Blog Posts

Research and procedures involve extensive killing of unborn human beings.

LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS (click on any topic to go to that page)Christian teaching on the dignity of unborn human beings.Christian teaching on killing and murder.Jesus’ commandment to love. Genetic engineering kills human embryos, as does germline editing, because research involves the use of human embryos as subjects of experiments. At this time, all embryos are destroyed in the publicly reported and institutionally or legally regulated experiments. Due to extreme enthusiasm for the possibilities of…

"Research and procedures involve extensive killing of unborn human beings."

Does not compassionately heal a person – is not medicine or therapy.

Researchers engaged in genetic engineering of human embryos, and the bioethics scholars who provide justification, suggest that genetic engineering and medicine have the same goal of compassionate, therapeutic intervention to reduce the suffering of a person. The parents who choose the intervention and the scientist or doctor who performs the therapy will intend to eliminate inherited characteristics – described as “diseases” or “abnormalities” – that may harm the welfare of the child. We have always…

"Does not compassionately heal a person – is not medicine or therapy."

Causes despair for the new person in their identity and relationships.

What is personal identity? Christian insight into the truth of personal identity Genetic engineering and personal identity when enhancing human embryos Genetic engineering and personal identity when enhancing abilities Genetic engineering and personal identity when enhancing physical traits WHAT IS PERSONAL IDENTITY? Genetic engineering and personal identity are inherently linked topics. The identity of a person is their experience and perception of what makes them a unique and continuous being throughout life. Identity is also…

"Causes despair for the new person in their identity and relationships."

Imposes a lifetime of control and determination by parents.

Fast-developing technologies and therapies in the genetic sciences require that our society face some crucial moral questions about parental rights in genetic engineering of human embryos: Do parents have a moral right to approve editing of a human embryo’s DNA when genetic tests indicate that the new human being will likely experience a genetic “disease”, “defect”, abnormality, or disability? Do parents have a moral right to direct scientists to edit a human embryo’s DNA in…

"Imposes a lifetime of control and determination by parents."

Distorts authentic goals with an unfulfilling and irrational dream of perfection.

Genetic engineering and the goal of perfection Improvement necessarily implies perfection Perfection through genetic engineering of human embryos Dominion over nature doesn’t justify perfection of human beings GENETIC ENGINEERING AND THE GOAL OF PERFECTION Scientists, bioethicists, medical professionals, philosophers, and science fiction enthusiasts often dream of developing genetic engineering technology toward the eventual perfection of human beings and humanity itself. That dream implies that human beings can define what other human beings’ perfection entails and…

"Distorts authentic goals with an unfulfilling and irrational dream of perfection."

Weakens respect for the dignity of each human being throughout society.

Genetic engineering of human embryos will encourage an unprecedented loss of respect for the extraordinary nature and dignity of human life. Human Nature Carries a Special DignityEach of us believes in our heart that we are a unique, unrepeatable person who deserves respect from others, even if it’s only in our most basic rights. To have personal dignity means that we have an important level of value by simply being who we are. It means…

"Weakens respect for the dignity of each human being throughout society."

Enables vast government powers over our society.

In a world where many powerful or largely supported groups advocate forced population control such as China’s one-child policy and abortion-inducing vaccines in Africa, extensive restrictions on individual choices for environmental control, and decreasing freedoms to act according to religious moralities, government activism in regard to genetic engineering of human embryos would hardly be a surprise. If society turns a blind eye to issues related to genetic engineering and government control, the result could be…

"Enables vast government powers over our society."

Twin Baby Girls Herald a New Threat to Personhood

(This post was originally published at the Personhood Alliance blog. Click here to see their blog.) Time has run out for casual debates over the morality of human genetic editing. A new advance in technology called CRISPR enables scientists to effectively attempt modifications of unborn individuals’ given nature by editing their genes. This development has prompted bioethics scholars to argue over the desirability and morality of genetic therapies that transform a person’s identity and relationships.…

"Twin Baby Girls Herald a New Threat to Personhood"

Human Nature Is the Mystery of Genetic Evolution

In a recent article, Harvard biologist Mansi Srivastava was quoted as saying: “I can give you a list of genes that seem to be associated with an increase in complexity [of organisms], but at some level that’s not very powerful information. It can’t explain why a human looks like a human and a sponge looks like a sponge.” I’ll admit that I have referred, not very nicely, to some human beings as “sponges.” Still, I…

"Human Nature Is the Mystery of Genetic Evolution"

Today’s Champions of Genetic Engineering are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

A group of philosophers and bioethicists are aggressively promoting therapies that edit the genetic code in human beings. While seeming to offer moral justification for genetic editing of human DNA, their arguments ignite renewed zeal for the worst kind of tragedies experienced in the 20th century. The agenda of today’s champions of genetic editing is popularly called “liberal eugenics” because, like the eugenics ideology of the early 20th century, liberal eugenics drives us toward eradication…

"Today’s Champions of Genetic Engineering are Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing"

10 Reasons Why Reducing Suffering Doesn’t Justify Genetic Engineering

(This post was published in January 2019 at the Personhood Alliance blog. Click here to see their blog.) The experience of suffering has been a consistent and primary phenomenon in the history of the human species.   It seems clear that human nature involves an extraordinary drive to relieve our suffering. Our bodies avoid physical and psychical pain. Our minds seek to escape despair and depression. Our personal psychologies drive us to resolve the discomfort…

"10 Reasons Why Reducing Suffering Doesn’t Justify Genetic Engineering"

Parenting rights, disability, and human nature

I recently came across a report from the National Council on Disability, which is a U.S. government agency that evaluates and advocates for enhancement of the lives of persons with disabilities. The report outlines the various difficulties that people with disabilities wrestle with in giving birth to and retaining custody of children. The report brings up some contested ethical issues, such as the rights of disabled persons to conceive children and their rights to parent…

"Parenting rights, disability, and human nature"

Human nature reveals itself in beauty and becoming

In late 2017, the magazine Are We Europe revealed an inspirational story about a homeless man who spread love and good cheer among the people of Bristol, England. He achieved this while selling a magazine published for homeless people who want to earn an income. “Whoever meets Jeff in person doesn’t forget him easily. With the life he’s had so far, you’d be forgiven to assume he’d be a surly man, at war with the…

"Human nature reveals itself in beauty and becoming"

Criticism of Germline Engineering Experiment Misses the Mark

Widespread criticism followed the late 2018 reports that researcher He Jiankui had edited the genes of twin girls who were then born. The criticisms betray an ominous, persistent flaw in the current state of bioethics and scientific norms. He Jiankui’s experiment is a radical leap forward for genetic technologies that threaten human nature, not only because the genes of human embryos were edited (this has been done before), but because twin girls were born as…

"Criticism of Germline Engineering Experiment Misses the Mark"

Threat to Human Life Takes a Giant Leap Forward

“I see it as one of those moments that happens once every few decades, where someone does something that so dramatically changes the landscape that the world will never be the same again.” ~ William Hurlbut, Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University Medical Center’s Department of Neurobiology (CNN, 12/1/2018) A recent development in genetic enhancement research has shaken the entire scientific field, along with bioethicists, industry associations, and government regulators. The incident highlights several themes…

"Threat to Human Life Takes a Giant Leap Forward"