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New article on human genetic engineering by Leon Kass

Genetic Crossroads
November 21st, 1999

In "The Moral Meaning of Genetic Technology," Commentary,

September 1999, Leon R. Kass writes:

"[U]nless we mobilize the courage to look foursquare at
the full

human meaning of our new enterprise in biogenetic technology

engineering, we are doomed to become its creatures if not its

slaves. Important though it is to set a moral boundary here,

devise a regulation there, hoping to decrease the damage caused

by this or that little rivulet, it is even more important to

sober about the true nature and meaning of the flood itself.

"That our exuberant new biologists and their technological

might be persuaded of this is, to say the least, highly unlikely.

But it is not too late for the rest of us to become aware of

dangers—not just to privacy or insurability, but to our

humanity. So aware, we might be better able to defend the

increasingly beleaguered vestiges and principles of our human

dignity, even as we continue to reap the considerable benefits

that genetic technology will inevitably provide."

Kass's essay is included in the forthcoming The Moral Boundaries

of Genetic Technology, Clarisa Long, ed., AEI Press.


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