Although genetic engineering may seem like the key to a healthy, disease free population not enough is known about genetic engineering, and human genes to make it safe. The human genome is very complicated, often times one sequence of genes has control over multiple different physical attributes of a person, this means that by altering one gene sequence scientists could very easily accidentally alter multiple different attributes of humans. Also scientists have discovered that even when they do introduce a new gene into a DNA strand it is very difficult to decide where, in the DNA strand, that new gene will go.
While trying to make humans immune to a disease scientists could very easily alter a different aspect of a human’s DNA, thus creating humans with unwanted genetic defects. These genetic defects would also, most likely, become present in that persons reproductive cells, and any children they had would acquire the genetic defects present in their parent. These genetic defects could actually cause these humans to be more prone to certain diseases that before. With Genetic engineering there is too much room for error, and any mistakes made could lead to entire populations of genetically mutated humans.
While it would be beneficial to the human race to use genetic engineering there would be the unavoidable issue of class. If there were genetically superior humans, then there would consequently be those who would be genetically inferior. This would lead to a class system of rich super-humans with the normal humans thrust into poverty. There have been several stories where these theoretical societies have been postulated. Before birth babies were classified as being in different castes and were conditioned the rest of their pre-birth through chemical regimens that either strengthened them or stunted their growth physically and mentally.
The society was very balanced therefore, but was also very controlled and unpleasant for any who did not fit in to whatever class they were predetermined to be placed in. A story in which genetic engineering plays a big role in the society, but in which it creates a very dysfunctional society. The non genetically engineered humans would live in poverty without any prospects whatsoever to move upwards in life no matter what their talents were, unless they would be willing to illegally purchase superhuman DNA and pass themselves off as being part of the upper class.
The upper class would have its own problems, because of the level of competition even between the different genetically engineered humans. This was demonstrated in the movie as a business that analyzed the genetic makeup of a person and gave them a "score" based on their level of perfection, which caused discrimination even among the high class. There are many arguments against human genetic engineering, including the established safety issues, the loss of identity and individuality, and human diversity.
With therapeutic cloning, not only do the above issues apply, but you add all the moral and religious issues related to the willful killing of human embryos. Maybe the greatest concern of all is that man would become simply another man-made thing. As with any other man-made thing, the designer "stands above [its design], not as an equal but as a superior, transcending it by his will and creative prowess. " The cloned child will be dehumanized. In other words, genetic enhancement is immoral because it artificially molds people’s lives, often pointing their destinies in directions that they themselves would not freely choose.
Therefore, it represents a fundamental violation of their rights as human beings. positive Humans would probably be most improved physically through genetic engineering. One thing genetic engineering would prevent is the spread and contraction of deadly disease. If confronted with genetically spread diseases such as Tay Sachs (a disease of the nervous system) or cystic fibrosis, humans would merely need to manipulate a few faulty nucleic acids to cure the ailments.
Genetic engineering would not only minimize the effects of genetic disease, it would also affect our ability to combat any type of disease, as humans could genetically modify their white blood cells to be stronger, survive better, and have an improved ability to recognized foreign viruses. If white blood cells had all the known deadly viruses programmed into their bodies (such as HIV), they would instantly be able to recognize and exclude said intruders from the hosts system. Once genetic engineering became developed and cheap enough to be accessed by third world countries, disease, both normal and genetic, would be essentially abolished.
Humans would not need to worry about losing strong immune systems, and gaining weaker ones that would be susceptible to outside or foreign disease, because it would be relatively simple to just engineer a stronger white blood cell in the first place. If the genes making people susceptible to hereditary diseases/disorders were constantly being engineered out of all humans, they would be eradicated. In our society today, low self esteem has caused a plethora of health, mental, and emotional problems. Anorexia, bulimia, obesity, depression, addictions, behavioral issues, abuse, crime, and even death can stem from an insecure little person.
Additionally, even more problems can grow from those previously mentioned that not only is detrimental to the individual but also to the society. Humans are constantly blocked from reaching goals because of a lack of ability or physical capacity. It slows them down and makes them less productive and therefore, less purposeful. Even when some the characteristics that people reach for, such as a skinny body, are somewhat politically incorrect, the fact remains that they feel unfulfilled in thier lives and are limited in what they accomplish.
With genetic engineering. People would be able to receive optimal physical characteristics that would boost their egos and give assurance to the insecure feelings that hold them back so that they will stop wasting time worrying about such shallow concerns and focus on much more important matters using the enhanced brain given to them that will hopefully be able to contribute more to solving problems and progressing the human race.
If intelligence in people is engineered to be greater, the society would have a much lesser chance of making decisions that could harm it [in both the short and long run]. Or, in other words, it would make smarter decisions. The most promising benefit of human genetic engineering is gene therapy. Gene therapy is the medical treatment of a disease by repairing or replacing defective genes or introducing therapeutic genes to fight the disease. Over the past ten years, certain autoimmune diseases and heart disease have been treated with gene therapy.
Many diseases, such as Huntington's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), and cystic fibrosis are caused by a defective gene. The hope is that soon, through genetic engineering, a cure can be found for these diseases by either inserting a corrected gene, modifying the defective gene, or even performing genetic surgery. Eventually the hope is to completely eliminate certain genetic diseases as well as treat non-genetic diseases with an appropriate gene therapy.