Michael Sandel's The Case Against Perfection

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In chapter four of Michael Sandel’s book The Case against Perfection: Ethics in an age of Genetic Engineering, he brings up the notion of the controversial notion of eugenics. Sandel divides this chapter up into three types of eugenics- all of which he eventually finds unconvincing at the end of the chapter.
Sandel begins this chapter by defining what eugenics is and its origins. However, as he does this, he also goes in to describing this notion as a shaky and righteous movement coined by Sir Francis Galton and others who thought like him. He uses these people’s quotes to heavily imply the betterment of society and humanity as a whole through eugenics, how this new movement could potentially change the way we choose mates, and how we bear
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He defines this by the absence of governmental influence and coercion of the parents on how and to design their children. Sandel seems to agree with some of the bioethicist he names early in this section and maybe even defends their arguments and out of all the sections of this chapter is probably more inclined to agree with this methodology of eugenics. Sandel brings up Habermas’ point of view to build his case against eugenics. He pulls an idea which suggests that if there is no universal consensus on an issue, then the issue should be left up to the individual to decide. This idea was seen in DeGrazia’s book as well and Sandel seems to agree with this idea. Sandel then shifts to autonomy of the child and essentially believes that genetic engineering children doesn’t necessarily take away the autonomy of said child. However, he successfully acknowledges that hyper parenting can become an issue if this were to happen. Here is where Sandel makes a crucial point to finalize his argument against genetic engineering children as he refers to Habermas’ idea of experiencing our “‘freedom with reference… to a beginning which eludes human disposal.’” (p82). In the end, Sandel’s main point is clear and simple: we, as imperfect human beings, should not meddle with things that can either make or break the lives of future generations, even if it is for ‘bettering’ the human

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