Wednesday’s Words of WorryWednesday, 11 June, 2008
Today’s Words are from none other than the Catholic Church. Well, written by some members of the International Theological Commission and approved for publication by Cardinal Ratzinger (who is now Pope Benedict XVI).
“Enhancement genetic engineering aims at improving certain specific characteristics. The idea of man as “co-creator” with God could be used to try to justify the management of human evolution by means of such genetic engineering. But this would imply that man has full right of disposal over his own biological nature. Changing the genetic identity of man as a human person through the production of an infrahuman being is radically immoral. The use of genetic modification to yield a superhuman or being with essentially new spiritual faculties is unthinkable, given that the spiritual life principle of man – forming the matter into the body of the human person – is not a product of human hands and is not subject to genetic engineering. The uniqueness of each human person, in part constituted by his biogenetic characteristics and developed through nurture and growth, belongs intrinsically to him and cannot be instrumentalized in order to improve some of these characteristics. A man can only truly improve by realizing more fully the image of God in him by uniting himself to Christ and in imitation of him. Such modifications would in any case violate the freedom of future persons who had no part in decisions that determine his bodily structure and characteristics in a significant and possibly irreversible way.” – International Theological Commission, Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God (2004), paragraph 91
Oh, must have fallen asleep. I’m now so tired I can’t even be bothered responding to that mumbo-jumbo.