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 12:21:03 PM
I myself has assburger syndrome. My two year old daughter does too! You should see it--these nice little hotcakes sitting in her diapers, steaming under the blue moonlight as I free them from their cheeked prison.
My wife hates it. She doesn't even like me mentioning it. It has gotten to the point where if she even catches a whiff on one, she throws me out of the room and slams the door. I can't help it though. This... character flaw that I was born with, well, who am I to question my own productivity? My proclivity with this chunky cuisine is innate.
Yes, I stand up--I admit it. I... I have a problem... I am an assburger maker. And, well, I'm proud of it!
Okay, okay. Sorry, I'm just yanking ya'lls chain! Or am I? Or is that John's chain? Perhaps this post should be flushed? ;)
More seriously, though, I'm sorry TSS that people give you crap (no pun intended) for aspergers. It IS real, whether they want to admit it or not. My family swears my brother has it and heck, maybe I have a little of it to. Most nerds who are antisocial (a large amount) have a bit of it also. This social-awkwardness, well, I've just learned to wear it with a badge of honor. If people don't understand me, well, I've just stopped caring--I did that a long time ago.
You should be thankful yours is mild (or so it seems). I know some people who have it quite severe and it makes their lives a living hell. Still, there's nothing they can do about it.
The truth of all this is simple: People can only understand what they can grasp through their own experiences. It's easy for others to be dismissive of something so they don't have to deal with it. Instead, they make up excuses themselves for others as to why they act the way they do and , per human nature, view them as inferior. As technologically advanced our society is these days--instinctually humans are still primates.
8/21/2012 12:27:31 PM
has=have... or was that intentional? I can has assburger? We'll never know. ;)
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