Blog: Hope 4 Heroes: Op-Ed Post: Is There a Gene for the Human Spirit? (Part 2 of 3-)

A continuation from the first blog post titled: Ready for Battle? Can Genetic Engineering Vaporize PTSD?

What this OP-ED blog post is about: Using genetic engineering to combat PTSD. Is this concept a New Age hoax or a proven scientific way for PTSD-afflicted soldiers to find their “happy place?”  And where—and if—does the Creator fit in to the healing process?   (Original published post can be downloaded at the end of this more readable text-only post)

Gene IMAGE Human Spirit“Is There a Gene for the Human Spirit”? – Engineering Company Promises to “Vaporize” Combat PTSD (Part 2 of 3 –

Before I answer this intriguing question, let me just state that my only real interest here is to get people to THINK before they leap into the giant gene pool of human perfection via the savior of technology. To do that,
first I need to lay a little groundwork on the subject of human genetic engineering.

Then, in Part 3 of this blog series, we’ll be talking about soldiers becoming lab rats for genetic and/or social scientists. Not to mention cults like Scientology, and self-described “enlightened” religions like Wicca that are proliferating in the military while Christianity is being driven out by a politically correct agenda. Is this a fluke or a trend that will only continue?

To continue where I left on in last week’s post: Ready for Battle: Engineering Company Promises to “Vaporize” Combat PTSD)

So, what is the big deal about human genetic engineering anyway? After all, why not use it if it works to make people happy, healthy human beings? And even if it might be morally questionable, doesn’t the end sometimes justify the means? And wouldn’t it be especially beneficial for our returning soldiers who, after all, need to be at their optimum self in order to get the job done (assuming they will be going back into battle for future tours of duty).  Don’t we want to preserve our returning vets’ sanity, and to keep their families intact?

For those who have been hiding under a rock, human genetic engineering, also sometimes called “social” engineering, is the nouveau science of the future. It promises to genetically alter or “improve” man’s DNA so that we can all be, as Mary Poppins would say, “practically perfect in every way.” In other words, come as close to perfection as one can get before the inevitable wrinkles and decay take over and we all go gently into that good night.

Notable authors such as H.G. Wells, author of The Time Machine and The Island of Dr. Moreau was one of the more influential and vocal Utopians, believing that man could—and should—attempt to achieve a blissful existence on earth. Actually some of the things he conceived as fiction (like wireless technology) are in evidence today.

On another side note, it’s interesting to me how many Utopians are also socialists—meaning that they rarely believe in a personal God, and if they do, they attempt to create “him” or “her” in their own image. Makes sense, really, since if this life is all there is and there is no Higher Being to be accountable to, then why not mess with DNA to create that perfect world order?

If a perfect world order is what we really want. I, for one, have yet to watch a sci-film that shows such a concept in a positive light.  Recent (as in the last 7 years)  popular sci-films like Gattaca (one of the better ones in this genre) give us a prophetic glimpse into the dark reality of what that kind of genetically altered future might actually look alike.  More recently, the remake of the ’60’s TV cult classic, The Prisoner shows us human engineering at its highest–and most frightening–utopian level of perfection.

As an interesting aside (keep with me here…hop hop hoppin’ down these bunny trails can be intriguing):  if you look at the web site for AMC’s Summakor (the corporation that engineered “The Village” in The Prisoner ), it looks eerily similar to the Great Life Technologies site. Except that one is real and the other fake. (Though in the world of human engineering, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell where “real” begins and “fake” ends.) I mention this similarity only because it’s…well, kind of creepy. Check it out and you’ll know what I mean.

Hello jpg Dolly

So, what about the morality of human genetic engineering? (I’ll talk about the theological implications in Part 3). Ever since the most recognizable poster faces of genetic engineering, a.k.a. the cloned sheep sister act, “Hello Dolly, Hello Dolly,” took center stage, the subject has been an issue fraught with moral and ethical dilemmas. And not just for Christians. Certain secular humanists give solid and well-thought ethical arguments against mankind trying to forever achieve a state of perfection. Read A Case Against Perfection in The Atlantic Monthly and you’ll discover some pretty well-thought out arguments. One thought provoking quote from this article: “When science moves faster than moral understanding, as it does today, men and women struggle to articulate their unease.”

For those who do articulate their “unease” about genetic manipulation, they still fail to offer much of an alternative. Perhaps they believe we should just be satisfied with living a short–but flawed–life on this earth before we all vaporize into sweet oblivion. Neither view—needless suffering or an artificially contrived existence—presents a particularly attractive alternative to me.

One thing is obvious. When it comes to the idea of genetically altering weak and flawed human beings—including reaching that state of perennial bliss no matter what the cost—there has been a definite warming trend for this concept in this country. The widespread acceptance of views and practices that were once precursors to Holocaust atrocities such as euthanasia  (a society decides who should live based on their perceived ideas of perfection), assisted suicide (life is only worth living when the pain of it—either physically or emotionally—is still bearable), and abortion (life is only valuable when one is wanted),  is certainly related to that warming trend for one simple reason: when you stop believing that God is both Creator and Judge of all mankind, then it’s the quality of life vs. the value of life itself that causes the pointer on your moral compass to change direction.

While most professing Christians would not subscribe to any of the aforementioned beliefs, it can be said that far to many of them in our culture—like the rest of Western society— seem more concerned with keeping up external appearances vs eternal appearances, a.k.a. “”fixing our hearts on those things that are above, rather than below.” I confess, I’ve been guilty of this sin of spiritual misplacement myself. Let’s be honest— it’s not always easy to go against the grain.

I think it’s safe to say that once we become less developed in our “inner man” or “outer man” suddenly takes on more importance. Case in point: Once confined only to La-La land (L.A.) the practice of plastic surgery has exploded throughout the country. Don’t like getting old? Seeing too many men leave their wives for younger women? Then make yourself feel better—at least temporarily—by taking advantage of that $999 Brow Lift or $300 Botox Injection offer that comes with the “Buy Two Dinners, Get one Free” coupon inserted inside your Value Pak mailer. (That ought to give you at least a few more hits on eHarmony.)

Then there’s the emotional side. Anxious? Stressed Out?  No problem. Just pop a pill or go in for a little bio-feedback. And if we–or our child–is distracted? Buy the latest book on A.D.D, join a support group and/or take your Ritalin. The same with depression. I think it’s safe to say that being perennially down in the dumps has had a huge upside—at least for the pharmaceutical companies. In 2007, sales of antidepressants topped a whopping $11.9 billion in the U.S.

One of these days, I’m going to sit down and actually figure out what 11.9 billion buckaroos could buy besides anesthetizing people who have lost their sense of purpose in life. Something tells me if you took most of the chronically depressed people and shipped them out to a Third World country for a few months, giving them the money they would have spent on antidepressants and doctors, saying, “Here, go help people who are worse off than you,” they might just be miraculously cured. But again, I digress. (I really do have to stop that.)

Ironically, in the 1950s, reported cases of depression were practically unheard of, but now the World Health Organization warns it could become the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020. Did you get that? The second leading cause!

Which brings us  back to PTSD—a subject that is, of course, fraught with its own controversy. Like anything else in the forefront of the media, I think it gets exploited for either political purposes and/or for monetary gain—from both sides of the aisle. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that it’s real or that it needs to be addressed. After all, we all have the “God job” of helping to “comfort those who are afflicted” and to give hope where there is no hope—especially on behalf of our returning soldiers for all the obvious reasons.

The question remains…can this “comfort” and “hope” be found by messing with a man’s DNA?  In my opinion, No. You might achieve some sort of temporal happiness, but it’s just that—temporary. More important, there could be a price to pay, and I’m not just talking about money. (But, I’m getting ahead of myself…we’ll talk more about the spiritual aspect in Part 3.)  I’d advise anyone considering “human software engineering” and other such pseudo-science solutions that offer easy cures for PTSD, to cast a critical eye, and discerning mind to what “lies beneath”—in other words, the world view that is fueling these kickstarter kiosks for ailing minds.  And not only what they believe, but what they try to have us believe through their strategically disseminated, and carefully disguised propaganda.

What is that underlying belief? Simply this: That through a combination of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and digital technologies, humans can eventually”evolve” into a superior species—beings that are no longer constrained or confined by the surly bonds of earthly bodies but can, instead, become “super human.” That view is diametrically opposed to the Judeo-Christian world view as you will see later on in Part 3 of this blog series, Ready for Battle? California-Based Human Engineering Software Company Promises to “Vaporize” Combat PTSD.

I’ll be posting that entry early next week…watch for it. I’ll also be addressing the issue of man’s right to “inalienable happiness.” Is it a “right” in the sense that most Americans construe the meaning of the word? Keep tracking with me, folks.

Yes, this is probably the longest blog article you’ve ever read, but sometimes one has to lay down a philosophical foundation before one can readily answer some of the heavier questions in life. Like, for example, Does God wants us to be better versions of ourselves via the magic of science or does the biblical principle of “In our weakness is His strength” have any merit?    And how does all this apply to soldiers? Find out next week!





About seekandfind

I'm a strategic storyteller/copywriter who is divinely wired to be idea-driven, strategic minded & cause motivated.

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