Is there a good reason to be against designer babies?

Designer babies are babies that are the result of genetic modification.

Assuming that we could do it in the safest manner without creating new diseases would people accept it? Would you accept it?

One of the few arguments are:

  1. “Geneism” - This is the discrimination against people for their genes. But this is a weak argument as this happens in today’s world. People are judged for their external appearance (racism,) health, (higher premiums for diseases), and intelligence (smart people get good jobs, average people get average jobs, mentally retarded people have to be taken care of.)

  2. Vanity - Some fear that parents will love their child’s looks more than the child. That if the child does not come out with the desired features of the parents, the child will be discarded. However I doubt most parents would be like this. Most parents just want the best for their child, within reason.

3)Unintended physical and mental conditions - The final fear is that modifying human DNA would create diseases/syndromes we would never have thought of. That is a legitimate concern. Since DNA is the way it is because for so long, and that humans don’t understand DNA completely, the possibilities for errors are just too great.

What do you think?

The biggest issue with this is the magnification of the class disparity. Rich people can magnify their already huge advantaged with genetic engineering that poor people couldn’t afford.

I’m not against genetic modification, but it would have to be a public good and a “routine” part of prenatal healthcare covered by the government for me to really be okay with it. IMO it’s just too dangerous to allow it to run wild in the free market, not because I think the free market will harm children (though arguments about epidemics targeting people with gene mods aren’t entirely without merit), but because I think it will truly put the nail in the coffin as far as class disparities go.

That is a stupid complaint. The difference isn’t the problem, and dragging others down doesn’t mean raising yourself up.

Some forms of genetic modification should be illegal for not being in the best interests of the child, and the danger of causing genetic damage should obviously be considered, but it’s monstrous to argue that an innocent child has an obligation to be born with a genetic disorder so that someone else can reap the benefits of their parents’ attempts to mitigate their suffering.

The problem isn’t its genetic disorders - it’s creating children who are smarter/stronger/better looking than everyone else, thus leading to a form of “genetic nobility”.

In some parts of the world we could be looking at a population imbalance because in some countries baby boys are very much preferable to baby girls. In some case there could be good medical reasons intervention for example could hereditary illnesses be illuminated. I think the term designer babies is a very poor discription

Or, you could argue, if genetic tampering was not all that costly, the genetic nobility that already exists right now (let’s be honest here, supermodels don’t end up married to plumbers) would be more democratic.

I’m just afraid that job or college recruiters will automatically throw away the resumes of “unimproved” applicants, not out of malice, but because they’ll think that interviewing them won’t be worth their time. Even if the procedure is cheap enough for 50% of the population, that means that the other 50%'s already limited social mobility will shrink to zero.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are the best reason not to allow designer babies.

God, yes.

Look at it this way - parents will have an entire lifetime to fuck up their kids. Why give them a head start?

My concern is with a lack of diversity. That’s how we lost the Gros Michel, and the Cavendish could be next. When it’s a species of banana we get over it, but people would be another problem altogether. Still, I suppose it would be possible to keep breeding stocks of free-range eggs and sperm frozen in case of an emergency. I suspect we’d muddle through.

If it’s not worth our time to increase the labour force participation rate because the ubermensch have optimised our economy to the point where we’re still producing everything we want with a 50% LFPR, that’s a good thing. As long as the proceeds of work are still being produced and distributed (read: as long as the falling demand for labour is compensated for with policies like a living wage), the less work is required, the better.

Have you ever seen a bell bottom baby?

Some people have no taste. Enough said.

But more seriously. We really DO NOT know what we are doing when we are messing around with genes. IMO that’s enough to put the kibosh on designer babies.

DNA is like some multimillion line of ungodly complex computer code. And you’ve kinda messed around with a few hundred lines of the code. Modifiy that code at your own peril.

Gene editing could allow you to increase diversity, actually, by creating variants which haven’t yet arisen through natural mutation. Maybe people could manipulate their baby’s genome so that they had purple eyes like in Game of Thrones, or whatever else.

The concerns about inequality are real, but the solution is to have the industry state controlled and made available to everyone.

These right here are the two best reasons not to permit genetic engineering.

This is how the zombie apocalypse starts:D

ETA: of course if its used to prevent genetic disorders, then I don’t see the harm as long as the use is therapeutic.

I’m kind of torn; it sounds like that would be the case, but I think if there was going to be a split, it would be an income based one that would separate the really rich from the merely wealthy. Most of the life success differences are already taken care of between the rich, poor and middle class by virtue of wealth disparity.

I personally like the idea of allowing whatever changes parents want, but requiring such changes to be easily identifiable in the recipients, AND, more importantly, non-heritable. Something about dumpy, short brown haired Joe D-Bag, esq. and his dumpy, short and brown haired wife deciding that they want blond haired, blue eyed tall children, and then likely sticking their children with kids just like them as well. So at every generation, the family would have to re-up the genetic engineering, or go back to short, dumpy and brown haired.

That’s not how genetics works, though.

We already have designer babies. In vitro allows us to select out genes (included entire Chromosomes when selecting for gender), so what we are talking about is a matter of degree, not kind. Rich people can select out genetic defects (Tay Sachs, for example) that poor people can’t. And we’re curing diseases by modifying genes in humans.

Science shouldn’t be held back because of irrational fears.

Yes, but that is identifying a specific defect and fixing it. That is totally different from messing around with the code.

Back to the computer code example. Imagine your copy of the giant program won’t print. But we know when the code is copied there are sometimes errors. And from research we know that “print” sometimes copies as “priiiiint”.

So, you go in and replace all “priiints” with “print”.

Probably pretty safe to do.

Messing around with the code in a more complex fashion when much of it is interrelated?

Not nearly so safe IMO.

My concern is, we forego the technology and fill our country with “unimproved” people like you were just saying: America and Australia, India and Israel, all sorts of places that prize democracy and the rule of law – we all say ‘no’.

And some other country says ‘yes’, and gets the ‘improved’ people.

Who’ll compete against our “unimproved” people.

And who does that help?


(Of course, if I know anything about the super-rich in America, something that’s illegal here but legal there will be purchased by 'em anyway, so there’s that.)

Oh I do so agree, I have yet to work out who, what or why a Kardashian is