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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Primary Topic Article

Primary Topic Article

Ethics, Eugenics, and Politics

Chapter:
(p.139) 4.1 Primary Topic Article
Source:
The Future of Bioethics
Author(s):

Robert Sparrow

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.003.0016

This chapter sketches a political critique of recent arguments for human enhancement. While on paper it may be possible to imagine a world in which the pursuit of genetic enhancement of human beings does not lead to a renewed interest in racial hygiene and widespread violations of human rights, the political assumptions one must make in order to hold that this is possible in the real world are excessively optimistic. In reality, the pursuit of human enhancement is all-too-likely to lead us back to something that looks very much like the old eugenics wherein the state is, as a matter of routine, licensing who is allowed to have children and what sort of children they are allowed to have, and thus infringing the reproductive liberty of parents. A more realistic politics should lead us to be much more cautious about defending the “rights” of parents to enhance their children.

Keywords:   Eugenics, human enhancement, Harris, Savulescu, ethics, genetics, procreative beneficence, politics

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