Ethical Issues With Genetic Engineering

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There is no question that humanity has made leaps and bounds since our initial creation. Advances in science and medicine have put humans on top of the food chain and have made us untouchable by any other species. However, as humanity continues to push the limits of nature, a problem of whether or not it is ethical to do so seems to take center stage. A current issue that is prevalent in todays society is genetic engineering of humans. This is the ability to design a fetus outside of normal conception, pick desirable embryos and implant these genetically modified humans back into either a surrogate mother or the original maternal donor. The focus of this paper will be on whether or not historic philosopher Duns Scotus would find the production …show more content…
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, “Genetic engineering is a process in which recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology is used to introduce desirable traits into organisms.” (FDA). Scientist can genetically modify living organism to be anything they want and they have been doing so for many years now. Genetic engineering was first seen in agriculture and was used to development weather resistant crops. Now, genetically modified foods are common in the United States. This of coarse is not necessarily considered unvirtuous. Some groups have argued that these engineered foods are bad for the environment and potentially dangerous to human health. However, it is unarguable that genetic modification of foods have been vital in the creation of crops that can be grown in extreme conditions. This is an advancement in agriculture that could someday lead to the end of world hunger. Recently, genetic engineering has started to creep its way into the livestock production. Now that animals are beginning to be genetically engineered its only a matter of time before humans are to created by the hands of …show more content…
This is part of the reason why genetic engineering is not being talked about nearly as much as it should be in philosophical discussion as well as, in the church and religious studies. In many ways the issue is being pushed aside because it is hard to deny the benefits it could lead to in the human race. However, no matter how seemingly harmless this cutting edge science appears to be, it could have serious consequences in the future. In the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, a professor from Oxford University named Russell Powell analyzed some of the possible implications of genetic engineering and he concluded that though genetic engineering has good intentions, it could have severe consequences in the future. Powell believes that if genetic engineering of humans continues it could lead to dramatic changes in genetic diversity and the natural evolution of the human race. Powell argues that though it would be extremely difficult to make humans with similar or identical genetic make ups, he believes that genetically modifying humans could potentially lead to a species of humans that are unable to adapt and lack genetic diversity. Powell states “it is possible that a shrinking sphere of genetic diversity could ultimately diminish the evolvability, or adaptive potential of the human species” (Powell 218).

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