If genetic engineering was a fully available and viable option, would you select special traits for your children? If genetic engineering was a fully available and viable option, would you select special traits for you children?

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No, I would not select my childrens traits, even if I could selectively choose for them.  That would remove the mystique, the sense of awe, when that child is born, what will they look like?  What will they be like?  What will their special talents be?  Only God knows, for...

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No, I would not select my childrens traits, even if I could selectively choose for them.  That would remove the mystique, the sense of awe, when that child is born, what will they look like?  What will they be like?  What will their special talents be?  Only God knows, for sure, and far be it from me to strive for God's job.  I will take it the way it is right now a million times over.

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No, I would not select traits for my children even if I could afford genetic engineering.  I don't think I could!  How can you interfere with nature or God that way?  Besides, if I chose a trait that made my child's life worse instead of better, how bad I would feel!

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I think I'd do it the other way around -- I'd want to know if there were detrimental traits apparent and have them fixed if possible.  Of course, it's a short hop to go from repair to rebuild; it depends upon if the parents are willing to undergo the procedure and assume the associated risks -- who knows? Maybe negative genetic traits are just the unfortunate products of having mostly positive genetic traits.  No parent would wish a child to have sickle-cell anemia, but all would want the child to have protection from malaria.  As we get to know more about the genome, we will hopefully grow wiser in which traits to select, and select them for the correct reasons.

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I imagine for someone who does not have children yet (as you most likely do not), this would be a very difficult question to answer.  I have two very healthy, seemingly bright, and very different children.  If I had been given the opportunity to genetically alter or "select" special traits for them, I would not have chosen to do so.  For one thing, this places far too much responsibility on me.  Who is to say the kids would turn out better based on my selections than they would have if I had simply left everything up to the DNA pool.

I've joked that I wish there was a way to guarantee that if I have two more children they will both be boys.  I've also joked that I hope my husband doesn't go completely bald as his own father, brother, and most of his grandfathers have.  But in the end, I still wouldn't scientifically alter genetics.  I guess it just feels too much like "playing God," not to mention the fact that if everyone was allowed to do this, somehow I think nature would find a way to retaliate.

When you look at the direction genetically engineered chickens, produce, and other food sources have gone, it is a little scary to me to imagine doing the same thing with humans.

On the other hand, if I knew that either my husband or I carried a gene that caused some sort of life threatening disease or mutation, I might opt to genetically alter the DNA to prevent my children from receiving such a gene.  Interesting question, and one I'll be interested to follow in the discussion forum.

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