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Jonathan Langseth PHI351-Miller Sh.

Paper 8 A Bit On Cloning and Eugenics In asking about the ethical justifications advocating or criticizing both cloning and eugenics we must first ask ourselves what the reasons are for such endeavors and what the consequences would be if such acts were allowed. In reply to the former as it applies to cloning, I just cannot see a good reason for its implementation. If we desire to adhere to the moral doctrine of treating people as ends-in-themselves, we are unable to advocate cloning as a means of conducting psychological or physiological tests for the person cloned would merely be an instrument of science. If human cloning is put forth as a way for couples unable to reproduce I would respond that adoption is a much more humanitarian method of creating a family. Reasons for advocating eugenics can be, I think, threefold: correctional, performative, and ideological. Correctional eugenics is when measures are taken to correct some biological disorder apparent in a developing fetus. I think such corrective measures are acceptable but that what is considered as biological abnormalities should remain a question of debate. Performative eugenics are such changes made in order to breed more intelligent, healthy, athletic people. Whether or not this should be allowed is a much more difficult question to ponder and debate than correctional eugenics. One could argue that similar conditioning is already apparent in the form of controlled environments and formal education. But environment and schooling are at least different from eugenics in that they occur after a person is already in the world, and it could be argued that because of this a

environment and schooling are experienced.person has a somewhat better ability to choose what they accept. and for this reason I would advocate extreme caution and discussion concerning any seemingly good use of eugenics. This would be evident in a large. A problem with performative eugenics is that the criteria used to define enhancement is always determined by particular people at the expense of other involved party’s opinion. social scale performative eugenics project and also at the personal level of parents modifying their unborn child. centering the emphasis of child development prior to a child’s contact with the world outside the womb. In the second place it is quite possible that performative eugenics would become highly competitive. those able most likely only the rich. What I would briefly say about consequences is that we really don’t know-we cannot be sure of the outcomes of tinkering with biology and genetics. At the personal level there would in the first place be a great inequality concerning who is able to enhance their children. In the first instance it would typically be the powerful that set the agenda as to how and what children should be improved. . perpetuating and deepening social divides. In any case this kind of eugenics is should still be debated but I only add this last thought: Do we really what to selectively breed our children to fit our predetermined expectations of what they will be? Is there not something essential to the qualitative experience of life to be found in indeterminacy and acceptance of the given? Ideological eugenics would be something akin to the horrors of Hitler’s WWII and lacks any justification. not pre-programmed. Also.