Designing Life: Should Babies Be Genetically Engineered?
Experts debated on Wednesday evening (Feb. 13) whether prenatal engineering should be banned in the United States.
Humans have already genetically modified animals and crops, said Sheldon Krimsky, a philosopher at Tufts University, who argued in favor of a ban on the same for human babies. “But in the hundreds of thousands of trails that failed, we simply discarded the results of the unwanted crop or animal.”
Is this a model that society wants to apply to humans, making pinpoint genetic modifications, only to “discard the results when they don’t work out?”
I’ll say something on the subject: I bet that no efforts at laws — prohibition, regulation — will prevent people from trying to breed super babies. Never mind whether the idea is good, never mind the dangers, some people will want to load the dice.
I’ll say further that part of me agrees with the ambitious, the cheaters. But all of me agrees with the idea of weeding failures.
Adam gave Eve some of his food because her attractiveness made him want to. There was no state present to compel him. We’d do well to get rid of the state so that nothing can compel him to support his failed children. And there should be no state to tax Cain and Abel so that Little Cain and Not So Abel can achieve old age on welfare. Imagine Monsanto spending its profits on old age homes for reject potatoes! No, dump them.
And realize: dumb decisions will dump us, no matter what a state says.
Will there be a Monsanto in a hundred years? a thousand? a million?