A Confucian reflection on genetic enhancement.
American Journal of Bioethics 2010 April; 10(4): 62-70
This essay explores a proper Confucian vision on genetic enhancement. It argues that while Confucians can accept a formal starting point that Michael Sandel proposes in his ethics of giftedness, namely, that children should be taken as gifts, Confucians cannot adopt his generalist strategy. The essay provides a Confucian full ethics of giftedness by addressing a series of relevant questions, such as what kind of gifts children are, where the gifts are from, in which way they are given, and for what purpose they are given. It indicates that Confucians should sort out different types of enhancement and bring them to the test of the Confucian values in terms of both Confucian virtue principles and specific ritual rules. It concludes that Confucians can accept some types of enhancement but must reject others.
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