Gattacca, should we make a superior human race?
In many countries across the world, researchers are focusing on the creation of a superior human race, where a human being is immune to illness and has extreme intelligence. The term ‘designer baby’ defines a human who has undergone genetic trait selection and is the idea behind the creation of a superior human race. The film ‘Gattaca’ directed by Andre Niccol, exhibits the idea of creating such race by genetically modifying human embryos with enhancement to the genes.
While the process itself is highly controversial, it has brought up numerous ethical issues, as well as causing discrimination within society, and leads to children being used as commodity. Thus, the idea of making a superior human race should not be tolerated. Firstly, the ethical issues surrounding the idea of making a superior human race through the process of creating a ‘designer baby’ causes many debates. Scientists genetically modify the human embryos by altering the genetic codes (Bonsor, 2012).
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As a result of scientific manipulation, the embryos are sacrificed in order to obtain successful production. This goes against Article 3 in the United Nations’ ‘Declaration of Human Rights’, stating that embryos have the ‘right to life’ (Lynn, 2005). It is ethically immoral for scientists to ‘play God’. This similar idea appears in Niccol’s film, ‘Gattaca’, where the doctor creates Anton as a perfect human, with ‘dark hair, hazel eyes and fair skin’ by selecting his genes.
Furthermore, with the possibility of selecting traits of the child, such as gender, most parents prefer male children, as they carry on the family name. This leads to the proposition where within societies, there is highly skewed ratio of males to females. Overall the creation of a superior human race should not be initiated pursuant to the ethical implications. Secondly, the creation of ‘designer babies’ leads to discrimination within the society as the superior human race results in the issue of contempt where they look down upon average humans as being inferior (Novella, 2009).
These humans have extreme genetic enhancement of intelligence to sustain the world and the desire to create a pure race of superiority, such as in the holocaust. These humans receive jobs of higher standards, whereas natural born humans are shunned and receive jobs of lower standards. In the film, ‘Gattaca’, those who are born naturally, such as Vincent are referred to as ‘God’s children’. Vincent has unfortunate myopia, and is predisposed to disease and early death. Due to his predispositions, Vincent is referred to as being ‘in-valid’, and only permitted to work as a public cleaner.
Consequently, due to discrimination of the genetically modified humans looking down upon natural born humans as being inferior, such the idea of creating the superior human race should be dismissed (Bonsor, 2012). Lastly, the use of ‘designer babies’ to create a superior human race leads to the parents’ intention of utilising the child for unethical purposes, where the genetically modified child provides healthy genes for the elder sibling (Boseley, 2004). In these situations, the genetically enhanced children are used as a commodity.
Theoretically, if the child is not able to provide the require cells for the sibling in need, the parents will be disappointment, which in turn leads to resentment (Lynn, 2005). The parents’ hopes for the child are not necessarily what the child wants. It is wrong for the parents to predetermine the child’s future without giving the child the freedom to choose what they want as an individual. Niccol portrays this idea through the character Jerome. Initially, Jerome has been genetically modified as an embryo by his parents who aspired for him to become an astronaut.
However, Jerome did not want to pursue astronautics but rather aspired to be a swimmer. This leads to his parents despising him as he defied their hopes for him, and by reason of this, the idea of creating superior human race should be rejected. However the creation of a superior human race has its purpose through the process of ‘designer baby’ has its purpose. With the possibility to select genes, parents choose to distinguish any illness of the child (Johnson, 2012). Furthermore with the superior human race having extreme intelligence, this is beneficial towards the medical field as cure to cancer and AIDS is within discovery.
Creating a superior human race through the process of ‘designer babies’ has brought up many arguments. Andre Niccol’s, ‘Gattaca’ portrays the creation of human race through modification of embryos. Scientists disregard God and do not see embryos as a potential life. This also leads to a race of superiority looking down upon average human as inferior. Moreover, the genetically modified children are being used as commodity. However, parents are able to distinguish illness within the child prior to gene selection. Conversely, the idea of creating a superior human race should be avoided.