The Dangers of Genetic Engineering Essay

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The Dangers of Genetic Engineering

Science is defined as knowledge based on observed facts and tested truths arranged in an orderly system. It has had an extreme effect on technology, which covers production, transportation, and even entertainment. In the past, though, science has always remained distant. However, with the birth of genetic engineering, science has become something that will deeply affect lives. Advancements are being made daily with genetic engineering: the Human Genome Project is nearly done, gene replacement therapy lies within reach, and cloning is on the horizon. Genetically altered foods have already become an important aspect of life with "new and better varieties" (Bier, 2001, p.65) and even the
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Throughout the years, though, society has worked to reduce such intolerances and give everyone equal rights. However, if genetic engineering is added to the scene, equal rights could possibly plummet into oblivion. Andrew Niccol accentuates such inequality in his movie Gattaca. In Gattaca, Vincent Freeman is a man who is born naturally instead of in a lab. Because of this he is labeled by the world as an invalid, and no employment, social position, or even love is possible for him except for those assigned specially to invalids. In order to obtain his dream job, Vincent must use another's identity to pass as a valid. The fact that he must be a "valid" to acquire a decent job points out the possible outcome of discrimination in the employment world if genetic engineering would become a reality. Employers could obtain a sample of a person's DNA and not give him/her the job solely based on genes. Like in Gattaca, there would become jobs for those genetically engineered: lawyers, doctors, and businessmen; and jobs for those naturally born: janitors, bus drivers, and garbage men. In short, equality of rights and opportunity would cease to exist. Discrimination, however, would not stop with employment. Prejudice would become an everyday event even in social life. If genetic engineering leads to pre-picking genes to prevent birth defects, "how will we react to children we meet who have that disorder?" (Baker, 2001).

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