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Ecology Redesigning Genes - Ethical and Sikh Perspective - Book By Surjit Kaur Chahal

Publisher: Singh Brothers
Authors: Surjit Kaur Chahal
Page: 172
Format: Hardbound
Language: English
Product Code: SPE151
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Table Of Contents For 'Ecology Redesigning Genes - Ethical and Sikh Perspective' Book By Surjit Kaur Chahal




Page No


            Introduction 17
                      Religion and Environmental Ethics 23
                      Consumerism 32
             Ecology : Fact And Value  
                         Introduction 35
                         Should We follow Nature 38
                          Fact and Value 42
                          Conclusion 55
            Moral Concerns about Genetic Engineering  
                            Introduction 59
                            Eugenics 64
                            Genetic Engineering 67
                               a) How Genes are Isolated 69
                               b) Uses of GeneticEngineering in Medicine 71
                                    ----Human Genome Project 72
                                    ----Genetic Screening 73
                                    ----Therapy 75
                                    ----Cloning 76
                                 c) Uses in Industry and Agriculture 80
                                 d) Patents 81
                                 e) Ethical Considerations 82
                                 f) Risks of Genetic Engineering 91
                                     Conclusion 101
            Sikhism and Genetic Engineering  
                          Introduction     106
                          Genetic Engineering is Intrinsically Wrong 108
                          The Argument from Natural Law 110
                           Medicine and Playing God 117
                           The Superiority of Humans 120
                            Man as a Co-creator with God 122
                            Acceptance of Genetic Engineering 127
                             Conclusion   129
             Conclusion 134
                            The Problem of Violence 135
                             Environmental Restoration 141
  Bibliography 149
  Index 165


Preface To Book  'Ecology Redesigning Genes - Ethical and Sikh Perspective' Book By Surjit Kaur Chahal

There are various species on this earth. Of these, none is as powerful in having an impact on the environment as mankind. With the scientific progress and technological advancements, man has been bringing about changes in nature, controlling nature, all in the service of mankind.

Our religious traditions place man at the highest position. This superior position is being misused by man. He is dominating over nature and misusing it. Till now nature had the capacity to undo the damage done do it, if not  immediatel, after a span of sometime. However, this is no more possible. We are pushing nature to such a position that the possibility of a recoup is not there.

Human species is just one of the 84 lakhs of species found on this Earth.However "never have so few done so much damage to the environment is so short a time."

The scientist has always isolated his work from its impact on nature and humanity. He believed in objectivity, descriptions of nature and therefore thought that nature and culture were apart and should be handled separately. However, he can no more afford to do that. Ethics can no more afford to remain theoretical only. The urgent need of our time is to put our ethics into practice. We require a criss-crossing of theory and practice; the two can no longer remain isolated. We require an adequate ethics to deal with nature. Such an ethics is there in the Eastern religions specially in Sikhism but unfortunately even in the east our consumeristic attitude has made us forget our ethical values vis a vis nature and environment. We need an ethic which will not place man at a dominant position but will rather place him along with the other species, as a member of the biotic community. We require an environmental ethics. We require long-term sustainable modes of cohabitation of human kind and the ecosphere.

Man has gained immense power to modify the ecosphere. The impact of the scientific research on the ecosphere can no longer be ignored by the scientist. He is gaining immense power to modify the planet earth, the biosphere, through genetic engineering. This power cannot be exercised without any restraints or without values. We cannot use this power with our finite and egoistic mind and destroy the biosphere and its biodiversity. As pointed by Holmes Rolston, III "Power without ethics is profane and destructive." The ecologist cannot merely describe the effect of science on the ecosphere. His descriptions have implicit prescriptions in them. If these prescriptions are not heeded to, we will end up in disaster. The pace with which genetic engineering is proceeding, it will completely make the biosphere unnatural, artificial presumably aimed at making mankind more comfortable and free from pain and disease. It promises a Brave New World. Unfortunately as is clear from the accidents occurring due to genetic engineering that are taking place, we are nearing the doomsday very fast.

Sikhism, an eastern religion, places mankind alongwith the other species. Man is a part of nature. Man's mind is finite, his creativity is finite, his understanding of the ecosphere is limited. Under no circumstances can man ever completely comprehend the ways of working of the Universe, which is created by the Infinite God. The Infinite God has not given any permission to man to modify or improve the earth. Infact Sikhism clearly states, there is no scope of improvement. The entire universe (not merely the planet, Earth) is made by the Infinite God who has completed the process and has left nothing incomplete for man to complete it.

In my present work, I have stressed the need to co-relate ecological facts with values. If we do not combine the two, disastrous results would follow. Due to our dissatisfaction with the present state of the world and our egoistic tendencies we are exploiting the world, bringing about irreversible changes through genetic engineering. These changes are basically rooted in man's egoism, that he is the master of the universe and the universe is given to him to do whatever he pleases to do. We are engaging in violence and destruction of the planet earth. Our aim is to reduce suffering but will we really be successful if we proceed the way. we are proceeding ? We need a rethinking and a realization that it is time for us to act, before it will be too late !

Dr. Surjeet Kaur Chahal


Introductory Remarks To Book 'Ecology Redesigning Genes - Ethical and Sikh Perspective' Book By Surjit Kaur Chahal

There have been many views expressed over genetic engineering even before its practical realization in the mid - 1970s. It is considered a technology that will transform the nature of life in the 21st century, and it already is widely used in agriculture, medicine and scientific research. It is important for each culture and religion to reflect upon the issues that it raises.

In this book, Ecology, Redesigning Genes : Ethical and Sikh Perspective, Dr. Surjeet Kaur Chahal explores some of the issues associated with genetic technology to provide her interpretation of how genetic  technology challenges the relationship between God, humans and the rest of nature. Whether or not we agree with her conclusions, the points raised are a valuable contribution to the cross-cultural perspectives upon the science of genetic engineering and to environmental ethics. There are important issues of the control of nature, which is something humans have attempted for millennia. The question of whether modern genetic engineering is a great leap beyond what our ancestors did in genetic selection and farming is a question that she answers with a definite yes, and a call for pausing to reflect upon the way we wish to modify nature.


Introduction To Book 'Ecology Redesigning Genes - Ethical and Sikh Perspective' Book By Surjit Kaur Chahal

Surjeet Kaur Chahal's  Ecology Redesigning Genes : Ethical and Sikh Perspective is doubly welcome. First, she places the genetic modification issue in an ecosystem context, concerned not just about genes altered by new technologies, nor about what such genes do in individual plants or animals on the farm or in markets, but about what the spillover may be on landscapes, on surrounding environmental processes vital to life. Secondly, she brings her considerable capacities in Philosophical analysis, growing out of her knowledge of the literature in environmental ethics, and joins these with her location in the Sikh tradition. Neither ecology, nor environmental ethics, nor sikhism has so far been much present in the contemporary debates on genetic bioethics. Readers will find that this gives her unusual resources with which to address these concerns.

--Holmes Rolston, III


About The Author To The Book  'Ecology Redesigning Genes - Ethical and Sikh Perspective'

Surjeet Kaur Chahal is a Reader of Philosophy in the University of Pune. She chaired and also gave a presentation at the plenary session on Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held at Johannesburg in 2002. She is author of another book Environment and the Moral Life : Towards a New Paradigm.

Surjeet Kaur has contributed articles on environment ethics, medical ethics and  philosophy of Sikhism in various books and journals. She was given the prestigious Career Award by the University Grants Commission for a period of three years to do research in Environmental Philosophy.






Author Surjit Kaur Chahal
Pages 172
Cover Hardbound
Language English

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