Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Torah - A Liberal Bioethics Text?

God forbid.

I hate it when people use quotes or stories from Tanach to prove support of a position that has absolutely no approbation within Tanach.

For instance, in a class discussing the ethics of surrogate parenthood, my professor cited the case of Sara and Hagar as a proof that surrogate parenthood has been historically accepted. Umm, Avraham and Hagar's relationship was not exactly the same as the medical procedure which involves in vitro or artificial insemination and another woman actually carrying someone else's genetic baby.

I fail to see the comparison and it just gets Torah mixed up where it doesn't belong. (That is not to say that I don't think torah has a view on this - of course i do - I just don't think my bioethics class is the place for the Torah's view, nor my definitely not frum professor the right conduit of the Torah opinion.)

It bothers me because Torah gets degraded in the process. Torah in that class became a history book, or a folk story, or a reflection of the ideas of a time period, but Torah was certainly not there considered a gift to mankind, and specifically the Jews, of God-written law which is our ultimate path to righteousness. Torah was not the object of love and desire that people spend their lives striving to understand. Torah in that context became just another textbook, and that is appalling.


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