Politics Magazine

Watchers and the Holy One

Posted on the 18 May 2015 by Steveawiggins @stawiggins

WatchersI’m not really a fan of Dean R. Koontz’s thrillers, but I do find myself turning to them from time to time. Like Stephen King’s, Koontz’s books are easily found at book sales, but you don’t always have your choice of which titles. I picked up Watchers because it had a vaguely biblical sound to it. The title seems to fit the story only loosely, but there are a number of points where God is invoked in the tale. Watchers is a book about genetic engineering, both the good and the bad aspects of it. Scientists have produced a dog as intelligent as a human being, and a monster that kills indiscriminately; a Cain and Abel. As this is being explained to one of the characters, he says “If we can do this, we have the power and, potentially, the wisdom of God.” Here, in a nutshell, is the debate about intentional genetic modification. We don’t have the ability to see ahead very far, and although we like to think ourselves god-like, we could very well be creating catastrophes. At least, in this story, God is deemed wise.

Some time later another character in the story opines that when humanity can create an intelligent species, it is our responsibility to act, in a sense, as its deity. “If we’ve come so far that we can create as God creates, then we have to learn to act with the justice and mercy of God.” Interestingly, there is no question of theodicy here. The justice and mercy of God are assumed, despite the many wakeful nights and unsettled days of the theologians. Casting God as the “good guy” is not as easy as it used to be, and our own “engineering” isn’t always assumed to be for the good of our own planet.

Finally, as some of the characters are discussing who has the right to own this super-intelligent dog, God is invoked once again. The qualities of the dog (a golden retriever, since, one presumes, a Rotweiler, for instance, might have different qualities), its courage, ability to distinguish right from wrong, ability to love, and selflessness, make it more in the image of God than human beings. Again, God here is unquestioningly assumed to be the great good, the advocate of humankind. I realize novelists are under no obligation to be theologians, yet it is difficult to tell a tale of genetic tampering without invoking the Almighty. What I find so interesting here in Koontz is that despite the evil of some of the characters, the goodness of God is never called into question. It is assumed that the evil we create is our own while the good in the world belongs to God. It’s a view of the world that could be called almost biblical. Those who professionally reflect on these things, however, often come to a different conclusion.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • The European Union Just Made Bioenergy Worse for Biodiversity

    European Union Just Made Bioenergy Worse Biodiversity

    While some complain that the European Union (EU) is an enormous, cumbersome beast (just ask the self-harming Brexiteers), it generally has some rather laudable... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Bradshaw
    ENVIRONMENT
  • The Romantics

    Romantics

    These two words conjure an image in my mind of running through fields with flowers in my hand and my beloved running after me, very much like the Bollywood film... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Ashleylister
    BOOKS, CREATIVITY, CULTURE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Lesson 1570- Life Lessons I Want My Kids to Know

    Lesson 1570- Life Lessons Want Kids Know

    We just back from a family vacation on Cape Cod. It’s the one week of the year that we all go barefoot, drink cold beers in the afternoon, read books in the... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Wendythomas
    ANIMALS & WILDLIFE, HOME, PETS, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Who’s Gonna Love You, Tebey at Boots & Hearts 2018 Interview

    Who’s Gonna Love You, Tebey Boots Hearts 2018 Interview

    Tebey teased his last-minute addition to Boots Hearts 2018 through his social media channels, and then he came on out to the Burl's Creek Event Grounds and wa... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Frugal Tip: Make-Your-Own Sore Throat Syrup

    Frugal Tip: Make-Your-Own Sore Throat Syrup

    Summer is almost over, and there is a chill in the air, so it's not hard to think of the cold season coming soon. And with it - coughs, colds and sore throats. Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Catherine Mcdiarmid-Watt
    FAMILY, FINANCE, SHOPPING
  • 7 Physical Signs Your Partner Is Sleeping With Someone Else

    Let us put aside the idea of a perfect world where people love their lovers honestly, with all their heart and would never ever cheat on them, where all... Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER
  • Home Decor: A Garden for Every Space

    Home Decor: Garden Every Space

    For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver. Read more

    The 20 August 2018 by   Rashmi Gopal Rao
    DESTINATIONS, TRAVEL