When introducing any new ideas, there are risks and benefits that come with it. In “Man and Superman,” Henry Greely discusses the views on biological enhancement. He introduces his ideas by first showing that humans have always tried to enhance themselves, “since we first shaped stones, controlled fire and domesticated animals.” (Greely 1) Greely then discusses the common fears and misconceptions that people have about genetic enhancement. They are: 1. Enhancement is cheating, 2. Enhancement will eliminate our sufferings, and 3. Enhancements will change our nature. These fears are pushed away by the real risks that biological enhancement proposes.
Before discussing the actual risks, let us see what people believe the threat of biological enhancement is. The first thing people think is that this enhancement is essentially a way to cheat at life. They believe that “by taking the effort out of life, it also takes away accomplishment.” (Greely 1) But How is enhancing someone, say to be good at math, cheating when there are already children who understand certain subjects better or who are even, based on their genes and traits, more fit to play sports. Saying that this is cheating is the same as saying those who are better at math than others are cheating at life. When people try to discuss why this is bad, they try to use the Fairness and Justice Approach. Having people with enhancements is unfair but having people with more talents than others is not apparently. Greely also brings up a point about how even though people with enhancements would be better in some areas they “would still strive, compete and fail, but from a different starting point.”
Seeing this as a choice may be understandable though, espe...
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...r, thus we need not be reckless. The risks that Greely discusses are very real and could be what keep biological enhancements from being supported. Regardless of support or not this technology will be developed eventually but in secret. I agree with Greely’s points and think he has taken much into consideration when talking about what are risks or not. I also look forward to seeing how this technology develops and integrates itself into society.
Fukuyama, Francis. We will undermine the principle of equality. Times Higher Education, 2002. Print.
Greely, Henry T. “Man and Superman: if we choose to enhance our bodies and minds it won’t be without risk, but that’s no reason to pull up the drawbridge.” New Scientist, 2006. Print
Savulescu, Julian. New breeds of humans: the moral obligation to enhance. Reproductive Biomedicare Online, 2004. Web.