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Atyrgul Kalchabaeva

Professor S. Hoskins

English 102

October 5, 2013

Genetic Delusion

The search for the perfect human is upon us. Genetic modification is a new scientific

study involved in eliminating unwanted features of the human genome while enhancing desirable

features. In a matter of ten years, the National Institute of Health has almost completed a

machine to entirely map a humans or an embryos genetic sequence (Green, 515). This great

new power of mankind has presented itself with an enigma. How can mankind ethically modify

the human genome? Although the research of genetic modifications to find cures to incurable

diseases should be supported, humans have no right to experiment with human genetics or

genetically engineer human beings to perfection. First, genetic enhancements could cause a

great social divide through discrimination and segregation. Second, as globalization occurs,

genetic enhancements have the potential to become an international dilemma. Finally, genetic

enhancements are ethically wrong for the mere fact that it goes against faith in God.

First, co-existing discrimination against genetically inferior humans will ultimately

become worse as the study and practice of genetic modification grows. Genetically enhancing

parts of the population could lead to speciation which would completely divide mankind

(Green, 517). Genetic modification, and the creation of a new perfect species of human,

will degrade the human unification process into an old world with a new type of discrimination

called speciation. Mankind has just begun to accept each other in terms of race, gender, and

social class, yet discrimination still exists in our modern world. In our modern time,
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discrimination already exists against people with terminal and coexisting illnesses attempting to

be insured by health insurance providers. Finally, without a clear ethical guideline to genetic

modification, mankind is in danger of allowing new forms of discrimination. Discrimination is

not a new danger; it is one of the world's oldest foes. The new danger of speciation waits

behind the act of genetically modifying humans.

America took one hundred and thirty years between abolishing slavery and allowing

African Americans to actually vote. Regardless of the one hundred years of limited freedom,

racism still exists against the African American community today. Slavery and racism against

Africans was not just American history, it was also world history. In addition, American women

did not have the right to vote either until the 1920s. Women around the world still suffer from

discrimination. Women from developing countries are exploited every day for cheap labor.

Along with race and gender discrimination, there is also discrimination against social classes and

marriage equality. In short, the world still has yet to figure out how to coincide with each other.

The addition of a man made species could only hinder mankinds attempts to unify.

Genetic discrimination already exists. In The Language of Life (Collins. 115-117) a

perfect example of current genetic discrimination is illuminated. A female physician from

Chicago shared a story about her fear of being discriminated by her health insurance company.

This woman had a strong family history of cancer, and decided to be genetically tested to see

how her chances were of getting cancer. After the testing, she found that she had a genetic

mutation that made her susceptible to cancer. This woman had her doctor omit this information

from her health records in fear that she might not be able to acquire an individual insurance

policy and be uninsurable. This woman, being a physician, knew that legally the 1996 Health

Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protected her from genetic discrimination.
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However, she still feared the probability that she will be denied insurance. If a physician is

afraid of the insurance bureaucracy, how should the common person feel about becoming sick

and getting help? This woman eventually became ill, and was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian

cancer. Had this woman not feared genetic discrimination from being denied coverage from

health insurance providers, she would have allowed the findings from her genetic testing to show

on her medical record. Had the test findings shown on her medical records, doctors would have

diagnosed and treated the cancer at an early stage. This woman went through this ordeal based

on her fear of discrimination. Even more recently, health insurance will not cover pre-existing

conditions, and has pages upon pages of legal jargon that will disqualify a person to be covered

by certain types of health insurance. Regardless of federal policies that protect people from

genetic discrimination, there is still a grey area that many ill people are fighting to come to terms

with.

A new perfect species of humans could be subject to discrimination on two different

levels. First off, the new perfect species themselves could be the subject of discrimination from

the rest of the non-perfect humans. A great example of the non-perfect human is exemplified

in the movie Gattaca (1997). The film presents a biopunk vision of a society driven by new

eugenics. Children of the middle and upper classes are designed babies, genetically engineered to

be the optimal recombination of their parents genetic material. In the movie shown the time that

society analyzes your DNA and determines where you belong in life. A genetic registry database

uses biometrics to instantly identify and classify those so created, as a valid, while those

conceived by traditional means are derisively known as faith birth, godchildren and invalids.

Naturally born Vincents parents doubted the natural abilities of their son. They were not proud

of their God Son and discouraged Vincent not to pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut.
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Vincent states in the movie its illegal to discriminate genoism its called, but no one takes

the laws seriously. This is in fact one of the standard criticism of genetic profiling: if we have

genetic data on people, then employers or insurance companies will use that data to minimize

financial risk. In the movie, DNA discrimination was common. There was no place for an In

Valid in Gattaca except a janitors position. These natural born humans would never be

considered for higher end jobs like sciences and sports.

The second form of discrimination is against the new perfect form of humans. Imagine a

world where humans are created with sole purposes, purposes that natural humans do not want to

be responsible for. Purposes such as labor intensive and hazardous jobs would be delegated to

these new super humans. These new humans would be the new working class. The natural

humans would look down on the new species of humans as a lesser form or completely inhuman.

On the same idea of the new species of humans being inhuman, natural humans could easily

discriminate against the new perfect human out of fear or misconception of the new human.

These theoretic ideas are evidence that creating and modifying the human genome could lead to

the separation of mankind

Through genetic modification humans can enhance and strengthen their own capacity and

increase the features of their children. They can overcome major problems facing the human race

today by being advanced and highly developed in many industries and by having high physical

and mental abilities. Since weak features are fixable with the biotechnologies, will we stop with

changing only one feature? In his article, Richard Hayes asks, where do we stop? (520).

Humans are unlikely to be limited to its own restructuring. The process of perfection is

unlikely to stop at the correction or prevention of deficiencies. By curing diseases and stopping

aging, people would start to improve the capabilities of their organs by restructuring it with their
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own desirable plans. For example, they might be able to swim without oxygen or fly without

airplanes and helicopters. Imagine the world playing games by flying in any whether.

Unreachable Everest Mountain will be reached easily. We will not use cars anymore and the

nature will be in rest from bad toxics from the gas and cars. We can fall from the waterfalls

without fear. People can get features whichever they would like, can order for their kids some

different genes that will be different from the rest of family. Greens persuasion might be

agreeable at this point; as a human being it is desirable. However, I agree with Hayes statement

that the danger of genetic misuse is equally threatening at the international level (520), which

raises the issue of possible threat to the world.

Genetic engineering is a powerful way to change your life, but its potential can be

dangerous, and in the first place to consider the complex and unpredictable effects associated

with possible effects on the environment. Humans as dangerous predators already have used all

possible ways almost everything in this world. Imagine a powerful predator that can reach

everywhere or use their skills in human world. As "hunters" for the organs and for the donors,

which include malicious and skilled surgeons, genetic engineers could use their skills in a bad

intention such as high tech eugenic arms race,(Hayes, 520). Genetically modified food is

already in the markets. The products possess the qualities specified - resistant to low

temperatures and high in protein. Which qualities will seek to genetically modified people?

Without bad intentions one can think of a human with an honor, bravery, intellectuality, and a

beauty. However, to think thoroughly we can imagine people with the anti aging genes. One can

imagine executive of multinational corporations, bankers, top government officials or the

dictator living eternally in power 100 years. What they will be, exchanged the first hundred years

of life? Some of the major leaders in four to 10 years of their career place on the tops of power
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irrevocably lose real understanding of reality and society, and this process is exacerbated as long

as the environment does not change the leader. Universal tool for such a change is often old age,

illness or death, at least - of action of new, younger, better adapted to life, competing leaders. If

the medicine and genetics will eliminate the natural mechanisms of change in the elite, the "Ever

living" will seek to preserve the wealth and power forever. It will be unlikely to succeed

harmoniously developed personality if person can live over 100 years. There will be other

problems. What is 5 years in prison for "Ever living"? It is nothing that can stop the perpetrator.

Life sentence is not an option either because with his over 100 years and metal breaking power.

Illustrating these type of power the high tech eugenic arm race will be an international threat that

every country would like to overcome with the eugenic engineered arm race humans neighbor

countries.

The idea of ethics in science is lucid vision. Animal and human testing is considered

ethically wrong, and yet the creation of antibiotics would not have been successful without

testing first on animals then humans. Without the testing of new medicines, cures would not be

found. What is beyond the scope of ethics? Is it the simple answer of being

unethical? What does it mean to play God? Genetic modification is on the fine line of humanity

playing as God and mankind losing it's own humanity.

experiment lead to findings of new genetic mutations and the risk of transferring to

offspring. We should not make mistakes such was done by Frankenstein. Thinking of beautiful

and luxuriance features for future babies we should not get a monster that evolves against human

beings.

Green referred the movie Gattaca to persuade us with the possibility of clean and an

efficient world. However he acknowledges that its eugenic obsessions have everything but
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extinguished human love and compassion (516). This movie was completely in favor of my

beliefs that genetic engineering should not be allowed. Suffering under the burden of perfection

is something that the society goes in this movie. Godchildren and In-Vitro both suffer under this

burden. Vincent is under the burden of not being a genetically engineered person, born with heart

problem and week eyesight. He always discouraged by his parents and his genetically engineered

brother. He strives to live in the world of perfect people around him, due to which he is forced to

use Jeromes DNA and profile as a Valid. Throughout the movie, genetically designed Jerome

was born healthy to be a leading swimmer. However, he became disabled after the accident that

damaged his spine (1997). This illustrates how humans and science can try as hard as they can

but there are still things that are known only by God. The genetic engineers can prevent many

cancers or diseases or modify human beings as they want there is still will be the death. We can

only play God to a certain extent or point. Maybe with the genetically improved or designed

human beings we might live longer, but even then, it is not guaranteed.

Given these points, what is about genetically modified humans that attracted us to the

idea in the first place? Is there a hope of curing diseases or the opposite? If one person will have

the ability to decide the "innate" qualities of the other, that person will have the power to

unambiguously determine the quality of a person without their consent. Thus, individuals will

not be unique. Genetic engineers will have the ability to create people with the same appearance

and skills. It will be the creation of another person but not a creation of God. In a society where

even 80% of the medical students are against the idea of genetically modified humans (Green,

517), it comes to show that it is not widely accepted nor ethical.


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Work Cited

Green, Ronald M. Building Baby from the Genes Up. Current Issues

and Enduring Questions, 9th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. New York:

Bedford St. Martins, 2007: 515-518.

Hayes, Richard. Genetically Modified Humans? No Thanks. Current Issues

and Enduring Questions, 9th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. New York:

Bedford St. Martins, 2007: 519-521.


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Kimbrell, Andrew. "Engineering Hunger." Ecologist May 2013: 58-59. OmniFile Full Text

Select (H.W. Wilson). Web. 10 Nov. 2013.