Friday, August 29, 2014

Technization of life

Who are the rightful parents of these test tube babies?

A private fertility clinic in the United States has launched an investigation into the health of 17 teenagers who were born as a result of a controversial IVF technique that produced the world’s first “three-parent” embryos more than 15 years ago, The Independent can reveal.

The technique – which the US government halted in 2002 – involved mixing the eggs of two women so that the resulting IVF babies inherited genetic material from three individuals in a similar process to that planned in Britain for women carrying maternally inherited mitochondrial disorders.

Who are the rightful parents of these twins borne into the world by a surrogate? Either way, one of them has been kidnapped:

Baby Gammy’s surrogate mother, Pattaramon Chanbua, a 21-year-old food vendor with two young children of her own, had accused the boy’s biological parents, Wendy and David Farnell, of leaving her with the infant while taking his healthy twin sister, Pipah, back with them to Australia.

“We did not abandon our son,” an emotional David Farnell said in an interview with Australia’s 60 Minutes.

“(Pattaramon) said that if we tried to take our little boy, she’s going to get the police and she’s going to try and take our little girl and she’s going to keep both of the babies,” he said.

Children are commoditized and traded in two ways:

  1. Under the presumption that reproduction is a positive right, to fulfill a desire for children

  2. Under the presumption that childlessness is a positive right, to fulfill a desire for no children

The birth of a child is a holy commission humbling husband and wife to work to raise their child together. The reduction of this miracle to a lab experiment removes the awe of God, breaking the fusion of flesh and spirit between generations. How much of the uncertainty and surprise and beauty of life will disappear under the technocracy?

John Dunn excerpts his book Traditionalism: The Only Radicalism:

[Heidegger’s] hope was founded upon the truth that the humanist violence inflicted upon nature through technology can only ever be fleeting in cosmic terms. Technological innovation will only suppress the truth for so long before it metamorphoses into an instrument of catastrophic revelation. It is in the very challenge to the cosmic hierarchy itself that the finitude of beings is disclosed.

The cover of the book is a tree with roots that go down three times deeper than the tree stands tall. It’s a metaphor for the foundations of why and how we live. Trimming the limbs won’t do any good if the trunk is shorn from the roots.

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