Essay on Genetic Modification And Genetic Determinism

Essay on Genetic Modification And Genetic Determinism

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In their research article, “Genetic modification and genetic determinism”, David B. Resnik and Daniel B. Vorhaus argue that all the nonconsequentialist arguments against genetic modification are faulty because of the assumption that all the traits are strongly genetically determined, which is not the case. Resnik and Vorhaus dispel four arguments against genetic modification one-by-one. The freedom argument represents three claims: genetic modification prevents the person who has been modified from making free choices related to the modified trait, limits the range of behaviors and life plans, and interferes with the person 's ability to make free choices by increasing parental expectations and demands (Resnik & Vorhaus 5). The authors find this argument not convincing, as genes are simply not “powerful” enough to deprive a person of free choice, career and life options. In addition to that, they argue that parental control depends not on genetic procedure itself, but rather on parents’ basic knowledge of what the results of the modification should be. In a similar fashion, the giftedness arguments, which states that “Children are no longer viewed as gifts, but as commodities” (8), and the uniqueness argument, which states that a personal sense of individuality could be undermined, are not convincing for Resnik and Vorhaus, as they believe that even modified genes are probabilistic enough for parents to treat children in the “traditional” way and for each person to be unique. As for the authenticity argument, it is also dismissed on a similar basis, because “it clearly makes no difference whether that person 's genetic gift results from random assortment of genes during natural human reproduction or from an artificial process, suc...


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...g to discredit the uniqueness critique of genetic modification. The uniqueness argument states that procedures such as cloning can undermine the sense of identity of cloned individuals, and, thus, affect the formation of the unique identity.
The idea that people generally don’t seek their sense of identity in their genetics has some merit, but what the authors don’t take into account is that certain genotypes push people towards certain traits, interests, and talents. Unlike identical twins, who naturally identify with each other and generally do not experience the identity struggle because “twinning” is a natural process, clones will experience great struggle to form a unique identity, as they will feel that they are a copy of someone else’s life. Thus, cloning has a high potential to undermine personal uniqueness, unlike what Resnik and Vorhaus are trying to convey

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