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Genetic Modification of Human Beings: Theory

As C S Lewis perceptively noted, any technology is, at the end of the day, not “power of man over nature” but “power of some men over others with nature as their instrument”. Genetic modification is, I would say, power of some men over the nature of other men. It is, above all, an unprecedented technological power over the future generation, and it is this particular aspect that interests me. The visions of the current generation clash with the rights of those to be born in the future, and while culture or conquest have played the role of a medium for that clash throughout history, genetic modification makes the confrontation much more direct, and therefore, dangerously enough, with a much stronger illusion of control. No matter how powerful a conqueror, he could not possibly envision the ramifications of his actions throughout generations: culture is a product of interactions between millions of human beings, built in over generations.

The social progressive of the 20th century had a much more conscious effort of directly designing the future; the bioengineer of the 21st century - even more so. The mistake of a  small group of scientists and decision makers may very well have a long-lasting impact on the rest of the population. This aspect of power of one generation over others led Lewis to conclude that genetic engineering, should it be exploited to its fullest, will not lead the humanity towards becoming more and more powerful, but rather will result in one most powerful generation - those who were not as affected by the engineering of there ancestors and yet will have affected the most the subsequent generations.

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