Video games. Most of them offer you the chance to create your own avatar, an artificial person that you can make look like anyone you want. Now having the chance to alter an avatar is different from having the chance to alter the genetics of a baby.
Scientists are able to modify and mutate our genes through genetic engineering. While the study still remains in its younger stages, its capabilities grow day by day. Genetic engineering was used by the Nazis during WWII to attempt to breed what they believed to be the “perfect race”. Now scientists use it to help with genetic disorders. However, even though the study seems like a positive it could quickly become a negative if not monitored carefully.
Strict regulations need to be place on this and there needs to be a thorough discussion on the ethical standpoint of the science because people should not be able to play God, genetic engineering has already caused problems in agriculture, and even though it has helped diagnose babies with disorders it opens the door for other ethical setbacks.The Nazis in WWII used eugenics which is similar to genetic engineering to try to weed out “impurities” in their people so that they could create the “perfect” people, free from mental and physical disabilities. This also happened in the US. People with history of illness in their families were sterilized by force, couples also had to get certificates of approval before getting married to ensure that any children they produced would meet the standards for the “perfect” child. Science now enables parents to choose the gender, hair color, and eye color of their baby. This is unnatural, humans should not be able to play God.
A couple’s child should look like them, the child will continue the family tree and pass specific traits and characteristics on to their children. Babies are made in the image of their parents they are not like avatars created in a video game, treating them as such dehumanizes them.Genetic engineering has been tested with altering the genetic makeup of plants as well. But like the HeLa cells in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks began to infest all of the cell cultures around the world, allergens would be passed along to different plants and it could cause harm to humans because there would be no guarantees of what foods are safe to consume and which are not. The creation of GMOs has also had a huge negative impact on humans and our ecosystem.
By altering the natural order of things we create the opportunity for them to over mutate in a way that we are not equipped to handle. For instance new allergens can be created and with no prior knowledge to what they are it could take years to come up with a medication to help lessen the effects of these new allergens, thus putting human lives at risk depending on the level of severity an individual’s allergies are.Genetic engineering has been helpful to society though, it has made the creation of genetic testing possible.