Genetic engineering has been used in most areas that have high populations in order to try and produce more food. Both the industries and the government turn to genetic engineering for food. In India where Hinduism is common, studies that range from genetic studies of human beings to the medical and agricultural applications have had a quick response. However, for Hinduism, such studies have raised ethical questions (Bhat, 2015).
Majority of the pharmaceutical companies consider the traditional genetic knowledge obtained from tribal individuals and villages. Later, they patent and engineer products that the local individuals receive no credit and later pay for them. The same is experienced under patenting and altering of seeds that are taken out of the hands of ordinary farmers and placed under corporate control (Bhat, 2015).
Despite the positive nature of genetic engineering, there are ethical questions that are raised by Hinduism. Such questions include the moral limits that genetic engineering needs to reach or respect given that all the nature is considered as God’s body. Does the desires of dharma permit commercial (for profit) and patenting ownership in any form of life? Is the crossing of various species, genetically acceptable (Bhat, 2015).
The responses of Hindu religions are quite different from the other western religions. Hinduism views nature in a similar manner. There is no radical separation between other forms of life and humans. From the perspective of Jaina, the form of life extends from humans to animals, plants, water, air and other molecules of matter (Crews, Cotner, & McCreary, 2013). The radical continuity proposed has ethical implications on genetic engineering. Hinduism corrects the tendencies experienced in modern science and technology where the view of genetic engineering is directed from a perspective that it needs to benefit humans or the benefit that it will accrue to humans. The ethical perspective of Hinduism will correct such a perspective and therefore question the ethical nature of genetic engineering (Bhat, 2015). Other religions such as Christianity may question genetic engineering when it comes to human use to try and breed the human species as God made man in his image. However, in the case of plants and being bred to benefit humans, it may be less strict as according to the bible, humans need to make earth a better place and should benefit from it.
- Bhat, P. R. (2015). Religious Ethics, General Ethics, and Engineering Ethics: A Reflection. Contemporary Ethical Issues in Engineering, 99.
- Crews, T., Cotner, J., & McCreary, C. (2013). Cultural Beliefs, Values, and the Biogeochemical Cycling of P. Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future, 142.