The Grounds Of Utilitarianism That Parents Have A Moral Duty Essay example

The Grounds Of Utilitarianism That Parents Have A Moral Duty Essay example

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Julian Savulescu tries to argue on the grounds of Utilitarianism that parents have a moral duty to improve their children’s genetic makeup in the same way that they would improve the child’s “environment” or prevent diseases (The Ethical Life, 443). Julian thinks this is a duty because it will yield the most positive outcomes or consequences. He believes that failure to use genetic enhancements, when a parent has an opportunity to benefit their child, is neglecting the child’s needs which is morally wrong (The Ethical Life, 443). Julian also defends his position by claiming that it would be inconsistent to “train our children to behave well”, but then refuse to seek genetic enhancements for our children so they have the tools to succeed, when both environmental and biological enhancements have equal and beneficial results (The Ethical Life, 443). The last point Julian argues is that “failure to prevent disease through genetic enhancement is just as bad as failure to treat a disease with the use of available drugs or surgeries” (The Ethical Life, 443). All three of these points that Julian points out are based off the principle of Utilitarianism which is a form of consequentialism.
Utilitarianism is that idea that we have a moral duty to take the course of action that will achieve the most optimific outcomes or consequences (Shakil , n.d.). The idea of consequentialism is that we need to consider the final consequences of the action whether or not the act itself is morally good (Shakil , n.d.). This principle claims that the morality of an action, such as, genetic enhancement depends on the best actual or expected results. Therefore, someone like Julian Savulescu will argue that if we fail to maximize good results through genetic ...


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...elp raise it and provide for it the best that they can and claiming that it is a parent’s moral duty to genetically enhance their child is asking the parent “to go above and beyond their call of duty” (Shafer-Landau, 145). Although going above and beyond is admirable behavior, it is not required by utilitarian’s because they deny that there are any duties that go above and beyond. Therefore, our moral duty is to do the very best that we can do which in this case would consist of a parent’s duty to try and raise the best person that they can (Shafer-Landau, 145). Since utilitarian’s believe that fulfilling a duty needs to only be done to the best of their ability, Julian’s argument is flawed because he calls parents to go above and beyond their moral duty. Julian’s argument also has some flaws in regards to his responses to a few possible objections he talked about.

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