A recent article in Nature Biotechnology reports on the risks and benefits of the therapeutic use of CRISPR-Cas9 “gene scissors” technology. This technology allows genetic material to be added, removed or altered at particular locations in the genome.
The scientists wanting to use CRISPR-Cas9 to change an embryo’s germline genes want to eliminate horrible genetic diseases, such as Huntington’s chorea, muscular dystrophy, diabetes and so on.
But no matter how worthy their intentions, scientists would be designing or redesigning a human being. Transhumanists see this as creating a human utopia of the future. They speak of “unmodified humans” as inferior beings and foresee a future of immortality made possible by the genetic modification of genes responsible for aging. Do all humans, however, have a right to come from unmodified natural human origins and should this right be absolute or should some strictly limited exceptions be allowed?
The American Jewish philosopher, the late Hans Jonas, put it this way. “Every human being has a right to their own unique ticket in the great genetic lottery of the passing on of human life. A right not to be designed. A right to live their life as a surprise to themselves.”
German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has pointed out that the designed person is not free, because freedom requires us to have non-contingent origins to enable us to go back and recreate ourselves from scratch. Moreover, they are not equal to the designer, because the designed entity is never equal to the designer. This analysis takes the issues raised by designing our progeny beyond concern just for the individual who is designed. It has political implications, because two of the pillars of democracy are respect for every individual’s freedom and accepting that everyone is equal.
Wanting to design one’s child to enhance them sends the message that “you were not perfect enough as you were naturally, we needed to improve you to conform to our specifications for us to accept and love you.”
Australian bioethicist Robert Sparrow from Monash University has raised another issue. He pointed out that just as our laptops and iPhones become obsolete models as the technology continuously improves, so earlier conceived children will be obsolete compared with their later designed siblings. What would this do to family cohesiveness and harmony?
Child centred decision-making would ask, among many questions: can we reasonably anticipate, if this person were here and able to decide for themselves, that they would consent to what we are planning to do?
Larger ethical questions raised by CRISPR-Cas9 at the societal level include treating our children as products or things that we own – as “somethings” not “somebodies”, a phenomenon called “reification” – rather than unique individual human beings with respect to whom we have obligations, but not rights to design.
Full story at mercator.net.
Cyborgs are inevitable and will supersede humans. It’s an evolutionary inevitability. The advantages in survival and flourishing that would come from possessing enhanced intelligence, strength, beauty, sense perception and adaptability will ensure that artificially enhanced human beings, whether through genetic design or cyborg technology or both, will render merely natural human beings so inferior as to be left in the dust while their superior, enhanced counterparts dominate the world and the galaxy.
will the cyborgs write run-on sentences as well???
He didn’t write a run-on sentence. It’s a single, complex sentence, not two or more independent clauses strung together without punctuation doing so would make the writing unreadable the meaning wouldn’t be clear you wouldn’t know where one sentence began and the next ended there could be many examples of run-on sentences I don’t think the post you are criticizing contains one so maybe check your smugness if cyborgs do use run-on sentences they might come after you for criticizing them and you wouldn’t like that for example maybe I’m one and I’ll find you.
So says the very people who want to design these “superior beings” since they always consider themselves superior, too. They had better watch out as they just might be some of the first ones to be considered passe and no longer worthy of life once the other “superior beings” come along.
Remember the Frankenstein story, “It’s alive, it’s alive”, but sooner or later what goes around comes around. I would be careful pushing this if I were you. The creation just might turn on the creator.
No. God is in charge, in the end– and all human beings must answer to Him. We experience illnesses, disabilities, misfortune, and death, due to our First Parents’ disobedience in the Garden of Eden. Our true Home is not Earth– it is Heaven, with God. Earth is a temporary place of pilgrimage of the soul, a place of penance to cleanse the soul of Sin, and prepare for Heaven. An illness or disability is a cross– a penance to cure the soul– sent by God, to help that soul on their journey to Heaven– a great gift, not a curse. If you reject your cross, and try to escape it– God might send you another one! We should always humbly accept our crosses in life, offer them up, and carry them lightly, knowing that our Beloved, Christ, is carrying our crosses with us, all the time! We should also ask, if it be God’s Will, to heal us– and see what His answer is. He knows best, in the end– He has a perfect design and purpose for our lives. There are Divine reasons for all things– and all is well, though we cannot see it. Sciences must never be allowed to “play God.” You will be sorry!
Isn’t it interesting how the secularist AI people push to abort babies and then try to create life in various ways? How can God’s creation be improved upon?
You’re never alone when you’re with your clone !
Unconditional parental love? What’s that?
Everything is getting worse. It won’t get better. The present state of decline won’t even hold; it will deteriorate further and the decline will accelerate. The best days are far, far in the past. The Church is no use and no help. God is absent. Darkness is the future.
Enjoy the decline….I know I will