In a life of technological advancement, we are faced with many ethical issues regarding the natural world. Humans have become capable of scientifically manipulating genes to create organisms that nature never intended to exist. Although we have the technology at our disposal, is it ethical to change living organisms to better satisfy our own needs? Is it environmentally sound? Do we know enough about the consequences of such activities to make safe judgments? Many companies have made large profits on genetically altered materials. Tomatoes are bigger and corn is golder. Consumers are happier. The United States Food and Drug Administration does not require that farmers label their genetically engineered products. So why should we care about genetically altered foods?
Genes may be likened to individual computer programs or routines for human development. In DNA, we have code for the makeup of a specific organism and all of its traits. Manipulating this code is, in theory, hacking into a system to which we do not and, I believe, should not have access. Ron Epstein describes genetic engineering as
“the artificial modification of the genetic code of a livi…
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… that now exists. In addition, if humans are given the power to manipulate the genes of living organisms, what prohibits us from building our own humans, from constructing computers that look and act like humans, and from slowly eliminating all of nature’s intentions in order to formulate a world that we select?
1 Epstein, Ron. “Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering.” http://online.sfsu.edu/~rone/GE Essays/Redesigning.htm.
2 Grogan, John and Cheryl Long. “The Problem with Genetic Engineering.” Organic Gardening Magazine, 2000.
3 Sterling, John. “Why Patagonia? Why now?” From the Early Spring 2001 Patagonia Catalog. Reno: Patagonia, 2001. 23.
4 Grogan and Long. “The Problem with Genetic Engineering.”
5 Epstein. “Redesigning the World: Ethical Questions about Genetic Engineering.”
My Definition of Success
What is success?
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest crtics and endure the betrayl of flase friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson —
I define success by how much I am able to be of service to others. Public service is the most honorable profession! You might be a police officer in Nebraska or a nurse in Canada; a mayor in South Africa or a council person in England; a custodian at a nonprofit in Australia or a secretary for a city in Zimbabwe; a teacher in Alabama or a college student preparing for public service in Ohio — regardless of where and what, public service is an honorable profession!
But the shine of an honorable career can be easily tarnished by the temptations of the post-modern culture. The world tells us to defi…