An increasingly significant and controversial topic in medical ethics is that of the various ways in which human genetics and human nature an be controlled, manipulated, and improved. The main issue is that of genetic engineering and enhancement. There are those who argue that not only should we prevent the births of children with genetic disabilities but we should also genetically enhance otherwise normal children to increase their intelligence, appearance, height, athletic abilities, musical and other artistic talents, etc. Some people argue that it would be wrong to tamper with nature in this way, while others insist that we have a serious obligation to improve the human species by upgrading our genes. Some of the latter believe that eventually, through genetic enhancement mankind will evolve into a higher species, or, possibly, divide into an enhanced higher species and an unenhanced lower, inferior species. For this topic read several of the articles with links in the Genetic Enhancement and Transhumanism folder and also in the Gene Editing and CRISPR section on the Modules page. There are two articles that you are required to read: 1. Michael Sandel, “The Case Against Perfection: What’s Wrong with Designer Children, Bionic Athletes, and Genetic Engineering.” 2. Julian Savulescu, “Genetic Interventions and the Ethics of Enhancement of Human Beings.” You should also read the summary of the position of Lee Silver in ” Interview with Lee M. Silver” and “Lee M. Silver: ‘Remaking Eden.,” Also read some of the articles and watch some of the videos on CRISPR, a gene editing technique discovered a few years ago. which are in the section on Gene Editing and CRISPR, and read something on Transhumanism. Your essay should answer the following questions: 1. Which side in the debate about genetic enhancement do you think has the better position? Do you think Sandel makes a good case for accepting what nature gives us or do you think Savulescu has the stronger argument? 2. Do you agree that if some parents have enhanced children then it is morally obligatory for other parents to do the same so that their children will not be at a disadvantage? Do you think it is morally obligatory or morally permissible to do whatever is necessary to have the “best child” one can possibly have? What effect would this have on the parent-child relationship? 3. Do you think we should use gene therapy/genetic engineering (including CRISPR) only to bring people to the level they would normally have, or do you think we should try to improve upon nature? Jennifer Doudna, one of the discoverers of CRISPR, says that she had a nightmare in which she is told that someone wanted to discuss CRISPR with her and when she meets him it is Hitler. Do you think that attempts to improve human beings by genetic engineering would have unintended consequences that might prove to be disastrous? In other words, is this kind of research safe to pursue in terms of its potential consequences for both individuals and the human species? 4. Since such genetic enhancement would inevitably involve some experimentation on embryps, fetuses, and children to which they obviously could not consent do you think that would be ethical? If the genetic enhancement fails for some reason and the child ends up disabled rather than enhanced should he or she be killed? 5. Do you think it is ethical for prospective parents to specify the traits that they want in a child, that is, are “designer babies” ethical? 6. Do you think that the idea of genetically engineering human beings in order to create “transhuman” or more “godlike” human beings is ethically acceptable? [Lee Silver is among those who advocate this.] Do you think it is possible?