28 feb. 2008

Victor Tambone, Bioethics and New Age

Victor Tambone – Department of Anthropology and Applied Ethics at the Rome Biomedical University Campus

Date of pubblication: 28/02/2003


1. Cyclical Vitalism, chemically induced abortion and IVF
2. Cyclical Vitalism like reincarnation and euthanasia
3. Religion, UFOs and Cloning


Victor Tambone, «Bioethics and New Age»

New Age as a cultural phenomenon can now be considered outdated since the prediction involving universal happiness linked to the age of Aquarius did not materialise and does not even appear to be happening. Hence the astrological vision of social transformation has left space for a more sincerely individualistic version known as Next Age and which appears to find an ethical equivalent in «Rational Selfishness» [1] and an indirect reflection in «Global Ethics» [2].

On the other hand in this period of ours the New Age trend is undergoing a hugely fecund moment as far as the induction of types of behaviour and the modulation of ethics at a social level are concerned [3]. This is why the New Age phenomenon is a current trend and also a very interesting one. One of the fields in which this paradigm is active is that of Bioethics, in the form presented as follows which due to the time available is extremely concise [4].

Cyclical Vitalism, chemically induced abortion and IVF

I believe that New Age tends to destroy three of the four transcendents of human beings; first of all the uniqueness in such away that the understanding of human life leaves out the acknowledgement of its personality and individuality: it is reduced to one of the possible forms in which Life, an impersonal elan vitale, manifests a circular dynamic in which its different forms are transformed into each other. This is the Circle of Life that finds in Gaia (the goddess Earth) its real point of reference.

One is affected, reading work by Baulieu (inventor of the abortion pill RU 486) when at a certain point one finds an approach to the concept of Life within the framework that belongs to Cyclic Vitalism [5]. This affects one even more strongly when the same concept is found in work published by Edwards [6] (a pioneer in ETIVF). On this basis, abortion becomes «anti-gestatorial» meaning the modulation of the different forms in which life organises itself and not the suppression of a personal life.

With this anthropological choice the objective is probably the cultural suppression of the culture of abortion and the reduction of the transmission of human life to something that is fundamentally physiological. This is a very serious ideological project, because one is not only limiting the rights of the embryo but one is even laying the foundations for denying individual life itself: this way one goes beyond a racist attitude regards the embryo because one tend to totally ignore it.

All this becomes possible only when Cyclical Vitalism becomes the key for the new interpretation of the Human Life.

In this the New Age vision of Life is active and fecund and ontologically based Personalism represents an inalienable formative resource.

Cyclical Vitalism like reincarnation and euthanasia

This dynamic vision of life reproposes, in a vaguely ecological version, the idea of reincarnation (not what we have until now understood as metempsychosis). Basically death is simply a transformation into some other form of life that is still part of the Life of Gaia.

Furthermore, the destruction of the transcendents truth and goodness leave the category of «beauty» as the only category useful for evaluating existence: I evaluate what I know only on the basis of its emotional perception replacing the rational conscience (judgment using reason regard to the goodness or the evil of a real act) with a pseudo emotional conscience (positive or negative emotional perception of life).

From this point of view a chronic or incurable disease makes no sense at all because one can die to be then transformed in a new positive and pleasant form of life.

Euthanasia appears therefore as a self-modulating step of ones own state of life when the current state of ones existence is no longer a sign of beauty and pleasantness.

Religion, UFOs and Cloning

One of the characteristics of New Age is the so-called «channelling» meaning the presence and the link with guiding spirits in a parallel world. Extraterrestrials (the Elohim) experience this idea in such a manner that one can transfer the role of the rational conscience to their revealed knowledge which will be the source of practical regulating illumination [7].

An example of the destructive potential of this behaviour is the sad experience that the Raelians are proposing at the moment regards to human cloning. Although phenomena of this kind can be considered laughable one must instead grasp that it is a way of preparing a certain category of public opinion to accepting cloning as a positive event, by using emotional, alogical and Gnostic type of approach, which are the characteristics of the New Age phenomenon.


[1] With the words «Rational Selfishness» I mean an ethical definition of the utilitarian school that could by concisely stated in the idea that it is possible to be bad and content. The formulation of this position can be found in Rawls who envisages a state, understood as a human situation, in which rational selfishness becomes the basis for the principles of justice.

Rational Selfishness, concisely, supports the idea that one of the things that should be done so as to be happy, is to free oneself from unselfishness, discovering and accepting the moral rectitude of a rationally selfish life, favourable to the person, that will always be beneficial to ourselves, and all the same useful also to others and to society. Naturally it is not surprising that such a vision develops in a cultural environment linked to libertarian capitalism (see for example Ayn Rand, «The virtue of selfishness as a definition for a new concept of selfishness», La virtù dell’egoismo, come definizione di un nuovo concetto di egoismo).

[2] See Barragán JL., Global Ethics: the new paradigm, Osservatore Romano, January 11th 2003, p. 6.

[3] It is important to take note that behavioural modulation is, in the work of Naomi Klein that we agree with on this specific point, the main motor of the globalisation phenomenon as far as its more specifically commercial and economic aspects are concerned (see. Klein N., No Logo).

[4] Due to the amount of time available we shall not discuss here the relations between New Age and the reappearance of Magic Medicine for which we advise Tambone V., Medicina basata sulle Evidenze e Medicina New Age, MEDIC Voi. 7, N 1, 1999, pp. 36-38.

[5] «However fertilisation is not the unique determining event in the conception of a new human being. (...) Thus the generation of life, and human life specifically, is a continuous process that involves interdependent sequential events and that cannot be attributed uniquely to fertilisation» (Baulieu EE., RU 486 as an anti-progesterone Steroid, JAMA, October 6th 1989, p. 1813.

[6] «Fertilisation does not begin life. Life is a continuous (...)» (Edwards RG., In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1985, Voi. 442, p. 565).

[7] One this occasion the reference is to Ufological Cults understood as followers of «contacts» and not the category of UFO specialists who do not have a religious interest in this subject. As is clear in the CESNUR report dated December 4th 2000, there are currently in Italy five organised groups: their name are Religione Raeliana, Unarius (Universa! Articulate Interdimensional Understanding of Science), Associazione Giordano Bruno, Nova Convivia and C.O.O.P.C.O.S.M.O.

[8] The Raelian religion is the largest ufological cult at world level and its member believe that mankind was created in laboratories by extraterrestrials, called the Elohim. These Elohim revealed to Rael that God does not exist, nor does the soul and eternal life, but the deserving will be recreated on their planet.


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