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'Only God has the right to interfere with our genes' - Do you agree with this statement?

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Introduction

2) ' Only God has the right to interfere with our genes' - Do you agree with this statement? Our genes are the sequence of DNA or genetic codes that determine our characteristics. So by changing our genetics we must be effectively changing our characteristics and ultimately ourselves. Is this simply medical care that is no different from taking everyday medicine like antibiotics? Or are we inauspiciously playing God and immorally defying nature in order to safeguard our species? In my opinion scientific progress is enabling lives to be saved and a loving God would not condemn this. A religious person may look at different aspects of genetic engineering and thus hold a different view. Genetic engineering in humans is the development or manipulation of genes used to prevent disease and disabilities. Genetic diseases are serious and affect a vast number of people. Diseases or 'genetic disorders' like Huntington's, Sickle -cell anaemia, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis can cause mental retardation, physical deformity or early death. Research into genes and genetic engineering can help prevent these problems and is surely ethical and not immoral. Most genetic research is based on germline therapy that enables genetic changes to the cells carrying the disorder from generation to generation. This means that permanent changes can be made in the person's genetic code that prevents the transmission of these cells. ...read more.

Middle

Religions recognise that in the modern world they must deal with issues like genetic engineering and amongst them there are different views of weather we, as humans, have the right to interfere with our own genes. Christianity is not harmogenous and so within it there are different attitudes towards genetic engineering. It is mainly the more liberal protestant Christians who think that genetic engineering is a good thing and see the positive aspects like the potential curing of disease and the negative, which would be the potential creation of artificially produced 'perfect humans'. There are religious reasons why these Christians support this scientific research and action. Jesus was a healer who showed that Christians should do what they can to heal and help healers and to cure disease. They believe that as humans we stewards on God's earth and by discovering the genetic make up of humans in order to help improve human life is fulfilling this stewardship. They believe that this is no different from researching medicine that can improve human life and reduce suffering. Regarding the potential of this technology getting out have hand, these Christians believe that creating cells is very different from creating people. Creating people via science rather than through sex would be wrong because as it would be taking over 'God's creator of life role', but creating cells is working with God. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the way that some Christians believe in stewardship, these Muslims believe that humans should work as vice-gerents in hiding and supporting lives. This no different from researching medicine that will help improve lives and reduce suffering. These Muslims also believe there is a difference between creating cells and creating people and that creating cells is working with God. They also consider that embryos can be used for research up until they are 14 days old, this is when the human life begins according to teachings of the Shari'ah. It is very difficult to foresee if the potential good of genetic engineering and 'interfering with genes' outweighs the potential bad and whether it is ethical in it's current state of research. I think that at the moment we have a very good idea of what the positive effects of 'interfering with our genes' would be. It could cure diseases and prevent them from being passed on to generation after generation. The negative effects are slightly unclear. Will we end up producing genetically modified "perfect humans" who are lacking in will and spirit through no fault of their own? Is producing humans without sex wrong even? Is it against the will of God? Personally I think that the these questions go unanswered by the critics of genetic engineering who do not have plausible enough arguments to stop the research into curing disease and saving human life. ...read more.

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