This thesis explores the ethics of human embryonic genetic enhancement, evaluating arguments both for and against the continued pursuit and future use of such technologies. Once the connections are made between certain genetic traits and certain “desirable” physical or cognitive characteristics and capacities, scientists will be able to use a genome editing technology, called CRISPR/Cas9, to insert specific genes into embryos, enabling parents to design their future children. This raises the following questions: Is the use of such technologies morally permissible? Is there something inherently wrong with the desire to design one’s future children? Should we, as humans, accept and take pride in our human limitations, or should we use these new, developing technologies to move beyond them? This thesis finds that the enhancements themselves are not intrinsically valuable, and that we are looking towards genetic technologies to perfect, or improve upon, the characteristics society deems “beneficial.” The desire to “enhance” our children and possible social consequences of such technologies are problematic and, therefore, genetic enhancement is morally impermissible.


Rudisill, John




Arts and Humanities | Medicine and Health Sciences

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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