Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Nov 5 McGee – Ch 1 (Landscape of Genetic Technology)

The questions of eugenics and sperm banks raise for me a question of natural selection which McGee touches on slightly here. I do not doubt that as humans, we act like all other animals and choose mates based on some perceived ‘fitness advantage’ based on good looks or intelligence or prestige which we somehow think make them our ideal companions; we do this just as the peacock chooses her fat-feathered friend, etc. Yet, ugly people have sex too! Someone I might see as completely unintelligent or unattractive might seem to be your ideal companion for reasons I deem unfathomable. If then we start limiting which of our offspring live based on the ideals we hold about what their genetic constitution ought to look like, do we not do someone further down the line a disservice? After all, is not one man’s trash another man’s treasure? In addition to ethical objections based on rights to life in general, society has somehow deemed eugenics to be a bad thing – would we risk falling into a form of eugenics if we allow abortions based on genetic ‘flaws?’

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