Natureza e responsabilidade: Hans Jonas e a biologização do ser moral
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The challenge of Hans Jonas s philosophy lies in thinking of an ethics for the technological civilization. As he recognizes that modern technology, instead of being a vocation or an instrument, has become a power, a movement of autonomous and ambivalent character which compromises the continuity of human life and extra-human life in the future, Jonas has found in ethics the antidote for protecting life from this pursuit of development related to technological civilization. Jonas identifies the basis for this euphoria for progress and for improvement promoted by this ideal on the Baconian project of salvation of humanity through scientific progress. However, for the author, along with the demonstration of the possible blessings, there are also threats, which are invisible, since only the advantages and benefits are presented. In this way, the philosopher claims that the danger lies not in human incapability or lack of capacity for fulfillment, but in human excessive capacity, together with homo faber s power over homo sapiens. Considering this new scenario of technological civilization, according to Jonas, traditional ethics became insufficient, for his interest was related to guiding man s life here and now. The need for protecting the authenticity of life in the future from the power of modern technology demands a widening of the ethical sphere so that it reaches beyond the anthropocentric perspective and the current moment. However, this widening of the ethical universe does not mean to be a retrocess or even an impediment of the development of scientific technological progress. An Ethos for technology must be found, that is, a power over the power , in order to keep the actions from being nihilistic, based on the force of the power of an unbound Prometheus. The aim is, therefore, to place a voluntary restraint, before it becomes necessary to impose this limit due to the vulnerability of nature and man, always revealed as damaged. Jonas finds the basis for this new Ethos on a philosophy of biology or a philosophy of life. As a result, the author does not intend to promote a moralization of nature, but a biologization of the moral being, considering that responsibility, in man, is ontological. As he reinserts man in nature and resignifies categories such as life, liberty, spirit, metabolism, among others, Jonas observes that ethics is already present in these categories in an ontological way, since life says yes to itself in the sense of continuity, and it says no to non-being. Consequently, responsibility imposes itself as an ethical commandment and an ontological duty, which makes responsibility represent the recognition of the Being that demands that my action recognize his intrinsic good, rather than a calculation ex post facto. As he establishes the continuity of human life and authentic extra-human life in the future as the first commandment of the ethics of responsibility, and considering that responsibility is, therefore, proportional to our power, Jonas uses the model of paternal responsibility, of parental care for the newly-born, as a prototype for the ethics of responsibility in the future. It refers to something in which there is no reciprocity, but its existence requires the duty of care and of preservation. The emphasis given by Jonas to the heuristic of fear, as a method to fight the pursuit of progress at any cost, based on the principle of in dubio pro malo, makes prudence, caution, and precaution the new ethical values of man in technological civilization.