Most people are trying to reach perfection, but is it possible? The definition of perfection from Merriam-Webster is something that cannot be improved. But how does one know that there isn’t any improvement that can be made? Some people believe that genetic engineering can lead to perfection of humans. However Michael J. Sandel believes that designer children doesn’t drive to mastery but destroys “an appreciation of the gifted character of human powers and achievements”(Holland 97).
When parents are able to choose their children’s genes, they might want their children to be intelligent, good looking, tall, healthy, and even a specific gender. From the parents’ eyes the children might look perfect to them, but by looking at the society as a whole, designer children creates a greater potential for disparities between the rich and the poor. The rich families have the access to enhancement technologies, while the poor just maintain the natural way. If the enhancement is passed down the generations, the poor and the rich eventually become two different kinds of people. However, aren’t we trying to solve the wealth gap? If designer children actually occurs, it probably will just keep on widening the wealth gap. Ultimately, “the economic divisions may grow into genetic divisions”.
Sandel mentions that if the society approves that designer children is considered as enhancement to the society, everyone should have the access to it. This indeeds creates a problem that everyone is going to be similar. For example, if the society believes that taller people are considered more perfect than shorter people, parents are going to spend money just to make their children a little bit taller. But is it necessary to waste that money just to be like everyone else. If everyone has the access to it, the society altogether becomes more enhance and perfect than ever. However, this then raises another question, who will do all the physical labor jobs, when everyone is smart and isn’t willing to hard labor? The society eventually will collapse. Everyone just wants to be on the top of the social pyramid.
Genetics is just one part of us. The environment also plays a significant role. This means that our genes expression can be influenced by environment. For instance, the genes might be turned on or off depend on the environment, which therefore influence how humans develop. As a result, even though parents might be able to decide what they want their children to be like, it might not always have the exact same outcome they want.
The main concern I have is should we strive to perfection and what exactly defines as perfect? Everyone has a different concept on perfection; some might think that having good health is perfect, while others believe that health, appearances, and intelligence make perfection. Moreover, since everyone has different idea of a perfect child, it is going to be hard to regulate the biotechnology such as screening embryos or preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Personally, I believe that having a good health is enough. Therefore, I accept the use of biotechnologies for medical needs instead of something beyond health. It’s because nobody can become perfect
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Abarado, Anne-Marie. “Designer Babies: Creating Perfection or Breeding Trouble.” Law.uh.edu. Web. 1 Feb. 2014. <https://www.law.uh.edu/healthlaw/perspectives/2009/(AM) babies.pdf>.
Ly, Sarah, “Ethics of Designer Babies”. Embryo Project Encyclopedia (2011-03-31). ISSN: 1940-5030 Web. 1 Feb.2014. <http://embryo.asu.edu/handle/10776/2088.>
Michael J. Sandel. “The Case Against Perfection: What’s Wrong with Designer Children, Bionic athletes, and Genetic Engineering?” In Arguing about Bioethics, edited by Stephen Holland, 93-104. New York: Routledge, 2012.