Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Playing God

As we figure ways to quell or at least moderate the debilitating effects of diseases and birth defects, might we be playing God? If so, how do we justify it? Is He happy about this? Or merely indifferent?

If we are not playing God through our intervention, what might this be construed as then? How is this any different from the idea of “custom designing” babies, a.k.a. Aldous Huxley's “Brave New World”? What if God has things just as they are because He wants things just as they are? If all outcomes, both good and bad, are God's will, then perhaps we should just let the chips fall as they “will”.

Now many will of course claim that “designing” a perfect baby is wrong but to “fix” a “broken” one is encouraged, perhaps even obligatory. However, what if at some point in the future, a “broken” baby is one who today would quite comfortably be considered perfectly acceptable? Is this speculation unreasonable ? I don't think it is in the least.

This once again points to the lack of any absolute standard in which to determine whether a baby is in an acceptable state or not. What is the minimum state of a baby such that in one situation we can engender changes by justifiably “playing God“ whereas in another we can not justifiably “play God” because this would most certainly entail vain pursuits sure to anger God?

I have discussed previously that as we progress technologically, socially, morally and perhaps in any and every other way, it seems we get farther and farther away from “perfection”. I do not think we are actually moving farther away from perfection, rather I think we just become evermore aware that we are much farther from perfection than previously thought.

Furthermore, as I have exhaustively argued in other writings, I think perfection is in principle impossible to achieve! Hence the reason we will never attain perfection. Kind of like the wisdom of one who knows he knows very little as opposed to one who thinks he knows much but actually knows very little. If there is no absolute way to determine whether any particular person's playing God is acceptable or not, perhaps we should let either everybody or nobody play God?

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