Germline genetic engineering is basically a way for people to engineer the perfect baby. While some may use it for appearance and knowledge aspects of a child, it can also be used to eliminate genetic diseases from someone’s DNA, which allows for a healthier and possibly happier life. An aspect to this germline genetic editing would be that it isn’t just changing the DNA of the one single person, it changes the entire genetic code so that whatever aspect cannot be passed down anymore.
Some pros to genetic editing would be that this could get rid of diseases that are hard to live with that have been passed down the family tree. This would be beneficial because it could provide a better quality of life for future generations. The negative side to this could be population increase, because certain health problems would be taken out of the equation, life expectancy would rise, people wouldn’t be dying at the same rates as they have been in the past. Increased population has effects on not only the environment, but also resources. We would soon run out of food, water, space, etc. Another pro would be increased intelligence. If genetic engineering can affect how the intelligence and appearance of the future baby, we could have modern day Einsteins who could develop different cures to our problems.
The con of this is the ethics of it all. If you could choose how your child is going to look and act, what happens if they don’t turn out that way? Will there be a lingering resentment? And who gets to decide what is good and what is bad, a “perfect” person might not be everybody’s idea of perfection. The main negative point of this would be availability. Genetic editing is obviously a very intense and involved act, which would only be made available to those who have the money and the means to pay for it. This would create a social change, the rich would continue to have access to top notch healthcare and now genetic reconfiguration, which would leave the lower class at a disadvantage health wise and in a social context. As a consequence of genetic editing, new social issues and enforcement would arise, the idea of a “perfect human” would eliminate diversity and create a clone-like society in which everyone looked the same.
If I’m being honest, this all relates to well to the movie “The Hunger Games”. Where there’s a weird ideal beauty in the upper class, they adopt weird behaviors and entertainment..
. and then there’s the lower class, fighting to stay alive, generally the object of amusement of the upper class. Clearly, the cons outweigh the pros, there’s so many complicated issues that surround it and there’s no way to know for sure how it will turn out in the end. It would take a lot of testing to figure out how to perfect it, and even that has ethical issues. How can something consent to being genetically engineered on if it isn’t even alive to do so? And testing it on animals is just as much of an ethical issue.