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"Only God Has the Right to Change Genes"?

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Introduction

B "Only God Has the Right to Change Genes"? A lot of people would say that genetic engineering, and its related technologies appear to be some of the most promising advancements in the field of science. Supporting the statement, scientists claim that genetic engineering is a vital development in science that must be taken further in order to gain new knowledge and develop scientific knowledge. They would further argue that genetic engineering has the potential to cure what we would otherwise consider to be incurable diseases. These include Alzheimer's and Parkinson's; supporters of the statement would say that not attempting to cure these illnesses, which can cause severe disruption to people's lives, is unjustifiable. This is a view shared by some Christians; they say that passages such as; "Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, the kingdom of God has come near to you.'" (Luke 10:8-9). Other bible stories, show that Jesus taught us that we must attempt to cure diseases and work towards helping the ill; the many examples of Jesus healing the sick adds credibility to this belief. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike other scientific techniques which have a far more predictable long term outcome, the long-term consequences of genetic engineering are unknown. Whilst having much positive potential, genetic engineering also has the potential to create a situation where people are seeking to create 'perfect people' or 'designer babies' with embryos being altered to find a specific gene in order to create a baby that may look a particular way or may have certain characteristics. Trying to create a perfect earth with perfect people is wrong in religious teaching of all faiths; only heaven is perfect and we are all God's children, loved by him equally, no matter what we look like, whether we are intelligent or not and irrespective of any genetic abnormalities people may have. Furthermore the consequences of genetic engineering cannot be reversed; when an embryo is destroyed the life ends at that point, it cannot be restored; this irreversible destruction of human life is equal to abortion for many religious people and abortion is considered a great sin. This is because life begins at the moment of conception and is considered holy, sacred and in God's gift alone as shown in Deuteronomy 32:39: "It is I who bring both death and life". ...read more.

Conclusion

However is this itself not an interference with 'nature'? Is Smallpox not 'natural'? Is Cholera not 'natural'? If it is deemed morally correct to tackle these problems with science, why should it be problematic to weed out genes that create a predisposition to Alzheimer's or Parkinson's? The distinction seems to lie in that by developing genetic engineering, you may start a process which will result in a march towards an abuse of human interference in genetics, which can result in a distortion of humanity by itself, altering us from man created in Gods image, to man created in its own image. Humanity has made great progress, but its understanding of the balance of factors which make up all natural life is still very limited, could interference in human or plant genetics result in a domino effect, unforeseen by man who creates a huge amount of previously unenvisaged problems? If genetic engineering is permitted it must be in the context of a thorough and binding moral and legal framework which prevents such tinkering with what is the hugely complex interconnected nature of all life on earth. ...read more.

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