Creation Through Genetic Enhancement

David DeGrazia

in Creation Ethics

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195389630
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949731 | DOI:
Creation Through Genetic Enhancement

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This chapter addresses ethical issues provoked by the prospect of genetic enhancement. It begins with a brief exploration of the concept of enhancement. Next, several examples of possible future genetic enhancements are presented. Eight of these have a clear basis in current scientific understanding and in that sense may be considered nearer-term; two others, concerning post-humans and post-persons, are far-fetched and have the feel of science fiction, given the current state of technology, but are certainly conceivable. The chapter then provides a perspicuous analysis of the concept of human identity, a concept frequently invoked in objections to biomedical enhancement. Providing the bulk of the ethical analysis, the next two sections develop and address concerns about (1) authenticity (an identity-related value) and (2) perceived risks to human nature (and possibly humanity itself), referring back to the previously described possibilities for genetic enhancement. The overall position that is defended could be described as fairly liberal.

Keywords: genetic enhancement; human identity; human nature; authenticity; post-humans; post-persons

Chapter.  15366 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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