Recent calls by scientists to approve human genetic modification experiments illustrates time running out to influence debate on GRINS, transhumanism.
Brent Waters, Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values has written, “If Christians are to help shape contemporary culture—particularly in a setting in which I fear the posthuman message will prove attractive, if not seductive—then they must offer an alternative and compelling vision; a counter theological discourse so to speak.”
Although the Vatican in 2008 issued a limited set of instructions on bioethics primarily dealing with in vitro fertilization and stem cell research (Dignitas Personae or “the Dignity of the Person”) and a handful of Christian scientists, policy makers, and conservative academics have hinted in public commentary on the need for a broader, manifesto-like document on the subject, the church as an institution has failed at any concerted effort to focus on the genetics revolution, the government’s interest in human enhancement, the viral transhumanist philosophy capturing the mind of a generation at colleges and universities (not to mention via popular media), and the significant moral and ethical issues raised by these trends. While the Vatican’s Dignitas Personae failed to provide instructions on the greater issue of biological enhancement (as envisioned by transhumanists and espoused by agencies of the U.S. and other federal governments as the next step in human evolution), its positional paper did provide an important bird’s-eye view on the clash developing between traditional morality and the contradictory adoption of transhumanist philosophy by Christian apologists, who likewise have begun to question what it means to be human and whose competing moral vision could ultimately shape the future of society. (Click to Article)