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The issue of genetic enhancement has gained prevalence in the scholarly piece of work by Michael Sandel. It concerns the use of artificial equipment by humans on their bodies or on animals to produce a new result.
Use of genetic enhancement is supposed to achieve beauty among people; in regard to animals it is applied to produce a new breed that grows faster than other similar species of that type. The basic reasons for genetic enhancement application involve various kinds of improvements, such as increase in intelligence, musical ability (so that one becomes a better musician), athletic skills, and changing appearance.
Sandel remarks that, “Parents have a duty to promote the excellence of their children. If it is permissible and even admirable for parents to help their children in these ways, why isn’t it equally admirable for parents to use whatever genetic technologies may emerge to enhance their children’s intelligence, musical ability, appearance, or athletic skill?”
Sandel feels that genetic enhancement only erodes the originality of life which is supposed to be natural. He feels that such engagement is not worth pursuing as it will only harm humans, as they will have no wish to develop by themselves.
The purpose of the discussion Sandel brings on board is to show how the whole idea of genetic enhancement is more or less equivalent to other forms of improvement. He says that genetic enhancement is just a futile effort. He mentions the case of Dolly, which was a sheep clone involved in experimental studies.
Sandel mentions that scientists fear the genetic enhancement will cause abnormalities in the human organism. The case of a human being clone means that his or her offspring will be born with certain abnormalities that will be difficult to treat.
Sandel also states that genetic enhancement violates people’s autonomy. He states the case of sex and argues that, by defining the baby’s sex, parents deny the child the right to have an open future.
Sandel also notes that the practice of genetic enhancement is unethical itself. It propagates an artificial nature of a person as opposed to one being natural and unique.
Sandel does not address the issue of ethics fully. He does not try to convince the reader of the fact how genetic enhancement amounts to lack of ethics in the society. He should have instead emphasized on the traditional cultures among various societies. Encouraging genetic enhancement causes mankind to be unoriginal and predictable rather than natural and extraordinary. This practice is rather unethical and inhumane.
However, Sandel is not convincing enough. It is vital to build a society in which people have the right to choose. The right of choice is envisaged in most states’ constitutions in the world. Genetic enhancement allows people to choose the talents of their offspring, their outer appearance and the looks of their.
It also promotes the availability of many talents and skills in the society. It enables people to have a chance to become better musicians, athletes, to participate in beauty contests due to their enhanced looks etc. Thus, Sandel is not convincing enough in his statements and beliefs.
Sandel’s ideas relate much to what we have studied this term. He explores how beneficial gene enhancement is and goes ahead to inform the audience why such practice should not be encouraged.
The discussion is relevant in my life because in future I would like to choose the sex of my child. I will do this to exercise my freedom as a parent; this is the right to choose what I desire to do with my life as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others. Sandel’s discussion about weaknesses of genetic enhancement is not convincing enough for me to alter my views concerning this topic.