Playing God: The Effects of Genetic Engineering in Society Essay

Playing God: The Effects of Genetic Engineering in Society Essay

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In The Case Against Perfection, Sandel warns us of the dangers that genetic engineering, steroids, and hormones poses to society and the natural order. According to Sandel, this type of control, especially in non-medical settings, violates a respect for life that should be ingrained in all of us. Life is something difficult to predict, something that shouldn’t bend to our every single will and desire. Genetic engineering, and the like, presents an egregious violation of this respect. According to Sandel, this violation serves only to reverse the human march of progress. Sandel weaves a well-balanced argument in his book. The issue of eugenic technology is most definitely not black or white. According to him, the aspects of modification can be applied selectively, so long as it doesn’t violate the respect for life society should hold closely.
Is it wrong to make a child deaf by design? How much leeway should parents have in selecting the characteristics of their child (when it comes to aspects of identity)? Should they have any? These are just a couple of difficult questions posed by Sandel. Presenting a similar case, Sandel discusses the case of an infertile couple seeking an egg donor. They sought a very specific type of donor, going as far as requesting an achieved SAT score. In both of these cases, the outcomes are still susceptible to a certain degree natural variation and uncertainty. Does this element of unpredictability add to the moral correctness of these cases?
When it comes to athletes and their sport, drugs and genetic fixes diminish achievement. The more an athlete relies on drugs and genetic engineering, the more difficult it is to respect his/her achievements. Sandel presents a scenario. Imagine a robotic baseb...


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...ones establishing themselves frequently.
The issue then becomes how to consolidate the old and the new. Common ground must be found. Sandel provides us with a potential solution, and it comes back to the respect for the giftedness of life. Being a good athlete, a good performer, or a good parent comes down to this idea. It is about accepting and appreciating what life has provided for you. Through discipline and hard work, one can strengthen the body, but with significant respect in hand. For a child, there must be a careful balance between loving and challenging it. The genetic lottery is something we all participate in. Overriding this system nature has provided for us would be a deep moral violation. On what grounds would we be able to judge humanity if take complete control of it? Nobody is perfect. Accepting that opens the door to the appreciation for life.


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