Genetic enhancement is among highly controversial topics, which emerged alongside the massive progress and advancements made in the field of genetics and biotechnology. The future of therapy is becoming more and more precise and personalized, which means that genetic alterations can be more plausible as a preventative measure (Friedmann, 2019). The concept refers to gene-related modifications introduced into a human body in order to provide it with a wide range of improvements, which can manifest themselves in bodily resilience, resistance, and immunity (Anomaly, 2020). In addition, it can take the shape of cosmetic modifications, which change the overall basis of human uniqueness and the unalterable aspect of the human body. For example, recent genetic enhancements in human embryos enabled people to have an increased resistance to HIV infections (So et al., 2017). Therefore, one can easily see that the given field of genetics raises a wide range of questions, including ethical ones. The decisions for considering something as ethical or unethical can be made by mainly three social structures, such as government, religion, and scientists.
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Although scientists and the scientific community are among the well-informed and well-educated social structures, they should not be the ones who decide whether or not genetic enhancement is ethical. The main reason is that they are mere experts in their own fields, which does not give them authority or expertise to define something on the moral plane. They are professionals who need to apply the scientific method to push the edges of knowledge and utilize this knowledge for the benefit of society. However, such a deeply moral and ethical concern cannot be resolved by science itself since the main feature of the given framework is its neutrality and lack of subjective means. Determination of the ethical aspect of any idea cannot be solely decided by one’s knowledgeability because information does not equate to morality. Therefore, scientists are not the ones who should be responsible for the ethical evaluation of genetic enhancement.
Religion has been a source of moral guidance and compass for centuries, and it still persistently influences the given arena of determining something as ethical or unethical. However, in the modern world, religious institutions lack flexibility and up-to-date principles, which would give the authority to decide the ethical aspects of genetic enhancement. The main reason is that many religions are solidified due to the chains of ancient texts, which lost their relevance in the modern world. One can still use religion as a source for spirituality, but religion as an institution and social structure is incapable of making sound and logical decisions for contemporary issues. It is bound and restricted by its own pillars, which are texts and long-standing traditions. Thus, genetic enhancement cannot be assessed and analyzed through the lens of religious dogmas.
Government is a key figure in regulating and managing the lives of societies, and it possesses a wide range of manifestations. It is evident that not all governments are created equal because some nations are infested by corrupt and tyrannical forms, whereas others are fortunate to have strong democratic institutions. Therefore, the term is highly unspecific and broad, which renders it useless. However, the given argument will primarily focus on democratic government, where the voice of the citizens is the main source of power. In this case, the government should be the social structure, which decides whether or not genetic enhancement is ethical because, ultimately, it is the will of the people, which should define something as right or wrong. One might oppose such a view, but collectively, people are wise enough to know for themselves.
Anomaly, J. (2020). Creating future people: The ethics of genetic enhancement. Routledge.
Friedmann, T. (2019). Genetic therapies, human genetic enhancement, and … eugenics? Gene Therapy, 26, 351-353. Web.
So, D., Kleiderman, E., Touré, S. B., & Joly, Y. (2017). Disease resistance and the definition of genetic enhancement. Frontiers in Genetics, 8, 1-6. Web.