Gene Editing, the Mystic Threat to Human Dignity

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 16 (2):249-257 (2019)
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Many arguments have been made against gene editing. This paper addresses the commonly invoked argument that gene editing violates human dignity and is ultimately a subversion of human nature. There are several drawbacks to this argument. Above all, the concept of what human dignity means is unclear. It is not possible to condemn a practice that violates human dignity if we do not know exactly what is being violated. The argument’s entire reasoning is thus undermined. Analyses of the arguments involved in this discussion have often led to the conclusion that gene editing contravenes the principle of genetic identity thereby subverting a requisite of human dignity and ultimately threatening human nature. This paper refutes these arguments and shows that any opposition to gene editing cannot rely on the human dignity argument.
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Archival date: 2020-10-14
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