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benjaminlevi's avatar

Do you believe that liberal eugenics is morally acceptable?

Asked by benjaminlevi (2982 points ) April 6th, 2009

Unlike traditional state run eugenics programs that sterilized the “unfit” to eliminate certain traits, liberal eugenics focuses on using reproductive technology to select advantageous traits for the potential offspring. Nobody has their reproductive rights denied and people now have the option to choose which genetic traits their children will inherit.
Wiki explains it better than I could http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_eugenics#History

Anyway, do you see any problem with choosing the genetic make up of another person?

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15 Answers

RedPowerLady's avatar

I can see an immediate problem with this. And that involves a component of classicism. The rich will be able to afford this procedure and the poor will not. Thus making the children of the rich smarter and better looking, more athletic and less prone to disease. While the children from poor families will have none of the above. It just creates more reasons to discriminate from one another. Just my immediate thoughts on the idea.

theluckiest's avatar

Just like RPL said, this program would continue, if not accelerate economic disparity.
Also, call me old fashioned, but I’m more or less of the opinion that child-rearing should be mostly about love.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I do not see a moral problem with this… parents would only do this to help the child, not harm it. I personally wouldn’t do it because I believe God can do a much better job than I could, but I would fully support someone who made the decision to do it themselves.

3or4monsters's avatar

While I’d like to weed out the rampant tendency for cancer in my mother’s genes, I cannot see a way to separate the good from the bad. I think @RedPowerLady and @theluckiest addressed how I feel on the subject of how this relates to classism.

Blondesjon's avatar

i don’t care how black people talk

ohmyword's avatar

We all saw ‘Gattaca’, right? Yeah…

I say it’s just messy business. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I would never care to indulge.

Mtl_zack's avatar

This reminds me of GATTACA big time.

VzzBzz's avatar

I’m torn, the technology is here so we can’t avert our eyes. I would like to say I’d only choose to weed out debilitating disease in my child but I don’t know, I don’t know with a screen of my family DNA in front me what I’d really really do.

asmonet's avatar

I only see the sociological problems, RedPowerLady summed most of that up.
If one were to remove those, I would have reservations due to our propensity as a species to dive into new technologies and find out the consequences later.

Setting aside the benefits of eliminating diseases from the gene pool – which in itself may not be a good thing but that’s another argument, I would be hesitant to accept a technology that could wreak havoc on our species through our own ignorance. We’ve done it too many times before.

But, as they say… History repeats.

casheroo's avatar

This reminds of the couple who wanted deaf children
I don’t believe in any form of eugenics, but a part of me feels that if science enables us to rid humans of down syndrome and other birth defects, then that would be great. I’m sure a parent just doesn’t want their child to suffer, but not everyone views things like that as a disability..as noted in the link I posted.

3or4monsters's avatar

@casheroo wow, that’s a great link! This has given me a lot to think about.

asmonet's avatar

@casheroo: Great memory, I’d forgotten about them, just goes to show that it goes both ways. Not just what one would assume the ideal is, but what an individual would.

Ria777's avatar

absolutely for it.

while I respected Gataca as a movie, it represents one person’s views on the issue, presented in story form. (his views especially make themselves clear if you view the postlude in the deleted scenes.) think for yourselves.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Against it.

Besides all the social questions raised by other flutherites, there is the scientific question: We may have mapped the human genome, but we don’t know all of the traits controlled by genetics. Heck, we can’t even agree on many of them. How do we know that one particular “desirable” trait is not intrinsically connected with another trait that is less desirable or even undesirable?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

It really doesn’t matter what we think of it. The technology will be developed and used somewhere because the wealthy will want it. Just another advantage of having wealthy parents. A race of “supermen” is a disconcerting thought, but there is not much we can do about it. Money on one side and the profit motive on the other will bring it about.

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