An Argument in Favor of Human Genetic Enhancement
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Human Genetic Enhancement (HGE) has the potential to provide great benefits to a large number of people in terms of alleviating inherited disease and disability and maximizing individual liberty. There are many arguments against research and application of this new technology based on a variety of grounds, including both deontological and consequentialist objections. In this thesis I examine arguments from both of these positions and argue that neither offers a satisfactory justification for prohibiting research into HGE nor do they demonstrate that the application of the knowledge gained from such research is necessarily wrong. I also suggest that there is a strong argument in favor of HGE in that it may offer a way to reduce the amount of disadvantage currently present in our society as a result of genetic disease and disability by addressing the genetic causes of these conditions. Further, I argue that the pursuit of HGE is necessary in order to promote individual liberty and promote equality of opportunity. Finally, I argue that by examining principles that require us to promote individual liberty we can establish the categories of enhancements which we should publicly fund and those that should merely be permissible.