Playing God

Status
Not open for further replies.

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
What would constitute 'playing God'?
Is science going too far? When does 'helping' or finding cures for diseases for instance, become presumption?
 

Jonathan95

Puritan Board Freshman
What would constitute 'playing God'?
Is science going too far? When does 'helping' or finding cures for diseases for instance, become presumption?
I personally think we rely too heavily on medication. When is the last time we sought the Lord in making a headache dissipate rather than popping a few Advil?
 

PezLad

Puritan Board Freshman
We all already playing God, for to be a sinner is to be a rebel, to glory in shame, and as such without Christ we cannot cease being rebels, thinking our will is sovereign yet we perform only the decretive will of God; God condescends our rebellious iniquity. Medical science that is t be biblical must accord with biblical principles, but since it is not, the natural man will always violate justice.
 

arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Medical science that is t be biblical must accord with biblical principles, but since it is not, the natural man will always violate justice.
I am wondering what ethical principles undergird or can be derived so as to figure out what medical ends and their means are achievable and good.
 

PezLad

Puritan Board Freshman
I am wondering what ethical principles undergird or can be derived so as to figure out what medical ends and their means are achievable and good.
First place, is that all humans are image bearers and hence have innate value and as such any activity which devalues human life is amoral; thus using fetal remains and the like is amoral. Now we know that many will make arguements from pragmatism ("they would be discarded anyway") which must be rejected because pragmatism is without principal. Now on the other hand, if someone perished in a car accident, donation of organs is most certainly moral since their is no preemptive activity to produce the persons death unlike other medical activity (euthanasia, abortion)
 

PezLad

Puritan Board Freshman
We need a puritanboard Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of theology in Christ Jesus.
 

Taylor Sexton

Puritan Board Junior
I am wondering what ethical principles undergird or can be derived so as to figure out what medical ends and their means are achievable and good.
The Law of God. As long as you didn't have to break God's Law to come up with a medication, I would say you're fine.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I personally think we rely too heavily on medication. When is the last time we sought the Lord in making a headache dissipate rather than popping a few Advil?
Proverbs says to give wine to the sorrowful and ready to perish. There is nothing wrong with painkillers, if you have a pain they are meant for. That wine, strong drink, or opium are often abused does not negate their right use.
 

Jonathan95

Puritan Board Freshman
I never claimed it was wrong. Let's not forget where Asa is rebuked for seeking doctors above the Lord. (2Chr 16:12)

And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

Use painkillers as you may. I would always encourage a few hours of prayer beforehand still.

Just because meds exist doesn't mean they've taken priority over first seeking God.

Proverbs says to give wine to the sorrowful and ready to perish. There is nothing wrong with painkillers, if you have a pain they are meant for. That wine, strong drink, or opium are often abused does not negate their right use.
 
Last edited:

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
If I understand correctly, you are inquiring about specifically medicine. If I am wrong, please correct me. On that assumption though:

It seems to be a question of human nature, and the bounds of our dominion. A tentative distinction between varieties of activities could be:
  1. Understanding human nature
  2. Interacting with human nature
  3. Denying / re-defining human nature
The final activity (denying or re-defining) is clearly "playing God," as God being the Creator is the only one with such authority. To deny His creation order is a clear violation. Would seem to be applicable clearly in matters of modern secular perspectives on sexuality in particular (ie transgender: we can define what gender means and what we are, or homosexuality as preference instead of distortion, abortion and contraception, etc). Racism, sexism, etc as well seem to fit into this category (denying the equality of dignity between humans). Evolution itself seems to line up with this category as well (the secular version at least), and so anything that requires an evolutionary basis seems to be another clear violation (euthanasia?).

The first and second categories can be done either lawfully or unlawfully, which would seem to be a matter of means and ends.

For the first (understanding), the end is usually lawful: it is good to discover the depths of God's creation that we may praise Him wherever we find Him. Creation itself is to point to God, and therefore we seek to understand it for His praise. We have been given dominion over the earth, and the kingly role within human society. However, unlawful or lawful means can be used. Most legitimate research seems to use lawful means (if carefully bounded), seeking to prevent abuse and harm. A clear example of unlawful means would be the concentration camps in Germany during WWII. We can debate modern research practices of course, and people are all sinful, but that does not make medical research in itself unlawful.

For the second (interacting), there are other ethical considerations, so the discussion will be deeper. Above, it was said about using painkillers or not. Certainly, as both Ben and Jonathan agree, using medicine is not unlawful. After all, God did not create us for pain, but for us to "glorify and enjoy Him forever." The question will once more become about ends and means, and proceeds on the foundation of understanding our nature.

Let's say I know two things: 1) When I fight with my family, I get sad. 2) When I drink a lot of alcohol, I stop being sad. Now, according to a modern pragmatic outlook, what should I do? Well, clearly I should drink a lot! That accomplishes my desired end: happiness. It also preserves another means I wish to use: fighting with my family. The problem is that I've misunderstood human nature: I am not made to fight with my family. There are in fact multiple problems: I am already performing an unlawful action (fighting) which results in a penalty (sadness). I am then truly seeking as my end, the perpetuation of my unlawfulness (which is itself an unlawful end). Now, any means by which I do this is clearly unlawful, for the end is unlawful.

What about when I have a lawful end: I have a headache for example (to borrow from above). First, let's ask why I have the headache. Is it because someone was driving recklessly and hit me at the stoplight? Or is it a hangover because I was irresponsible? Let's assume that the reason is not one for which I am culpable, and so in seeking to end the headache I am seeking a lawful end. Now, God has provided me an understanding that certain chemicals can be used to achieve this without harm, and has provided me with a supply of them in my cabinet! Why should I reject what He has provided? I should use the means, and thank Him for them, and request with prayer that He make them effective. The key in a lawful use of most medicines seems to be a perspective which acknowledges God's Providence in all things. God can work without means (like Paul's conversion), but He normally works through means (like Paul's preaching). However, means are only lawful when "used lawfully," that is, in submission and thankfulness to God, trusting Him.

Those are some tentative thoughts: any suggestions?

I hope that gives some generic principles for you to consider!
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I never claimed it was wrong. Let's not forget where Asa is rebuked for seeking doctors above the Lord. (2Chr 16:12)

And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

Use painkillers as you may. I would always encourage a few hours of prayer beforehand still.

Just because meds exist doesn't mean they've taken priority over first seeking God.
A long-running disease in the feet is different than a headache for which you pop an Advil and go about your day. I simply haven't the time to pray for three hours over a headache. If I had a terrible foot disease, I would both pray AND seek medical advice. Asa did one without the other, and for a long time.
 

Heather

Puritan Board Freshman
Personally, I feel this issue lands on where my hope lies. Does it lie in modern or even alternative medicine? Or does my hope rest with the Great Physician and His care for me and for my children. More than once I have remembered the story of Jacob as he mated his strongest sheep in the presence of his branches so that they would be speckled. Obviously, this practice does not follow our modern ideas of genetics, but, nonetheless, God blessed his use of what knowledge they did have at the time. Using allopathic or alternative medicines is not in and of itself wrong as long as that is not where our Hope lies. Additionally, I do agree that this all presupposes that any modalities are not contrary to the law of God in their development such as many vaccines and their use of abortion.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
We are to take dominion over all of creation. This includes sickness and pain. This includes the proper use of means.

For treating the sick, we see many methods used in the bible. Some are descriptive only. When King David was old, for example, they wanted a young maiden to lie near him, maybe to reawaken his senses or even to warm him up. So all uses of the OT (like this weird example) are not prescriptions for today. But, as mentioned above, Proverbs seems to allow medication by a prescription of wine and drink to the sorrowful. This shocked me at first. And I know many baptists would disagree with this prescription. But I do think it allows other meds of all types for pain relief as well. Even depression, for it is a pain of the mind.

Equipping and training your army does not mean you distrust God for the victory. Neither does taking meds mean you distrust God for your health.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Sophomore
No one said pray for 3 hours. And if you truly can't find the time to pray for a headache.. that's on you brother.
You said "a few hours" In charity I took the minimum that can be counted as "a few". But I can amend my statement to use your own phrase and say that I simply haven't the time to pray for a few hours over a headache.
 

G

Puritan Board Senior
What about in vitro fertilization for instance?
CRISPR?
My understanding of Vitro Fertilization is they fertilize many eggs and pick the best one, leaving the rest for destruction. If that understanding is correct, I would find that medical practice sinful and murderous.
 

Von

Puritan Board Sophomore
I find IVF problematic for the reasons stated above. CRISPR is an amazing discovery/invention and I hope it would enable us to cure a whole bunch of illnesses that has been with us due to the fall.

Should we leave the Amazon tribes without knowledge of a Saviour?
Should we not disturb nature to let it run it's course?
Should we pop an aspirin for a headache?

I agree with the dominion principle set forth by Pergamum above.
 

EcclesiaDiscens.

Puritan Board Freshman
A lot of stuff mentioned in this thread (CRISPR/etc.) falls under one word: Transhumanism.

I believe this is something Christians have failed to grapple with. What does being a faithful Christian look like in an age where one can download their desired genetic features into a child via an artificial womb using CRISPR?
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Sophomore
CRISPR biotech, if I recall correctly, is a gateway/backdoor to eugenics. ...... I would be last in line for any of these new treatment proposals
 
Last edited:

WestminsterEd

Puritan Board Freshman
My understanding of Vitro Fertilization is they fertilize many eggs and pick the best one, leaving the rest for destruction. If that understanding is correct, I would find that medical practice sinful and murderous.
I recently came across the story of a christian couple who had IVF with the intention of carrying and giving birth to every viable embryo produced. Wish I could remember the source to check the exact details, but they ended up with something like a dozen viable embryos and now have a house full of littles and are over halfway to their expected family size!

I don’t know enough about the process to know whether this is the only problem with IVF though (what constitutes a ‘viable’ embryo?).
 

Pilgrim

Puritan Board Doctor
As a general rule, abortion is part and parcel of IVF. Typically, the doctor will say that if you end up with “too many” embryos, they can simply be “removed,” sometimes insisting that they aren’t really children at that point in hopes of assuaging the consciences of (what many of them will see as) any primitives or superstitious folk who may have a problem with that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top