Genetic Engineering

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What are your thoughts on designer babies? Designer babies are babies that are genetically chosen by the parents. Basically, you, as the parent can choose eye color, hair color, build, etc. Geneticists can argue that this is exceptional advancements because now we can genetically alter children who will be born with deformities or other conditions. However, designer babies have evolved from this thought process. Follow this website to a great story on designer babies: 

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I am very uncomfortable with the idea of designer babies.  However, it may be that much of my discomfort is based on gut instinct rather than on a more rational basis.

My gut tells me that it is wrong to create designer babies.  This seems too much like “playing God.”  It seems to me, on the gut level, that it is wrong for us to be able to choose what sorts of traits our children will have.  It seems like doing this robs us of much of the randomness that makes us human.  It seems that making babies to order would take away the mystery of what sort of baby we were going to have and the joy of discovering what the baby will be like.

It also seems to me that designer babies are a symptom of our overall sense of entitlement.  We are so rich in this country that we think we should have everything just the way we want it.  This has already extended to our own looks (plastic surgery) and now seems to be extending to our offspring as well as we start to try to buy exactly the sorts of children that we want to have.

From a more rational point of view, I have two real arguments against designer babies.  One is that they will give an even greater advantage to the rich.  The rich will be the ones who will be able to buy “perfect” babies.  They will be able to buy excellence in any area they choose.  Their babies will always be able to outcompete others in those areas.  This seems wrong.  Second, their children will have less of a chance to choose what they want to be.  Their parents will already have chosen what they will be good at.  This seems unfair to the children.

For these reasons, I am not at all comfortable with the idea of buying designer babies.

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