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CLONING, CLOWNING AND CROWNING
When one hears from the New York Times, 30/5/2001, reported in Salt Shakers July 2001, that Germans are debating experimentation using human embryos, a topic also focussed some time past on DW TV in Berlin in an interesting series of interviews with experts in the field, it is not surprising. In its report in 30/5, the magazine notes: "Those who have learned the hard lessons of the Nazi experimentation are totally against such human experimentation and reject the economic benefit such unethical practices may bring." This via the New York Times report.
On the other hand, we hear
of rigorous determination from an Italian scientist that the work of cloning
humans MUST, repeat, MUST proceed. The two are not unrelated, in the final
background for information. What is to be said on this topic
? Passions are opposite. Even in
What, then, are we talking about ? It is always essential to know this first.
One may say, Oh that! it is this which one will find out after years of research. Great! So we build a bridge, and later find out about engineering. We do our income tax and later find out about its laws! We perform medical operations and later do medical training, to find out the nature of what is our focus of cutting.
Oh no! no! says the enthusiast. Of course we cut
to find out! How else know! But cut WHAT! A dead or a living body! Do you
enter arbitrarily with knives into the pulsing unknown, and explore with
anything but cutting edge knowledge, by cuts!
SCIENCE AND CERTAINTY ?
The secular man loves to fiddle because he does not know God. Hence he is like a young dog, always finding out in all directions all sorts of things with great haste, and there is a sort of impelling passion in the doing of it, a species of disdain, dislike or at least unfriendliness, for those who do not share this constant running. (Cf. Little ThingsChesp. pp. 84ff..) This, however, is not some mere pleasant behavioural characteristic.
In this, many among mankind want to know, do not understand the nature of a master, or the wisdom of the same who is his OWN Maker, and thrust, lust or bust in reckless seeming endeavours to know it all, always being careful to tell us how little is known, except of course, when such wish to assure us that they is fully informed.
So it is with man in large quantities, in large measure in much history. He knows nothing, and everything; is humble and arrogant, if not simultaneously, then in terms, like a presidency. There is a sort of vacillation in this matter which is more than the occasional lurching into social grace. It is that at times he feels inundated and incapable before a universe which both beckons and rebukes him, and at others, as if fitfully awake, he feels in control with knowledge unspeakable, if not unthinkable, and amusingly enough, Kant has done much to popularise the latter concept, in terms of course of what he has been thinking! (Cf. Predestination and Freewill Part IV, SMR Ch. 5). Secular man is hilarious, but hapless and to be pitied.
Why pitied and not lamented ? It is because his ignorance is wilful in the very midst of finding out!
Man is not the product of nature, and nature is not Nature, but merely a series of products which have a series of characteristics in a series of settings which have integrally a series of characteristics which, in the individual and the total combinations, proceed on the lines of their construction, being incompetent to create, but competent to alternate and interact, within the parameters of their performance criteria, as determined from the first. It is a product, not a producer of the components. Life does not make life, observably. Procreation is not creation.
Books do not write books, but are repositories of the wisdom of the code manipulating contriver of the same. If humanity wants to deify nature as 'Nature' in view of its parameters, codes and contrivances, despite its inability to make itself continuously demonstrated, inherently obvious and logically demonstrable, so be it*1. It is merely a 'primitive' characteristic, in a technical mode of today. But primitive ? Earlier models of man were no less inventive in ignoring the obvious than modern man, and like him, in vast numbers were religious as well. The mixture of multiplied concepts of one God, with these debased and irrational creations of man's imaginations is the same now as before, except less excusable since man now knows more; but it is so, for a far more important reason.
now has the entire Bible and the advent of Jesus Christ in the most strict,
stringent and scientifically testable way, conforming to each detailed
prediction and having fulfilled each detailed prediction of His own; and yet he
ignores the necessities of logic of the actual Creator, or makes new gods of
his own mind when the evidence for the one with the advantage of being there
and personable, glorious and holy is even more certain than that for any of his
How is this so ? It is because all science, in detail, depends on exhaustive knowledge, as shown so eloquently in the Newton-Einstein case, where special and unusual conditions (in terms of man's normal experience) were found to favour certain views to cover them, when these more rarefied areas were found and investigated. Prior to that, the early model seemed adequate. So there is review, not of the logic, or of the method, but of the results of its employment. It changes. Its texts of fifty years ago may now stir amusement; of a century aft, mirth. Yet at that time, they were portentous at least!
GOD AND KNOWLEDGE, WITH WISDOM
Two Instant Rules
With God, however, there is no review. NEVER are NEW things found to alter the old. When His accredited speech, self-authenticated in its power, precision and authority, demonstrable His (SMR Chs. 1, 10), is the question: there is but informed answer. It stands though the world should fall. That is empirical.
That is the nature of the case in principle, since God knows all, and in practice, since all things tested so confirm; and when NEVER is there found an exception, we have what science intrinsically lacks. It is far more certain than science. It is absolutely certain, since only on the demise of reason is it avoidable, but then, if you forsake reason, so does speech lack meaning and so there is no other proposition even to be articulated (cf. SMR Ch. 3). The knowledge of God is frequently psychologically not desired, morally disdained, spiritually avoided and endlessly, tirelessly resisted by what, in the mainstream, is a dissident race, departing from its source, strength and wisdom like a gangster in movieland, hieing into the dusk. The dusk ? It is a darkness which envelops in the end, which is not far distant (Answers to QuestionsCh), for the free exercise of this kind of liberty.
FIRST, it is cruel to use sentient creatures to gain knowledge, while they yet live. The godly man is kind to his beast, and mercy and truth are criteria of godly living (Proverbs 3 and ). You do not therefore ADVANCE your knowledge on the ground that NOTHING matters except YOU and YOUR RACE. You imbibe a little modesty and much mercy and do not use what is not yours. It is one thing to have dominion over things, and another to be a merciless ogre or rogue in the process of your rule. Man has the first opportunity, and biblically, the second obligation.
IF this knowledge were not gained, and IF only dead creatures were used, in the sentient domain, then the ignorance would be greater and the temptation less. It is from God, not 'Nature' that idol, that knowledge of such moral questions comes. We do not expect our vassal, if you want to think of it that way, to give us wisdom. THAT! it was the folly of Eve from the first, that when a creation, a created thing - one obviously NOT endued with wisdom in competition with God, one over which they had the RULE by divine word (Genesis 3), in terms of that divinely donated wisdom which was to rule THEMSELVES - told her not to worry about what God had said, she heeded it! Does mother listen to a babe on the topic of wisdom!
She should not have heeded. As to Eve, firstly, she had contrary instructions from the Almighty, and secondly, this creature, attempting to 'educate' her, was meant for her wise disposal: she was not there for its disposal. It DID dispose of her very aptly and most capably, being a stooge for the devil. She however should have recognised this pantomime, and did not, despite the perfeclty obvious fact that RANK disobedience to the divine PROVISIONS of the Creator for her actions should have been avoided. It was not. She fell, gulled by rebellion and invited by a lust for 'knowledge' without God. YOU will have knowledge of good and evil ... like God! came the lust challenge. How fine!
The intense irony that she quickly, indeed virtually instantly finished this new course of KNOWLEDGE, by BECOMING evil, so finding indeed this wisdom about 'what is good and what is evil', by at once inhabiting that whole domain: it is pathetic and has had enormous ramifications. Just so, one recently saw three little children in haste and with address and self-discipline climbing in the lower Flinders Ranges on a path so vertical that the author paid for some time for his audacity in trying to climb it, as it would appear. Sounds and shouts below indicated that perhaps a teacher-parent was in pursuit, harassed by weight from such efforts. His remark, when one told him in answer to query that the children had been courteous and pleasant, was this: There is always a first time! His heart was not rejoicing in them.
It was, indeed, conspicuously evident that they did not have the advantage of his admiration: he was in fact wrath with them! Why ? Presumably, at least for this reason: that at any moment they might fall on the steep ascent, very open as it was, with much rubble to slip and slide on. If they did, they might fracture a bone, or worse, and hence they might find BY liberty that they LOST liberty! Injury at best might be their acquisition from such temerity. The parent, as he appeared to be, was hence concerned, anxious and disgusted.
The children were being simply wilful. It was impish, extravagant, a thing of gusto, of enterprise, alluring, adventurous, liberty with wings: but notwithstanding, in wisdom it was wrong. The terrain was far beyond safety for their age.
SO is mankind in general afflicted with rush and haste and discoveries and presumptions, though it is true that some find that narrow way of which Christ spoke (Matthew 7:15ff.), which, though much maligned, has eminent long-term wisdom.
Thus, to return to our primary topic: the failure to heed the concept of kindness and to avoid cruelty is one of the instant areas of wisdom in the arena of man's living, and this militates heavily, if applied, against his present near obsession with playing about with life in cloning. Experimentation in the quiet dismembering and disorganising by scalpel and reorganising with suture and replacement, even to the brain, it is a matter revolting to the thought of responsibility. It is taking the law into one's own hands, to ignore the Maker and to use His provisions contrary to His rules.
It may of course be said that sympathy is another biblical principle, and that this REQUIRES cruelty to animals in a complex world, even living and sentient ones, capable of terror and anguish. Too bad! comes the cry. Man first: me first, at the racial level. Is it not obvious ? No. Eve thought it was too.
You CAN and SHOULD find out all you can where pain and suffering of man is concerned, in order to help; but as in all things, there are rules. Our very bodies obey them, our genome expresses them in its own domain, and our minds are made so incredibly intricately that we can even analyse and estimate for ourselves the application of such rules. ONLY God can make rules which NEVER need bending. A failure to realise this can be as dangerous as the opposite confusion, imagining that mankind can make any rules it happens to prize, when it prizes them and because it prizes them. This , without being brutally frank, is mere self-worship; but it is simply to state the obvious, to observe that if there is ONE THING which transparently does NOT deserve worship, it is this sinning and often heartless race, called mankind.
The rule broken involves here this small particle of wisdom: do not EXALT yourself or your race to the point that it absurdly acts as if it were a god. (Matthew 23:12, Luke 14:11, cf. Ezekiel 28:9, 17). The fearful irony of the word of God, the more pointed because of the accompanying pathos, is this:
Mankind can neither make life nor use it rightly, and is frequently and in much inveterately, without Christ, in a deplorable bind of resentment, grudges, self-interest, passions and propaganda which make it more to be pitied than adored. Thus excluded is this intensity and propensity for RESEARCH without adequate rules. The POLITICAL reflections, after Hitler's no holds barred approach to research, are merely ONE phase of just concern. It HAS been prodigal in horror with bodies in the past, when applied with the same recklessness of spirit as now, in the political realm by bullies; and so the PRINCIPLE of a control appears obvious to those who have suffered. They do not want to see this incline revisited!
Indeed, without God, there is no POSSIBLE ground for it restraint in such a field; for it is then all a matter of illogical preference; and when someone has power, it is his preference which counts. End of story.
However, being made in the image of God: we as a race do not respond so simplistically. There are strands of conscience left, and just concerns about our fellows. If in rebellion without God, there is then left no logical ground, reason having been dumped: yet there are psychological hindrances and residual moral inclines against the obstreperous disdain for some at the expense of others, which remain in man. Such concerns, such brakes are however quite certain to diminish, as the secular man takes strides, and mythical religions like organic evolutionism, receive constant barrages of propaganda, necessary because of their logical demise (*1), to make preachers seem almost quiet by comparison, in the media! So man wants it; so he gets it. He is serpenting away to make Eve feel comfort, if she has not yet learned ...
With God, however, there is a MANDATE FOR MERCY, and this is not to be broken. It is not a matter in the least degree, to be indulged, despite the arbitrary and unprincipled selfishness of casuistry, courtesy par excellence of the Jesuits. One's own conceptions of religion or anything else are not in the slightest a ground for disobeying the divine requirement not to LIE! The author and father of that is the devil, Christ indicated (John cf. Colossians 3:9 - "LIE NOT to one another..."). To 'interpret' via pope or any other person or institution, 'DO NOT' to mean 'DO', is mere fiddle-faddle, a specious protocol of rebellion.
DO as you are told is something even little children can teach us; but with us adults, it is do what you are told by your AUTHORITY in heaven. The ones on earth, who disdain Him, are what one might expect: wholly unreliable, without knowledge of where to stop, or for that matter, to begin. Man learns, generation by generation, war by war (allowing prodigious 'learning' at the present time), the results of ignoring the truth. With dedication like death squad, however, he continues in his forsaken path.
There are things too profound for us. It is not that we are sacrificing our intellects and failing to use them, heaven forbid. We have talents for their use, not suppression. It is that there is a place for discovery of everything in its place. That when it comes to constructing man, it is not ourselves where our very limitations of necessity harass our discoveries. Thus psychology CANNOT find from itself the nature of man, but can merely consider some of his parameters and some of his statistical procedures. What he ought to be doing is another matter, related but not deducible. What happens does not ordain what ought to happen. That is simply to beg the question.
It is so likewise with our genomes. We do not have the power to create human beings because the NATURE of human beings is beyond our powers to elucidate. We can find what they do, to some extent what they can do, and often what they incline to do. However generalisation is quite fatal here, and a small number are so morally different, spiritually alien and otherwise directed that it is merely a distortion to ignore it.
When you come to
the fact that man is a SYNTHESIS with INTERFACES of three vital ingredients,
you begin to realise the complexity and depth of the
whole matter of trying to INVENT methods of making man.
The mind-body interface is of the utmost fascination, and psycho-somatic medicine is merely one of the expressions of this. Yoga, ignoring for the moment its religious overtones, explores with hypnotism likewise, other features and facets. The automatic, the semi-automatic and the reaches where these may become under some measure of voluntary control, this is another feature and facet. The conflict often apparent between instinct and reason is yet another symptom of phases of our construction.
As always, these
are resolvable on Christian lines, since then the handbook for such operations
being available, there is to be found, indeed read, a greater wisdom than that
of puny man (as he indeed is, when separated, like an infant from his mother,
and in this case, not from someone on earth but from GOD in heaven). Here we
find what does indicate the extremes of knowledge involved, and hence the
inordinate depths when the wisdom of God being ignored, the territories of His
creation, even ourselves, are taken as available without limit or control, for
our own administration. Such
All things necessary for godly living are given (II Peter 1), but the Creator is God, not man, and it is HIS word which rules, such that humility in the face of ignorance is one of the aspects. Knowing HOW to make a mind, BY a mind, when it is of the same order as that to be made, is a proposition which ignores basic facts. These ? that the WISDOM and PURPOSE of mind-making are those of the One who did it, so that we might have it, and hence be able to use it, as now, and in such matters as this genetic drama currently becoming melodrama, and as so often, one pregnant with tragedy!
How then would we use it in this current spectacle of man's desires ? It is used in two ways: firstly in due and restrained research not involving cruelty, and secondly, in repair within that limit; thirdly, we can indeed research its meaning and methods, as we watch it, for adjusting disease situations; and then finally, we can justly use it to follow the teaching of its Maker on our limitations, and rejoicing in our prodigious liberties, therefore ceasing to seek for yet more, as if to become God. Being infinitely less, and a mere derivative, we can learn not to seek to duplicate the Almighty in our puniness, which might, if not so common, seem a sufficient condemnation for any in danger of such enormities.
What the derivative, rule! the made become Creator! the result become cause, the originated masquerade as the necessary Origin and Maker of all! the temporal become everlasting and the constructed over-riding all restraint, pretend, strutting, to be his own author! Such is the madness of man from early days, and he is no different now, only more advanced in degradation morally, in departing from the whole testimony of revealed truth, and in using with the same abandon, the knowledge he gradually obtains. (Cf. SMR Ch. 3.) Yet this, it mounts. As the impudence becomes more heady with technical knowledge, so the aspiration seeks new ways, above Babel of old, yet in the same spirit. All who use various means may not be so infected consciously; but the end of the matter is here.
The capacity to extrapolate from the USE of our minds for their domain, to the CREATION of our minds (implicit in creating ourselves) is thus the old story: measuring themselves by themselves, they are not wise (II Corinthians 10:12). WHAT is a mind FOR ? To what is it DIRECTED in its current creation model ? IF the powers implicit in the creation of mind, snatched and stolen by this generation, should be used to make something else with that design, then this is to use and therefore to abuse, what we cannot understand or create, being ignorant of its purposes and total inheritance and synthetic interfaces with spirit. It is to prostitute a prodigy for the sake of overweening arrogance, and intensive theft. The results as with all inflated imaginations, ignoring facts, can end only in disaster. As is also far from uncommon, the rewards of delusion for a time (ask Hitler if you could) seem brilliant. They appeal. So does candy to a kid.
One said above, that we do not know what a mind is FOR or to what it is directed: but this was in the REALM of rebellion, and given there, as a caution. If, however, one is in the domain of divine wisdom, by heeding the word of God, this absence of wisdom of course is not the case. But THEN, when we have this divinely accorded advantage, we STILL have the caution found IN IT, not to exercise ourselves in things too high for us. It is creation under us, not ourselves, over whom we have domain (Psalm 8). WE are under GOD!
We may use what He has given AS He enables and directs. HE is Lord and it is HIS creation which is to be put into our hands, as a fitting object for research, at HIS direction IF He wants this. He has however said nothing such, concerning the making of man; but much to the contrary. Imperial longings over all the power of the universe is not new; and here it is only some sorts of mankind which now seek what the political sort sought earlier. Power and dominion.
Not so! some may reply. It is for compassion and conservation. This may be a clear purpose, but when it so treats the Maker, it implies a willingness to seek such power for WHATEVER reason, and hence to gain DOMINION for whatever purpose. In due turn, it is used for other purposes. So be it. The willingness to be seduced into the misuse of authority in the first place has betokened the imperial man is taking over the palace: if it is to give food to the poor, it is still taking over the palace, and seeking power and dominion. If it is a mere secondary thing, so be it. It is still there.
No! the creation (not procreation) of man's life is for God not man. MAN is God's, and is not available for man's dominion. This has as its other side, worship, and love which God is. So is life for man.
But once SNATCH it from the clouds, as Eve did, and seek a
wisdom and knowledge over and above man, as she did, and you have results which
are in full conformity to the squalid tenor of this last century: holocaust,
horror, grievous sights and disorder, precisely as predicted as correlatives of
Israel's return to its land, accomplished in 1948 officially (Luke 21),
precisely as antennae, buzzing out the message, His coming is near!
There is then the interface, on the one hand, of our bodies with matter, and with mind; and then there is the interface of our minds with spirit. Minds analyse; spirits will. Mind explores, spirit can set it to do so, or not.
The evaluating, discursive, volitional power of man is spirit. The analytical, exploratory is mind. They are not the same. Your mind can determine what should be done in a given problem area, but your spirit can disdain it, and seeking for some thrill or statistical marvel, thrust with emotion and intensity of desire, into some reasonably rejected procedure. It is personal, and in close and designed correlation with mind, IT has a total synthetic beauty, one however often spoilt in mental disease, and in maniacal thrust, of which Hitler is not the only example, but a suitably notable one (cf. SMR pp. 348ff., Things Old and New Ch. 9, Little Things Ch. 5).
That interface, so often ignored, but vital, is further material for sobriety, for knowledge. As Dr Paul Brand, illustrious and much honoured medical missionary points out in his work Forever Feast, p. 169, it is not merely a question of psycho-somatic medicine, but rather something like pneumo-psycho-somatic medicine, if we are to have a comprehensive terminology and an adequate overview. Ignore this and you merely are like an aeronaut in the making, disdaining the concept of air. You are then more likely to fly into a rage of frustration than into the air.
This synthetic series of interfaces in man, involving liberty, love, wit and wisdom, analysis, discursive thought and logic, personality and purpose, and on the other side, programmed matter and programmed systems carrying out subordinate co-ordinates of the overall design, reaches as high as God Himself, in its CAPACITIES, in this, that out of love, He has made us able to have fellowship with Himself, and as low as hell, in this, that it is able to move into dimensions illicit, like any other abuse, and with the personal domain involved, this is the grievous result!
Able ? you ask. Yes, but only by grace. A child, as Professor Van Til of Westminster Theological Seminary used to point out, can slap its father's face, but ONLY because he is held near enough to do so. And because of sin, a second thing, the reaching to fellowship with God is only by grace, for sin blinds and you cannot see even when it IS near enough! (Cf. Ephesians 2:1-12).
In fact, sin has much of the nature of other forms of intoxication. It can not only blind to reality, in precisely that PART to make it dangerous, but it can forge Dutch courage, as it was once called, or intoxicated bravado, so that it hopes to be able to do what manifestly the very spirit imbibed has debarred it from doing, in fact increasing incompetence and pride together! A daring exploit is such intoxication, and it is the same in this business, both awful in its intensity (as is the normal case in this type of pathology) and deadly in its capacity (as likewise normal in usage in this spiritually bibulous field).
It is then not merely, or even chiefly, as some competent doctors point out, that there are liabilities to brain and other disorders, dysfunctions, malfunctions and imperfect developments, so that disorders of unnamed and perhaps yet unknown types may arise, with sufferings unspeakable to the PERSON whom they hope to make by such manipulations of its ingredients of the flesh. That is highly significant and enough to stop such a thing at the outset, in terms of humility and care of others, not to say love.
However it is far worse than that. Because of the SYNTHETIC INTERFACES, matter-body-mind-spirit, and their sub-sections, matter-body, body-mind, mind-spirit, spirit and the linkability with God, by grace, through Christ: there is a toying with things eternal as well as a trifling with things personal.
One is quite aghast. But then, it is merely part of the syndrome, the spiritual genome of pathology, if you will, the totality of the sphere of disoriented operations. That is normally in the same direction: it is deplorable, yes, a matter of sorrow and grief, of course, but always and ever verging on the horrendous, the ghoulish and the evil.
Evil is what is for God when it is not there. (That is, it concerns what is His provision for co-operative or conformed relationship, when that is lacking, so leaving the branch severed, the design breached, the result sullen, soiled or prima facie meaningless, like a fountain pen in the hands of a mouse).
As to evil, there is a domain for it. It may be active or passive. It may be intentional or not; but not to be where you belong is evil. It is not the same as arbitrarily pursuing that path, to be sure; but it is in that domain. To pursue a dominion, however, within that domain of evil, without God and explicitly over the things of God, so that you, as if God, are dealing with design specifications, not for remedy, but for research and realisation of your own will and thought, directly or vicariously for others: this is going somewhat past the USSR in the last century.
In what way is it surpassing even that ? In this: that there people tried to explode or implode or change and remould minds, in order to have them accept their own irrational power lusts (cf. SMR pp. 925-926, 611ff., Ch. Little Things Ch. 5, Spiritual Refreshings for the Digital Millenium Chs. 3, 4 ); but here it is to MAKE them in the first place with whatever disorientation of design specification at the outset, and with whatever distortion, perversion or conversion of synthetic interfaces.
Man is becoming as he grows older, more like a very young child, devoid of discipline or teaching. The more he knows, the less he realises, vain in his pride, and the further he goes, the less he has gone, for his main understanding is by a shallow substitute, lost; for it is the fear of the LORD which is the BEGINNING of wisdom. Thus it is that man's human implements grow as his power to realise falls, and he is altogether such as is becoming, if you could use that word at all, for the sickly end of the human opportunity phase, before the Lord comes.
The nature of sin is being taught us not merely in texts, but in life. We
SEE it. In that, we can be thankful; though the actors and agents, for them we
have only the utmost misgiving, and the most solicitous concern.
For them as for all, while it is day, there is ONE way to ONE God who remains the ONE source of love and the ONE basis of authority, and the ONE provider of truth (cf. SMR Chs. 1-7). It is still true,
"Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For he will abundantly pardon."
"But when the
kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man
not by works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy, He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Lord,
that having been justified by His grace,
we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
THIS is a search worthy, and here is the result. It was a
research of Christ, done with knowledge, articulated in heaven, secured in
mission on earth, gained in obedience, given in grace, with a result for man.
That, it is one provided with wisdom, earned by Christ in love, where judgment
for man is taken by the grace of God as man, for man, even for as many as
receive Him (John 3:16, 1:1-12, 8:58, I John 1:1-4).
*1 See That Magnificent Rock, Chs. 1 and 8, Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming... Chs. 4-6, Stepping Out for Christ, Chs. 2, 7-10, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9, Spiritual Refreshings for the Biblical Millenium Ch. 13, SMR 2 and 10 etc.. Consult index.