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Vanessa Guzman

Human Biology 1090


Taking Sides
June 21, 2015
Genetic Enhancement
The Case Against Perfection
Michael J. Sandel opposes genetic enhancement that was not for medical necessities
stating that it would create two groups of people, those who have had enhancements and those
who were natural. It could lead to not appreciating an individuals unique gifts and abilities and
could potentially be abused by the general public.
A fact that Sandel presents is that since the 1980s human growth hormone has been
approved for use by children who were born with growth deficiencies that made them shorter
than average height (Sandel 2004). An opinion that he presented was that everyone is different
and is unique and that should be appreciated. This is an opinion because it is not false and a
moral belief cannot be used as a fact. Sandel states that the use of genetic enhancement will
separate the entire population into two groups, natural vs. enhanced because of economic
opportunity. This is a false dichotomy because not every rich person will want to be enhanced
and those in poverty could be sponsored or financially supported to get enhancements. A good
use of propaganda Sandel uses is fear when he says that using the enhancement will erode human
agency and it destroys the appreciation we can have for our uniqueness.
A Man Is a Man Is a Man
Howard Trachtman supports genetic enhancements stating that scientists dont always
have the results that are expected. Also with every new advancement in science, new problems or
complications arise. Perfection is not in reach. People may vocally support new ideas but they
wont always trust the doctors based on the faith they have with their doctors. Just like some
parents dont like vaccinating their children because of a study done years ago stating it was
connected to autism or mental retardation.
A fact presented in the argument is how many medical advancements have been seen as
the advent of the millennium (Trachtman 2005) but are quickly replaced by new problems and
complications and even machinery. An opinion Trachtman uses is that not many people will sign
up for the enhancements because even though its not false he doesnt state any sources.

Final Stand
In my opinion the first argument (Sandel) is more biased because it doesnt cite and
sources while the second has about eight sources making it more empirical. At first I sided with
the first argument because if genetic enhancements are available to the public, how to we
manage what we modify in our unborn children. What stops us from just programming embryos
with the hair, skin, eye color, size, talents, and intelligence? But with reading both arguments I
now see the advantage of having some enhancements. If it could be possible to get rid of the
cancer gene since the embryo stage, Im all for it. So I sit on the fence for the most part.