Conservative compares human germline engineering to "slavery"

from the someone's-very-upset dept.
Prominent conservative Dinesh D'Souza has an essay in the Jan. 22 National Review entitled "Staying Human", in which he argues vehemently against human germline engineering. Unfortunately, it's not online, so see instead this piece by Adam Wolfson in Winter 2001's The Public Interest (URL is temporary) and a rebuttal entitled "Right-wing Technological Dread" by Ron Bailey of Reason.
Fortunately, D'Souza's concerns don't have to apply to nanotech, since in that case changes can be made by adults on themselves, not applied involuntarily on offspring by their parents. Read more for excerpts from the D'Souza essay. Excerpts from the National Review essay:

"The attempt to enhance and redesign other human beings represents a flagrant denial of this principle that is the basis of our dignity and rights. Indeed, it is a restoration of the principle underlying slavery, and the argument between the defenders and critics of genetic enhancement is identical in principle, and very nearly in form, to the argument between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln on the issue of human enslavement…

"Consequently, parents have no right to treat their children as chattels; but this is precisely the enterprise that is being championed by the techno-utopians. Some of these people profess to be libertarians, but they are in fact totalitarians. They speak about freedom and choice, although what they advocate is despotism and human bondage. The power they seek to exercise is not over "nature" but over other human beings.

"Parents who try to design their children are in some ways more tyrannical than slaveowners, who merely sought to steal the labor of their slaves…"

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