Insights 70 Days Ethics Plan
- Analyse the ethical issues involved in ethics of human gene editing. (150 Words)
Gene editing holds the key to preventing or treating debilitating genetic diseases, giving hope to millions of people around the world. Yet the same technology could unlock the path to designing our future children, enhancing their genome by selecting desirable traits such as height, eye color, and intelligence – thus, giving rise to various ethical issues related to individuals and society.
Gene editing is the modification of DNA sequences in living cells. It means that researchers can either add mutations or substitute genes in cells or organisms.
- The possibility of introducing unwanted mutations or DNA damage is a definite risk, and unwanted side effects cannot be predicted or controlled at the moment and any implications affect the person receiving treatment and future children in germ line editing.
- Germ-line alternations pose much greater ethical concerns. A mistake could harm future individuals by placing that mistake in every cell. Due to the possibility of off-target effects (edits in the wrong place) and mosaicism (when some cells carry the edit but others do not), safety is of primary concern.
- Genome editing potentially presents people with the very real possibility that any aspect of the human genome could be manipulated as we desire. This could mean eliminating harmful genetic conditions, or enhancing traits deemed advantageous, such as resistance to diseases .But this could also lead to Eugenics which refers to both the selection of positive traits (positive eugenics) and the removal of diseases or traits viewed negatively (negative eugenics). Eugenics in either form is concerning because it could be used to reinforce prejudice and narrow definitions of normalcy in our societies.
Justice and equity:-
- Gene editing could create an expectation that parents should actively select the best traits for their children. Unequal access and cultural differences affecting uptake could create large differences in the relative incidence of a given condition by region, ethnic group, or socioeconomic status. Genetic disease, once a universal common denominator, could instead become an artefact of class, geographic location, and culture. There is concern that genome editing will only be accessible to the wealthy and will increase existing disparities in access to health care and other interventions.
Genome-Editing Research Involving Embryos
- Many people have moral and religious objections to the use of human embryos for research
The underlying ethical concerns of scope and scale that genome editing brings still remain. If a technique can be used widely and efficiently, without careful oversight governing its use, it can readily become a new norm or an expectation. So a clearly defined oversight is necessary.
- “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” Analyse. (150 Words)
Courage is a highly admired virtue. Most often we associate the word with physical prowess or bravery. But there’s another form of valour that’s much more important because it comes up more often. It’s called moral courage – the willingness to face not physical danger but emotional pain, disapproval, financial insecurity, or uncertainty rather than compromise an ethical principle.
Aristotle does not simply bestow the title of courageous upon anyone, so long as they lack fear, no matter the situation. For example, a virtuous man should rightly fear the loss of a good reputation. As this example shows, the appropriateness or not, of courage in the right circumstances ought to inform us as to whether someone is actually courageous or not.
Courage is a value that is prerequisite for integrity of public servants. It is also essential to stand up for one’s beliefs conviction and attitude. Due to unpredictable nature of the work a civil servant carries out , only courage can guide to face the future challenges and yet maintain integrity.
Integrity is essential to self-esteem and the admiration of others. It requires us to put our comforts, possessions, friendships, and even jobs at risk in the defence of deeply held principles. It takes moral fortitude to be honest at the risk of ridicule, rejection, or retaliation or when doing so may jeopardize our income or career. It takes boldness to be accountable and own up to mistakes when doing so may get us in trouble. It takes backbone to stand tough with our kids when doing so may cost us their affection. So courage leads to strengthening of values like responsibility, honesty, truthfulness, integrity etc
Even important business concepts like leadership, innovation and sales wither in the absence of courage. Leadership takes making bold and often unpopular decisions. Leadership takes courage. Innovation involves creating ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas. Innovation takes courage. Sales requires being repeatedly rejected before closing a deal. Sales takes courage. Take away courage, and sales, innovation and leadership lose their potency.
Despite the force of fear, there have been many people throughout history who have been capable of confronting their most intimate fears and demonstrating the courage it takes to move forward. There are stories of those who showed that courage, despite having a lot to lose, and risking their own life in the process for instance role of Nelson Mandela fighting apartheid, social activists fighting for social causes like Medha Patkar, Malala etc.
Therefore as Maya Angelou said courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. Especially in public administration the role of courage is immense as brave decisions for the larger benefit of the society need to be taken everyday.
- Define the following with suitable examples:
a) Moral realism:-
Moral realism is an ethical view that says that there are certain moral facts and rules that every individual must follow. These facts are like a way of living, a moral lifestyle, that define your behavior towards people and other things.
Things which are right and those which are wrong, what should be done and what shouldn’t be, what is acceptable and what isn’t, are moral facts. Moral facts can be descriptive for a single or all individuals.
Stealing is morally wrong for all individuals.
Consider the moral sentence “Suicide is wrong.” According to moral realism, such a sentence claims there to be some objective property of “wrongness” associated with the act of suicide.
Emotivism teaches that moral statements do nothing more than express the speaker’s feelings about the issue. Hence, it is colloquially known as the hurrah/boo theory.
Moral statements are meaningless. This means that the first half of the statement ‘it was wrong to murder Fred’ adds nothing to the non-moral information that Fred has been murdered.
Moral statements only express the speaker’s feelings about the issue.
Later emotivists added this idea to Emotivism:By expressing the speaker’s feelings about a moral issue moral statements may influence another person’s thoughts and conduct.
Consider the moral sentence “Suicide is wrong.” According to some versions of emotivism, such a sentence merely expresses an attitude of the speaker; it only means something like “Boo on suicide”
c) Prescriptivism :-
Prescriptivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that, rather than expressing propositions, ethical sentences function similarly to imperatives which are universalizable whoever makes a moral judgment is committed to the same judgment in any situation where the same relevant facts obtain. prescriptivism was introduced by philosopher R. M. Hare
Like emotivists, Hare believes that moral discourse is not primarily informative or fact-stating. But whereas emotivists claim that moral language is mainly intended to express feelings or to influence behavior, Hare believes that the central purpose of moral talk is to guide behavior by telling someone what to do. Its main purpose is to “prescribe” (recommend) a certain act, not to get someone to do that act or to express one’s personal feelings or attitudes.
But according to prescriptivism, the statement “Suicide is wrong” means something more like “Do not commit suicide.” What it expresses is thus not primarily a description or an emotion, but an imperative.
Subjectivism teaches that there are no objective moral truths. Subjectivism is the meta-ethical view which claims that:
- Ethical sentences express propositions.
- Some such propositions are true
- The truth or falsity of such propositions is ineliminably dependent on the (actual or hypothetical) attitudes of people.
Ethical subjectivism stands in opposition to moral realism, which claims that moral propositions refer to objective facts, independent of human opinion.
The most common forms of ethical subjectivism are also forms of moral relativism, with moral standards held to be relative to each culture or society or even to every individual.
e) Virtue Ethics:-
Virtue ethics is a broad term for theories that emphasize the role of character and virtue in moral philosophy rather than either doing one’s duty or acting in order to bring about good consequences. A virtue ethicist is likely to give you this kind of moral advice: “Act as a virtuous person would act in your situation”.Virtue ethics refers to a collection of normative ethical philosophies that place an emphasis on being rather than doing.
Western tradition’s key concepts derive from ancient Greek philosophy. These concepts include arete (excellence or virtue), phronesis (practical or moral wisdom), and eudaimonia (flourishing)