As I read today’s Age I was reminded why Australia needs a Christian party. As a mother I was struck by two articles that spoke of the future for those born in 2012. This is a future that apparently won’t follow the straight linear path of education, employment, marriage, home ownership and children but will be more like ‘a progression of connected loops’. As one who came from a rather loopy background and spent years unraveling those loops in order to eventually find a linear path that made sense, I am a little dumfounded at the glorification of chaos and lack of direction.

The article titled Her Future by Catherine Armitage takes a glimpse of life for baby Mia born in 2012. It outlines changing relationships and morality describing a future with ‘less biologically based’ family concepts. There is no mention of those age old yearnings about our biological background that have caused adopted children to seek out their natural parents or Aboriginal Australians to seek remedy for what was stolen. Biological family and identity is not important; that’s so yesterday.

And somehow with all the focus on ‘me’ the 2012 babies will nevertheless all be more caring individuals. They’ll work longer, be busier but care more.  They won’t have to think for them self because for all the big decisions they’ll have ‘crowd source’. That will conveniently spread the responsibility of personal decision-making. And decision-making might be a bit too awkward because although brilliant with gadgets, our 2012 babies will grow to have short attention spans – perhaps a little obstacle to becoming ‘more caring’. It seems the perseverance that has served many great people throughout history will be discarded for this ‘crowd sourcing’.

Armitage predicts that secularism will spread and ‘Nons’ (that’s non-believers) will be the fastest growing group in the developed world. But that growth numerically will certainly be contained personally through genetic profiling. Where one lives and works will be according to one’s genes and personality and education will be indistinguishable from entertainment. (That’s the progression of interconnected loops I assume).

If it was just this one article, I’d simply agree, it all sounds very loopy to me. But there was another article that featured on the same day by the same author. This highlights a report from Oxford University philosophers on a new way to combat climate change. Humans could be modified; they could be made smaller as a way of reducing the problem. That’s right; hormone treatment could be used to suppress child growth or embryos selected for smaller size. Strangely, I have never met another mother who did not want their children to reach their full potential. I have never met a person who would consider hormone treatment to limit their child in any way. But of course, this is my maternal instinct and perhaps with a less ‘biologically based’ future, parents will not feel this way.

I believe we have to question why this type of treatment is less humane than those who blind their children in third world countries to make them professional beggars? They have the family income as their motivator – the suggestion is that we limit the potential of ours because of carbon emissions. I wonder what sort of life Michael Jordan would have had without his long arms and legs – is it really any different than removing his eyes?

Despite the freer, greener generation being healthier overall, they will ironically be more prone to mental illness, chronic disease and dementia. Is it really any wonder if we glorify chaos, confusion, and the planet and remove personal responsibility and God? It seems madness to even suggest these things. Perhaps a Christian voice in these debates is needed to impart a few old age truths; a future in God’s hands rather than science. This is a God who values every human life and desires all to reach their full potential. I believe this is a better choice than being genetically modified to fit into a broken world.

 



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