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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
and

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
be

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


"That our exuberant new biologists and their technological
minions

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
the

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

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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