Christianity & Judaism's Impact On Genetic Engineering

Essay by pjm July 2004

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You've all heard about cloning of Dolly the sheep, the Human Genome Project and other applications of genetic engineering and the great advantages it could have, right?

Well I bet that you didn't know how Christianity and Judaism impact this bioethical issue as well as the lives of everyday believers.

Their are many genetic engineering issues that can interfere with Christian ethics, these which are found in Scriptures, the natural law, human experience, and authorities and traditions within the structures of Christian Churches, for example, from the Christian variant of Catholism the Pope is seen as an authority.

Pope John Paul II has said to 50,000 farmers from Italy and elsewhere at a special outdoor mass dedicated to farmers that using genetically modified organisms to

increase production was contrary to God's will. The Pope told them "resist the temptation of high productivity and profit that work to the detriment of the respect of nature."

Despite the Popes words experts expect the statement to have limited impact on developed countries who have developed attitudes toward biotechnology, however it is expected to influence developing countries as they may value their belief in Christianity more than that of material wealth. Heart Turner, a Rome food safety consultant formerly associated with the World Food Programme said "In many

parts of the world, the Pope's views on a wide variety of subjects are

taken far more seriously than their own government's views or the

results of any scientific survey."

The Seventh-day Adventist do not condemn genetic engineering but advice caution, they believe exploitations and manipulations that would destroy natural balance or degrade God's created world should be prohibited.

Bishop Jaydee Hanson of the United Methodist Church, (a Christian variant) has stated, "Genes are God-given, and thus man should not be glorified as the creator of...