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Design and DestinyJewish and Christian Perspectives on Human Germline Modification$
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Ronald Cole-Turner

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262033732

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262033732.001.0001

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Judaism and Germline Modification

Judaism and Germline Modification

(p.29) 2 Judaism and Germline Modification
Design and Destiny

Elliot N. Dorff

The MIT Press

This chapter introduces the various ways religions draw upon ancient texts and traditions to make sense of contemporary challenges. It illustrates that from the tradition and perspectives of Judaism, there is a strong presumption in favor of medicine and the moral legitimacy of altering the natural world for a good purpose, and thus in favor of germline modification. The Jewish discussion of all medical issues is presented, and five Jewish texts that can be used in modifying human genetic structure are then analyzed. The chapter shows that the strong Jewish commitment to medicine argues that genetic manipulation should be engaged to cure or prevent diseases.

Keywords:   germline modification, Judaism, medicine, moral legitimacy, Jewish texts, human genetic structure

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