Gene editing: Are we sure, we should be against?


(Jacob Hammeraa Toldam) #1

I am a little puzzled with the main arguments against gene editing. Personally, I think the technology is too young and untested for me to decide my standpoint. I am not sure, however, if I can make sense of these two arguments:

  1. What if they create a human with some horrible, heritable defect? That would be a grievous event, indeed.
  2. We are created in the image of God and should not be experimentally toying with an image bearer.

Ad.1. People are born with horrible, heritable defects every day - and it is in fact grievous. That is what we want to do something about.
Ad.2. Human kind was created in the image of God. I assume he didn’t create anybody purposely with some horrible, heritable defect. And why shouldn’t we be experimentally toying with an image bearer, if the end result is healing of seakness and improved life. If the end result is not that: end of discussion! And no cure for any illness or defect has been created without an initial testing and experimental fase. If there is a possibility for millions of people to have improved life, then please use my body for testing :smile:

When Jesus ministered to people, he healed the sick. It is one of the main focus areas of God. So the real question seems to be: Will this technology heal millions of people in the future? If yes: Should christians really stand in the way, because it doesn’t happen the way we thought it would? The teachers of the law rejected Jesus, because he appeared differently than they thought he would. I believe we risk standing in the way of God himself. Nobody can discover or invent anything in the world, that God hasn’t already invented.

Know a tree by it’s fruit. If we only create more defects, the discussion whether to continue with this
technology is a no-brainer. Matt.11:4-5: ‘Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor."’


(sy_garte) #2

There is a scientifically based argument against gene editing or genetic engineering. The most likely scenario is that the technology will be used to “improve” human biology. Curing inborn genetic errors and diseases is a great idea. But, many people also have other ideas for applications. Can people be made to be taller, stronger, smarter? Better looking? And so on. The problem with that approach is that while it might sound very desirable to produce a strong, healthy, brilliant generation of human beings, it is very dangerous to do so. The reason is the loss of diversity. Genetic diversity is essential for the survival of any species. I we were to make ourselves all 6 feet tall, we would be flirting with extinction. Genetic diversity is part of the evolutionary method for the creation of successful species. To me, it is also the way God created life. So I strongly believe that gene editing goes against the natural basis for human success as a species as well as the design of life from God. It makes sense to me that both would be in agreement, since all natural laws, including evolutionary and biological ones come from God.


(Jacob Hammeraa Toldam) #3

Very interesting response indeed. It makes a lot of sense. I strongly doubt, though, that enough people would voluntary choose to have genetic modified children for the loss of diversity to be an issue. And would those choosing it all choose 6 feet tall children? Wouldn’t a diversified population choose diversified?

But if in fact it is an issue, shouldn’t the focus be on separating ‘curing inborn genetic errors’ from ‘human biological improvements’? Most technologies in the world can be misused. That doesn’t mean, we have to throw them away altogether and loose the potential benefits.


(system) #4

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