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View Poll Results: Genetic engineering?

9. You may not vote on this poll
  • I am in favor. Think of the good for society, advance of science, etc

    2 22.22%
  • I am in favor but only in specific cases (please state)

    4 44.44%
  • I am neutral/unsure

    0 0%
  • I am opposed it is too murky and fraught with peril though not necessarily inherently wrong

    2 22.22%
  • )I am opposed. I believe it is morally wrong/evil or reminiscent of Nazism

    1 11.11%
  • I would want this for my own children.

    3 33.33%
  • I would not want this for my own children.

    1 11.11%
  • Other (please state in thread)

    1 11.11%
Multiple Choice Poll.

Results 1 to 8 of 8

  1. #1
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    378 sx/so

    Cool Genetically engineering 'ethical' babies

    Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a "moral obligation" as it makes them grow up into "ethically better children".

    The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to "harm themselves and others".

    The academic, who is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, made his comments in an article in the latest edition of Reader's Digest.

    He explained that we are now in the middle of a genetic revolution and that although screening, for all but a few conditions, remained illegal it should be welcomed.

    He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality – with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics.

    By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out.

    In the end, he said that "rational design" would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.

    "Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?" wrote Prof Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor in practical ethics.

    "So where genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an individual and society, we should allow parents the choice.

    "To do otherwise is to consign those who come after us to the ball and chain of our squeamishness and irrationality.

    "Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children.

    "They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others."

    "If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring — rather than consigning them to the natural lottery — then we should."

    He said that we already routinely screen embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and couples can test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes.

    Rational design is just a natural extension of this, he said.

    He said that unlike the eugenics movements, which fell out of favour when it was adopted by the Nazis, the system would be voluntary and allow parents to choose the characteristics of their children.

    "We’re routinely screening embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome, and there’s little public outcry," he said.

    "What’s more, few people protested at the decisions in the mid- 2000s to allow couples to test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes, and this pushes us a lot close to creating designer humans."

    "Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now. Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance."

    Do you think the time has come to begin genetically engineering children to get rid of genetic flaws like being prone to a particular disease/condition? What about height, eye color, etc? What about personality characteristics? What social ills could be alleviated/created by research/activity like this?
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007


    No, the time hasn't come. We don't understand genetics and its interplay with environment well enough yet.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #3
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    5w6 sp/so
    LII Ne


    Quote Originally Posted by UniqueMixture View Post

    Do you think the time has come to begin genetically engineering children to get rid of genetic flaws like being prone to a particular disease/condition? What about height, eye color, etc? What about personality characteristics? What social ills could be alleviated/created by research/activity like this?
    I'm for genetic engineering if it means avoiding certain diseases like cystic fibrosis.

    I'm oppposed to genetic engineering for particular personality characteristics. Having a diversity is good. Even some of the apparently "bad" characteristics can be had a positive side when looked at from another angle. Just because someone has a personality type that makes them prone to addictions doesn't necessarily mean they will become a become an alcoholic. Besides, I see alcoholism as a disease rather than a personality trait.
    5w6 or 9w1 sp/so/sx, I think
    Neutral Good

  4. #4
    Junior Member midnight rambler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012


    No, I am not in favor of genetically choosing personality traits at all. It could turn out to be a real bad idea, it makes me think of the scifi movie Gattaca.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011


    I think we should focus on traits that can't be naturally selected in normal circumstances, particularly diseases that hit late in life. As for personality traits, that sounds like a pipe dream due to variations in gene expression, our limited understanding of genealogy (ie, what else does that gene do), and the impossibility of determining which traits are universally desirable or dysfunctional.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    5w4 so/sx


    I'd been in favor of correcting various diseases.

  7. #7
    your resident asshole /DG/'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Who in their right mind isn't in favor of this when it's in terms of diseases?

    As for sex, eye color,

  8. #8
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    3w4 sx/so


    It's evil.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

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