Ethics essay – Genetic engineering
a.) Explain the main ethical principles of the religion you have studied with regard to genetic engineering Genetic engineering plays quite a major role in our society, and its influence is only going to increase. Parts of this area of science can even dictate if people are more likely to get certain diseases, even leading to the possibility of choosing the gender, or hair colour of babies born to couples. The amount of freedom and power we allow to those experimenting and developing genetic engineering, and how it used, will hugely affect our generation, and those following. Natural Law is an absolute, Christian theory, and can be applied to this situation, so that followers of this theory know how to respond. The origins of Natural Law are found with the Stoics, and Aristotle, before being further developed by Cicero, and then finalised by St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th Century. It aims allow for flourishing – Eudaimonia for Aristotle – in society, or ultimately perfection for Aquinas, by following the five Primary Precepts, as well as the Secondary Precept. These form the basis of the theory, and were brought together by Aquinas, when had formed the theory and coined the name `Natural Law`. Crucially, we also know that Aquinas said that “Everything has a purpose revealed in its design”, which plays an important part in relating to medical ethics as, in this case, it is tampering with our `design`. Already we see that the idea of genetic engineering goes against Natural Law’s ethics, as it is a deontological theory, and it would argue that our duty is not to try and change our design. The five Primary Precepts involve: the preservation of life; living peacefully in society; worshiping God; reproduction, and also the education of the young. All of these should be remembered, although they aren’t all relevant to the topic of genetics. The Precepts that would be most relevant in relation to this topic would be the preservation...
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