"That won't ever happen, you guys need to STFU and let us scientists get on with the science."
Id like you to link to the article where someone said that, and I dont mean some 12 year old comment on a forum an actual article where someone of any merit at all said that. Otherwise youve started off your moral outrage with a lie.
"We can't even agree it is a bad idea and will almost certainly have bad consequences."
So its a bad idea because you say so and we are doomed because you say so. So far your argument is failing to convince me, your coverage of the moral and ethical implications is sorely lacking.
Now, ignoring the fact that this news is far far from 'designer babies' and full genetic control. Ill try do better, what can possibly go wrong with designer babies?
1. prefrences that damage gender balances is one of the biggest issues ive seen presented, certain countries prefer male children over female but wait, these are the same countries that people who want male children are actually euthanising girls. So it basically boils down to this, if they want male children they are going to have them you either have infanticide or you chuck away an embryo, your choice.
2. an elite class, perhaps even more troubling than the first issue genetics could bread a superior class of people immune to genetic diseases deformity and highly resistant to anything that could crop up later in life. This doesnt cripple the idea though, it just means we have to be responsible with it. That means places like America may have to man up and provide a bit of socialist genetic health care for the good of the entire nation. Anything outside the cosmetic should be handled by NHSs and controlled on a country level by the entire populace through democratic methods. Dont think that cant happen because the costs of keeping alive hundreds of thousands with genetic based conditions is phenominal. This is a win win situation for the government and the populace.
3. Fashion trends, this is perhaps the most confusing one to me. People get up in arms about the idea of a parent having control of hair colour, eye colour etc. These same parents will ultimately have control over diet, education, and the entire welfare of there child. You know what, if a parent really wants there kid to have blond hair I dont care, I honestly dont give a shit. The moment its born there will be considerably larger issues to deal with.
There are other issues im sure and of course an unpredictable component but this is the same of all technology, when we invented the microchip it could have led to dire consequences but we cant stagnate in fear of what might be.
I find the problems with designer babies are entirely founded on problems that already exist and we are having difficulty sweeping them under the carpet (1). Or in a pessimistic attitude to the way our society will handle and give out the health improvements this could bring about (2). Or are just plain deity loving fear mongering about how we shouldnt play God (Despite the fact we already do on a daily.) for no good reason what so ever (3).
Meanwhile the benefits are an end to the most unpleasant of diseases. Diseases that dont just kill they slowly slowly destroy a person and everyone that person is connected to. Not only this but it could significantly reduce our vulnerability to diseases that arnt direct genetically manifest, that we merely have a predisposition to. You are talking about a health revolution on the scale of having clean drinking water. Millions of lives saved, millions of years of human life improved unimaginably.
It isnt immoral or unethical to consider this technology. Its immoral and unethical to not even consider the monumental impact it could have on so many that are suffering. If there is any reason we would ever face our doom it would be because of blinkered ignorant views of world changing science and technology. I for one am not willing to go back to living in a cave.