This rant and summary is in relation to the article “Can we engineer love and morality?” By Richard Weikart September 14th, 2012.
Oxford philosophy professor Julian Salvulescu made his “moral enhancement” eugenics campaign public. Historian Richard Weikart finds scientific fault with Salvulescu’s ideas as well as personal conflicts regarding values. Salvulescu’s plan is to provide selective and voluntary abortions for genetically “less moral” embryos.The philosopher believes our values are entirely genetic and we can create a better world through selecting the apparently moral embryos. This is a tempting idea from a philosophical standpoint, especially with all of the recent worldwide mass shootings and bombings. However, Weikart points out that this is scientifically illogical and irrelevant. The philosopher believes that it is our moral obligation to make this advancement in genetics while Weikart argues that it isn’t. In the conclusion, it’s pointed out that engineering people to be more loving and moral is contradictory with the way it would be done, implying that physically engineering loving people is wrong. To create kind, loving humans we need to be kind, loving and accepting of all humans. If we were to simply eliminate morally lesser humans from the genetic evolutionary process well… History would repeat itself. Salvescu’s ideas are reminiscent of Hitler’s even though Salvescu argues that it’s different because he’s thinking through it more rationally and not acting impulsively. Weikart begins the article bringing the reader up to date with the campaigns and histories. As the article goes on, it becomes more and more opinionated until the very end where he ends with a personal rhetorical question. This is an effective way to persuade the reader to agree with Weikart because he plays on emotions after beginning with facts and reasoning.
Although Weikart and Salvescu are coming from educated places, neither are scientists. Weikart points out the scientifically impossibly complicated ideas from Salvescu, but Weikart is a historian, not a scientist.
I mean. I’m not a scientist either, but this is just my innocent, third party opinion.