"In Defense of Imperfection"

TEXT OF ESSAY

In the entire history of human beings, has there ever been a time where a "good" idea hasn't been taken as far as possible? Maybe a slightly less unanimous question: has there ever been a time where an idea hasn't been taken to far?

The subject of genetically engineering food is a fuzzy area but in terms of helping the masses, it is the only solution we have. In my opinion, this makes the "fuzziness" of it completely ludicrous. Millions upon millions of people are currently starving. No, they didn't forget their lunch money for Burger King that day, they haven't eaten for days and it is very likely that they will soon be dead. This is our current situation, while we are currently producing genetically modified foods. Imagine a time- imagine the death rate- where the world was relying solely on mother nature and planting their own food. I think that the people, like the ones who dressed up as "Tony the Frankentiger", would not complain so much if they lived in a time that they did not have the mass of genetically engineered food that there is.The situation we are currently in with genetically modified food is very ideal, in fact. At this point, people are able to choose between locally grown, "pure" food, or that which has been genetically modified. In my mind, this leaves little to complain about. They are complaining because they can, and their nonstop protesting is nothing more than a selfish and bratty temper tantrum that can be equated to the children raised with the ideals of Dr. Spock. If they are prepared to personally introduce themselves and then proceed to take away a starving family's food, I seriously question the sanity of this person. Even the most evil of people has some sort of conscience telling them that this would be wrong. This is the exact conscience that should be telling people that although gentically modified food may not be the healthiest, it truly works wonders when it comes to feeding the masses. In my mind, its an easy choice: feed the world or appease a group of "tree hugging hippies" (in the word's of Nick).

As far as genetically engineering babies, I think that as a parent I would want the absolute best for my chilren. As a parent, if a procedure was available where I could prevent him or her from having some sort of disease, I am absolutely certain I would take advantage of it. I would do anything in my power to give them the best life I could. However, I would want to leave they're individual traits to chance. To me, this is the beautiful part of bring a baby into the world; learning who this new person is and having them surprise you with all of they're random talents. Without this, having children would feel like just helping keep the world populated. To me, there is no beauty in having children this way. Living in a world like GATACA would be hell for me. I value people's individual quirks and living in such a planned environment would be dull and lifeless. Unfortunately, if society ever accepts this in my lifetime (or at least in the time I have children) I would feel a great deal of pressure to alter my children so they would be able to succeed in this society. Like Vincent's parents, in GATACA, believed that he was created out of love, I feel the same way. But as they felt the pressure to give their next child a fighting chance, I too would most likely succom to the pressure of society. Because although I do not agree with those societal values, I would want to give my children a chance at life. I would feel such an immense amount of guilt if I forced them to struggle through life against a perfected species of humans. Unfortunately, with the way society is, there could be no "genetically engineering just for health reasons". Health reasons would be just a starting point of altering the children of the future. And eventually we could have a world similar to GATACA.

Similarly, I do believe that research from stem cells should proceed. For me personally, I plan to donate in any way I can to this study when I’m older. Maybe even when my own family is complete I will donate my eggs to be studied, since otherwise they would not be used. If I ever had to go through invitro fertilization, I would undoubtedly donate all the left over eggs. There is no reason that eggs that would not normally be used anyway should go to waste. There are people suffering who could greatly benefit from stem cells found in embryos, and many of them aren’t even used. The sensitivity people feel for the subject, I feel, is largely unnecessary. Sure, I do not want to hurt unborn children, but if the embryos are not going to be used….why not help living, breathing, human beings? Using adult stem cells, I obviously completely agree with. It doesn’t hurt anybody, and it helps its host recover from an injury. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to be adverse to the idea of adult stem cell testing and the benefits it could possibly have on suffering people. As well as, cloning cells so that they are not rejected by the body. This could have a profound affect on the help we are able to provide for people everywhere.

Scientists should be funded to further study these things in order to help suffering people, both starving and disabled. However I think that no being should be compromised in furthering any of these fields. In terms of these things, people should keep an open mind to provide the best future for us and our children, and families.