Last updated: June 18, 2019
Topic: ScienceEngineering
Sample donated:

Familial Engineering Essay, Research Paper

GENETIC Technology

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Ethical and Religious Issues in Genetic Engineering & # 8221 ;

The picks I will be speaking approximately have to make with biotechnology and familial technology, picks

which we are presently non doing consciously because we truly wear & # 8217 ; t cognize what is traveling on. I

would wish to state you what is traveling on in these countries, and so speak about how we might near this

affair in ethical ways.

First, let me to give you some illustrations of current activities in the field of familial technology.

Most of it has to make with bring forthing genetically engineered workss, chiefly nutrient workss, but besides

cotton baccy, and some others, which are immune to pesticides, so that the pesticide

makers can do more money on their merchandises. About 70 % of familial technology falls into

this class.

A 2nd illustration is biowarfare. Possibly some of you saw the recent New Yorker article on the

capable [ Richard Preston, “ Annalss of Warfare: the Bioweaponeers. ” New Yorker, March, 1998 ] .

There is widespread consensus that the information reported in that article is true. One of the things

he mentions is that the former Soviet Union had the largest big-warfare plan in the universe, with

32,000 scientists working on it. Much of it had to make with familial technology. In one of the undertakings

they took variola, which has otherwise disappeared from the universe, and found a manner to genetically

introduce into it, without cut downing its efficaciousness as variola, either Ebola virus or equid phrenitis

viruses. Cipher seems to cognize what happened to those experimental viruses.

A 3rd illustration: we now have workss genetically engineered to bring forth plastic. The thought is that we

will no longer necessitate to depend so much on crude oil, or on the Middle East for crude oil. The

job here, of class, is that the engineered workss cross-fertilize with their wild brethren, and since

none of familial alterations is recallable, we can merely trust that we will non one twenty-four hours take walks in the

out-of-doorss and be surrounded by vegetations which are exudating plastic and poisoning the zoology.

Some other illustrations: the Chinese are now seting human cistrons into tomatoes and Piper nigrums to do

them grow quicker. You can now be a vegetarian and a man-eater at the same clip! In Canada

geneticists are seting human cistrons into fish to do them turn faster. And several companies are

rushing to put human cistrons into hogs in order to genetically fit them to human persons ; that

agencies that you can hold your ain organ giver hog, an carnal whose variety meats will non be rejected by

your organic structure.

Those are some illustrations of what is presently traveling on in the field of familial technology, which I

hope convey to you my concern that there could be serious jobs in front. Now let me to

propose what we might make about all this. First we must recognize that merely feeling disturbed by such

undertakings is non plenty. If we are to take any effectual action, to do any utile determination, we must

Begin with some clear apprehension of the issues involved ; we must develop telling rational

point of view about familial technology and how to near it. There are, of class, many point of views,

but allow me advert merely three.

First, the position of scientific discipline and engineering as they serve international corporate net income, which is where

we find most scientific discipline and engineering. This fundamentally amoral, aspiritual position is dominant today

because so much money is involved. The corporations involved control more money than any

authorities on the planet, including our ain. This is a closed system position of physical world, and

nil outside the system is considered existent or meaningful.

The 2nd and 3rd point of views I want to reference are both religious, one from the Christian tradition,

the other from Buddhism. Many Christians are wary of the potency of familial technology for

basically changing God s sacred creative activity ; nevertheless, the one I have most late discovered

takes a radically different stance and comes out of broad Protestant idea. Ted Peters, a professor

at Pacific Lutheran Theological seminary, is an advocator of this position. He says,

It is deserving observing that virtually all Roman Catholics and Protestants who take up the

challenge of the new familial cognition seem to hold on a smattering of theological

maxims. First, they affirm that God is the Godhead of the universe, and farther that God & # 8217 ; s

originative work is ongoing. Second, the human race is created in God & # 8217 ; s image. In this

context, the Godhead image in humanity is tied to creativeness. God creates, so do we. With

surprising frequence, we worlds are described by theologists as & # 8216 ; co-creators with

God, & # 8217 ; doing our part to the evolutionary procedure.

Get downing in the Renaissance we find the image of the scientist as a Christian who moves closer to

God by researching the sacred nature of His creative activity. This position sees the modern Christian scientist as

person who is merely helping God in his on-going creative activity of the universe. One of the several facets of

this divinity upset me is the possible for a Christian exclusivity sing who is qualified to

engage in scientific discipline. But that & # 8217 ; s non all. Another professor who is connected with the Chicago Center for


N and Science and who portions the predating point of view asks,

Why is it any more plausible to conceive of God raising electric fencings around certain

countries of cognition than to conceive of God watching with delectation and parental pride as

human existences use their divinely designed encephalons to decode the codification of life? What & # 8217 ; s

incorrect with visualizing God roosting on the side of a Petri dish, tidal bore to hold us rectify

some scribes & # 8217 ; mistakes which have crept into the three billion words in the past 600

million old ages. If we believe in the lone sort of Godhead God compatible with development,

we must besides accept the godly manner of bettering all life signifiers through the Godhead

experiments of natural choice, which at some point begins to include the human ability

to go an active portion of the procedure, a alteration agent, one in whom, as Teilhard de

Chardin insists, development is going witting of itself. & # 8221 ; So God is pressing us to

go active agents of creative activity and development, rectifying His errors as we grow in

our apprehension of His creative activity.

Philip Heffner, manager of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, gives a somewhat different

position, although he is truly of the same theological set. He says,

This spiritual universe position Tells me that holding been created as a co-creator with God is

in one sense a can of worms. It puts me in a place in which I am accountable for

esteeming the intrinsic or built-in value of the creative activity, because that value is

ontologically grounded in God even though the understanding of

that value is beyond my capablenesss, while at the same clip my power over things, besides

God- given, is operationally about limitless.

He goes on to state,

We will go on to prosecute our cognition and engineering. We have no option. My

tradition Tells me that we will make so as evildoers. This means that we will neglect to understand

to the full plenty. We will neglect to move right plenty. We will do errors. Since we are

evildoers and fallible, and we are besides created co-creators, we ought to engineer in that

fallibility-sinner factor, be every bit low as snake pit, spend a batch of clip on our articulatio genuss, and

acknowledge that if Oppenheimer thought that the atomic bomb revealed original wickedness, the

epoch of familial technology will uncover it much more. so, as one of my tradition & # 8217 ; s

wise mans has said, & # 8216 ; Full velocity in front and transgress boldly!

And so Heffner brings us back down to earth with the realisation that the overpowering bulk of

scientists, even Christian 1s, are traveling to be runing non as vass of God & # 8217 ; s divine love in the

universe, but out of wickedness. Yet peering, wherever it may take. One of the things that this suggests to me

about this new and really popular signifier of Christian divinity in the duologue between faith and

scientific discipline is that it has to fight with a tenseness, which stretches from Paul to Kierkegaard to the

present, between redemption in the life of the Holy spirit and the demand for ethical guidelines for our

behaviour. The church in the Middle Ages struggled against Gnostic antinomian motions, and it

remains to be seen whether these new immanentist church motions are besides traveling to fight with

antinomian inclinations in spiritual familial technology, peculiarly when most secular scientists are

prosecuting familial technology while paying merely lip service to any ethical issues whatsoever.

I would wish to advert now an surrogate religious theoretical account from the Buddhist tradition, one whose moralss

are karma-based. The cardinal rule of this theoretical account is ahimsa, & # 8220 ; non-harming, & # 8221 ; regard for the

intrinsic value of all animate existences, non merely human life. This theoretical account, furthermore, respects sentient

existences non simply for their utility to us as tools or agencies to terminals. Out of this impression of regard for

life comes the impression of altruistic compassion as a steering rule in our actions. So in footings of

familial technology, this would except any instrumental usage of homo or nonhuman animate life. A

2nd rule of this point of view is transcendency, which is really hard to speak about in scientific

footings, but which, from a religious point of view, is non merely a possible for worlds, but for all sentient

existences. All animate existences have the possible to develop religious wisdom and release. This

potency, harmonizing to Buddhism, is meaningless in most scientific theoretical accounts. The 3rd rule of this

religious point of view is that the universe is an unfastened system, in contrast to the closed system of most

scientific research. Built into the open-system theoretical account is the thought that we can non cognize through

scientific methodological analysis the full extent of the possible effects of familial changes on life animals.

We can non be certain of the ultimate effects of any familial alterations we make. A 4th rule is the

non-Cartesian position of the relationship between the physical and the religious. The status of our

organic structures and nervous system affects our heads and liquors, and vice-versa. This is why karma-based

moralss insists on pureness of both heads and liquors, and vice-versa. This leaves open the possibility,

hence, that familial technology might adversely act upon the potency of animate existences to accomplish

transcendency. And there is no scientific experiment we can execute to happen out one manner or another.