GMH: Genetically Modified Humans?
With the advance of medical technology, humans nowadays are presented with opportunities which no one dared to dream of just a few decades ago. From genetically engineering crops to reconstructing DNA, we live in a world literally fingertips away from artificially modifying organisms, including ourselves. While many foresee dramatic breakthroughs for humankind, others worry that these knowledge would eventually give parents the ability to select the traits of their offspring, even allow for the creation of humans without biological parents.
As the question rises of whether genetically customizing offspring is worthwhile the uncertainties, I feel obliged to express my opinion that the potential benefits of the “breakthrough” pale in comparison with its risks, or, its probable catastrophes. Critical thinking and characteristic diversity are what contribute to the construction of our civilization. Perspective dissimilarity may, and has proven to result in the formation of iniquitous conventions such as racism; it has also yielded critical thinkers who challenge injustice and influence peers. Ethics learned through the process of recognizing and battling evils passes on through generations, eventually founding and still progressing today’s society. All this, again, stems from the fascinating diverse nature of us humans. Altering that complexion by letting parents manually select the aspects of their youngsters is restricting the development of civilization while also destructing the basic principles of humanities. Creating a flawless or even parentless generation prevents individuals from “learning through mistakes," learning the wisdom behind ethical principles, thus in no way can it contribute to further evolving the society. An army of individuals growing up under medical tubes and machines instead of parental care can be shaped into “perfect” human beings, but without ever having love or a father image in its life, cannot be expected to show empathy nor fondness in the future.
If you wish to know what living in such a cold, homogenous society feels like, you need look no further than George Orwell’s 1984. Is that what civilization dooms to end up in? The answer is yes, if we allow technology to go beyond acceptable limits. Science never stops improving. If we indulge the impact of its wayward growth, we would eventually end up harming ourselves. Technology in near future already allows us to modify or create children with specific qualities. What is the next step? Are researchers going to start manually customizing people’s perspectives? If so, that would come as great news for governments who attempt to force the loyalty of citizens, as well as terrorists who seek followers through tampering with people’s beliefs. Human civilization cannot afford to give another “Hitler” the ability to manipulate society’s convictions. What is captioned as a “scientific breakthrough” can easily turn into a nightmare for our social development. As citizens, we can prevent that from happening by keeping medical progress in check, or we can unboundedly accommodate its advancement and witness the burial of critical thinking and liberty. The medical research field should seek to benefit society by focusing on combating long-existed diseases and illnesses, instead of redefining the structure of humanities. If technology makes dramatic breakthroughs such as the one we are presented with today, we ought to prevent it from going against basic human rights and morals, even if that means rejecting the new development.