Final Assignment – Jin Yoo

Final Assignment: For the Continued Funding of In-Vitro Fertilization

The United States is a country commonly referred to as the “melting pot”. With centuries of immigrants bringing in their heterogeneous backgrounds of varying religions, ethnicities, and beliefs, this country has been at the forefront of promising liberty and freedom for all individuals, regardless of status and background. Interestingly, however, the American debate on reproductive biomedical technology has been built heavily on Christian principles, with conservatives seeking their position from Christian texts of what constitutes a family (Bhattacharyya 12), while liberals assume the opposing side of autonomy (Braun 43). However, while the discourse can certainly include religious values, the governing laws on reproductive technologies in America should be shifted from Christian principles to those that are secular in order to satisfy the overarching definition of America: a place of acceptance, regardless of identity. Thus, my testimony today promotes the funding of IVF: Congress should continue to fund for the reproductive technology of in-vitro fertilization, shifting discourse from religious and economical ethics to one that centers on the patient, her family, and the embryos at stake.

To begin with, discourse should not (have) be around maximizing production – economically or religiously; it should be about the ethics of the patient, and if she wishes to have a child, she should be allowed to do so. The fundamental rights of a human being include that of autonomy, to have the liberty to make one’s own decisions and act upon them, while maintaining respect for the rest of society and the ethics of that body (Braun 44). The ethics of a certain group of people can vary from the individual differences of the people that make it up, but for this particular discussion, the “body” in question is that of the American public. The ethics of the United States are mainly driven on the same basic principles to that of other developed nations, but with the rise of biomedical technology, there has been an increase in questions raised regarding what is considered “ethical”. However, autonomy has always been a given in the US, from the Bill of Rights to various promotions on self-acceptance. Even from the viewpoint of German skeptics, who strongly believe in “underscor[ing] the limits of technological solutions and the price that individuals and society might have to pay for them” (Braun 43), define autonomy as: “a society’s political capacity to control the development of science & technology despite structural constraints such as the imperative to increase economic competitiveness” (Braun 49). In other words, while German skeptics would be most analogous to the conservatives of America, they believe in not only the individuality of the patient, but also in the significance for governments to devalue the prospects of losing to international economic competition when considering the ethics of IVF. Thus, while it may be that other countries that actively promote research on this technology can capitalize off of the market, the United States should not allow this to be the driving factor of IVF laws. This can prevent the same conflicts that arise from pharmaceutical companies, such as the lack of development of a male birth control pill or medications for deadly but rare diseases, which are all deemed as unprofitable. With this having been established, IVF in America can be highly patient-centered, thus optimizing the patient’s autonomy of the process.

Likewise, the governing structures for IVF technology should not be driven from religious contexts. The laws that oversee a nation such as America, which celebrates independence, should not be hindered by religious texts that do not represent every individual of that population. For instance, why should a secular, infertile woman be prevented from attempting IVF due to Christian principles? Thus, if the opponents of IVF come from traditional values and the Christian belief system (Braun 43), their viewpoints should not be the determining factor of such a woman. However, this is not to say that religion should not be incorporated in ethical discussions – in fact, various backgrounds from all religious schools should be considered in order to determine the most ethical approach to IVF. Yet the legality behind this, particularly in the United States, should not be based on this singular belief system that is not demonstrative of the religious diversity that exists in this country. Thus, Congress should continue funding for IVF to promote autonomy, and do so in a way that does so completely, freed from economic greed and inappropriate religious enforcements.

Turning from the patient herself to the life forms being created, another opposing argument against in-vitro fertilization is the damage of embryos that takes place in its clinical process. The question that stemmed debate was what exactly constitutes a life form. When Nida-Rumelin of Germany’s Council of Ethics sparked an “intense public response” for establishing differences between a person and a human being, implying that the latter was inferior to the former, the German parliamentarians officially decided that embryonic stem cell research was prohibited (Braun 47). Likewise, Christian laws state that human life begins at conception, and every form of reproductive technology is negatively seen besides homologous marital IVF (Shannon 154). However, even in light of a Christian perspective, the evaluation of research on embryos establishes that it is allowed with “proper consent and insurance of no harm” (Shannon 153). In fact, in the Jewish community, which shares the same Old Testament with Christianity, IVF is encouraged, with more clinics per capita in Israel than in any other country in the world (Seeman 340). While this stems from the obligation that Jewish men hold to procreate and “to be fruitful and multiply” (Broyde 301), it is carried in a fashion that still maintains respect for fetal life, as the womb is still considered the “privileged locus of divine benedictions” (Seeman 342). Thus, with continued funding from Congress, in-vitro fertilization can be developed to minimize embryo harm and loss, and until then, the United States could take preventative measures that implement limitations on the number of embryos to be trialed on. This is similar to Germany’s approach to IVF, which prohibits women to only three eggs per cycle (Braun 44).

As technology continues to develop with the financial aid of Congress in this project, respect can be maintained for the embryo by limitations – this would satisfy both parties of the debate, by allowing the process to occur for those who believe in their moral right to do so while prohibiting excessive use and preventative damage to the fetal life. Therefore, the prior question of what constitutes the definition of life can remain undetermined while allowing legal actions to maintain autonomy of the individuals who seek this treatment. However, regardless of the existence of these limitations, Congress and all parties involved in this technological process should seek to incorporate the Hindi principles of karma, dharma, and ahimsa to further maintain respect for fetal life (Bhattacharyya 13). This is not to imply that Hinduism should replace Christianity’s influence on the US government; neither should be the deciding factor when laws are being made for a diverse group of people. Rather, I am suggesting the promotion of Hindi principles simply because of the relevance and benefit it can hold in doing so. Discussion regarding these values should be promoted in order to determine the best method in applying the sciences clinically because these three characteristics of Hindu thought reflect upon the consequences of this topic

Specifically, the theories of karma, ahimsa and dharma “ultimately hold each of us responsible for all of our actions” (Bhattacharyya 108). According to Bhattacharyya, “a human fetus is not simply inconsequential tissue easily discarded, nor is it a fully matured adult human being” (107), and taking life will have karmic consequences. These “karmic consequences” can be translated to the overarching idea of ethics that can vary from religious groups, but the idea that such results exist and are negative should be kept in mind to prevent avoidable damage. In addition, while seemingly out of scope within the discussion of in-vitro fertilization, the idea of dharma, or the harm vs good that can result from one’s actions, influences stem cell research that can potentially find cures for organ failure, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s (Bhattacharyya 108): while there may be some life-forms harmed in the process, the overall gains of society may trump the losses, and this is applicable for IVF as well – while IVF may lead to the destruction of some embryo, the baby that is brought into a seeking family may outweigh the deaths of the fetal lives. Lastly, ahimsa promotes the “sanctity of human life” (Bhattacharyya 107), which can further aid in the protection of embryos and other life forms, whether it be a cell or a fully developed adult, regardless of varying religious textual interpretations. Thus, while Congress continues to promote research and usage of IVF through funded supplies, limitations and Hindi principles should be considered to weigh the consequences that can come from potential destruction of embryos.

Lastly, I will briefly shift my testimony from the individual level to that of the family. The United Nations believes that “families can be created between any individuals of full age” (Bhattacharyya 94). This is simply a statement that highlights the diversity of families, which can consist of individuals from all different backgrounds. Therefore, if a Jewish couple is seeking IVF to fulfill their obligation of procreation, or if a Christian couple is looking for the safest way to have a baby that will still constitute the Biblical definitions of marriage, they should be allowed to do so. Some cultures strongly believe in their obligation to procreate, and those who do should be allowed to, unhindered by contrasting religious thoughts of government members. If the family is about to fall apart due to the tragedies that disallow them from producing a baby through copulation, they should have the power to mend the relationship through IVF, supported by the UN’s decree that individuals have the right to create a family.

On the opposing side to this discussion, there is a rising group of neoconservatives in America. Yuval Levin, a leader in the President’s Council on Bioethics, stated that new conservatives in America have a mission to “prevent our transformation into a culture without awe filled with people without souls” (Mackin 37) – this implies that if technological advancements are implemented into every day life, our culture will be dull and the people insensitive. However, this is a limited undertake on the sheer admiration that should exist with the joy of producing a child so willfully sought. The New Atlantis, a recent publication that explores the conservative perspective to IVF and other biomedical technologies (Macklin 34), adds extremist insights on the harms of artificiality. However, as Robert Veatch stated in 1971, artificial is not evil (Macklin 35), and the idea that cells extracted from real humans to produce a real baby that will develop into a real human is “artificial” can also be held for debate.

From the same President’s Council on Bioethics, which is a group established to “advise the President on bioethical issues that may merge as a consequence of advances in biomedical science and technology” (Kass 224), Kass speaks about the major works and missions of the government that promotes diverse conversations on these topics. The Council is faced with high responsibility, with their decisions affecting the lives of scientists, researchers, and future patients, and thus, it is essential to represent all viewpoints on this topic. Therefore, I understand the burden that can be seen with the decision Congress faces currently, whether or not to continue funding for in-vitro fertilization. However, I believe my arguments today have established a viewpoint regarding IVF that attempts to mediate the conflicting religious and ethical concerns of the American population.

Ultimately, as ethical questions continue to be raised with the further development of biomedical technology, technology can also advance limit and resolve these issues, while the technicalities of their usage can be limited to satisfy the clashing values of community members. Extremist approaches from either sides of the spectrum should not hinder the liberty that defines America, and a middle ground can be established, as technology can be further developed to maximize fertility rates and minimize the death of embryos while using in-vitro fertilization. If Congress continues to fund for this program, the progress and development of biomedical technology in this sector will only continue to prosper, increasing the likelihood that the problems observed with harming various levels of life-form from in-vitro fertilization will be mediated. To insure autonomy of the patient, the wishes of the patient’s family, and the respect of the embryo, Congress should continue their monetary assistance for in-vitro fertilization. After all, the United States is the land of freedom, and while ethics from all backgrounds should fuel discussion on IVF, religious and economic reasons should not determine the governing laws on this sensitive issue.


Works Cited

Bhattacharya, S. (2006). Magical Progeny, Modern Technology: A Hindu Bioethics of Reproductive Technology. Suny University Press.

Braun, K. (2005). Not Just for Experts: The Public Debate about Reprogenetics in Germany. Hastings Center Report 35, 42-49. The Hastings Center.

Broyde, M. J. (2005). Modern Reproductive Technologies and Jewish Law. Marriage, Sex, and the Family in Judaism, 295-328. Rowman & Littlefield Pub, Inc.

Kass, L. (2005). Reflections on Public Bioethics: A View from the Trenches. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15, 221 -250. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Macklin, R. (2006). The New Conservatives in Bioethics: Who are they and what do they seek? Hastings Center Report 36, 34-43. The Hastings Center.

Seeman, D. (2010). Kin, Gene, Community: Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis (Vol. 19). New York: Berghahn Books. Retrieved from

Shannon, T. A., & Cahill, L. S. (1988). Religion and artificial reproduction: An inquiry into the Vatican “Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of human reproduction”. New York: Crossroad.

Blog Post #2 – Jin Yoo

Jinny Yoo

With the development in biotechnology and assisted reproductive technologies (ART), infertile couples are working in collaboration with scientists to find new avenues for reproduction. Naturally, the bioethics behind these new tools is brought into question, and interestingly enough, perhaps due to the influence of Western culture, the ethics of ART have mainly been approached with Jewish, Christian, and Catholic lenses. Thus, Bhattacharya, originally a nurse practitioner who earned her PhD with her interpretation of ART ethics through Hinduism, published a book, Magical Progeny, Modern Technology: A Hindu Bioethics of Assisted Reproductive Technology. She delves into the traditional stories of Hinduism, the 6 defining characteristics of the religion, and how these narratives and factors play a role in shaping the Hindi perspective on ART.

On the other hand, Broyde writes of whether Judaism approves of or condemns cloning. He analyzes each step in the cloning process and any potential problems that may be raised through the Jewish law, the halakhah. His main objective is to establish if cloning is permissible (mutar), prohibited (asur), or a good deed (mitzvah) (Broyde, 296). In order to do, this begins with the scientific background of cloning – this is a process that produces a human, or clone, with the same genetic information as the clonee. Rather than the production of a randomized set of genes from a mother and father, the clone would have the same genetic information as an individual who already exists. Thus, there is a distinction between a human being conceived by fertilization and a clone, which replicates the genetic information from a prior existence.

Broyde begins by raising the question of identifying the clone’s family: can there be two moms? He compares cloning to surrogacy, in which the gestational mother is labeled as the legal mother, despite the lack of genetic relation (Broyde, 300). On the other hand, the DNA contributor is to be considered the parent of the clone, as the gestational mother should not have any connection to the clone besides providing for its developing chamber; yet there is still ambiguity as clones do not share the same parents (Broyde, 304). He also raises the points of Judaism law that imply humanness is not dependent on intelligence, but rather a womb birth, while others translate it to humanness as qualified by human function capability (Broyde, 307).

Broyde concludes with his stance that Jewish law does not view cloning with the same degree of acceptance as life produced through IVF, but clones should still be considered human life (Broyde, 315). He also states that the process of cloning is fulfilling the Jewish male obligation to be fruitful, and for some infertile couples, it may be the only solution to provide for their barrenness – thus, the cloning of males is considered to be a mitzvah, while that of a woman is neutral, because while it does not go against Jewish laws, it is not necessary for women to multiply in the same way it is for men (Broyde, 311). He recommends that males should have their wives hold their clones, and if this is not possible, they should first seek an unmarried Jewish woman, then a non-Jewish woman, in that order, to avoid complications of parenthood; women should hold their own clones, and if not possible, they should seek firstly a non-Jewish woman, then an unmarried Jewish woman. This is based on the thought that children take the religion of their Jewish mothers (Broyde, 316).

While Broyde mainly uses Jewish laws and ethics that have been derived from prior cases of ART studied by the Jewish, statements made by rabbis, and certified texts such as the Talmud, Bhattacharya does not incorporate or even have access to this type of information. The latter author extrapolates from narratives of traditional Hinduism and bases her conclusions from these stories and the defining principles of Hinduism. However, it is important to note that unlike Judaism, Hinduism does not have recognized rules or laws for their everyday life because the basis of the religion stems from that every individual should live accordingly to fulfill dharma, karma, and ahimsa. Dharma, or the order and law for the entirety of society, promotes Hindus to consider the consequences of their deeds – will it overall positively impact society (65)? Karma merely translates to “action,” but it is intertwined with the idea that every individual is subject to judgment for his/her actions in future lives; thus, “this theory of karma calls individuals to take responsibility for their actions and to act” (Bhattacharya, 72). Lastly, ahimsa is the principle of non-harm (Bhattacharya, 73), and this affirms respect for all life, including that of fetuses and embryos (Bhattacharya, 86).

Due to the dearth in readily provided information in the bioethics of assisted reproductive technology in conjunction to Hinduism, it is natural that Bhattacharya is unable to draw definitive conclusions in her text. In contrast, Broyde has a different methodology of data collection because of the resources he has in his topic with Judaism. Thus, the two authors’ disparities in approach to reproductive technology not only stem from the obvious dissimilarities between the two religions, but also from their processes of data collection and the resources available. In fact, Bhattacharya began her research in Hinduism and ART because of the lack thereof. However, the two authors share a similar inability to make strong claims in their speech: Bhattacharya suggests that Hinduism’s principles are considered in the future when viewing assisted reproductive technology, the bioethics behind it, and scientific research in general (Bhattacharya, 108). Likewise, Broyde mentions his hopefulness that his analysis is considered when Jewish law indicates an approval or disapproval on cloning (Broyde, 316). As both authors are attempting to merely provide more perspectives to the respective fields of research, they both conclude with their requests towards those with religious authoritative power to consider their recommendations.

Interestingly, Bhattacharya addresses Jewish and Christian principles in her text and the published doctrines of both religions in her account. However, she mainly provides this information to contrast it with her more accepting interpretations of ART. For example, she states that as ART inevitably threatens some forms of life through the disposal of unneeded embryos and the Church views zygotes, pre-embryos, embryos, and fetuses as the same entities of life, it rejects most forms of assisted reproductive technologies (Bhattacharya, 83). In consideration of the principle of ahimsa, ART should likewise be rejected in Hinduism; however, she articulates Lipner’s point that the “soul unites with the embryo after conception” (Bhattacharya, 85), and that Hindus, although respectful of developing fetal life, do not view the former states of cell life as the same platform of a human being (Bhattacharya, 86). From this assertion, these technologies may be used to promote reproduction for infertile couples if it is used within the realms of dharma and karma.

In addition, she reiterates from the Hebrew Bible that “God is unquestionably in ultimate control of the process of producing offspring” (Bhattacharya, 56) and derives from the story of Rachel and Jacob to articulate how the couple was able to have babies only after much prayer. She also mentions the case of Zechariah and Elizabeth from the New Testament of the Christian Bible of Elizabeth’s conception that occurred only after the mother’s barrenness was overcome through God’s blessing (Bhattacharya, 56). She highlights the contrast between the narratives of Judaism and Christianity with those of three of the queens of Hinduism, Kunti, Madri, and Gandhari. To summarize the mentioned Hindu stories from the Mahabharata, the Hindi royal families face various problems with infertility and seek magical help from their gods. They manipulate factors to control the type of child to be born, such as Madri taking advantage of Kunti’s boon and seeking help from twin gods in order to have two children rather than one, or Gandhari’s wishes to provide the first-born son and going against her god’s recommendation to abandon her mass of children and, rather, facing trials to ensure their births (Bhattacharya, 42-44). Bhattacharya extrapolates from these stories and draws metaphors between the queens’ actions to conclude that modern individuals also seek ways to mold their to-be-born children and multiple births through IVF (Bhattacharya, 43).

Bhattacharya recommends that Hindus reflect upon the repercussions of ART prior to its usage. For instance, when approached with amniocentesis, which allows future parents to test their fetuses for Downs Syndrome and other health complications prior to birth giving, she states that individuals should consider the ideas of dharma, karma, and ahimsa. While aborting the fetus would be harming a form of life that counters ahimsa, it should be considered if there would be an overall benefit for the future child, the providing family, and society in doing so. “A human fetus is not simply inconsequential tissue easily discarded, nor is it a fully matured adult human being” (Bhattacharya, 107); thus, taking life will have karmic consequences, and individuals, while having autonomy, also have an obligation to be responsible for their actions. In addition, while cloning would raise various questions in bioethics, society may benefit in an influx of available organs for transplants and the potential to find cures for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (Bhattacharya, 108). Thus, Bhattacharya reiterates that because Hinduism is not monolithic (Bhattacharya, 77) and has various characteristics that make up its foundation, there is no conclusive answer on whether or not it supports or rejects assisted reproductive technology. She states the need to judge every Hindi couple’s case on an individual basis through the six key elements of Hinduism that are detailed in her writing (Bhattacharya, 107).



Bhattacharya, S. (2006). Magical Progeny, Modern Technology: A Hindu Bioethics of Reproductive Technology. Suny University Press.

Broyde, M. J. (2005). Modern Reproductive Technologies and Jewish Law. Marriage, Sex, and the Family in Judaism, 295-328. Rowman & Littlefield Pub, Inc.


Blog 1- Jinny Yoo

The overlap of Judaism and Christianity begin from their sharing of the same holy text: the Old Testament. Interestingly, while the two religions use the same scribe as the basis of their respective faiths, they differ vastly in their understandings and analyses of the book. While the Jews claim significance in the disparate, explicitly written commandments of the Bible, the Christians extrapolate from their interpretations of the narratives in the text. This contrast leads to two distinct belief systems that monitor modern biomedicine and assisted reproductive technology (ART) in starkly dissimilar ways. I will explore Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, to display the different interpretations from both religions and their definitions of kinship and human reproduction.

Genesis 1 tells the story of the beginning of life – as God created the world, He made man and woman, blessing them to “be fruitful and multiply.” The Jewish take this commandment literally – they believe that this is an obligation given to males, and, with the new opportunities provided by reproductive technology, even infertile couples have a chance at fulfilling this mandate. Thus, Israelis have eagerly accepted IVF as a method of procreation, and in fact, every Israeli is allowed unlimited trials at IVF before the birth of two children. The clinics, in which IVF takes place, are rampant in Israel, the most concentrated per capita than any other country, and they are described to be very personal settings, with transparency between the donors and acceptors. Homosexual couples are also accepted to perform IVF because marital status is unquestioned, which leads to their status of being parents to trump that of their sexualities.

This has led to a new definition for a Jewish family – not one consisting merely of heterosexual birth parents and children, but a term called fictive kinship, or the lack of association with genetic relationship and kin. According to Kahn, however, a Jewish child can only be born from a Jewish womb, which permits sperm donations but not eggs. In fact, it is considered Hebrew thought that the birth parents should be those who raise the child; but Jewish law and Hebrew thought are discrete entities. This distinction between Hebrew thought and Jewish law grant Jews the liberty to rely on assisted reproductive technology when necessary. Kahn describes a Jewish baby’s IVF birth from a virgin woman as “remarkable” – a clear indication of the support for ART within the Jewish community.

These standards of Judaism are vastly different from those of Christianity, which promotes continuity through blood. This belief of kinship stems from the relationship of Adam and Eve in Genesis, a monogamous, heterosexual, procreative marriage. As Christians tend to interpret the Bible with what is stated from the narratives, the bond between Adam and Eve is a reflection of what a marriage is defined as – leading to the creation of a family unit with procreation in the same way that was performed by the two. However, the same line in Genesis 1:28, “be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” is not taken literally within the Christian community as it is for the Jewish. In fact, the Pope and the figures of the Catholic Church all practice abstinence, which is directly against the commandment of procreation. Even in Genesis 2, God states, “It is not good for the man to be alone” – yet the heads of the Catholic Church are unmarried. There is a clear difference in how the Catholics interpret Genesis from the Jews.

Likewise to the first couple, human procreation is believed to be the highest gift from God; children, like Adam, should be created in the “image” of their parents, as God created Adam in his “image” (Genesis 1:27 New International Version). Due to the honor associated with a child, human life should be respected from conception, and anything that disrupts this process, such as frozen embryos, is condemned. In addition, children are granted the respect to be raised with their birth parents, which prevents the church’s approval of surrogacy and heterologous IVF, which involves a third party’s donation of sperm or egg. In fact, out of all of the reproductive technologies, the only one that is allowed is homologous IVF, in which the gametes come from the parents who are to raise the child.

These Christian ideologies stem from the significance of the conjugal act that initiates conception; because assisted reproduction is withdrawing of this performance, children born this way are viewed as deprived of the value of body language. This body language stems from the story of how Eve as created: “that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This act of becoming “one flesh” is the equivalent as a prerequisite of marriage, kinship, and reproduction. ART also grants power to biology, doctors, and researchers in the creation of life – this strays from the principles that destiny is left to God, who, according to Genesis, created everything. Thus, based on the interpretations of the cosmology of this religion, kinship must be through consanguine relations or through marriage, and children should be raised by their birth parents that must be in the same type of relationship as of Adam and Eve.

Another example of a disparity in interpretation of the same Biblical text lies in the story of Sarah and Abraham: Sarah, the wife of Abraham, asked her servant to be the surrogate of her child. This relationship resulted with Sarah growing jealous of her servant and the attention her husband gave her. While Christians interpret this narrative as an implication that surrogacy is against God’s will, Jews see the surrogacy as an opportunity, a blessing that Sarah gave to her servant to fulfill the prophecy of fruitfulness.

However, there are some sources for the contrasting ideals of Christianity and Judaism besides the first two chapters of Genesis. In a sociological context, the Jewish seek to increase their birth rates, stemming from “pro-natalism” by the post-Holocaust Jews or the increase in that of Arabs (Seeman, 2010, p. 350). In addition, as the Jews believe in their right to the “holy land” promised to Abraham, they further promote their beliefs in reproduction. In the Bible, Abraham gifted as many children as the stars in the sky, and this grant supplements their ideas. Thus, through a combination of both social and religious factors, the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament may naturally favor the reproductive technologies that aid them to fulfill their obligation to procreate.

In addition, it is possible that the reason for IVF acceptance in Judaism is due to the purity that can be associated with it. For a female to carry a child yet remain a virgin is exactly how Jesus, the figurehead of Christianity, came to be – this is also where Christianity and Judaism diverge. Because Christianity believes that Jesus was conceived as a gift from God through Virgin Mary, it is possible that their strict discipline against a potential for this form of reproduction stems from the similarity it holds to the story of Virgin Mary. It would be contradictory to promote this form of conception for any Christian female when it holds such parallel to the story that is the basis of their religion.

From an objective viewpoint, Genesis may simply be a story of how the world came to be. It tells the tale of how God created light and darkness, the heavens and the earth, the animals and first humans, and it displays a heterosexual marriage that was achieved by images of God. Yet from an ethnographic perspective, it can be further analyzed – as the Bible comes in various translations, each word holds a different connotation, an emphasis on different aspects of the cosmology, and an ethnographer can link how syntax plays a role in the foundation of an entire belief system. Thus, moral questions can be answered through the lenses of various religions because of how these faiths interpret the text, which can lead to differing outcomes, approvals, and prohibitions when technological advancements are made. Ultimately, the power is up to the individual to decide how they seek their values.





Kahn, S. M. (2000). Reproducing Jews: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception in Israel. Durham: Duke University Press.


Seeman, D. (2010). Kin, Gene, Community: Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis (Vol. 19). New York: Berghahn Books. Retrieved from


Shannon, T. A., & Cahill, L. S. (1988). Religion and artificial reproduction: An inquiry into the Vatican “Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of human reproduction”. New York: Crossroad.