The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Engineering

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Reproductive germline engineering—the genetic selection and modification of embryos—offers a change in the human reproduction cycle and the human race in general. Although still in development, genetic engineering hopes to one day be able to allow parents to choose the appearance, personality, and intelligence of their children—very much like the virtual reality games that allow players to design every aspect of their own avatar or characters. While this advancement in science and molecular engineering seems exciting and innovative, this type of enhancement has many ethical issues. In this essay I will use Kantian moral theory to explain why genetic engineering is unethical. I will begin by giving background information about genetic engineering development and describe the views of those on both sides of the issue. I will then offer my own argument—that genetic engineering removes individuality from the children and is extremely paternalistic. Genetic engineering should only be utilized for removing traits that would lessen a person’s quality of life such as life-threatening diseases. I will then offer the counterargument to my position that genetic engineering is utilitarian and gives people the best and easiest life possible. After describing the argument, I will expose the faults in the argument and explain how genetic engineering does not necessarily improve life for those impacted and also does not benefit the majority of people if only the rich can afford the process.

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