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Instant Event Idea
Gattaca is a movie that takes place
in the future, when genetically engineered human beings are the
norm. Those people who are not genetically engineered have become
an underclass of sorts, given fewer opportunities due to their supposed
lack of ability. However, one member of this underclass, Vincent,
refuses to give up his dream of working for Gattaca, an aerospace
firm, and being able to travel in space. To achieve this goal, he
must assume the identity of another human being whose genes are
acceptable for space travel.
Suggested Ethical Questions for Discussion:
1. May cloning one day lead to genetically engineered people? Could
those people who are "normal" (not genetically engineered)
become obsolete and outcasts if this happened? Is there any connection
that may be drawn between cloning and genetic engineering?
2. Can the argument be made that characteristics already in place
(via race, class, etc.) decide a person's life? Would genetic
engineering actually be able to level the playing field in this
sense, at least for most people?
3. As science and technology become more advanced and more prevalent
in everyday life, are changes in humanity, such as genetic engineering,
inevitable? Is reproductive cloning inevitable, or does therapeutic
cloning inevitably lead to genetic engineering of human beings?
4. Assuming that cloning may one day be able to cure the diseases
it hopes to, if genetic engineering of humans were to come along,
would it be possible for people to live forever (if perfect organs
could be guaranteed in fertilization)? Is cloning the "fountain
of youth"? What types of effects could this have on humanity
and on Earth?
5. How do you think that cloned or genetically engineered humans
would be able to coexist with typical birth humans? Would there
necessarily always be a struggle between the two, or could equal