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Designer Babies

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by L.E., Feb 22, 2016.


Is the practice of producing "perfect babies" unethical?

  1. Yes

    9 vote(s)
  2. No

    9 vote(s)
  3. Situational

    16 vote(s)
  4. Other...?

    2 vote(s)
  1. JeffBradt

    JeffBradt Member Unclaimed IQ

    @Luchristoffer, I addressed your argument on "large scale baby-designing" with an argument about small-scale genetic tweaking. I was trying to argue that although when one looks at the issue on a large scale it is daunting, on a small scale it's not so bad. When the small-scale tweaking is added up as an aggregate, it may turn out better than you think.

  2. JeffBradt

    JeffBradt Member Unclaimed IQ

    To the original question about "perfect babies," I say: What the hell is a perfect person? I would have worded the question differently. I seem to recall that it was aptly alluded to that we should strive for diversity, not toward any one type of baby that is supposed to be "perfect." Human perfection is a silly concept to me; its mention looks like sensationalism to me. We need all types of people to make up a society worth its salt.

    Also, are we talking about small changes to an embryo's genetics so there will be no birth defects? Perhaps we mean altering the genes for intelligence, physical strength, constitution or perhaps just a predisposition to mental stability? There are a plethora of different genetic modifications, small and large, which could be made, none of which could produce perfection, simply because there is no such thing.
  3. awakenedmachine

    awakenedmachine Well-Known Member Claimed IQ: 130+

    Thanks for the encouragement, Jeff!
    JeffBradt likes this.
  4. Luchristoffer

    Luchristoffer Member Claimed IQ: 130+

    Sorry Jeff, I hadn't time to read and reply to your text when you posted it and then I forgot to do it! Sorry!


    Of course, the harm wouldn't be intentional. I believe that people have a deep will to do good, an anti-Nietzschean 'will to good', if you will. Most of the time damage is done unknowingly.

    For me, the main argument for genetical modification is that progress is unstoppable. When the technology is there, it will inevitably be used.
    A rather cynical view – "the best argument is that it will happen, for good or for worse" – I'll admit... But it's an argument that have caused my opinion to change somewhat since the start of this thread.

    I agree that there are huge gains on the small scale. However, the problem is that it is so hard to see how the large scales change. If the small scale baby-designing indiscernibly grows more extreme over time it may give us a large scale disaster that may in some way resemble that of the castrations of the 1930's eugenics, or even the Holocaust. I think that's one of the big lessons of the Holocaust, and of how the Nazi party emerged and rose to power: how easy it is to change our perceptions of what is normal and acceptable; and that increasing small scale changes can cause dangerous changes of attitude in the whole society. (In the end there I sound as vague as Noam Chomsky in the Foucault/Chomsky debate, I know...)
    JeffBradt likes this.
  5. Creedinger

    Creedinger Well-Known Member IQ: 120+

    From my car research with generic algorithms one conclusion was that a certain variety in fitness of a population is better than having a population with only good fitness values. They run into a local maximum and that is it. With a wider variety chances are higher to find the global maximum.

    Not an argument against designer babies per se but at least in a society with ideals.
    Moloch and JeffBradt like this.
  6. Creedinger

    Creedinger Well-Known Member IQ: 120+

    Can't edit the post anymore. Of course I did not discover it while researching cars but genertic algorithms in computer science .. ok, car's use those algorithms a lot e.g. for calculating the best route.

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