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alarmduckBiotechnology

Dec 12, 2012 (4 years and 6 months ago)

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Kwak
1


Jeffrey Kwak

11/4/2011

Danielle Lavaque
-
Manty

Paper #2


Right to Pursue Perfection

G
enetic engineering
created

the possibility to design specific genes to
give

better
abilities

to
succeed
.
In

The Case Against Perfection
,


Michael Sandel

argues that it is morally wrong to manipulate
genes to create
better abilities

for those who
have

no
serious defects
.

He believes it is morally wrong
because it will create a
n

impression

that effort is not necessary

for success and parents


relationship
w
ith their children

will

be
distorted
.
However,

it just provides us
the
possibilities

to be more successful
,

which parents
should

wish to give their children
.

It would be
un
ethical

to
take away

the opportunities

people can have

from genetic engineering

to live
happier
lives

without costing others.

While g
enetic engineering

can be used as ge
ne therapy to repair or replace defective genes,
Sandel
suggest
s

that

it
will cause
moral
issues

on the
possibility

that people can use
this therapy

to
reach beyond h
ealth, to enhance
their

physical or cognitive capacities, to lift themselves above the norm.
Sandel claim
s

that w
ith gene therapy, people can enhance
their

muscles, memory,
and
physical looks
,

and cho
o
se
a

child

s sex before it is born
.

Sandel emphasize
s

t
hat
this

is just unfair to those who are
actually gifted with those abilities

without genetic engineering
.
Sandel points out
that

we
do not
want to
live in a society where parents feel compelled to spend a fortune to
enhance

abilities of

a

perfectly
health
y kid
.

D
esigning

children

s gen
es

to have better abilities

creates

a notion that success is not
something we work hard to earn but rather something we
inherit
.
Sandel

states that genetic engineering

threatens to banish our appreciation of life as a gift,
and to leave use with nothing to affirm

or behold
outside our own will
” (
62).


Kwak
2


T
he
achievement of better abilities through genetic engineering does

not mean
success but a
tool that we
could

have to succeed
.
Genetic engineering

gives us more abilities to ac
hieve higher goals
.

Michael Sandel

is

concern
ed

that one of the issues of the genetic engineering
is that people will use it
for other purpose
s

than it is designed for
.
Sandel states that

when p
eople
use such therapy not to cure
a disease but to reach

bey
ond health
,

to enhance their physical
or

cognitive capacit
ies,

to
lift themselves
beyond

the norm
” (
51)
.

But that is exactly what people work so hard for. Students go to graduate school
because it will give them the
advantage, which lifts

them above the no
rm

even though it cost a fortune
.
And nobody argues against the fact that students are going to graduate school to lift
them
selves beyond
the norm.
It is almost the same concept in terms of paying a fortune to get beyond the others to be
successful.
Although genetic engineering
must

to be
controlled

carefully

on

who gets what type of
genetic therapy,

as graduate school picking their candidates,
it cannot be taken
as unethical to be used
.
Graduate schools evaluate the students through past education, e
xams, recommendations, and essays
from application
s

and choose the
right student
. This process has proven very
effective

as most of
students who graduate from graduate school
have

been very successful

in their fields
. A lot of those
graduate students has b
ecome
professors

in various universities and teach new upcoming students.

The
other students out of graduate school go into industry and become leaders.

S
o carefully
enabling

people
reach beyond the norm has elevated
lifestyle of
not only those who reach b
eyond the norm but the rest
of the others.
The
genetic engineering
enables

people
to

enhance muscles, memories, and
reproductive
technologies to choose the sex
.

The genetic engineering gives access to what we can improve on. If we
can control
people
to use

genetic engineering

ethically
, we can
sufficiently

improve people

s life.

Genetic
engineering

can be used f
or the muscle enhancement,
which
gene therapy can relieve
muscular dystrophy and reverse the debilitating muscle loss that comes with old age.

Sande
l is
concerned that athletes can use it to improve their performance

when

they

do not have any physical
defects
.
It would be wrong to improve the
athlete’s

abilities through genetic engineering since it is same
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as using steroids
, but without any side
effects
.

Using steroids is considered to be violating
sportsmanship
, which will
tarnish

everything that
athlete

has

accomplish
ed in his career
.

However
,

to
provide the certain genes where the athlete can recover from injuries
should not be consider
ed

to be

unethical
. It would not be morally wrong because it is not giving anybody
an

unfair advantage in terms
of performance in
the

game
.

A
lthough durability is a part of athlete

s abilities
, it is not something that
changes how athlete plays the game
.
So why no
t
improve

the genes so the athletes can
play their sports

more

safely

by preventing injuries
.

A
thletes are done

with their career
around their

forties
, while
people
usually
retire around their sixties or seventies
.

Thus,

athletes need to take full advantag
e of their
career
time

of about 20 years or less.

Losing

a year to athlete is same as unable to work for two or three years
for us. It is
extremely
frustrating to get injured and not able to play the game for
any athletes
.
I
f they
hurt themselves frequently, the teams are not willing
to neither give

a contract
n
or
give

the
big
salary.
Also, if the injury is serious, th
e athlete cannot play the sport anymore

and has to change his career to
something else at such a young age. I
t would be such a shame for any athlete to be injured since it cost
them so much

in various ways
. So genetic engineering for muscle or athlete

s ability cannot be taken
unethical completely. They have as much right as others to improve themselves as others

to be
successful and
ultimately

be happy.

Sandel

s concern is that

whether we want to live in a society where parents feel compelled to
spend a fortune to make perfectly healthy kids a few inches taller

(53)
.

But it is
parent’s

best interest to
give any
advantages to their kids as much as possible
, even if that cost a fortune
.
Parents feel that
even
a few inches of additional height can give their kids some advantages to succeed.
Sandel argues that

it
would disfigure the relation between parent and child
, and deprive the parent of the humility and
enlarge human sympathies that
openness

to the unbidden can cultivate.

(57)
But w
hat is wrong with
parents giving everything they have to make sure their child
has everything to be successful?
That is
exactly what

the relation between parent and child is about.
Sandel

fear
s

that
genetic engineering

will
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divide people to two classes,

those with access to enhancement technologies, and those who must
make do with their natural capacities
” (
52)
.

But the access to thos
e technologies is just another part of
their
abilities

and chances they take on what type of parents they will
have
. It is just like their genes in a
way that they may get the genes that will give them the abilities depending on their parents and
chances
of the

way

gene
arranged
. If Sandel
feel

that it will be unfair for those who
do not have

access

to the technology
, he should also feel unfair for those who
do

not
inherit

genes to
have abilities they
need to succeed
.

He should also argue that university e
ducation must be free for everyone since it is a
necessary tool for successful career that it will have
permanent

effect of their lives but it is unaffordable
to a lot of people as it is getting
even
more expensive for last few years
, which is exactly the
same effect
as genetic engineering
.

Sandel points out another issue of genetic engineering
that


we want to believe that success, in
sports and in life, is something we earn, not something we inherit.

(56) He believes that genetic
engineering will diminish

the respect to the effort to earn the success. But he is
already

assuming the
genetically gifted people are not hard working. Payton Manning is considered one of the best
quarterback in NFL history. He has a father who had a decent career as a quarterback

in NFL and a
brother who won Super Bowl in his decent career so far.
S
o

Payton Manning has genes to succeed as a
quarterback, but he is also known
as one of the

hard
est

working player. He
practices

hard to enhance
the
abilities

he has

as well as getting i
n understanding how to play with his teammates
. Sandel is wrong
to point out that

genetic engineering will make people to view

success
as

something we in
herit rather
than hard work. No one succeed without hard work

as proven by Payton Manning
. Genetic engi
neering
only gives the people a tool to be more successful, which needs to be enhanced through hard work.

Sandel

s other concern was that


we attribute less to chance and more to choice.

(60) And that is
exactly what people are
has been
trying to accomplis
h
, choice rather than chances
. The invention of
computer, cell phone, and various other technologies that people use every day gives us
choices

rather
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than taking chances. Rather than hoping to run into a person, we can
chose to
contact that person
through

phone or e
-
mail and make an appointment so there is no wasted time and efforts. People chose
to practice or study because it will make us prepared to succeed. People do not just sit around
and
taking chances that

there will be something waiting for them to succeed in some way. If
people

are,
then
people

are being lazy which is contradicting
Sandel

s

claim that genetic engineering will make
people to
feel success as something we inherit rather than hard work.

Sande
l claims that

the successful would become even more likely than they are now to view
themselves as self
-
made and self
-
sufficient, and hence wholly responsible for their success.


(62) It is
true in a way that being successful makes people more confident a
bout
them

and may even claim
appreciation to themselves for their success. And there is nothing wrong with

that notion

because
success is self
-
made. To be successful, person needs to work hard

on his own
. He needs to practice,
study, and earn every accompl
ishment of
his

career to claim

his

success
. He
may

rece
ive help from
people around him.

B
ut
ultimately
, it is his responsibilities to earn his success, not
the

others around
him. It is him reaching out to others to receive the necessary help to succeed and

it is him practicing and
studying to perform well when he needs to. Sandel also suggest that

it threatens to banish our
appreciation of life as a gift, and to leave us with nothing to affirm or behold outside our own will.

(62)
Life we get is only one an
d it is a gift that is very precious to every single person in the world. If it does
not necessarily hurt

the

others, why not take every possible advantage one can get to be successful in
their only life. Why not cherish the gift to shine the brightest if
it is so precious.
Why should I reject the
advantage that my parents would be willing to give me to be successful and
ultimately

be happy in one
and only gifted life I
get?

Although it needs to be carefully
monitored

who gets

what type of

genetic
therapy,
genetic engineering is beneficial to people in a sense that it will elevate the lifestyle of people
and gives a better chance to succeed

as long as they put sufficient efforts into it
.

Kwak
6


Work Cited


Sandel, Michael.

The Case Against Perfection.


The
Atlantic Monthly

April 2004: 51
-
62. Print.