Is the manipulation of genetic material, its addition, deletion, insertion to re-create, restructure or create a different (DNA/RNA) matrix, thereby creating a new phenotype a good or bad thing?
This technique is very useful to man for the following reasons:
A) Agriculture, new strains and breeds, more crop production.
B) New strains of bacteria and antibiotics.
C) Medical genetics, fetal abnormalities, to be able to remove deleterious allele(s) and splice the correct/normal one, hence diminish or eliminate abnormal (chromosomal) genotypes (the genetic makeup) and phenotypes (how the offspring actually looks). This applies to both plant and animal).
The question generally asked is, Does man have the moral right or authority to alter the genetic material of an embryo whether for removal of a deleterious allele or improvement of existing ones, thereby creating his choice of the ideal looking phenotype and genotype.
The basic question asked by religious figures and philosophers is essentially, Does man have the moral authority or right to engage in these particular scientific/genetic/biological actions. Does man have the right to make new genotype and thus create a phenotype of choice? Most would immediately argue that we are intruding on sacred ground and its not within the purview of man to do such experiments. Its interfering with Gods work. Why this reaction?
Who gives man the right to do anything? By whose authority does he build a plane, design buildings, and restructure any material object and add to its improvement? We, ourselves, give the right or moral authority. Is the right to recreate or improve a certain mechanical or material device any different from that of improving genetic material? It would seem not.
Surely humans ought to assiduously work towards developing and evolving such strategies, inventions, and devices as would enhance and assist them in dealing and coping with mundane affairs so that they are more relaxed, less stressed, more in spiritual harmony, and have more spare time. These attributes contribute to attaining a peaceful state of mind and the ability to devote more time to constructive, creative pursuits. In this way humans evolve. Thus it is the purpose, the ultimate aim behind the creation or improvement of a material thing, which would lend some degree of value to humankinds actions. A guiding principle would be that if it would assist in the evolution (in the broadest sense) of the individual and humanity then it has value it is good and we ought to give ourselves that right/responsibility/moral authority to do it. Since all actions used have karmic consequences, doesn’t intent again play a vital role?
When we remove a bad gene and splice or substitute a good one, we are in fact creating a better possibility for the offsprings manifestation and evolution. We prevent years of agony for parents, the child, and society. Health institutions save money for supportive care, which could be used in a more constructive form. This could be seen as a form of preventative medicine. Are we not merely using our knowledge of one aspect of Gods laws and enhancing humankind, adding to our physical and spiritual evolution? This aspect of genetic engineering then seems to be in accordance with Gods laws to enhance the continuity of life and to ensure that the organism continues to be. This is the whole essence and purpose of physical evolution, which normally takes millions of years. But humans, with a far better understanding of natures laws are merely assisting and fast-forwarding this law of evolution by gene inclusion and deletion to create the fittest genotypes.
Now, the other aspect is: Can we, or rather should we, attempt to enhance the genotype and phenotype of our children? What then about improving the phenotype? In addition to the foregoing arguments, should we not initially ask, Will this improvement aid humans in an evolutionary way? Is it of true value to people?
Surely, it is of immense value to humans where and when deleterious genes must be removed and added, inserted, etc. where it helps to attain a disease free state physically. Then surely it should be done. However, merely improving or changing the phenotype to give parents a transient concept of ideal beauty for their child is surely futile, expensive, misdirected and serves only to satisfy ego not humankinds higher nature. Does this phenotype by choice add to his spiritual evolution? I don’t see how. Again and again, we are confronted with that fundamental question of human kinds purpose on earth and how and where energies ought to be directed.
It seems to me that it is a waste of energy, resources, and creativity to engage in research that would ultimately serve to improve or rather change a transient vehicle to a concept of better beauty. This would, in fact, be directing energies to the mundane material plane rather than the spiritual plane. As such humans would not be maximizing their illumination or making best use of their current incarnations, which is a precious gift and opportunity from the universal cosmic mind.
In addition, some already attempt to enhance the non-physical aspects of their children by pre-natal visualization and postnatal training and education. These are well in accordance with the laws of God.
Personally, I would have to say, at the present time that in the eyes of the cosmic, phenotypic features are irrelevant. The soul personality will always be attracted to that body and environment necessary for its evolution. If people try to improve the phenotypes this could be seen as a constructive or evolutionary influence. Note that in the cosmic, even different races or racial characteristics are merely incidental to environmental influences and are no way relevant, so long as that phenotype could effectively house the soul personality, then the law is obeyed. In the cosmic psyche our human illusion constructs, such as tall, white, beautiful, blonde, dark, etc., are non-existent.
The danger here of course is that we humans confer a concept of beauty and elegance, and if it is determined that only a certain race and phenotypic qualities of that race should be propagated then it seems that, we are not being tolerant and understanding. I would think that it would not matter one iota to the cosmic if all humans are blue, pink, green, tall, ugly, or whatever, as long as the cosmic law and purpose of reincarnation can be fulfilled. Again, mans INTENT is of paramount importance.
If a person wants to create one race because he feels the others are inferior, then hes wrong. If he wants to improve certain phenotypes of his own race to create or engender an increased a sense of beauty, then he’ll forever be engaged in a futile search for the absolute beauty, which is such a relative thing.
Human knowledge and energies should be directed to those endeavors, which will enhance ones ability to be, to improve society and most of all, to enhance and improve the possibility of self-actualization, fulfilling ones mission in life, and optimizing soul personality evolution.
While people must direct their energies to issues and matters of the mundane world, greatest emphasis must be on creating those conditions, which would evolve the soul personality rather than the physical body. Sure, adequate research is required to help eliminate dangerous genes from the population, but thereafter, rather than divesting and investing so much time and money in trying to improve transient, ephemeral, illusory, material and short-lived objects, e.g. the body, would greatly accelerate spiritual evolution by using creativity, knowledge, and illumination towards making humankind more sensitive to the pulse and directions of the universal cosmic mind, to ones mission in life and to ones purpose here on earth.
This is the true economy of life.
By concentrating on frivolous issues like trying to be more beautiful, humans simply create more economic problems, more stress, more frustrations, and more disharmonies, while continuing to live superficial lives.
People must actively and passionately seek to improve their spiritual selves, even at the expense of the physical world perfection and grandeur. This is in accordance with the divine laws of God. This is precisely the purpose of incarnating. Thus, by doing so we are, in fact, assisting nature in its purpose. We are truly serving God. Everything revolves around the purpose of human kinds existence and how we should best use our privilege of objective consciousness during his lifetime (precious conscious interlude). If then, humans invest time, resources and creativity in seeking to develop the ultimate in physical evolution while neglecting the spiritual evolution, then they are wrong. A balance is required.
In future articles, we will explore the following special topics:
a) Spontaneous Remissions and Miracle Cures.
c) Coping with Bereavement.
e) The Psychology of Precognition and Prediction (seeing the future).
g) Reincarnation concepts
-By Dr. Ranjie Singh