Unraveling the Human Tapestry: Diversity, Flourishing, and Genetic Modification

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If parents are choosing their children’s genes, there is a chance that they will all try to have healthy, long-lived, handsome, and intelligent children. While many have advertised a world of “perfect babies” as a utopia, to some critics the loss of diversity involved would be a disaster. This chapter distinguishes between different sorts of diversity, different putative beneficiaries of the existence of diversity, and different reasons for believing diversity to be valuable. Sparrow argues that the threat posed to valuable kinds of diversity by gene editing is less than critics often fear. He suggests that, where gene editing does pose a plausible threat to a valuable kind of diversity, it might be reasonable to limit the use of gene editing as long as conserving or securing diversity does not require sacrificing the welfare of any individual too much.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Human Flourishing in an Age of Gene Editing
EditorsErik Parens, Josie Johnston
Place of PublicationNew York NY USA
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages171
ISBN (Print)9780190940362
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • ethics
  • gene editing
  • flourishing
  • diversity
  • disability
  • preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • welfare
  • eugenics

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