I am suggesting that biological enhancements or genetic deviations from the norm will only perhaps have long duration effects on human morality which is fundamentally learned and not inborn. Whether you are healthy, attractive, smart, and intelligent or unhealthy, repulsive, and rather ignorant your morality should basically be the same. In nonemergency situations- don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder.
Some have argued that genetic enhancements could potentially lead to an elite ruling class of gifted individuals who will rule over humans from generation to generation- a genetic aristocracy. Concepts such as humility and a genetic reproductive indeterminacy will no longer exist or be tolerated. The rich and talented will get even richer and more talented and the rest will merely be looked upon as indentured servants or slaves.
Today we have the rich and not so talented ruling over us and the results are not very pretty. Wilderness and wildlife is being destroyed at an alarming rate as most humans in this world are little less than consuming, eating, and reproducing machines polluting the environment and contributing very little to the actual progress of humanity and creative achievement. History repeats itself because the basic genetic material is the same for humans and every generation is born with violent, destructive, irresponsible, selfish tendencies which have to be civilized in some way to avoid utter chaos and social disintegration.
Yes, theoretically you could conceivably breed less violent, less destructive, less irresponsible, and less selfish humans but realistically the more violent, more destructive, more irresponsible, and more selfish would probably rule over the more peaceful humans anyway in the long duration.
Artificial intelligent machines or AI, robots, and computer software is even beginning to dwarf the intelligent capacity of genius humans so we really should be keeping pace genetically so that machines don’t become too smart for humans to be able to handle or live in symbiosis with. Yes, most humans are lousy parents and not very smart so machines or robots of the future will probably take over most of the parenting tasks and raise offspring to function morally in the world of the future.
That said let us briefly investigate the short and long duration potential of genetic human enhancement. Human genetic enhancement is really an experiment which can go terribly wrong. Enhance a human with better looks, more strength, taller height, certain hair, eye, and skin color and the results may be very unhealthy humans with debilitating diseases, shorter lifespans, skeletal abnormalities, allergies, and mental defects.
Judging by human breeding of animals such as cats, dogs, and livestock based on such minimal criteria as looks, speed, size, and fat content there have been a lot of new varieties created with terrible health problems such as urinary, breeding, and skeletal abnormalities which make them undesirable in the long duration.
Animal breeding is mostly a disaster in the long duration so it seems that human genetic selections will also be plagued with health problems. Perhaps one way to insure human genetic experiments from going bad and costing society an arm and a leg for maintenance would be to have to set up a monetary escrow of about a million dollars or so to take care of human genetic health abnormalities.
To genetically modify humans for strength, such as weight lifters, speed, such as runners, and height, such as basketball players and high jumpers, it seems that they would have a huge advantage over naturally conceived humans and some may consider this an unfair advantage. I don’t. You could probably divide up humans into genetically enhanced ones and those naturally born. The genetically enhanced ones could be something like a super freak show of human extremes. But once again an obscenely muscular weight lifter would probably not be very healthy in the long duration and would die a premature death.
Human genetic selection based on looks could result in a large percentage of the population looking like attractive celebrities but frankly once there was an abundance of good looking humans then they could become rather boring to look at, especially if they were celebrity clones.
Enhancing intelligence is more problematic unless you are talking about cloning genius humans. There are so many geniuses who are socially dysfunctional and stick out like sore thumbs in society. In society where tribalism and the herd instinct is so dominant I sincerely wonder whether a society of geniuses would be able to function and interact with normal or common human beings without living a life of effete isolated snobbism.
In the short duration the problem of genetic enhancement is not a moral one but it is a serious health question. There is no guarantee that a genetic enhancement will be healthy in the long duration so some insurance measures will have to be instituted with laws pertaining to genetic enhancements.
In the long duration genetic enhancement may lead to specialized humans very good at intellectual pursuits and/or sports activities. Whether genetic manipulation will lead to an elite ruling class is debatable but if it does then we will have a worldwide aristocracy which will rule into the distant future. Democracy is slowly dying almost everywhere so it seems that a genetic aristocracy will continue to rule the earth on into the distant future as it does today to some extent already.
What we need most in this world is a universal secular moral code taught to all impressionable young minds so that offspring are indoctrinated with moral behavior or how to interact relatively peacefully with other humans, even worldwide. All the genetic enhancement in the world will not help humanity if we ignore a necessary moral upbringing for all. Yes, a consensus will be necessary because morality currently differs from culture to culture worldwide. More important than genetic enhancement is a secular morality which almost anyone can agree with anywhere in the world. Mission impossible? I hope not because our future survival depends on it.
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