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The fantastic human body: on making his own body: his dignity, his madness

Pieter Bonte (UGent)
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Abstract
In this contribution I would like to make a short, clear exploration of a pressing moral issue: the importance we attach to living a natural and authentic life. Those terms are often invoked as a touchstone to determine whether certain deviant behaviours are sick or morally reprehensible. That anorexia could be a positive lifestyle choice - which is how the proponents of the 'pro-ana' movement present it - is often disputed on the basis of the unnaturalness of the behaviour and the falseness of the way of thinking. Ascetic monks, on the other hand, are elevated to a state of holiness - their behaviour is suddenly cited as supernatural and having greater authenticity. After all, they follow a purely spiritual path of divine guidance, having freed themselves from natural, earthly passions. Therefore, 'naturalness' plays a profoundly dualistic role: on the one hand, the great ideal and on the other, the great evil. To get to the heart of the matter and to achieve transparency, I will open up the perspective to the fundamental question: are we allowed to drastically reform our bodies and spirits? And if so, in what ways and how far should we go? To put it another way, what means and what kind of bodies are forbidden? These questions are becoming evermore pressing in an era that has seen the development of more and more technologies which we can use to directly intervene in the state of our bodies in order to 'improve' ourselves.
Keywords
Human Dignity, Human enhancement medicine, Bioethics, Right to Selfdetermination, Transhumanism

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MLA
Bonte, Pieter. “The Fantastic Human Body: On Making His Own Body: His Dignity, His Madness.” The Weighty Body : Fat or Thin, Vanity or Insanity = Het Gewichtige Lichaam : over Dik, Dun, Perfect of Gestoord. Tielt; Belgium: Lannoo, 2010. 185–190. Print.
APA
Bonte, P. (2010). The fantastic human body: on making his own body: his dignity, his madness. The weighty body : fat or thin, vanity or insanity = Het gewichtige lichaam : over dik, dun, perfect of gestoord (pp. 185–190). Tielt; Belgium: Lannoo.
Chicago author-date
Bonte, Pieter. 2010. “The Fantastic Human Body: On Making His Own Body: His Dignity, His Madness.” In The Weighty Body : Fat or Thin, Vanity or Insanity = Het Gewichtige Lichaam : over Dik, Dun, Perfect of Gestoord, 185–190. Tielt; Belgium: Lannoo.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Bonte, Pieter. 2010. “The Fantastic Human Body: On Making His Own Body: His Dignity, His Madness.” In The Weighty Body : Fat or Thin, Vanity or Insanity = Het Gewichtige Lichaam : over Dik, Dun, Perfect of Gestoord, 185–190. Tielt; Belgium: Lannoo.
Vancouver
1.
Bonte P. The fantastic human body: on making his own body: his dignity, his madness. The weighty body : fat or thin, vanity or insanity = Het gewichtige lichaam : over dik, dun, perfect of gestoord. Tielt; Belgium: Lannoo; 2010. p. 185–90.
IEEE
[1]
P. Bonte, “The fantastic human body: on making his own body: his dignity, his madness,” in The weighty body : fat or thin, vanity or insanity = Het gewichtige lichaam : over dik, dun, perfect of gestoord, Tielt; Belgium: Lannoo, 2010, pp. 185–190.
@incollection{1057075,
  abstract     = {In this contribution I would like to make a short, clear exploration of a pressing moral issue: the importance we attach to living a natural and authentic life. Those terms are often invoked as a touchstone to determine whether certain deviant behaviours are sick or morally reprehensible. That anorexia could be a positive lifestyle choice - which is how the proponents of the 'pro-ana' movement present it - is often disputed on the basis of the unnaturalness of the behaviour and the falseness of the way of thinking. Ascetic monks, on the other hand, are elevated to a state of holiness - their behaviour is suddenly cited as supernatural and having greater authenticity. After all, they follow a purely spiritual path of divine guidance, having freed themselves from natural, earthly passions. Therefore, 'naturalness' plays a profoundly dualistic role: on the one hand, the great ideal and on the other, the great evil. To get to the heart of the matter and to achieve transparency, I will open up the perspective to the fundamental question: are we allowed to drastically reform our bodies and spirits? And if so, in what ways and how far should we go? To put it another way, what means and what kind of bodies are forbidden? These questions are becoming evermore pressing in an era that has seen the development of more and more technologies which we can use to directly intervene in the state of our bodies in order to 'improve' ourselves.},
  author       = {Bonte, Pieter},
  booktitle    = {The weighty body : fat or thin, vanity or insanity = Het gewichtige lichaam : over dik, dun, perfect of gestoord},
  isbn         = {9789020992151},
  keywords     = {Human Dignity,Human enhancement medicine,Bioethics,Right to Selfdetermination,Transhumanism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {185--190},
  publisher    = {Lannoo},
  title        = {The fantastic human body: on making his own body: his dignity, his madness},
  year         = {2010},
}