Our world has finally begun its long-predicted descent into the depths of chaos. We may not yet realize it, but more and more problems plague the very state of our humanity with each passing day, such as cancer, famine, genetic disorders, and social elitism. It seems as though there is little hope, although a new solution has finally emerged, in the form of genetic engineering. It is apparent, however, that currently we cannot proceed, because while there are an abundant amount of advantages to genetic engineering, it is not a utopian process; criticism includes its practicality, theological implications, and changes in modern social structure. From a purely political aspect, genetic engineering brings about a heavy debate about whether or not the benefits outweigh the humanitarian harms.
The process of genetic engineering is simple, though its actual implementation offers many technical challenges. As new developments in the technology come into being, it becomes increasingly noticeable that we are crossing into foreign ground, and as a result, our expertise in the field is relatively low (White). The basic idea behind this concept is that the genes responsible for determining traits are composed of long strands of DNA. New inventions have granted humans the power to manipulate this DNA, allowing us to change the traits of the organism (Genetic). Unfortunately, this process has not been completely perfected. Many critics of genetic engineering advocate that we adopt a “precautionary principle” mindset, in which society as a whole rejects gene manipulation in practice until we have completely perfected the process, so as to avoid any drastic mistakes that could permanently affect an innocent being (White). In theory, genetic engineering is replicable and reasonably feasible; however, in practice, quite a few problems remain.
Still, if we do manage to get past these tech barriers, there are an extremely diverse set of applications to improve modern life exponentially; these range from agricultural modification to pharmaceuticals to gene therapy (United). The benefits of genetic engineering definitely have the potential to substantially progress the state of our world.
One notable advantage to genetic engineering is that it has the capability to cure diseases, and would “enable parents to avoid the emotional hardships and economic burdens that accompany the birth of a child with an incurable disease” (Ren). Though this directly brings up many ethical concerns, proponents of genetic engineering argue that the process simply allows humans to take part in the natural process of evolution, and is therefore morally permissible. The idea that genetic engineering allows for the curing of such diseases as sickle cell and cystic fibrosis, they say, outweighs any possible ethical concern. In addition, this aspect in itself is in not purposely unethical; it solves a problem that has afflicted civilization since we have first existed (Rollin). The ability...