genetic engineering Essay

Submitted By gnomerchase
Words: 2208
Pages: 9

Chase Stueber
Professor Black
Ethics
Genetic Engineering Evolution is defined by Merriam Webster to be the process of continues change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state. In other words to change to state of something to an improved state, when talking about organisms this involves the mutation of genes through natural selection in order to adapt to a more efficient and beneficial form. An excellent example of adapting to better them is found in Darwin’s finches, where birds from different parts of the island have adapted to survive in different environments. But why if we have the technology to thrive as a species many believe we should grasp the opportunity. Why settle for the slow pace of natural evolution if we have the technology to advance the human race through science. Until now, technologies that let us selectively alter the genome of newborns have only existed in science fiction. However, scientists have recently discovered a way to alter the genome of humans before they are born in order to obtain a number of beneficial effects. For example, a parent, through genetic engineering, would be able to select the specific genes of their child. Another application would be that before the baby is born the genome could be reworked in order to give enhanced genes, for example give the baby some extra IQ points to make them more intelligent or even alter them to make them outperform their peers physically. A more practical use however could be the use of genetic engineering in order to birth children that are immune to diseases such as HIV or cancer, not only this but this could possibly eliminate genetic disorders and deformities. However, just because we have the potential to create “perfect humans” should we? And to a further extent do we have the right to? Some would argue that to manipulate the DNA of individuals would be considered playing god, however if looked at through a utilitarian viewpoint this is seen as benefiting the most people by birthing children immune to diseases as well as birth defects. Another hard truth is that nothing in life is free including genetic engineering. If there were a price on this service then it would give wealthier families even more of an advantage in life then they would already have. Thus creating a divide not only economically, but also in the quality of human being. These two classes of humans would not be equal genetically and some would most likely argue that those with enhanced genes should receive better treatment than those without. This would create two classes of human beings posing the question of whether or not these two types of people should be considered as the same, one being perfect and the other having inert flaws within them that cannot be changed. This would be an intentional creation of a class system within our society. The only way for genetic engineering to be without prejudice and ethically fair would be for it to adopt an all or nothing mentality. Through this either everyone would get the same enhancements or nobody should be allowed to have them. Things such as immunities and making people free from birth defects should be made available to everyone. Ethically, we cannot ignore an opportunity to improve the human race as a whole. If we have the opportunity, by negative utilitarianism we must minimize pain, we are ethically obligated to seize the opportunity. When considering the idea of a parent enhancing a child’s genes before they are born deteriorates what is means to have a child, “To appreciate children as gifts is to accept them as they come, not as objects of our design, or products of our will, or instruments of our ambitions,” (Sandel 45). Parents shouldn’t only love their children because they are made with genes that are pleasing to them. To do this would unfairly strip the child of their individuality simply making them shadows of the parent’s ambitions. They would simply…