Human Photoshop

Though it’s probably the most obvious answer to this question I honestly think that the prospect of human gene editing is the most exciting and ethically challenging use of CRISPR Technology. I think one of the reasons that it’s so exciting is because in a broad sense even beyond deadly and debilitating genetic disorders it could fix a lot of things for humanity. One of the most frightening things about our current society is the number of people who wear glasses. As we became more societal and developed better medical technologies people who previously would have died because they couldn’t function are able to live and thrive and pass on these flawed genes which could eventually cripple us. However, this doesn’t mean that the whole idea of human gene editing isn’t very ethically challenging, considering that richer people could have the ability to promote designer jeans if they wanted to. Your child could be far more athletic and smarter just because you have more money, which is an undue advantage that would have to be regulated.


Regardless of the ethical challenges that face us in the time of CRISPR, I think we have to use Gene editing technology on humans. In the Harris article, it makes a point to say that by gene editing a next generation you are doing it without their consent. (Harris, 1) In all honesty that seems a rather ludicrous argument to make the next generation healthier, considering they’re already being born into a society that they had no impact over and are going to have to deal with large problems such as climate change. Even on a less daunting level people born in the next generation are facing a lot of social strife especially in America, they’re going to have to deal with corporate dictatorship and increased rates of mental illness because of the type of society we live in. Gene editing could only make the struggles of tomorrow easier to be death with if mortality isn’t so daunting.

3 thoughts on “Human Photoshop”

  1. I highly doubt you’ll ever be able to regulate money, and as long as people have money, they will be able to bend the advantage in their own favor. For instance, America’s healthcare system is great for people with money, because they can use that money to skip just about any wait they would want to and have lots of optional or cosmetic surgeries. In the UK, the NHS has waitlists for everything, which can stretch out for years. Here, if you can pay for it, you can have it. That that would be regulatable just because we’re talking about babies? highly unlikely, considering the current fertility support system already functions as I’ve described.

    It also seems a bit insensitive to consider people who would have died without medical intervention to be “crippling” the species. Maybe small hiped women are birthing small hiped children, but they aren’t going to suddenly wipe out the population of people who can deliver children more easily. People with more severe conditions are unlikely to make it to the point they can have children even with medical intervention, and if they are, not all will be genetic or definite, and it’s not going to get to the point that “crippling” genetic diseases will be passed through generations of giant families, at least unless it is recessive, in which case, it isn’t crippling to the society as a whole.

  2. I agree that gene editing is a giant ethical challenge. I think that the challenge of questioning whether gene editing should be used on humans or not should be a challenge that all humans take into consideration, not just scientists. The entire human population should be involved in the future decision making of how to use gene editing on future generations because the results of editing human genes will affect all humans young, old and unborn. I also agree that requiring consent from humans that have not even been conceived is very ridiculous and seems like a stance that was just made for pure opposition to gene editing. I think that gene editing future human generations is too large of a responsibility for humanity because we cannot even handle our own lives correctly. Gene editing humans would ultimately cause humans to become mere experiments and no longer unique, individual beings.

  3. Hey Rachel! I really enjoyed your post. I liked how you brought up the point about glasses. So far I have only seen people talk about preventing major birth defects such as down syndrome, I never really thought about how such small changes, such as preventing bad eye site, could have such a big effect on the world today. I also really liked in your second paragraph how you stated that we really have no choice but to continue using gene editing on humans. And I agree, the point I made was that if we stop testing gene editing, we would be limiting the future of biotechnology. I also don’t agree that it is unethical to edit the genes of human babies without their consent. Like you said, babies have no say in the world they are brought into, and I believe we are not doing anything wrong by trying to protect their future health by editing their genes. Good job!

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