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The Final Solution (About Genetic Alteration Of Embryos).

2311 words - 9 pages

The Final Solution?"The Master said, He who sets to work on a different strand destroys the whole fabric."--Confucious, Analects II.16.Shouldn't we set to work on a different strand? After all, the old strand, the human double-helix DNA strand, is fraught with imperfections. The average "healthy" person is the possessor of any number of defective genes, many of which he may never be aware he is carrying. These genes which code for recessive traits, could be passed on to future generations without ever manifesting. However, in combination with a reproductive partner who possessed the same defective genes, some unsuspecting newborn could be the owner of a full-blown inherited disorder, which could cause a lifetime of discomfort, illness, and unhappiness. On the other hand, some diseases require no combination in order to manifest themselves. Ones such as sickle-cell anemia develop in the presence of only one defective gene.With the mapping of the human genome, modern medical science has opened up to us a new universe full of possibilities. We now have the capability to identify a great number of defects, before conception, in utero, and after birth. But that is not all. Oh no, that is not all. Mankind has now in its possession the opportunity, not only to explore this new universe, but to create its own map. We can see the day, not far off, when we will indeed be able to "boldly go where no man has gone before." This new map we will create leads not to outer space, but to inner space, to the very essence of what we are as human beings. Evolution has taken millions of years to deliver us to the doorstep of this new universe, and what are we left with? Yes, it has placed mankind at the top of nature's heap, but we still must contend with the truth that we are "only human." With our help, and the vast knowledge we have accumulated, mankind will be able to achieve, in a few generations, what would likely take evolution several millennia to accomplish on its own, if at all. The future will see not only the absence of disease from the human race, but the building in of perfection. Physically and mentally enhanced qualities will be engineered directly into the germ-line of the human species, creating a world populated by what we would see today as supermen. Not only will defects and disadvantages be erased, and diseases consigned to the trash pile of history, we will create a society with greater equality among individuals who have no disadvantages, and will more easily fully reach their incredible potential.With an outlook so bright, shouldn't we set to work on a different strand? Don't we owe it to posterity to leave them so much better off than we are? Wouldn't it be immoral to ignore the moral imperative to do the greatest good for the greatest number?At the risk of sounding cold and uncaring, I must say that we should not set off to work on this different strand. There are any number of reasons why I believe we should not meddle with the human...

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