
<http://www.forbes.com/asap/120296/html/tom_wolfe.htm>.  Wolfe surveys
the  recent popular awareness of neuroscience and genetics--the wonders,
the threats. 

Considering these recent threats to the soul, it is perhaps reassuring to
read the following Associated Press news item published last week in the
Toronto Globe and Mail: 

"Human cloning would not result in identical souls because only God can
create a soul, a panel set up by the Pope has concluded.  The Pontifical
Academy of Life said the spiritual soul, "the constitutive kernel" of
every human created by God, cannot be produced through cloning.  The
panel's reflections were released yesterday by the Vatican, which has long
forbidden any kind of artificial fertilization or human cloning
to create new beings.  The panel expressed concern that cloned humans
would pay the price psychically for being aware of the "real, or even only
'virtual' presence of his 'other.'"  The academy called for cultural,
social and legislative efforts to stop any human-cloning project." 

No kidding, this was a real press release from the Vatican.

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In another quite different 'spiritual' or philosophical sideline (or twist)
to our discussion, may I call your attention to the TechnoRomantix website: 

http://www.itp.tsoa.nyu.edu/~yorb/BT/tekrompage.html

While their opening statement implies that their rather dry spirtualism is a
form of contemporary romanticism:  "TechoRomanticsm is an optimistic view
about technology, despite all of the seemingly negative effects that come
with it. To hold this view, one might be described as a romantic, a believer
in human spirit, slightly or perhaps greatly "nigh-eve"." -- the
TechnoRomantix do go on to elaborate on topics like "Technology Enhancing
Spirituality" as part of a whole range of strangely understated observations
about the definition of humanity in a technological era (i.e. using 
machines and the machine metaphor to examine humanity). 

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Thanks very much to those sending us this kind of information.  Keep those
cards and letters (and of course e-mail) coming to FleshFactor. 


Tom Sherman, moderator, FleshFactor Net-Symposium

from Linz, Austria, June 30, 1997 



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