Genetic Engineering Ethics Essay Paper

Genetic Engineering Is Unethical Essay


“Just as the success of a corporate body in making money need not set the human condition ahead, neither does every scientific advance automatically make our lives more meaningful'; (Wald 45). These words were spoken by a Nobel Prize winning biologist and Harvard professor, George Wald, in a lecture given in 1976 on the Dangers of Genetic Engineering. This quotation states that incredible inventions, such as genetic engineering, are not always beneficial to society. Genetic engineering is “altering the genetic material of cells and/or organisms in order to make them capable of making new substances or performing new functions'; (Wald 45). It is also one of the top controversial issues of the 20th century (Epstein 1). Many believe that continuing to provide genetically constructed inventions in this world is ethical, which means that these inventions conform to one’s moral standards (Epstein 5). Others argue that such inventions as human clones, which are genetically constructed humans, and other genetically created figures, are wrong and should be stopped (Epstein 5). Overwhelming textual evidence proves that genetic engineering is not beneficial to society. Accordingly, genetic engineering is unethical and therefore should be stopped.

One reason why genetic engineering should cease is because genetic engineering disrupts society’s moral values and causes society to act out in destructive ways. An online survey done by Time Magazine in 1997, found that 11% of those who were interviewed believe that if clones are created in the future, the genetically created humans will only be good for “target practice'; (Epstein 2). Another survey by the same magazine was conducted and found that 50% of those who were questioned believe that clones should be treated as lower beings and should not be given the same rights as unaltered humans (Epstein 2). Furthermore, a similar survey, completed by MacLeans Magazine in 1993, reported that 11% of those interviewed confirmed that if technology was able to change defects within their unborn child, they would not hesitate in changing the child’s genes in order for the child to be born “normal'; (Epstein 3). The choice to create one’s own child will have many believe that the better the genes, the better the child. These statistics, without a doubt, reveal that genetic engineering will be harmful to society if certain means are available to them. Although these statistics cannot be applied to everyone, it does prove that unethical occurrences will transpire if genetic engineering is continued. Such consequences as segregation between altered and unaltered humans, civil war, mistreatment and disrespect of cloned humans and other severe damages will occur if genetic engineering is continually approved by science. In order to save society from future destruction, genetic engineering should be stopped. Clearly, genetic engineering causes unethical occurrences in society and should cease.

The second reason genetic...

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RECOMMENDED READINGS ON THE QUESTION: ARE THEIR MORAL LIMITS ON GENETIC ENGINEERING OF HUMAN BEINGS?

PHIL 2320: SPRING (II) 2001: CONTEMPORARY MORAL PROBLEMS

Bob Corbett, instructor

  • "Should We Be Working Toward Human Cloning for Infertility Treatment" by Roland M. Green.
    SOURCE: Eden Webster Library - INFOTRAC

    DESCRIPTION: This article is about cloning in the case of an infertile couple. The author tries to think of possible objections of cloning and gives reasons why these objections are not working.

    RELEVANCE: This article seems relevant to our discussion because it shows that genetic engineering is not necessarily bad and perverse. The author clearly states that there is no ethical reason not to promote this practice and he tries to object the most common objections of cloning. Genetic engineering is seen rather as enrichment than as a danger to human life.

    Article recommended by Andreas Wirth
  • ARTICLE: "Human Germline Gene Modification: a Dissent"

    AUTHOR: Paul R. Billings; Ruth Hubbard; Stuart A. Newman

    SOURCE: Eden Webster Library - INFOTRAC

    DESCRIPTION: The message coming across in this paper is clearly that manipulating human genes should be prohibited. The authors show what possible dangers could arise when DNAs are manipulated.

    RELEVANCE: I believe this article is relevant to our discussion since it shows the potential threats of genetic engineering. The paper develops a set of reasons which support the thesis that the manipulation of germ cells should be prohibited. The attempt is made to show the impacts on future life and the existence of the human race.

    Article recommended by Andreas Wirth
  • Monkeying Around with the Self.
    By: Cathy Young

    Description: This article talks about risks of implying genetic engeneering on people and about possible consequences on human kind when the time comes that it is safe enough to use it on people frequently.

    Relevance: This article is important for our subject since it provides us with information about consequences of genetic engenering on humans.This could help us make up our minds about weather it would be good or bad for human race, or at least provide us with more information about it.

    Article recommened by Petra Ljevak
  • Genetic engineering and social justice: a Rawlsian approach.
    By David B. Resnik

    Description: This article deals with approaching the whole problem of genetic engeneering from Rawlsian perspective.It talks about how it could change the social order by putting genetic traits under social control.

    Relevance: This article is relevant to our topic because it can provide us with arguments from alitle bit different perspective, which could help in making us aware that there are many ways of looking at the same thing.

    Article recommened by Petra Ljevak
  • "Oocyte cytoplasm transfers and ethics of germ-line intervention"
    Author: John A. Robertson

    Source: Journal of Law,Medicine and Ethics

    Description: Article is concerned with different tyoes of gene/DNA interventions.

  • "Introduction:Reading the human genome:gothic tale or happy ending? "
    Source: Joural of Law, Medicine and Ethics

    Description: The human genome project seen as benefit for the society.

    Significant for our discussion, because moral questions in relation to this topic are discussed

    Article recommened by Nikola Fechter
  • The Big Test (medical privacy, human genomics morality)
    Source: The New Republic

    Description: This article is about bioengineering, making new genes and the moral question.

    Relevance: I think this article is relevant because it discusses the problem of humans taking the role of God and determing the course of evolution.

    Article recommended by Julia Schmidt
  • Reckless Reproduction (morality of reproductive technology)
    By Julia Duin

    Description: This article describes the problems of reproductive technology.

    Relevance: I think this article is relevant because it talks about the problems of reproductive technology wether it is or it is not moral acceptable.

    Article recommended by Julia Schmidt
  • When man plays God
    Tom Wilkie

    Description: The article discusses the morality of genetic modification (and also nuclear power) in concern to positive and negative sides of the issues.

    Significance: Genetic modification is a very controversial topic in relation to moral issues that are involved. Genetic modification is important in disease therapy and for the alleviation of human suffering, but abuse of genetic modification is very dangereous. The various uses of genetic modification involves hard topics for moral discussion and opinions vary greatly.

    Article recommended by Fatime Hegyi
  • Germ-line gene modification and desease prevention: some medical and ethical perspectives
    By Nelson A. Wivel, LeRoy Walters

    Description: The article discusses the moral issues involved to germ-line modification. Technical feasibility and ethical acceptability for the prevention of deseases are two topics discusses in detail by the author.

    Significance: Again, there are uses of genetic modification, that is the prevention of deseases that is a very important milestone in the field of medical research, but the moral side of it involves controvesies among scolars.

    Article recommended by Fatime Hegyi
  • Intimations of Immortality
    By John Harris

    Description: The article discusses some moral questions of genetic engineering allowing for expanded lifespans or even "immortality". The author discusses whether such progress is desirable and how it could be controlled.

    Relevance: As one form of selective enhancement, prolonging lifespans covers nicely a wide range of moral problems related to genetic engineering. Where should the line for helping the sick be drawn or should it be drawn at all, even if this would cause the world to be flooded with "immortals"?

    Article recommended by Jani Moliis
  • GENETIC ENGINEERING: Is It Morally Acceptable?
    By Bernard Gert

    Description: This article approaches genetic engineering from a critical point of view, calling it eunegics and showing what's ethically wrong with genetically engineering people to improve them.

    Relevance: The article could hardly be more relevant to our discussion.

    Article recommended by Jani Moliis


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