'Now we have the technology that can make a cloned child'

A new form of cloning has been developed that is easier to carry out than the technique used to create Dolly the sheep, raising fears that it may one day be used on human embryos to produce “designer” babies.

independent.co.uk/news/science/now-we-have-the-technology-that-can-make-a-cloned-child-808625.html

If people have the means to do it, they will use it. I do not have any doubts about this. I am afraid that humanity will not use the technology correctly.

I have very little doubt that people will try to abuse this technology. An “era of designer babies” sounds like a euphemism for a new eugenics.

I do not think eugenics is inherently evil and I could imagine a scenario where humans practice eugenics in a benignant fashion. For example, Peter Singer endorses eugenics in some of his essays, but he does have some qualms about the technology. But, I do know about human nature and there is much to fear about the technology especially constraints on its availability.

Peter Singer, eh? I wouldn’t use that guy in a defense of eugenics, at least not on a Catholic forum. And I wouldn’t call something that tries to alter human beings without their consent something that isn’t inherently evil. These designer babies aren’t given a choice of what they will be. The parents are “designing” them to their specifications.

There certainly are beneficial sorts of eugenics. Genetic analysis and counseling can help a person assess the risks of having children, particularly when one has a recessive gene for a common disorder.

By checking to see of one’s intended spouse has the same gene, one can know the risks of having a child with that person. Not a bad thing.

Eugenics will be much more powerful than that if the current technology were allowed to mature. I do not oppose the use of eugenics, per se. In fact, I do believe the utilization of technologies such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and in vitro fertilization and human genetic engineering should be encouraged and universally practiced. My main fears is the availability of such technology when it is NOT universally practiced.

I do not think the adoption of eugenics in our current state of affairs is a tenable position. There are too many social injustices for eugenics to be used ethically now if the technology is available. Without a commitment to improving the lives of the unfortunate in society, the new eugenics will be antithetical to the notion of social justice. I do not see how eugenic technologies will benefit society when we are insouciant to the conditions of the less fortunate.

However, this argument against eugenics will not be invoked by the conservatives here as conservatives are tolerant to status hierarchies and inequality. Most people will invoke the sanctity of human reproduction and argue that using such technology violates that.

I suppose one could view that as a form of eugenics but I don’t think it is universally agreed that such a practice is genuinely eugenic. And, of course, it goes without saying that genetic testing for disease isn’t justification for the widespread use of eugenics to “improve” humanity.

Why do you feel that eugenics should be widely practiced?

Well, yes, that is one of the problems with eugenics. While touted by past supporters as a means to improve humanity and lessen human suffering, it was all too often used to strip people of their dignity as a human being. Trying to adopt eugenic policies again runs the risk of doing that again.

I find it strange that you accuse “conservatives” here of tolerating inequality. It is odd that you feel confident enough to speak for everyone who calls themselves a conservative. And no, I don’t tolerate the inequalities that are present in our society. It would seem, however, you and I have a different approach to solving those inequalities.

Let me explain – those he calls “conservatives” point out the poor quality of public schools in the poorest areas of the country (cf: the recent study that found in the 50 largest cities, the high school dropout rate is about 50%.) The mean ol’ “conservatives” call for improved education for the children of the poor, and offer solutions.

Since he has stated on many occasions that those people are incapable of learning, he accuses “conservatives” of “tolerating inequality.”

Eugenics… ah the topic of eugenics. Yes, the ability to control the characteristics of offspring is rather valuable and it can be used to reduce human suffering.

Right now, humanity is facing a onerous energy crisis and is in a tenuous position. Thinking about eugenics now makes me rather depressed. I wonder if human ingenuity will save humanity now. What good are ideas about controlling our own genomes if we cannot control the photon? Ultimately, we have to find a way to power our Kardashev 0.72 (and growing civilization) or else we will regress to the Olduvai epoch again.

Let me explain – those he calls “conservatives” point out the poor quality of public schools in the poorest areas of the country (cf: the recent study that found in the 50 largest cities, the high school dropout rate is about 50%.) The mean ol’ “conservatives” call for improved education for the children of the poor, and offer solutions.

Since he has stated on many occasions that those people are incapable of learning, he accuses “conservatives” of “tolerating inequality.”

Charles Murray was a co-author of The Bell Curve. He also believe in that and he is a conservative.

Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:

Fear and aggression

Dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity

Uncertainty avoidance

Need for cognitive closure

Terror management
"From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination," the researchers wrote in an article, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” recently published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin.

Concerns with fear and threat, likewise, can be linked to a second key dimension of conservatism - an endorsement of inequality, a view reflected in the Indian caste system, South African apartheid and the conservative, segregationist politics of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-South S.C.).

berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml

And yes, eugenics should not be our concern now. The human future looks ominous right now and we might not even develop the means to utilize the new eugenics. Maybe within two decades, eugenics will remind me of all our broken dreams; dreams such as social justice that could not be fulfilled because we lack the requisite energy to do so.

A quick review of the history of eugenics teaches otherwise.

To back up your claim that conservatives support inequality you post a link to an article on the website of UC Berkeley. Hmm…now, why don’t I trust an accusation like this, coming from a place well known for ultraliberalism?

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