JadziaDax, on Apr 6 2003, 02:28 PM, said:
And that doesn't even consider the fact that some people will presumably cross the lines anyway...
I can only see genetic engineering, if it ever gets to the point of being able to pick and choose traits, as unhealthy for society. It'll be another way for life to favor the rich and be unfair to the poor, unless some kind of government program is instituted to make such therapies available to everyone, in which case it'll just be another way for the rich to get punished for being rich by having their money confiscated and spent on people who didn't earn it but will feel entitled to it. And then what will we get? A population consisting almost entirely of people with what-would-once-have-been-outstanding athletic and mental abilities, but STILL a limited number of avenues for such people to make much of themselves, while the mundane jobs will still have to be done and everyone will have too much potential to be satisfied settling for them. The solution? Engineer some of them, maybe even most, to be weak, dumb, and happy not to have all the stresses and responsibilities that the "upward" modified ones have!
Prejudices in both directions will dominate culture's every little nook and cranny during these changes, with the "advantage" ultimately swinging from the normals at the start to the modifieds later on.
So now we've gone from Gattaca straight to Brave New World. Neither is a very cheerful vision of the future, nor are any intermediate stages I can realisticly foresee. I'm just glad I'll be dead before it happens and won't be having any kids to put through a world like that.
BTW, it will be worse for men than for women, not only because men are both internally and externally driven more to competition (which most of them will be set up from the start to lose), but also because after the science is sufficiently mastered, every baby girl born will be engineered to look just like her mother always wanted to, so all women will look exactly alike. Yet another reason I don't want to live in THAT world.