Genetic engineering is one the next great scientific advances that will lead humanity into a new age (if ever it is deemed ethical), and so, unsurprisingly, it is a subject faced with controversy and argument. This author is in favour of genetic engineering.
Previous scientific advances have been equally controversial; nuclear fission gave us the nuclear power plant and the hydrogen bomb, computer technology gave us the PC and the heat-seeking missile, the engine gave us a method of transport and entertainment whilst producing chemicals that we have recently determined are harmful to the environment. Almost every major scientific breakthrough has had its positives and negatives.
Now genetic engineering has been identified as a possible future. There are positive sides and negative sides, as is normal in any scientific progression. There are those for and those against.
Negative arguments that repel the use of genetic engineering are well established. The ethical issues related to the creation of a perfect human race have traces of fascism in them echoing the Nazi party's attempted creation of the Aryan Race. Couples could be offered male or female children by their own choice, leading to the possibility of a major gender imbalance. Biological weapons could be genetically created to wipe out cities, and there is of course the prospect of a global killer being genetically created. Playing God by becoming the creator of a biological organism is an issue opposed by many religious people.
There are many arguments that show the future of genetic engineering to be bleak. Certainly, these negative points are justified, and if genetic engineering where to become ethical, not every aspect of it would be made legal. Designer babies, for example, should be made no more legal than building a nuclear bomb in your basement, but there are positive aspects of genetic engineering that should absolutely be considered by everyone, even those who consider themselves religious and therefore outright opposed to it.
I am a Christian. More specifically, I am Catholic. I will not deny that I am a member of one of the most intolerant religious sections in human history, and although I share many values of Catholicism I do not follow all of them, but religion has influenced my opinions. I should also mention, however, that I am also a scientist.
Many religious writers make it clear that they consider genetic engineering outright evil, some even calling it "the pursuit of darkness". I personally consider this a bit strong. There are aspects of genetic engineering that are entirely unethical and should never be allowed to become legal, this I agree with, but not everything about the matter is morally wrong.
The positive aspects of genetic engineering vastly outweigh the negatives in this author's opinion. About 24% of the world's annual deaths are caused by diseases that in turn are caused by genetically inherited faults in the human genome. Genetic engineering could prevent this. Genetic engineering could lead to the formation of a world without cancer, Alzheimer's and even obesity and addiction. And this is not through the creation of a new species, nor is it through the creation of a perfect human race, this is the editing of what God has given us using the tools He has provided. We experience the world to show our goodness in helping others, so the responsibility of the religious and non-religious alike is not to reject this scientific leap, it is to support it so that the lives of millions can be saved.