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Therefore, the utilization of genetic engineering on humans in order to save or prolong human life is certainly permitted and may be required as long as the likely effectiveness of the procedure would justify the risks involved.Examples of this include procedures to remove, repair, or deactivate genetic defects; and procedures to increase resistance to disease or other stress.Jewish tradition takes a very positivistic view of the natural world, stressing how each progressive step in the creation of the natural world was "good" in the eyes of G-d the Creator.indicating that man is commanded to have mastery over the natural world.Examples of religious laws are the seven Noahide laws for all of mankind and the additional commandments to the Jewish people, such as "bal tashkhit" the prohibition against needless waste or destruction.Therefore, we see that from a Jewish perspective, the natural world as created by G-d started out intrinsically "good." Man was created by G-d and given the role of utilizing and perfecting the natural world, but within limits that would prevent him from destroying it.Genetic engineering can be divided into three main categories: Genetic engineering of animals -- procedures which can modify the characteristics of animals to allow greater productivity, improved nutrient content, increased disease resistance, and enhanced aesthetic qualities.Genetic engineering of plants -- procedures which can modify the characteristics of plants to allow greater productivity, improved nutrient content, increased resistance to diseases, pests, or pesticides, and enhanced aesthetic qualities.

The use of genetic engineering is advancing and expanding rapidly in many traditional fields including medicine and agriculture, as well as new fields such as biotechnology.

The usage of genetic engineering and, moreover, the usage of cloning on humans raises many ethical issues, particularly when this is done for non-life-preserving motives.

These issues are very complex and are beyond the scope of this essay.

Aside from the above considerations, the two areas of halakhah most relevant to genetic engineering of animals and plants are kashrut (prohibited foods) and kilayim (prohibition of mixing different species of animals and plants).


Relative to genetic engineering, these laws are only concerned with the transference of genetic material across species boundaries, not within the same species.Along with the rapid advances and expansion, there is a growing discussion and debate over the benefits and risks of genetic engineering and the difficult ethical questions raised by this new technology.


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