New Humanist

United Kingdom

The notion that fiction is a force for moral good derives from the age of revolution. But imaginative empathy does not always translate into egalitarian politics, argues Lyndsey Stonebridge. What do we want our books to do that we cannot?

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The assumption that self-loathing is the root of homophobia ignores the fact that heterosexuals are more than capable of anti-gay damage, and is a convenient absolution for straight people. Alex Macpherson criticizes media fascination with the supposed homosexuality of Omar Mateen.

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New technologies like genome editing raise complex ethical questions that go the heart of debates over
so-called “human nature” and evolution. Philosopher of science Tim Lewens considers how the latest innovations
affect received notions of what is and what is not natural.

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Once the preserve of eccentrics and cranks, cryonics is entering the mainstream. Is eternal life possible – or even desirable? Traversing the interface between transhumanist subcultures and high-stakes investment in novel technologies, Cal Flyn investigates.

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