Liberal eugenics: ideology of "enhancement"

Mitrović, Veselin (2012) Liberal eugenics: ideology of "enhancement". Antropologija, 12 (2). pp. 63-79. ISSN 1452-7243 eISSN 2334-881X

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The concept of Liberal eugenics relates to the "enhancement" of human beings through bio-technologies above the limit of health in order to improve the capacities and abilities of healthy people. The basic idea is that parents are offered freedom of choice to choose personal traits of their offspring in order to secure a better quality life for them in the future. However, the existing technological tools have not achieved any major success so far in choosing child’s characteristics. It has been argued that allowing the artificial insemination through bio-technology would be a correct decision, despite the limitations and shortcomings of the technology. It is expected that in the near future the new technologies will enable women to choose their children by being artificially inseminated with a "genetic copy" or a "clone of a genius". According to Nicolas Agar, a strong advocate of the liberal eugenics, the counter-arguments to this concept are rooted in irrationality that is fear, unease and ‘yuck’ towards genetic intervention. Due to their irrationality these arguments should not be taken seriously, Agar argues. However, there are certain social and epistemological implications of Agar’s stance. Are not the irrational fear and moral "yuck" actually a part of typical and normal functioning of the human kind? Does the precision of the reproductive technologies enable freedom of choice regarding the desirable personal traits, or it is a potential tyranny of parents over children and the path to a uniform sexuality? Starting with the assumption that fear and (moral) "queasiness" are important anthropological and socio-cultural elements in social organization, our argument goes further by claiming that they are more than that – a part of the normal human functioning. Moreover, we will emphasize the importance and the meaning of the sexual reproduction, i.e. natural relations and sex in developing social relations. We will argue that the concept of the liberal eugenics would not lead to the reproduction of chosen traits but to the self-reproduction of women which might eventually create an asexual society.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: liberal eugenics, yuck argument, cloning, reproductive technologies, normal functioning typical for the kind, eugenika, moralna odrvatnost (yuck argument), kloniranje, reproduktivne tehnologije, normalno funkcionisanje karakteristično za vrstu.
Institutional centre: Centre for sociological research and anthropological research
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2022 20:56
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 20:56

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