Genetic Engineering

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Genetic Engineering- Christian attitudes

Crops, animals, human embryos have been genetically modified. There has also been speculation of cloning humans. Some fear altering genetic makeup of an embryo to make designer babies is sinister. However, you can also modify embryos to get rid of a disease

Christian attitudes

  • The attitudes vary
  • They follow the same lines as the case is with abortion, right to a child and euthanasia
  • Some christians argue life is sacred and streches to any child
  • Roman Catholics follow Natural Law
  • Pope Benedict XVI has said embryo reaserch is morally wrong and leads to a form of eugenics.
  • Other christians say scienticsts should take part in scientific reaserch as they are 'stewards of the earth'
  • Others see the doctrine of double effect as useful- the embryo's are not killed therefroe is is a by product of reaserch
  • Situation ethics says god fives humans an intelligent brain and GE should be welcome if it teaches agape through eradicating disease
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Natural Law

Generally against if it involves killing embryo

  • Some argue it is wrong for scientists to reconstruct human life as each embryo is unique and sacred
  • John O'Neil has said theres a certain arrogance with science
  • Other Natural Law followers say GE needs its limits
  • Wesley Wildman devised the bioethical compass which is a system of guiding principles that contain that control genetic engineering & all those involved in any kind of decision making regarding medical and biological reaserch
  • Hefner views humans as part of the process of natural law
  • Other views- the genetic engineer is with God 'created co-creator?'
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Kantian ethics

The approach is non con consequentalist so is not concerned with the outcome.

  • Universalisability is important, does genetic engineering raise universal moral laws?
  • Using genetic engineering is bad if you use it as a means to an ends
  • However, as in most cases humans are not presently used it is possible to build up a cause for genetic engineering with regard to animals and human beings
  • GM crops- if multinational companies are exploiting the farmer to meet its end then it is wrong
  • The 'GM Crop' situation can also be applied to the case of daviour siblings. On one hand the saviour sibling is being used as a means to and ends while on the other hand, preserving life is a fundamental duty
  • Kant would use the universal law principle in this case if we could imagine one situation in which it would be wrong to create saviour siblings, if you find one then it is universally wrong
  • Kant sees humans as always ignoring rational basis' of morality- we only look at the cases effecting us.
  • As Kant points- the maxim of universal law is key to all moral decisions
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Utilitarianism

Has a positive appraoch as the prevention of disease is a social agent in terms of the greatest good  for the greatest number.

  • Ryder says GE has positive effects by minimizing pain
  • There is no instrinsic value on embryo life but considers long term consequences
  • The future may create a race of 'super people' making the majority who are imperfect feel bad so there is a balance of GE in terms of welfare to be considered
  • Peter Signer says GE brings positive results for animals and society
  • If disease were eradicated, there would be no need to test on animals
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