EPISODE 11

BIOTECHNOLOGY: ARE WE PLAYING GOD?

Biotechnology is both a blessing and a curse to modern man. But, how do we, as Christians, tackle this ethical dilemma? Are we playing God when we use Biotechnologies to manipulate life?

Biotechnology began in antiquity when people used yeast to produce leavened bread. In 1857, Louis Pasteur discovered how this fermentation process worked. Today, we employ biotechnology to cure diseases, feed the world’s population, restore the environment, and produce fuel. Biotechnology impacts our daily life in a myriad of ways. Yet the same biotechnology that brings cures and conveniences often raises ethical concerns.

While previously the major bioethical issues confronting Christians are concerned with the destruction of innocent human life, both at the beginning of life in abortion, and at the end of life in euthanasia, today we have a range of new troubling bioethical dilemmas that have arisen over the last thirty years. So instead of just talking about the destruction of human life (whatever one may mean with ‘life’), we are now debating over the ethics in the technological advances to create and manipulate human life ie reproductive technologies, cloning, and stem cell research.

Are we playing God when we change the genetic blueprint of bacteria for human benefit? Or when we are allowed to select the sex of a future child? When we allow this progress to overwrite what formerly only God knows and could do, are we in danger of going down the slippery slope? God created human beings in his image- so when we clone a human being, whose image is this creation?

Alexa Ho speaks with Dr Alex Tang on this interesting topic.

Guests:

Dr Alex Tang

Dr Alex Tang is the founder and director of Kairos Spiritual Formation Ministries formed in 1998 which serves as a ministry for preaching and teaching about spiritual formation and transformation in churches, camps, seminars and bible seminaries. In 2003, he also started the Spiritual Formation Institute at the Holy Light Church in JB, which he’s currently serving as an elder. He also teaches practical theology at MBS, STM and East Asia School of Theology (EAST) in Singapore. He wrote widely and frequently, and has contributed much of his thoughts to several magazines such as Asian Beacon, and most of his books are being sold in Christian book stores, and they include topics that we are going to discuss today.

But writing and teaching are not his fulltime job. Dr Alex is a real physician, in fact a Senior Consultant Paediatrician at the KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital, JB. We are so very honoured to have him with us on the show!