Genomics, Society and Policy 3 (3):43-59 (2007)

Authors
Robert Sparrow
Monash University
Abstract
The argument of Julian Savulescu’s 2001 paper, “Procreative Beneficence: Why We Should Select the Best Children” is flawed in a number of respects. Savulescu confuses reasons with obligations and equivocates between the claim that parents have some reason to want the best for their children and the more radical claim that they are morally obligated to attempt to produce the best child possible. Savulescu offers a prima facie implausible account of parental obligation, as even the best parents typically fail to do everything they think would be best for their children let alone everything that is in fact best for their children. The profound philosophical difficulties which beset the attempt to formulate a plausible account of the best human life constitute a further independent reason to resile from Savulescu’s conclusion. Savulescu’s argument also requires parents to become complicit with racist and homophobic oppression, which is yet another reason to reject it. Removing the equivocation from Savulescu’s argument allows us to see that the assertion of an obligation to choose the “best child” has much more in common with the “old” eugenics than Savulescu acknowledges
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DOI 10.1186/1746-5354-3-3-43
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References found in this work BETA

An Outline of a System of Utilitarian Ethics.J. J. C. SMART - 1961 - [Carlton]Melbourne University Press on Behalf of the University of Adelaide.

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Citations of this work BETA

Imposing Genetic Diversity.Robert Sparrow - 2015 - American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):2-10.
A Not‐So‐New Eugenics.Robert Sparrow - 2011 - Hastings Center Report 41 (1):32-42.
Liberalism and Eugenics.Robert Sparrow - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (3):499 - 517.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

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