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Foreword - We Need To Talk About This


Foreword - We Need To Talk About This

This is Chapter 1 (Introduction) from the book "We need to talk about this". We will soon be able to order babies with brightly fluorescent skins and stellar IQs who will be excellent pianists or basketball players. But should we really design our children according to specifications and reject who does not meet the specs? In this thoughtful yet also provocative book, Angelina Souren takes you on a tour along matters of life and death, exploring ethical and practical aspects of the new eugenics. This is a field that develops very rapidly and will have major consequences. The updated edition of this publication is much improved relative to the 2017 version and now for example also contains a chapter on euthanasia with a discussion of the Groningen Protocol. With regard to eugenics, Souren proposes a practice based on the principle of non-discrimination and urges governments to provide support for its citizens and their children. She also argues for caution and points out that technological progress sometimes leads to mistakes that can be hard to correct once made. The unbridled creation of designer babies, she says, could lead to the disappearance of the glue that binds us all, compassion or inclusive solidarity. But she thinks that it does not have to, provided we proceed wisely. Souren does not shy away from difficult questions. Why do we have so much trouble accepting ourselves and each other, she asks, and points the finger at utilitarianism, a cold and calculating doctrine that evolved in Britain and still has a large part of the country in an iron grip. She also tackles the difficult task of defining “a life not worth living” and arrives at a practical universal guideline for the application of private eugenics that is bound to raise some protest from all sides of the debate, but will also spark some appreciation. We need to move toward a global consensus on these matters, she opines, and that is only possible if some of us take a few steps back and others a few steps forward. That way, we can advance toward the future together, allowing all of us to benefit. This book is for anyone interested in what is happening in the world around us. It is also particularly suitable for anyone curious about the future of humanity. It is not a science primer. It won't give you an oversight of everything that is currently possible or will soon become possible in the field of human genetics. The level and content of the chapters varies sufficiently so that anyone who opens this book will find enough to like. It's like taking a walk in the park. It focuses on ethical questions concerning life on the planet. This includes topics like abortion and euthanasia, disabilities, gene editing, as well as mistakes we've made in the past when we applied technological advances that turned out to have significant downsides. It puts a great deal of emphasis on principles like non-discrimination, dignity and equality, with the ultimate aim of making life – society – fairer and better for everyone. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Angelina Souren is currently based in Britain, has also lived and worked in the United States and in her native the Netherlands. Her professional background includes several years of legal experience. She is a former board member of the Environmental Chemistry (and Toxicology) Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society as well as former editor-in-chief of its newsletter, a former member of the board and various committees of a Dutch organization for women in science and technology called NIMF, and former associate editor of the newsletter of the US-based Geochemical Society. Among other things, she has previously written about violence against women and children. She is also a creative writer. On Twitter, she can be found @outofdiapers

  • ISBN: 9781370120130
  • Author: Angelina Souren
  • Published: 2018-04-10 11:50:10
  • Words: 4103
Foreword - We Need To Talk About This Foreword - We Need To Talk About This