Pagan Values Month: Medical Ethics
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where the Earth is the center of the universe, the Sun revolves around it, and up in those clouds is Heaven, where we go when we die if we're good. The Earth is 6,000 years old. It was created in six days by a bearded white guy who had a special fondness for the Middle East, specifically the region just east of the Mediterranean Sea. This same guy made all the animals from scratch, each to its own. He had to rest on Day Seven because he got bitten by a tse tse fly.
Yes. This is all a crock. Science proves it. Most Pagans are fine with science. You don't see many people going around trying to prove that a benign Goddess set in motion our fabulous biosphere by spreading her cape over the whole earth.
The vast, vast majority of Pagans support the right for a woman to choose how to use her own body. There's always room for lively debate, but the bottom line is that Pagans value autonomy.
However, there are medical breakthroughs on the horizon that may give Pagans pause.
*How do you feel about the cloning of an extinct woolly mammoth, using mammoth DNA preserved in permafrost and an elephant as a surrogate mother?
Bamp! overruled. Unfair to the creature generated by the procedure, as it will have no buddies.
*How do you feel about cloning extinct animals that are more recent, like passenger pigeons and Tasmanian tigers?
Bamp! ummm, Not bamp? We at "The Gods Are Bored" aren't sure how we feel about this. If the critters were only produced to populate zoos, well. That would stink.
*How do you feel about genetic engineering that would allow you to tweak your unborn child's DNA, giving it a higher IQ, blue eyes, and above-average athletic skills?
Bamp! Smacks of Master Race. Not bamp? Gets rid of pesky diseases like bipolar disorder? Ambivalent bamp? Many bipolar people are quite creative...
*How do you feel about nanobots, tiny robots that would be introduced into the bloodstream and would be programmed to eat cancerous tumors?
WHEW! This is just getting stickier and stickier! Yes to curing cancer, Ick to having robots in the bloodstream.
As far as we at "The Gods Are Bored" are concerned, the Big Bad Question of Modern Science is...
*How do you feel about medical research that may prolong human life to 400 years, 800 years, indefinitely? Sound like science fiction? Not really. Hardly more daunting than cloning a mammoth.
Anyway, the point of this little entry on Pagan Values Month is that science continues to evolve, and its pace is quickening. Best not to look to one single old book for guidance. Let's debate these thorny issues as they arise.
Pagan Values: Evaluate thorny scientific issues with all modern techniques at your disposal, while still applying ethical rules that make you personally comfortable and make all things equitable for the human race.
Tomorrow at "The Gods Are Bored": Learn how to re-create your beloved granny from a single strand of her hair.