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Why Do People Think Genetic Engineering A Better Child is Wrong?
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Oh, how the mighty are constrained by the small people of this world.


That's your answer to concerns about increased social tension in response to uneven access to the benefits of the technology you're wanting to promote? Not that care should be taken to ensure the benefits are universally accessible, but rather "Fuck the poor"?


Although, I'm pretty sure being gifted in a few things wouldn't hurt humanity that much. I just think of people want to genetically engineer their child, let them.


We're not quite ready for that. There's still a lot to learn about genetics before a eugenics program would be responsible, and that's if you sidestep the ethical concerns completely.
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15
Genetic engineering is a fascinating topic to me, not to mention that I view gene-therapy in a positive light.

Just two things, though.
1.) Though some argue that "You can't fight your genes," and that "Each person's fate is written in their genetic code," the truth is that people still have free will. Genes do play a critical factor in a person's potential, but that doesn't stop a person from trying something. Like, say, if a person wasn't descended from a soccer player, then obviously that person doesn't have such a person's genetic legacy....but that doesn't mean the person can't play soccer; that person can always try. He may either fail at it, or he may progress with it. If he fails at playing soccer, then so be it. At least he tried. The point is that, as far as I understand, genes don't determine everything.
2.) Depending on how far genetic engineering advances, there will come a time when human-cloning is possible, and eventually more commonplace. This is probably the most ethically-questionable issue with genetic engineering. As incredible as the applications sound, are we in a proper stance to play God? Is there nothing questionable about the concept of mass-producing human-beings?

Eh; I think it's time to take a smoke-break. I was about to talk about the Grineer from Warframe; they're an interesting group since I brought up the topic of cloning. Not sure if any of you have heard of them or the game they're featured in, but if you want you can Google that info.
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15
Hmm.. Well. The reason I don't really like the concept because first of all.. The child doesn't have a choice/say in it. People, are not toys to play with. (nor are other animals, but that is another subject) second.. There is no saying that the child is going to want to use their genetic engineering to their advantage. So what if they have a good voice.. Does that mean they'll want to become a singer? no.
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

I don't get it, if you have the ability to give your child a great singing voice or the ability to do gymnastic, why wouldn't you? I'm sure he'll thank you for being so gifted. Then again, I'm not sure that any child would like to have their life "planned out", but I still fail to see why genetically engineering your child to be more talented is so wrong.


Note: This is not about genetic engineering to prevent birth defects and such. I'm sure we all agree to use genetic engineering to prevent birth defects if necessary.


This is actually an interesting question. I can't say I am against providing a child additional capabilities, but definitely do not agree that it should be with the mentality of planning out the course of the child's life. I can see this being an issue though as this is a trait that many parents already have. I can only imagine the potential guilt the child would face for choosing a different future knowing they were 'engineered' for a different path.

I would love to be able to give my children great singing voices or musical talent in general, simply for the sake of their own benefit. I guess this would be one of those cases where the action is not wrong at all, it is the motivation behind it that would make it unethical.
Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15

BlueOni wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Oh, how the mighty are constrained by the small people of this world.


That's your answer to concerns about increased social tension in response to uneven access to the benefits of the technology you're wanting to promote? Not that care should be taken to ensure the benefits are universally accessible, but rather "Fuck the poor"?


I sometimes pretend to be a Randite (Ayn Rand Follower) and generally person with controversial opinions because it kind of amuses me.

*Gets off imaginary pedestal.

Regardless of the jerks, Rapture might be a fun place to live.
Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15
I don't know about other people, but as for me personally, I don't see it as "wrong" as much as I see the whole thing as "misguided".

It's difficult to explain why - perhaps it's just personal reservation. However, the mere fact that you use the term "better child" is somewhat irksome to me. I don't see why a child who can sing great or can perform gymnastics is somehow more valuable or desirable than one that can't.

For me, it's always been more about the mentality of genetic engineering than the actual act itself.

Excepting the use of genetic engineering to prevent birth defects and such. But even there, i'm still sort of wary of the mentality (though not necessarily the act).
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

I sometimes pretend to be a Randite (Ayn Rand Follower) and generally person with controversial opinions because it kind of amuses me.

*Gets off imaginary pedestal.

Regardless of the jerks, Rapture might be a fun place to live.


That's Poe's Law. The "referencing Nazism = argument is over" thing is Godwin's Law. Anyway, here's a response I put together for another thread which gets to the core of the issue:


BlueOni wrote:

The thing that's most critical to keep in mind when considering the topic of eugenics is the current limitations of our collective knowledge of genetics, epigenetics, development, and disease. We simply do not know enough for it to be either responsible or productive to initiate population level eugenics programs, and doing so at this point risks doing far more harm than good. Interactions between genes as complexes, the proper timing and extent of activation, the role of a given gene in a given stage of development or the onset of disease, these aren't things which are clear as crystal (and they would have to be before eugenics became an option worth considering). They're areas of feverish research which is nowhere near complete. Besides, not all conditions are heritable ones, and there are far less expensive (eugenics costs big bucks, especially when it's compulsory) and more ethically sound/palatable methods for handling these. Preventative care such as vaccination regimens, exercise, and a healthy diet go a long way, for instance. And when these don't work there are usually treatment options.

Frankly, I'd take the money that was going to be spent on enforcing and implementing mandatory eugenics programs and establish something we know works pretty well already: freely accessible, publicly funded healthcare programs.
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Posted 1/1/15
That's the thing, BlueOni, it would have to come down in cost, either through already having it as part of a publicly funded healthcare program or making it inexpensive enough for it to be worth it to the corporations. You can't easily maintain a business if the only people you are catering to are the vastly wealthy. What if there are only three people in that group that wants to have GMC's that year? (GMC = Genetically Modified Child) Sure, you can charge them a lot individually, but that leaves 75% (at least) of the time with nothing but expenses. It is the reason the cost of items and medicine starts to go down (in the US it goes up for various other reasons, not the least because of a lack of a good healthcare system that causes people to miss payments, forfeit payments, etc. but that is another issue as well). Also for the same reasons you are talking about it would be quite a while before it would be accepted for humans, probably at least another 20-50 years barring breakthroughs and dependent on various other factors. The big problem with moving the money though, is that you then have a group of scientists out of a job as you took funding away from scientific research grants.
Posted 1/1/15
Oh did you know that in India, they'd choose not to have girls?

That is just one example of many.

http://www.economist.com/node/15606229

Title: The war on baby girls: Gendercide

I think you can use your brain to figure out what the effects are etc...

If you mean genetic testing... half of diseases cannot be cured. You get testing and they find out you can pass on something to your child that's unpreventable, what then?
E.g. Huntington disease.
Do you know even your employers can use that against you? Confidentiality?? Forget it.
Curiosity kills cats.
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


Dubnoman wrote:

You ever hear of "The Haves" and "The Have Nots" in sociology class? Imagine then the kind of problems there could be for all those who can afford to use genetic engineering tech to refine their offspring to be great vs. all those who can't afford it/don't have access to it/etc. (And that would be the vast majority of humanity) Not only would there be a huge negative outcry of such a thing, but in time, give it a generation, two generations, three generations...and you'd have a whole new kind of discrimination going on in humanity. Think of the group of people who were genetically engineered to be great and how they might think they are so great and so much better than normal people (those who never were enhanced by genetic engineering) and think they are better than most people. Plus, a lot of them would probably have greater success (in general) or have great looks due to genetic engineering, and thus can easily date beautiful people like them, but they got those beautiful looks because their parents paid lots of money for them to ensure they have good looks...again, this would both relate to the huge negative outcry of the "have nots" as well as feed into the problem of the genetically engineered people generally thinking that they are so much better than most other people. ... It'd be controversial and cause problems to start genetically engineering children like this.


Oh, how the mighty are constrained by the small people of this world. Although, I'm pretty sure being gifted in a few things wouldn't hurt humanity that much. I just think of people want to genetically engineer their child, let them.




Well, looking at what I wrote again, I think I overstated things (such as 'huge negative outcry'), but I think that what I said would be true...just not as severe as I made it out to be. But I think it would be controversial, there would be negative outcry, and you would have a lot of genetically enhanced people, when grown up and older, thinking they are superior to many others. I think those things would be true. Genetically enhancing people would bring with it problems.
Posted 1/1/15

Dubnoman wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:


Dubnoman wrote:

You ever hear of "The Haves" and "The Have Nots" in sociology class? Imagine then the kind of problems there could be for all those who can afford to use genetic engineering tech to refine their offspring to be great vs. all those who can't afford it/don't have access to it/etc. (And that would be the vast majority of humanity) Not only would there be a huge negative outcry of such a thing, but in time, give it a generation, two generations, three generations...and you'd have a whole new kind of discrimination going on in humanity. Think of the group of people who were genetically engineered to be great and how they might think they are so great and so much better than normal people (those who never were enhanced by genetic engineering) and think they are better than most people. Plus, a lot of them would probably have greater success (in general) or have great looks due to genetic engineering, and thus can easily date beautiful people like them, but they got those beautiful looks because their parents paid lots of money for them to ensure they have good looks...again, this would both relate to the huge negative outcry of the "have nots" as well as feed into the problem of the genetically engineered people generally thinking that they are so much better than most other people. ... It'd be controversial and cause problems to start genetically engineering children like this.


Oh, how the mighty are constrained by the small people of this world. Although, I'm pretty sure being gifted in a few things wouldn't hurt humanity that much. I just think of people want to genetically engineer their child, let them.




Well, looking at what I wrote again, I think I overstated things (such as 'huge negative outcry'), but I think that what I said would be true...just not as severe as I made it out to be. But I think it would be controversial, there would be negative outcry, and you would have a lot of genetically enhanced people, when grown up and older, thinking they are superior to many others. I think those things would be true. Genetically enhancing people would bring with it problems.


Truth be told, I do think it would be somewhat of a problem, but only somewhat.
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Posted 1/1/15
Severticas, so your against it I'm guessing? Even if, through genetic engineering, we could eliminate those diseases? The bit in India is something that is already happening, through abortions and technology already in place, it's a social issue in that country and China. And it will bite them in the ass in a generation or two. 'Why can't my son find a wife?' 'Why don't I have any grandchildren?' sort of things. Yes, it's horrible, yes it's something that needs to change. But in and of itself has nothing to do with genetic engineering. There is also work being done on trying to make sure that companies can't use genetic information against you in not getting a job.
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Posted 1/1/15 , edited 1/1/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


It wouldn't be very dire, on the grand scale, but it'd bring with it considerable problems, such as enabling discrimination in many, as I noted.
Posted 1/1/15

Dubnoman wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:


It wouldn't be very dire, on the grand scale, but it'd bring with it considerable problems, such as enabling discrimination in many, as I noted.

Would it cost an increase in discrimination is what I am wondering?

Posted 1/1/15

severticas wrote:

Oh did you know that in India, they'd choose not to have girls?

That is just one example of many.

http://www.economist.com/node/15606229

Title: The war on baby girls: Gendercide

I think you can use your brain to figure out what the effects are etc...

If you mean genetic testing... half of diseases cannot be cured. You get testing and they find out you can pass on something to your child that's unpreventable, what then?
E.g. Huntington disease.
Do you know even your employers can use that against you? Confidentiality?? Forget it.
Curiosity kills cats.


I don't really understand what the problem is with preferring a boy over a girl, is that so evil? I mean, sure, there are problems in the long run, but individually if a person wants to have a son I don't see why not. It seems like you are saying that humanity is too stupid to play God, which may be true. Perhaps things are better left to chance.

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