Familial Engineering Essay, Research PaperGENETIC TechnologyEthical and Religious Issues in Genetic Engineering & # 8221 ;The picks I will be speaking approximately have to make with biotechnology and familial technology, pickswhich we are presently non doing consciously because we truly wear & # 8217 ; t cognize what is traveling on. Iwould wish to state you what is traveling on in these countries, and so speak about how we might near thisaffair 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 besidescotton baccy, and some others, which are immune to pesticides, so that the pesticidemakers can do more money on their merchandises. About 70 % of familial technology falls intothis class.A 2nd illustration is biowarfare.
Possibly some of you saw the recent New Yorker article on thecapable [ 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 thingshe mentions is that the former Soviet Union had the largest big-warfare plan in the universe, with32,000 scientists working on it. Much of it had to make with familial technology. In one of the undertakingsthey took variola, which has otherwise disappeared from the universe, and found a manner to geneticallyintroduce into it, without cut downing its efficaciousness as variola, either Ebola virus or equid phrenitisviruses.
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 wewill no longer necessitate to depend so much on crude oil, or on the Middle East for crude oil. Thejob here, of class, is that the engineered workss cross-fertilize with their wild brethren, and sincenone of familial alterations is recallable, we can merely trust that we will non one twenty-four hours take walks in theout-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 dothem grow quicker. You can now be a vegetarian and a man-eater at the same clip! In Canadageneticists are seting human cistrons into fish to do them turn faster. And several companies arerushing to put human cistrons into hogs in order to genetically fit them to human persons ; thatagencies that you can hold your ain organ giver hog, an carnal whose variety meats will non be rejected byyour organic structure.Those are some illustrations of what is presently traveling on in the field of familial technology, which Ihope convey to you my concern that there could be serious jobs in front.
Now let me topropose what we might make about all this. First we must recognize that merely feeling disturbed by suchundertakings is non plenty. If we are to take any effectual action, to do any utile determination, we mustBegin with some clear apprehension of the issues involved ; we must develop telling rationalpoint 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 wherewe find most scientific discipline and engineering. This fundamentally amoral, aspiritual position is dominant todaybecause so much money is involved.
The corporations involved control more money than anyauthorities on the planet, including our ain. This is a closed system position of physical world, andnil 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 forbasically changing God s sacred creative activity ; nevertheless, the one I have most late discoveredtakes a radically different stance and comes out of broad Protestant idea. Ted Peters, a professorat 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 thechallenge of the new familial cognition seem to hold on a smattering of theologicalmaxims. First, they affirm that God is the Godhead of the universe, and farther that God & # 8217 ; soriginative work is ongoing. Second, the human race is created in God & # 8217 ; s image.
In thiscontext, the Godhead image in humanity is tied to creativeness. God creates, so do we. Withsurprising frequence, we worlds are described by theologists as & # 8216 ; co-creators withGod, & # 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 toGod by researching the sacred nature of His creative activity. This position sees the modern Christian scientist asperson who is merely helping God in his on-going creative activity of the universe. One of the several facets ofthis divinity upset me is the possible for a Christian exclusivity sing who is qualified toengage in scientific discipline. But that & # 8217 ; s non all. Another professor who is connected with the Chicago Center forReligioN 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 certaincountries of cognition than to conceive of God watching with delectation and parental pride ashuman existences use their divinely designed encephalons to decode the codification of life? What & # 8217 ; sincorrect with visualizing God roosting on the side of a Petri dish, tidal bore to hold us rectifysome scribes & # 8217 ; mistakes which have crept into the three billion words in the past 600million 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 Godheadexperiments of natural choice, which at some point begins to include the human abilityto go an active portion of the procedure, a alteration agent, one in whom, as Teilhard deChardin insists, development is going witting of itself. & # 8221 ; So God is pressing us togo active agents of creative activity and development, rectifying His errors as we grow inour apprehension of His creative activity.Philip Heffner, manager of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, gives a somewhat differentposition, 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 isin one sense a can of worms. It puts me in a place in which I am accountable foresteeming the intrinsic or built-in value of the creative activity, because that value isontologically grounded in God even though the understanding ofthat value is beyond my capablenesss, while at the same clip my power over things, besidesGod- given, is operationally about limitless.He goes on to state,We will go on to prosecute our cognition and engineering. We have no option. Mytradition Tells me that we will make so as evildoers. This means that we will neglect to understandto the full plenty. We will neglect to move right plenty. We will do errors.
Since we areevildoers and fallible, and we are besides created co-creators, we ought to engineer in thatfallibility-sinner factor, be every bit low as snake pit, spend a batch of clip on our articulatio genuss, andacknowledge that if Oppenheimer thought that the atomic bomb revealed original wickedness, theepoch of familial technology will uncover it much more. so, as one of my tradition & # 8217 ; swise 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 ofscientists, even Christian 1s, are traveling to be runing non as vass of God & # 8217 ; s divine love in theuniverse, but out of wickedness. Yet peering, wherever it may take.
One of the things that this suggests to meabout this new and really popular signifier of Christian divinity in the duologue between faith andscientific discipline is that it has to fight with a tenseness, which stretches from Paul to Kierkegaard to thepresent, between redemption in the life of the Holy spirit and the demand for ethical guidelines for ourbehaviour. The church in the Middle Ages struggled against Gnostic antinomian motions, and itremains to be seen whether these new immanentist church motions are besides traveling to fight withantinomian inclinations in spiritual familial technology, peculiarly when most secular scientists areprosecuting 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 moralssare karma-based. The cardinal rule of this theoretical account is ahimsa, & # 8220 ; non-harming, & # 8221 ; regard for theintrinsic value of all animate existences, non merely human life. This theoretical account, furthermore, respects sentientexistences non simply for their utility to us as tools or agencies to terminals. Out of this impression of regard forlife comes the impression of altruistic compassion as a steering rule in our actions. So in footings offamilial technology, this would except any instrumental usage of homo or nonhuman animate life. A2nd rule of this point of view is transcendency, which is really hard to speak about in scientificfootings, but which, from a religious point of view, is non merely a possible for worlds, but for all sentientexistences.
All animate existences have the possible to develop religious wisdom and release. Thispotency, harmonizing to Buddhism, is meaningless in most scientific theoretical accounts. The 3rd rule of thisreligious point of view is that the universe is an unfastened system, in contrast to the closed system of mostscientific research. Built into the open-system theoretical account is the thought that we can non cognize throughscientific 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 thenon-Cartesian position of the relationship between the physical and the religious.
The status of ourorganic structures and nervous system affects our heads and liquors, and vice-versa. This is why karma-basedmoralss 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 accomplishtranscendency. And there is no scientific experiment we can execute to happen out one manner or another.