Imago Dei or Spare Parts?

September 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

“Man does not exist to serve the economy, but the economy exists to serve man” (49). Rod Dreher

It’s the stuff of sci-fi movies. The Matrix, Soylent Green, and Coma all depict people as resources–energy, food, or replaceable body parts.

In 1979, the sci-fi film Parts: The Clonus Horror depicted young people cloned from the rich and famous. The clones served as spare body parts to give their “parents” immortality.

Many today have concluded that humans are the result of chemicals actions and reactions. There’s nothing more to us. Therefore, there are no moral parameters, no absolute rules. And that view is coming into clearer focus around the world as a market grows for human body parts.

Some well-intentioned people agree to donate their organs should the worst happen. But nobody wants their own existence to add up only to that of a part on a shelf as in a NAPA Auto Parts Store. And the situation becomes clearer when we consider the loss of basic human freedoms.

Imagine being arrested for your faith. You find yourself among other religiously and ethnically disfavored. Your freedom is gone because of what you believe.

Imagine that after you’ve been arrested, you are subject to blood and other medical tests.

Imagine further that, as you are beaten and tortured, someone admonishes your tormentors not to damage your organs.

Finally, imagine that you receive a death sentence merely because someone else needs your parts and you have the right blood type.

Such is the case for many in China. Prisoners of conscience are on the shelf as available body parts. Customers in the ghoulish market include “organ tourists” from Western countries.

Because of protests at home and abroad, the Chinese government announced in 2014 that prisoner organ “donations” would cease. Yet accusations abound that the practice has not stopped–with one source offering data to show that organ harvesting has actually increased.

And another asserting that the take home pay for harvesting is one billion dollars every year.

Why would they stop with so much money at stake? Why would they stop when they see every human being as either a commodity or a customer and never a sacred being?

It’s not just China. In other Asian countries, harvesters prey upon the poor and promise money for kidneys. When the exploiters move on, people are still poor but with one less kidney. The World Health Organization estimates that 10 percent of organ transplants globally are trafficked–acquired by force or deceit.

And America has its own scandal with Planned Parenthood selling the body parts of human babies. As demand for the human organs grows, so does the willingness to do whatever–absolutely whatever–to get them.

How did we get to this place in history?

Many of us are used to buying whatever we want or need whenever we want or need it. The world is now largely filled with consumerism. At the same time, the world is becoming highly advanced and technological. We have the ability to provide people as a product.

Our technologies advanced, but our view of humanity did not. And people, or their parts, became the commodity of the hour.

From Dreher: “A society built on consumerism must break down eventually for the same reason socialism did: because even though it is infinitely better than socialism at meeting our physical needs and gratifying our physical desires, consumerism also treats human beings as materialists, as ciphers on a spreadsheet” (ibid).

Or as body parts on a shelf next to auto parts.


Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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