Marsilius Project: Human Dignity
The Interdisciplinary Forum for Biomedicine and Cultural Studies (IFBK) was originated by Prof. Dr. Wilfried Härle (Theology) and Prof. Dr. Claus Bartram (Medicine) together with approximately ten scientists of different faculties at the University of Heidelberg to work jointly at the project "Views of Man and Human Dignity“ in the year 2005. An interdisciplinary course of lectures, the thematic work in working teams, joint events, the taking care of the new generation of academics, and the content work with students are part of the project from the beginning. The IFBK is led by two executive directors, at present by Prof. Dr. Claus Bartram and Prof. Dr. Dr Thomas Fuchs (Medicine). The extended chairmanship consists of 15 scientists from just as many faculties, who are in plenary session regularly. Permanent or limited working teams will be constituted for the various projects respectively. The administrative office is located in the deanery of the medical faculty. It is administered by three scientific staff members. The subprojects "View of Man and Neurosciences“, "Human Dignity at the Start of Life“ and "Humane dying“ are constituent parts of the Marsilius-College.
The project "Views of Man and Human Dignity“ was initiated to foster the dialogue between cultural studies and natural sciences about basic and application-oriented questions to this complex of themes. The so far to a great extent isolated discourses in connection with the subject human dignity should be interlinked with each other,
This happened above all, with the background of two developments:
On the one hand, the progress of biomedical sciences in many cases query the passed on view of man by increasingly tracing back its central moments – personality, subjectivity, liberty – on biological (genetic, neuronal and other) processes, and at the same time making human life deposable for technical operations, especially at its borderlines.
On the other hand, the meaning, the scope, and the justification of human dignity increasingly became points at issue in our society. Particularly it is about the questions, whether human dignity is due to all human lives, whether it is really violated by a certain behavior or by a law, and whether the dignity, the right to live, and the right of self-determination of man counter-balanced.