You will have 20 minutes to plan, write and revise an essay about the topic below. Your response will be judged on how well you develop a position, organize your ideas, present supporting details, and control the elements of standard written English. You should write 200-300 words.
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The Ethics of Genetic Engineering and Manipulation
Genetic engineering and manipulation have sparked significant ethical debates in recent years. With advancements in biotechnology, scientists now have the ability to manipulate the genetic makeup of living organisms, including humans. While some argue that genetic engineering holds great promise for improving human health and addressing various societal challenges, others raise concerns about the potential consequences and ethical implications of such practices.
One of the primary ethical concerns surrounding genetic engineering is the potential for unintended consequences. Modifying genes in an organism’s DNA can have unpredictable effects, both in the individual being modified and in future generations. There is a risk of creating unintended genetic mutations or introducing new diseases that could have far-reaching implications for the overall well-being of a species. Additionally, altering the genetic makeup of organisms raises questions about the natural order and the potential disruption of ecosystems.
Another ethical consideration is the concept of playing “God.” Critics argue that manipulating genes goes against the natural order and is a form of hubris. By altering the genetic blueprint of living beings, we are essentially taking control of evolution and assuming a level of power that should be reserved for nature alone. This raises concerns about the ethical boundaries of scientific intervention and the potential for misuse or abuse of genetic engineering technologies.
Furthermore, genetic engineering raises ethical questions regarding the concept of consent and autonomy. In the context of human genetic manipulation, individuals may be subjected to interventions without their informed consent, potentially infringing upon their right to make decisions about their own bodies. This is particularly relevant when it comes to germline gene editing, which can affect future generations who have no say in the matter.