Children and Families
Transhumanists believe parents should be given all the help and information available to make the right decisions for their children. Then we should trust with the responsibility to choose wisely. Not all parents will choose wisely, but most will. We find bizarre the assertion by opponents of human enhancement technology that there are legions of parents prepared to conduct risky and dangerous experiments on their children for dubious benefits.
On the other hand we believe it is every parent’s, and society’s, responsibility to ensure that children are given the best possible start in life, with the healthiest bodies and minds we can give them. We trust that with a right to reproductive freedom, most parents will wisely weigh the use of enhancement and reproductive technologies, and the result will be stronger families and healthier, more intelligent, and more wanted children.
Human Enhancement and Procreative Choice Builds Stronger Families and Healthier Kids
Genetic Enhancement Bibliography from the Genetics and Public Policy Center
Fletcher, Joseph. 1974. The Ethics of Genetic Control. New York: Doubleday Anchor, 1974, pp. 147-87. Fletcher made some of the first arguments for germinal choice and against the ethics of “genetic roullette.”
Glover, Jonathan. 1984. What Sort of People Should There Be?: Genetic Engineering, Brain Control and their impact on our future world. Penguin. A defense of human genetic engineering that makes the distinction between therapy and enhancement, but accepts that enhanceent could be ethical.
Robertson, John. 1994. Children of Choice: Freedom and the New Reproductive Technologies. Princeton University Press. One of the most important statements of the case for procreative liberty, stopping short of germinal choice.
Silver, Lee. 1998. Remaking Eden. Avon. A look forward at the coming age of germinal choice.
Pence, Greg. 1998. Who’s Afraid of Human Cloning? Rowman and Littlefield.
Savulescu, Julian. 2001. “Procreative Beneficence: Why We Should Select the best Children,”
Bioethics, 15(5/6). Argues that parents have an affirmative obligation to select the child, among the possible children they could have, who will have the best life. Includes a defense of selecting non-disease genes.
Stock, Gregory. 2002. Redesigning Humans: Choosing our Genes, Changing our Future. Mariner Books. The latest and most popular defense of germinal choice.
Buchanan, Allen, Dan W. Brock, Norman Daniels, Daniel Wikler. 2000. From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice. Cambridge University Press. Four leading bioethicists’ thorough critique of bioluddite arguments against genetic enhancement, and argument for social democratic policies to ensure universal access to genetic enhancements.
Singer, Peter. 2002. “Shopping at the Genetic Supermarket.” Argues that “the state should be directly involved in promoting genetic enhancement.”
Designer Humans. 2001. Congressional Quarterly.
Bioconservative Arguments that Human Enhancement Technologies Are Dangerous for Families and Children
“Chapter 2: Better Children,” in Beyond Therapy, President’s Council on Bioethics.
“Eugenics in the Springtime,” by C. Ben Mitchell, Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity
“Building Better Babies: How Engineering Our Children Robs Us of Our Humanity,” Charles Colson, April 19, 2004
Designer Babies: Human cloning is a long way off, but bioengineered kids are already here,” by Shannon Brownlee, Washington Monthly, March 2002
Center for Genetics and Society on “Children’s and Family”