Christians like Elijah Thompson see nothing wrong with genetic engineering. Mr. Thompson writes articles such as “Why You Should Genetically Engineer Your Children.” But, as most advocates of genetic engineering do, Mr. Thompson disregards foundational elements of the Christian understanding of humanity, namely our mortality and “The Curse.” When I asked the writer about his omitting the subject of the curse from his article, he wrote:
Yet, the most pertinent Christian argument against science that tampers with human genetics is one’s understanding of fallen mankind and the according “Curse.” The moral line between medical treatment and genetic engineering lies at the desire to escape all semblance of mortality, apart from Christ.
Moreover, in the course of my twitter exchanges with Mr. Thompson, he was surprised by my mention of Transhumanism—as if it had no bearing on the topic at hand.
The pertinence of the Transhumanism movement on Genetic Engineering is undeniable, and the Christian must arm himself with knowing the motives and aims of those who advance Genetic Engineering. Please view the 7 min. video to come abreast of Transhumanism, produced by GF2045.com — the foremost international congress on Transhumanism:
Argumentation Against Human Engineering:
In order to give a reasonable biblical defense to those who advocate human genetic engineering, please see the below progression of thought.
- At conception, human embryos are indeed human, both in DNA and in developmental destiny. This being noted, human personhood (contingent upon consciousness) cannot possibly begin until a brain and heart are fully formed (3-4 wks. post conception).
- Sanctity of all human life is incontrovertible for those who believe mankind bears the Image of God, even amid the condition of humanity’s collective corruptible nature. The makeup of one’s given body in its given form is sacred and part of one’s whole self.
- God assigned “The Curse” upon mankind and all creation for fallen humanity’s sake. Why? The effects of The Curse serve to sternly remind mankind that humanity is mortal–neither whole nor “full of life”–apart from God.
- At implementation of “The Curse,” God drove mankind away from the Tree of Life in order to protect humanity from becoming immortal (without degenerative effects) while in a fallen condition. In the above video, Transhumanists clearly state their aim is immortality.
- Health disorders and sicknesses, both congenital and contracted, are examples of The Curse’s effects.
- God’s ultimate plan for removal of the corrupted nature and The Curse is redemption by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
- Regeneration (new spiritual birth)
- Resurrection (new physical body)
- Until the time of resurrection, treatment of existing disorders and sickness is a work of mercy and is therefore Godly. Remedy for specific, isolated medical conditions is not the same as elimination of all potential effects of The Curse through “enhancing” the inherent genome of humanity. Inoculations and immunizations do not alter the inherent (DNA) composition of one’s natural immune system but rather alert or stimulate the already intact and functioning system to fight infections and disease on the cellular level.
- Preventative medical treatments like genetic engineering of embryos do not treat existing conditions, but rather, seek to preempt potential medical conditions. As its end goals, genetic engineering (on the global level) desires to eliminate all possibility of genetically borne disorders in humans (a.k.a. eugenics); and also, to enhance immunity on the genetic level as opposed to the immune system level, so that mankind would no longer be susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. These kind of goals, though noble on the surface) are not corrective in nature for the situational health of a real-time medical patient. Rather, they require the alteration of humanity’s genome in perpetuity, forcing evolution to bring about a semblance of immortality …but never dealing with the ethics of who will or will not receive the treatment, much less who will profit from administering it.
- Gene Therapy for existing adult medical patients is equally controversial as genetic engineering of embryos, because part of one’s inherent genetic code must either be replaced, eliminated or sustain a foreign addition (animal or otherwise). This is not only inhuman, but it is risky. When one changes the DNA of a human, the innate codes that drive characteristics (on a species level) are altered. The exact results are unpredictable, and identity and matters of legality for altered humans become controversial.
- If humankind were to eliminate all possibility of genetically borne disorders and also perfect human immunity, then all effects of The Curse [besides susceptibility to physical violence and catastrophe] would be eliminated apart from God’s prescription. In short, mankind would no longer have any internal reminders that we aren’t whole apart from God. While humanity would not technically be “immortal,” we would live lives apart from degenerative effects, giving appearance of wholeness. [Aside: the Transhumanism movement desires to transfer whole consciousness into other “vessels” (bodies, avatars, etc.)].
- The majority of conservative translations show that Daniel 2:43 prophetically warns of a time when mankind will mix its genetics with that which is not entirely human.
- Revelation 9:6 prophetically warns that end times humanity “…will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.” (ESV)
Treatment of existing, real-time illness or disorder is not only permissible but to be encouraged in the name of God’s mercy. Christians do not oppose the merciful elimination of specific diseases, but we have always opposed altering humanity’s inherent and determinate makeup in order to do it. Genetic Engineering does just that. Genetic engineering of human embryos for selection, modification or enhancement is alteration of a human’s potential self and his or her potential, untampered existence. This is immoral to humanity in the Image of God. It betrays an escapist mentality with regard to the effects of the Curse, and it does not recognize or revere God’s ultimate plan to eliminate said effects via redemption through Jesus Christ.
Federal panel approves first test of CRISPR editing in humans – The Washington Post https://t.co/3RyzpPUADA
— Sam Kean (@snkean) July 7, 2016
Royal Society Meeting to Discuss Evolution Paradigm Shift, What That Means for Science and for All | Huffington Post, Dec. 25, 2015 (Genomics, Epigenomics)
— RT (@RT_com) December 24, 2015
First GMO Corn, Then Frankenfish, And Now — Get Ready For Designer Babies | Natural Blaze, Dec. 25, 2015
The Futurist: Human DNA Modification | The Daily (of the University of Washington), Oct. 5, 2015
Threading the CRISPR Needle with DNA Nanoclews | GEN News Highlights, Aug. 31 2015
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) August 26, 2015
Update: Christianity Today, Dec. 15, 2015 “GM Embryos: What do Christians Think?”
Washington Post | Controversial gene therapy might help women have healthy children — Aug. 3, 2015
The New York Times | Genetically Modified Babies — Feb. 23, 2014
US Army: ‘Super Soldier’ Genetically Modified Humans Won’t Need Food, Sleep | Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/us-army-super-soldier-genetically-modified-humans-food-sleep/#ixzz3hc7gWkkf