Contested ReproductionGenetic Technologies, Religion, and Public Debate

Contested ReproductionGenetic Technologies, Religion, and Public Debate

John H. Evans

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226222653

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Scientific breakthroughs have led us to a point where soon we will be able to make specific choices about the genetic makeup of our offspring. In fact, this reality has arrived—and it is only a matter of time before the technology becomes widespread. Much like past arguments about stem-cell research, the coming debate over these reproductive genetic technologies (RGTs) will be both political and, for many people, religious. In order to understand how the debate will play out in the United States, this book presents an in-depth study of the claims made about RGTs by religious people from across the political spectrum. Some of the opinions this book documents are familiar, but others—such as the idea that certain genetic conditions produce a “meaningful suffering” that is, ultimately, desirable—provide a fascinating glimpse of religious reactions to cutting-edge science. Not surprisingly, the book discovers that for many people opinion on the issue closely relates to their feelings about abortion, but it also finds a shared moral language that offers a way around the unproductive polarization of the abortion debate and other culture-war concerns.