Do you agree with genetic engineering?

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Rakas21
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With ever more advancements in the field of biology and genomics we are moving ever closer to a point whereby 'designer babies' or 'upgrades' are possible, creating a superior human species.

While i understand that most people are supportive of taking care of any disabilities before birth (possibly including manipulating the genome), we are not far off the point where upgrades in terms of potential intelligence, health and even aesthetics are possible. Possibly even we could reach a point in the coming decades whereby somebody already living could have their genome altered.

My personal support for this is strong. Firstly i feel that other than aesthetic grounds one should be able to 'purchase' improvements either for yourself or unborn child. Secondly i obviously approve on health grounds. But finally i believe that this is an opportunity to create a superior human species via a process of liberal eugenics (those with hereditary genetic flaws that cannot be altered via current gene therapy would be encouraged not to breed via financial incentive).

..

So TSR, what is your opinion and how far does your support extend?
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ChaoticButterfly
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Science/technological advances are always neutral. It is how they are wielded by humanity that matters. I'm of the opinion this sort of stuff could do tremendous good if used responsibly. The idea of "purchasing" these upgrades sounds horrendous though, poisoning it with this markets fix everything *******s. Humanity is already massively divided without adding this into the mix.

Everyone racing to genetically alter themselves to look more attractive. To remain competitive in the employment market. Business doing the usual of propaganda advertising of their "products". The poor who just fall even further behind with no hope fo affording it.

"those with hereditary genetic flaws that cannot be altered via current gene therapy would be encouraged not to breed via financial incentive)." That is incredibly sinister.

I think it could do a lot of good if it was handled in a more, for lack of a better word, socialized spirit, in that it is used to make things better for everyone.

But the way you describe it just sounds like the start of every dystopian transhumanist piece of science fiction ever and I hope I am dead before/if it happens.


Edit: Basically I want science/technology to free humanity. Not enslave it.
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XMaramena
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I agree 100% with parents having the option of genetic engineering. The term "superior human species" however I do not agree with. So yes, if someone wants their baby to have perfect hair and eyes, and really good physique and the probability of being a high academic achiever, then sure, why not.

But it's up to the people around them to decide whether or not that person really is "perfect", because that's something that can't be decided on personal attributes, but on love, and nothing else.
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Another
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(Original post by Rakas21)
one should be able to 'purchase' improvements either for yourself or unborn child.
Oh good God no. No. Never.

(those with hereditary genetic flaws that cannot be altered via current gene therapy would be encouraged not to breed via financial incentive)
What do you consider a 'genetic flaw'? Even if you were only talking about "may carry a gene that may cause health issues", you'd be talking about most of the population here.

Overall l'd have to disagree. Your quality of life isn't determined by how intelligent or pretty you are.
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karmacrunch
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(Original post by Rakas21)
one should be able to 'purchase' improvements either for yourself or unborn child.

But finally i believe that this is an opportunity to create a superior human species via a process of liberal eugenics

(those with hereditary genetic flaws that cannot be altered via current gene therapy would be encouraged not to breed via financial incentive).
That sounds disgusting. Why even bother having the child? What are we gaining from this 'superior race'? :lolwut:

You mean that you'd bribe people with flaws to not... breed? I think that anyone should be able to have children, provided that they can care for it, they're not having the child for selfish reasons and have enough to provide for that child. :erm:

I don't agree with eugenics at all.
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RayApparently
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Wow.
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RayApparently
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Science/technological advances are always neutral. It is how they are wielded by humanity that matters. I'm of the opinion this sort of stuff could do tremendous good if used responsibly. The idea of "purchasing" these upgrades sounds horrendous though, poisoning it with this markets fix everything *******s. Humanity is already massively divided without adding this into the mix.

Everyone racing to genetically alter themselves to look more attractive. To remain competitive in the employment market. Business doing the usual of propaganda advertising of their "products". The poor who just fall even further behind with no hope fo affording it.

"those with hereditary genetic flaws that cannot be altered via current gene therapy would be encouraged not to breed via financial incentive)." That is incredibly sinister.

I think it could do a lot of good if it was handled in a more, for lack of a better word, socialized spirit, in that it is used to make things better for everyone.

But the way you describe it just sounds like the start of every dystopian transhumanist piece of science fiction ever and I hope I am dead before/if it happens.


Edit: Basically I want science/technology to free humanity. Not enslave it.
(Original post by karmacrunch)
That sounds disgusting. Why even bother having the child? What are we gaining from this 'superior race'? :lolwut:

You mean that you'd bribe people with flaws to not... breed? I think that anyone should be able to have children, provided that they can care for it, they're not having the child for selfish reasons and have enough to provide for that child. :erm:

I don't agree with eugenics at all.
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^^^These.
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Excellent idea in theory, everyone has something they want to improve and there's nothing wrong with using science and tech to do that

The genetic disease thing sounds harsh but afaik it happens pretty frequently anyway, some people have abortions instead of giving birth to a kid with severe disabilities

The problem is that ofc richer people would have an advantage and it wouldn't be fair unless some system was put in place that didnt depend solely on money

Another issue would be what kind of things are allowed? Aesthetic improvements are mainly harmless but what if you got something dangerous like wolverine style claws (very unlikely to be possible ik but that's not the point)

Restrictive breeding sounds harsh but as long as it's not forced (only paid for not having kids) the option is still open

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karmacrunch
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
But the way you describe it just sounds like the start of every dystopian transhumanist piece of science fiction ever and I hope I am dead before/if it happens.
I agree :erm:

(Original post by RayApparently)
^^^These.
In all honesty, I kind of died inside when I read this thread. :erm:

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ChaoticButterfly
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Yay! Glad it isn't just the nutty left winger who doesn't like the sound of it lol

This also reminds me of Deus Ex series (the bestest games ever, ignoring number 2 of course)
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by karmacrunch)

I don't agree with eugenics at all.
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What if say humans found a way of altering every unborn baby's DNA in a way that provided them with a stronger immune system or near immunity to cancer? If that could be socialized like medical treatment can be would it necessarily be a bad thing?

Or if we could genetically spot and 'cure' a fetus that would be born with a severe genetic defect. Why would that be bad?
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RayApparently
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
What if say humans found a way of altering every unborn baby's DNA in a way that provided them with a stronger immune system or near immunity to cancer? If that could be socialized like medical treatment can be would it necessarily be a bad thing?

Or if we could genetically spot and 'cure' a fetus that would be born with a severe genetic defect. Why would that be bad?
Money poisons it.

(Original post by karmacrunch)
In all honesty, I kind of died inside when I read this thread. :erm:
I've read worse here - unfortunately.
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(Original post by RayApparently)
Money poisons it.
even so, isn't saving a few kids (even if it is only the ones whose parents are rich) better than letting all of them die in the name of equality?

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RayApparently
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(Original post by Arithmeticae)
even so, isn't saving a few kids (even if it is only the ones whose parents are rich) better than letting all of them die in the name of equality?
Isn't saving everyone, in the name of equality, better?
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(Original post by RayApparently)
Isn't saving everyone, in the name of equality, better?
???

i don't get your point

of course, but realistically that isn't possible and if you have to choose it's better to let a few people live rather than condemn everyone because it isn't fair



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RayApparently
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(Original post by Arithmeticae)
???

i don't get your point

of course, but realistically that isn't possible and if you have to choose it's better to let a few people live rather than condemn everyone because it isn't fair

I live in a country with a National Health Service. Because all citizens are entitled to healthcare up to the point of need.

The only end result of the OP's proposal is a massively divided, bitter society. 'Improving' humans and gene therapy to target disease are not the same thing.
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viddy9
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Altering the genome of a potential human being is unnecessary, in my submission. PGD, IVF and abortion can already be used to ensure that children with many disabilities aren't born, so I don't really see the need for genetic engineering in that area.

Unless it becomes available in a public healthcare system, it would likely lead to exploitation of the technology by the rich, something which would certainly be detrimental to society. And, if it does become available in a public healthcare system, it'd cost money which could be used for better and more necessary means.

Scientifically, there are also a couple of issues. Firstly, our species' genetic diversity will likely decrease, when in actual fact genetic diversity is always beneficial for a population. Secondly, many traits depend on gene-environment interactions, not just genes. Indeed, as Professor Robert Winston has stated, the human genome is more like an ecosystem than a lego set - genes depend on each other, thus changing a gene may produce an unintended consequence.

In addition, "nice" aesthetic traits are largely subjective, so parents would simply choose differently, which doesn't fit into your model of a "superior human species". And, if opinions on aesthetics do converge, it may lead to discrimination against those who don't have those traits.

As ChaoticButterfly has stated, this wouldn't really free humanity, it'd be closer to enslaving it. So no, I don't agree with genetic engineering - it's not necessary, there are a number of scientific issues with it and it's on shaky ethical grounds.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by RayApparently)
Money poisons it.
Would you describe modern medicine in this way?
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RayApparently
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Would you describe modern medicine in this way?
Its an issue with shades of grey but usually - yes.
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(Original post by RayApparently)
I live in a country with a National Health Service. Because all citizens are entitled to healthcare up to the point of need.

The only end result of the OP's proposal is a massively divided, bitter society. 'Improving' humans and gene therapy to target disease are not the same thing.
that's not the point

even in that kind of society, the richer person would probably still have an advantage as he has access to private healthcare and better technology. unfortunately, that's pretty much how modern medicine works and tbh i can't think of much that can be done about it

how about a national improvement service then? all people are given a choice of which improvements they want and can pick which ones they want as long as they stay below a fixed amount

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