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Should designer babies be allowed?

beng100
Posts: 1,055
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10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?
JMcKinley
Posts: 314
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10/13/2015 6:17:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

For the screening of harmful genetic diseases and defects we should absolutely pursue this endeavor. No child should need to be born with a disease or other harmful defect if we have the ability to prevent it. I don't see any ethical objections to this.

For other things that are motivated more by convenience or cosmetics, I'm not sure If I'm on board or not. I don't feel educated enough in this area to make a sound judgement yet. But I'm very interested in what others have to say.

But I will say that before we start engineering ourselves to any significant degree, we'd better make very sure that we are truly understanding the science of what we are doing. The only thing more dangerous than malicious engineering is irresponsible engineering.
SM2
Posts: 546
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10/13/2015 9:54:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Screening for genetic disorders is a great idea.

Improvement via GE may become feasible in the next few decades.

Literal "designer babies" are not feasible yet, or probably ever, since most of the traits that OP listed are dependent on environmental factors.

Let's have this discussion in 50 years, when it's actually relevant.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,244
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10/14/2015 11:10:34 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

Ah ownership of lives. We have come so far from slavery...
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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10/14/2015 11:36:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/14/2015 11:10:34 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

Ah ownership of lives. We have come so far from slavery...

What do you mean by this? I don't see your point.
SM2
Posts: 546
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10/15/2015 5:58:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/14/2015 11:10:34 PM, Geogeer wrote:
Ah ownership of lives. We have come so far from slavery...

1. Nobody would choose to have a genetic disorder.

2. For all the other stuff, we can actually have it both ways.

Gene 1 does X.

Gene 2 suppresses Gene 1.

If they want to express Gene 1, they can take a drug, etc. to silence Gene 2.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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1/6/2016 2:24:51 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

As it relates to disease - yes, I think there is an ethical imperative to mitigate illness and suffering if the technology allows. Furthermore, I'm generally sympathetic to trans-humanist aspirations (though much of it is science fiction). However, there are ethical issues to consider. Probably one of the biggest criticisms a person might raise is that this technology would likely be very expensive, and thus available only to the rich. So these children would not only enjoy the bouquet of benefits that stem from wealth but also posses added intellect, beauty, etc. So you could imagine the chasm between rich and poor widening even more, perhaps even the formation of a new social class. A child born without these added benefits might stand no chance competing against the genetically superior 'ubermensch'.
Jovian
Posts: 1,719
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1/6/2016 3:04:26 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

You have a good point in wanting them to be born without things that could hurt them. But of some reason, I would still fully accept people to give birth to children on a natural way too.

I've seen people write that they thought it is evil to let children with Down's syndrome be born into this world, since we have come to a point where the majority of them could be discovered in the womb and thus aborted. This really grinded my gears. I support both abortion and the birth of these embryos discovered with Down's syndrome, everyone should do what they want, some would manage having such children and some would not. This syndrome is special since people with Down's syndrome are like children who don't grow up, they are happy and enjoy their lives to the max. Thus, thinking letting them into the world would be "evil" really annoys me.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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1/7/2016 10:17:47 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 2:24:51 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

As it relates to disease - yes, I think there is an ethical imperative to mitigate illness and suffering if the technology allows. Furthermore, I'm generally sympathetic to trans-humanist aspirations (though much of it is science fiction). However, there are ethical issues to consider. Probably one of the biggest criticisms a person might raise is that this technology would likely be very expensive, and thus available only to the rich. So these children would not only enjoy the bouquet of benefits that stem from wealth but also posses added intellect, beauty, etc. So you could imagine the chasm between rich and poor widening even more, perhaps even the formation of a new social class. A child born without these added benefits might stand no chance competing against the genetically superior 'ubermensch'.

I agree that this is potentially a technology solely available to the rich. Which as you would say would widen the gap between rich and poor by increasing the success of the wealthier population. In my view though if someone can afford to do something ethical such as maximizing the potential health, intelligence, personality and happiness of their child then it I'd not really fair for jealous people to stop them. I can't afford a Ferrari but it does not give me any good reason for me trying to prevent somebody else buying one. Ultimately in time these procedures could reduce in costs and become affordable to more people. Potentially a government funded implementation of this policy could result in the whole population having improved quality of life, success and economic prosperity removing many parasitic elements such as healthcare, policing, welfare and other costly elements to a great extent. In my view it is the way forwards for human reproduction. Yes it is a feeling of being unnatural but the magnitude of the benefits easily justify it.
beng100
Posts: 1,055
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1/7/2016 10:59:42 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/6/2016 3:04:26 PM, Jovian wrote:
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

You have a good point in wanting them to be born without things that could hurt them. But of some reason, I would still fully accept people to give birth to children on a natural way too.

I've seen people write that they thought it is evil to let children with Down's syndrome be born into this world, since we have come to a point where the majority of them could be discovered in the womb and thus aborted. This really grinded my gears. I support both abortion and the birth of these embryos discovered with Down's syndrome, everyone should do what they want, some would manage having such children and some would not. This syndrome is special since people with Down's syndrome are like children who don't grow up, they are happy and enjoy their lives to the max. Thus, thinking letting them into the world would be "evil" really annoys me.

I think encouraging the termination of pregnancies where the embryo is shown to have a significant physical or mental disability, development problem or genetic disorder is a sensible approach morally and economically. However I agree it is a choice for individual families and I would not enforce my views on other people through laws. Downs syndrome people can enjoy their lives if given appropriate financial and emotional support and if the parents are happy to provide that then no problem. However these individuals on average have a lower quality of life than the average person and are generally a burden financially and emotionally to families and also hinder the national economy.
theworldhasgonemad
Posts: 633
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1/7/2016 1:48:27 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Look we're not going to have a choice in the matter.

Soon we'll be able to genetically engineer babies from artificial eggs created from stem cells of men, using artificial sperm created from stem cells of women.

That's right, lucky, proud Dad of 3 could soon become proud Dad of 3, proud mother of 1.

The thing with this is that it lets gays have their own children. Society has no hope in hell of stopping the malicious, evil, gay activists from getting what they want. There's too much Steve Jobs money behind them.
Axon85
Posts: 137
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1/7/2016 11:21:49 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/7/2016 10:17:47 AM, beng100 wrote:
At 1/6/2016 2:24:51 AM, Axon85 wrote:
At 10/13/2015 4:11:35 PM, beng100 wrote:
In my view yes. If the costs and success rates of IVF treatment continues to improve I think it would be logical for the government to even uncourage it. If a baby can be born free of mental health issues, have a great personality, be intelligent, be good looking and free from disability or premature death I can't see any negatives. If a parent wants the best for their children which is nearly always the case wouldent it be logical to give them a good genetic starting point? Why should people need to be born with a tendency to get depressed or be born with cystic fibrosis?

As it relates to disease - yes, I think there is an ethical imperative to mitigate illness and suffering if the technology allows. Furthermore, I'm generally sympathetic to trans-humanist aspirations (though much of it is science fiction). However, there are ethical issues to consider. Probably one of the biggest criticisms a person might raise is that this technology would likely be very expensive, and thus available only to the rich. So these children would not only enjoy the bouquet of benefits that stem from wealth but also posses added intellect, beauty, etc. So you could imagine the chasm between rich and poor widening even more, perhaps even the formation of a new social class. A child born without these added benefits might stand no chance competing against the genetically superior 'ubermensch'.

I agree that this is potentially a technology solely available to the rich. Which as you would say would widen the gap between rich and poor by increasing the success of the wealthier population. In my view though if someone can afford to do something ethical such as maximizing the potential health, intelligence, personality and happiness of their child then it I'd not really fair for jealous people to stop them. I can't afford a Ferrari but it does not give me any good reason for me trying to prevent somebody else buying one. Ultimately in time these procedures could reduce in costs and become affordable to more people. Potentially a government funded implementation of this policy could result in the whole population having improved quality of life, success and economic prosperity removing many parasitic elements such as healthcare, policing, welfare and other costly elements to a great extent. In my view it is the way forwards for human reproduction. Yes it is a feeling of being unnatural but the magnitude of the benefits easily justify it.

Yeah I see your point. I do want to clarify that I am not against anything on the grounds of it being "unnatural". I think most of the advances that have extended the quantity and quality of our lives would have seemed "unnatural" to past generations. Furthermore, if we can use technology to transcend the genetic limitations of our species in a safe and responsible manner, then I am generally for it. However, some of the ethical considerations that arise should not be ignored either. I guess when it comes down to it, some of the values that we hold dear, for example: fairness, equality & personal liberty, are not always going to be compatible with one another.