The Case Against Perfection by Michael Sandel

983 WordsJul 12, 20184 Pages
Michael Sandel is a distinguished political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University. Sandel is best known for his best known for his critique of John Rawls's A Theory of Justice. While he is an acclaimed professor if government, he has also delved deeply into the ethics of biotechnology. At Harvard, Sandel has taught a course called "Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature" and from 2002 to 2005 he served on the President’s Council on Bioethics (Harvard University Department of Government, 2013). In 2007, Sandel published his book, The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering, in which he explains unethical implications biotechnology has and may have in the near future regarding genetic…show more content…
While the previous ethical dilemma is more cut and dry, Sandel also grapples with the morality of futuristic technology that can engineer children to be a product of their parents’ will. Sandel mentions the Gattaca scenario, of a society that can remove any malignant gene from an embryo, creating perfectly healthy children with greater potential physically and mentally. Gattaca focuses on ethical issues such as the polarization of society between the genetically enhanced and the naturally normal, and the value of human individuality; however, Sandel chooses to focus on the morality of engineered progeny in terms of personal relationships (Philosophical Films, 1997). Sandel suggests that parent creating children exactly how they want them to be is immoral because it turns children into an object of man’s will, rather than a gift of life. If a child turned out exactly how a parent wanted it to, the experience of raising a child would be irrevocably altered. Normally parents have children with inevitable shortcomings, but this is good for two reasons; it teaches the parents humility and unconditional love for their child no matter what shortcomings they have, and it emphasizes the talents the child may have, allowing parents to appreciate the natural gifts and talents that the child is endowed with. If a parent engineers the perfect child, they never develop empathy for their child and unconditional love in undermined. If the child is perfect in all aspects,
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