Making "Better" People: Germline Engineering and Designer Babies

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"Many people love their [golden] retrievers and their sunny dispositions around children and adults. Could people be chosen in the same way? Would it be so terrible to allow parents to at least aim for a certain type, in the same way that great breeders . . . try to match a breed of dog to the needs of a family?" --Prof. Gregory Pence, University of Alabama (1998)

Genetic Engineering has been hailed as one of the greatest scientific developments of the 21st century. The argument above is one of many, posed to ask human beings to think about whether or not genetic engineering is morally and ethically right. By modifying genes and DNA or by introducing new genes into an embryo, organisms are given new, often beneficial,
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After all the alterations, human beings would then move on to actual enhancement. Firm believers in Darwin’s theory, we would do whatever we could to make genes that increase intelligence, immunity, strength and stamina available to those who are able to afford it. With those few actions, a super race would be born.

Although it seems terribly exciting, I do not believe that Germline engineering is the right thing to do. By allowing scientists to take the evolutionary process into their own hands, we lose the natural purity and uniqueness that is the very basis of our humanity. By allowing people to pick their children’s future characteristics, we run the risk of filling our world with people who are exactly the same. There would be no more innovation, no more creativity and no more originality. The beauty of our species lies not only in our intelligence, but also in our individuality.

There is also the issue of “playing God”. Many people, especially those of the Christian faith believe in God as the Creator. All of nature is considered sacred and divine to a certain extent and because of this, it must be respected. Who are we to go about changing things? Do we have the authority to say it is right to tamper with another creature’s genes? Our morality up to now has been to go ahead without restriction to learn all that we can about nature. Restructuring nature was not part of the bargain.

Because Germline

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