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Transhumanism and Genetic Engineering posted 30 June 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionTranshumanism and Genetic Engineering by alhana, Auditor

I vote no, for several reasons.

First of all, how can we say that the natural evoluation of the human gene line is "harmful" or "bad"? If we overtreat any disease, whether is it a simple virual infection or a severe genetic deformity, we limit the human gene line (I mean the larger gene line related by generation upon generation) from sponteously mutating and becoming stronger to resist that disease. While I am not against seeking treatment for a disease or illness, I am against any outside-man-made-genetic-tampering in the name of "health".

Secondly, as mentioned above, genetic amnormalies and diseases are nature's way of "selection". The strong survive, the weak do not. This happens already with "fertility" treament. If one cannot bear children naturally, rather than adopt the thousands of unwanted children of the world, one can have the local OBGYN take sperm and egg, either from that couple or someone else and make the female of the couple pregnant. When it is a case of donor egg and sperm, then it is actually better because it has already been screened for imperfections. When a couple insists that they must use their own genetic material, then they are tampering with nature. Maybe there is a REASON they SHOULD not conceive. In the simple handling of the tiny egg/sperm combo, there is also the possibility of damaging occurring. There are enough people on the earth. Many people also lose young children to disease or deformity. This happened in my own family. Rather than fighting Nature to "save" the child, accept what is and celebrate the life that is/was.

Let nature take its course, whether through infertility or disease or whatever. If a deformed person is to survive, then he/she will. In ancient cultures, those who were born with a specific deformaty were sometimes worshipped and though the physical body was weak, the mind and spiritual body was strong. We should not look upon those are genetically different as being "bad" and seek to erradicate our gene structure for these impurities. Most of the time, these ammonilies are random and there is nothing that can be done to prevent them anyway.

Finally, when we remove the "imperfections" from our cultural, we remove the opportunity to express compassion and we limit the value of the human being to the some total of it's "gifts" or "perfections." A great movie that dealt with this very issue was "Gattica." Though the plot line was predictable, it gave a look to the future if we as a society allow genetic research to continue unchecked. Additionally, when we "enhance" human performance we may limit other abilities from naturally enhancing. Mankind continues to grow taller every generation indicating that so far in human history, those who have strength and height have strengthened the overall gene pool of all. Why rush this process and "make" super humans?

The larger question is "Who decides what is appropriate uses of this technology?" I recognize that genetic engineering is already happening on both the human gene strain and other strains of both plants and animals. However, we condemn ourselves to the eventual creation of a monster when we step into the shoes of Creator/Unverisal Source/Mother Nature. view post


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