What guidance might utilitarianism offer to questions relating to genetic engineering?

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What guidance might utilitarianism offer to questions relating to genetic engineering?

The main principle of a utilitarianism is ‘ the greatest good for the greatest number’ Genetic Engineering involves embryo research, selecting human genes, genetically engineering crops, alteration to human genes, stem cell research and much more. According to the utilitarian view, this should be assessed on the basis of its consequences. For a utilitarian, something is beneficial to the extent that it adds to enhancing the quality of human and animal life, and is harmful to the extent that is causes disease, or suffering in any form.

Utilitarianism does not accept the principle that human life has absolute value and this should be upheld by whatever the consequences, but it attempts to look at each individual situation to promote the greatest happiness for those concerned. Utilitarian’s would not ask "Is it right to experiment on Human genetic material?" They would want to know whether the consequences of using genetic engineering would be more pleasure and less pain than forbidding it. However, utilitarianism only works if it is actually possible to assesses the results of genetic engineering and embryo research and decide whether they favour all concerned.

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Many scientists would argue that the consequence of genetic engineering will increase of pleasure and decrease of pain.  For example Illnesses will be prevented.  Parents can protect their children from inherited diseases like cystic fibrosis, which would have the consequence of preventing not only their child developing the illness, but their children as well. In theory certain diseases could be wiped out entirely in this way.  Also, individual talents like sporting talents or mathematical ability can be enhance. In response to utilitarianisms, they would say that the long-term consequences would be that more people would benefit from such ...

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