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Ethics of making superhumans through gene therapy

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by U.N. Owen, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    The scientific community has always been against this and so am I. Putting aside my moral reasons, I have always been against trying to mess with the human genome because I believe nature should choose which traits should live on because nature is one of the only things man hasn't conquered.

    What would the social ramifications be? Political? Economic? Religious? Warfare? Legal? How would this affect the children who are born naturally? What would the teenage rebellion be? Would these kids want to live a life that was predetermined for them? How would they react if they found out if they were modified to be the smartest, tallest, or "perfect" being?
     
  2. chess-z

    chess-z campy vampire

    It's super tricky to talk about this. I ere on the side of caution, because we're still reeling from years of social darwinism in our culture. We aren't responsible enough to mess with anything but slowly removing genetic conditions, but even then, I fear that we might find the "actual" gay gene, and then what happens next is atrocious. I don't believe it's ethical modify the genetic code of a human purely for cosmetic purposes, even less so for making a better human. Too many questions are raised that we cannot responsibly address.
     
  3. Sketchie

    Sketchie it's about the CUBES

    I agree, there is no reason to modify the human genome. Even if we did, there would still be mistakes, evolution would still take its often deadly toll.

    In my own personal life, genetics and both my father and i have not, from an outside perspective, have clearly not had our fair share of "good genetics." My ADHD likely comes from genetics, and [sarcasm]what a horrible hand I've been dealt![/sarcasm] My dad's left arm stopped developing just past the elbow, with a little nubby thing as a remnant of a hand. (I believe it's an amelia disorder, but I could be wrong.) Yet, I feel like I flourish in how I function. Am I all over the place? Sure. My connection skills are so great, they're nonsense to normal people. It's a blessing and a curse, but quite honestly, I wouldn't trade it for the world. My dad has always been very antimeddling-with-genetics, or aborting children with disorders that are survivable and livable with. His arm is a part of him and his identity, and there's a whole community out there who's with him.

    I dunno, man, I'm not well worded, so here's my one cent. Not even two. Just one.
     
  4. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    My main issue with this is it could be used as a form of biological dominance if it's only affordable to the rich (and for a long while, I imagine it will be). Think about if only the wealthy few can afford to create designer babies, if they become the strongest, smartest, healthiest in our society, they could hold onto positions of power and higher paying jobs for generations, non-genetically engineered humans wouldn't even be able to compete. That would take undermining democracy to a whole new level. I'd be a little more fine with the idea if every baby could be a designer baby, but we all know that's not going to be realistic anytime soon.
     
  5. Yukki

    Yukki ___

    Does that mean humans shouldn't conquer nature? If we are able to develop and use this successfully, I wouldn't be opposed to it being used in order to help children/people cure their diseases. There's a lot of bad to it, but some good could also arise out of it.
     
  6. Sketchie

    Sketchie it's about the CUBES

    Do you know how big of a can of worms this is? This brings in the debate of do they need to be cured? Like I said in my last comment, my dad has always been "lopsided" and is proud of it. The only times he wears his prosthetic hook (hook, not hand) is when he's riding a bike or performing in a role that needs it (like Lazar Wolf the butcher, or Johnathan Brewster). There are many people who are deaf who are... very much against not being deaf. There is a whole community who feel like it is their right to be deaf. Is it our right to take that away? To "fix" them when it might not even need fixing? What qualifies as something to be "fixed"?
     
  7. Mordent99

    Mordent99 Banned

  8. chess-z

    chess-z campy vampire

    Everything about gene therapy skirts the line of "Wildly Unethical" and "Eugenics", so it's best that we approach with extreme caution, if at all.

    I have no doubt that if my parents had the choice to have a child without ADD, they would have jumped at the chance. So much less stress when they're raising a child, but that disorder is an essential part of who I am.
     
  9. Xuxuba

    Xuxuba Well-Known Member

    I think it will be necessary in the future, not for the creation of the "perfect" race or getting rid of traits that some people find inconvenient but rather the survival of our species.
    After all, someday, this planet won't be habitable anymore and we'll have to find another home, which means we'll need to travel a lot since the planets similar to earth are very far away.
    However, we wouldn't be able to survive such a long trip the way that we are now.
    So altering our genome to survive extreme conditions, like tardigrades for example, would be necessary.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  10. Yukki

    Yukki ___

    So because a group of people are proud of being deaf, that means every child who can be cured should instead remain deaf as well? Why would you willingly let a child stay deaf? Or are you telling me these people are happy to have been born deaf, like if they had a choice in the matter, they would have chosen to be deaf? Please.

    Obviously stuff like blindness or deafness are things to be fixed, and if we have the ability to fix them, we should.
     
  11. Sketchie

    Sketchie it's about the CUBES

    If I find out that my child will be born deaf, long before they are born, yes. I will willingly let my child be deaf. I would willingly let my child to be blind. I would willingly let my child have down syndrome, or be born missing part of their left arm, or be born with a mental disorder that causes their brain to work very quickly and not focus on one thing for a very long time.

    That last one? I'm mentioning ADHD. I have ADHD. And there are people out there who want to cure that, or think how terrible it must have been for my parents! How terrible it must have been for my grandmother, who raised a boy without a limb! How terrible!

    No! It is not terrible! My children will likely suffer from my genetic mental disorders too, and that's okay. It's okay because it is something they can grow and learn from. Mental illness is horrible, yes, I hate living with it, sure, but I wouldn't trade how my brain works for the standard, run of the mill "perfect" brain. (Most mental disorders end up being double edged swords. Have you heard of a woman named Temple Grandin? Fantastic woman. Fantastic autistic woman. She used her different way of thinking to radically improve how we keep livestock. Her TED talk is worth watching, in it she explains that the world needs "all kinds of minds," that the way we are wired is not necessarily a bad thing. Many people who have learned to manage their depression are some of the most artistic minds out there. I pride myself on my ability to quickly connect two things that "normal people" wouldn't see as anywhere near related. Guess what? That's my ADHD working.)

    Yes. I am. People who are born deaf often see their deafness as a gift, not a curse. It is something that makes them different, they have learned and grown within their deafness to enrich both their own deaf culture and ours. If you gave deaf people who were born deaf a choice, would they have chosen to be deaf, they would likely say yes. They would.

    If you asked me, would you have chosen to have ADHD, MDD, and GAD? The answer is yes. That is how my brain functions, and sure, it gives me hell, but it is another struggle to overcome -- and through my struggles, I am better able to help and comfort those who are in a different place in their journey, but where I have been.

    I have asked my dad, others have too, would you have chosen to have a left hand? He will tell you no, that he is complete the way he is. The reason why he never uses his prosthetic hook is because he doesn't need it, he's never needed it. You can't miss what you've never had.

    How are things like blindness or deafness "obviously things to be fixed"? Do you see it that way because you are not blind or deaf, and can't fathom living without your sight or hearing?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  12. PrinceOfFacade

    PrinceOfFacade Ghost-Type Master

    I personally would not want such a thing to occur, because it's basically asking for trouble.

    However, if a consenting adult agrees to such a study or experiment, who are we to oppose? If they screw up their body in the process, that's on them.

    Now, when it comes to children, I say hell f**king no. Regardless of what they may have, we should not be taking that chance on a child.
     
  13. Scammel

    Scammel Well-Known Member

    Several people here making some very confident decisions about the lives of their hypothetical children on the basis of their personal experiences. Charlie Gard was allowed to die to protect him from his parents. Children have their own entirely distinct set of rights.
     
  14. Gamzee Makara

    Gamzee Makara Let people enjoy things...

    One word:

    KHAAAAAANNNNNNN!

    Do we want that?
     
  15. Mordent99

    Mordent99 Banned

    Saw that once.

    Overrated.
     
  16. PrimoPier

    PrimoPier Member

    I think that genome modification should not be used to make "super humans", but to improve our life condition (for people who need that).
    If I discovered that my child will be deaf or blind, and I had a secure way to make him grow in full health, than I would surely do it.
     
  17. Sketchie

    Sketchie it's about the CUBES

    You can have a perfectly healthy and blind baby. The two are not mutually exclusive. They might not have the experience of a seeing person, but what makes it our right to deny them the experience of a blind person?
     
  18. U.N. Owen

    U.N. Owen In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night ...

    I was thinking a bit broader in terms of right and wrong. I was thinking of having us answer these questions I posted earlier.

     
  19. PrimoPier

    PrimoPier Member

    Well, I think that economy will be the most important thing here... There will be a markets of "genetic improvements" and I can't imagine the consequence of this.....
    Religion will SURELY oppose to every modification. maybe some religions (christianity first) will gain new influence being the voice of those that are orrified by genetic improvements.

    On the psychological side, I can say (and I am an university student of psychology) that not necessarly all kids will be affected to the matter. Maybe there will be a sort of "division" between the "normals" and the "improved", but I'm not sure that will be relevant... I think is more probable that only someone will suffer for that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  20. chess-z

    chess-z campy vampire

    The social and political ramifications are essentially neo-eugenics. The rich will make "super-human" children, the poor will be denied access to the technology, and the divide between these two groups widen. I fear the institutionalized racialism that would easily find root in such a society. It isn't an ethical endeavor, and we should not pursue it, in any way.
     

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