Oxford Professor: Parents Should Be Able to Alter Genes in Embryos for Character Flaws
August 20, 2012 10:08 PM
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(Source: Columbia Pictures )
Professor Julian Savulescu
The process would be similar to checking embryos for conditions like Down's syndrome
Imagine being able to design a human the way we use computer software to design every day items like clothing or furniture. University of Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu recently said that parents should have the choice to do such a thing, allowing them to create the kind of child they desire rather than leaving it to chance.
According to Savulescu, the
manipulation of genetics has evolved
over the years and has already proven to be beneficial to those who are expecting. For instance, parents can use tests, which focus on particular genes in embryos, to see if their child will have certain conditions like Down's syndrome.
While this type of testing is not seen as an issue, Savulescu said the testing of an embryo's genes to see what kind of personality flaws it could have has raised concern amongst the public -- and he believes it shouldn't.
"Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to to select ethically better children," said Savulescu. "They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others. If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring -- rather than consigning them to the natural lottery -- then we should."
Savulescu's ideas have been compared to those of the Nazis, who adopted the eugenics movements during World War II. However, Savulescu argues that this is different because parents can choose to participate or not. They don't have to genetically alter their children, but they should be able to choose to, he said.
"Whether we like it or not, the
future of humanity
is in our hands now," said Savulescu. "Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance."
Savulescu posed this argument in a recent article in
What do you think? Could eliminating potential character flaws in embryos create a perfect human race, or could there be serious, unseen implications with having so much power over this thing called life?
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8/21/2012 11:43:38 AM
Most people diagnosed with it don't have it. Doctors love to take the easy way out these days. Why? Lawyers. Lawyers sue everyone... for everything. So, what is easier for the doctor to do? Give the parents what they want, that is what--so they medicate--medicate everyone.
And, as you point out, the majority
brats that need more discipline from their parents. The parents, though, don't want to do it because it might compromise their
with their children. The news to them, though, is they aren't friends, they are parents!
We have the hippies to thank for this problem.
But, I can't help but feel troubled by your tone in your other posts--it is as if you almost feel ADHD doesn't exist at all--that it is a product produced by mankind to explain lack of discipline. You couldn't be more wrong, though. There are those that truly have the disorder. They are smart people who want to be a useful, good part of society. Try as they may, though, they can't concentrate or sit still--even when doing something they want to do.
You'll find examples of this in all facets of their lives. If you examine things they enjoy, you'll find they have a million things they enjoy--and they can never stick with one thing, ever. They have to constantly try another thing they like and then after a short while, switch to something else. They never finish anything because they get stuck at the hump... it becomes work at that point and their mind switches to something else.
From just browsing through the concept, it's easy to point the finger and say: "Lack of ambition! "Lack of discipline!" "Laziness!" The problem is, you'd be wrong, every single time.
Provide these same people the medication they need and the results are staggering. The drugs do not get them high. They instead, allow their minds to focus and all of a sudden, the intelligence within them begins to shine. They work hard, they accomplish things and startlingly enough, they finish things they begin!
So please, avoid blanket statements on things you don't understand.
"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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