The Case Against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering

Three years ago in The Atlantic, the Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel wrote a critique of genetic engineering titled “The Case Against Perfection.” Now he has turned it into a book. The title is the same, but the text has changed, and sections have been added. That’s what human beings do. We try to improve things.

Sandel thinks this vision of freedom is flawed. Part of freedom, he argues, “consists in a persisting negotiation with the given.” To abolish the given by re-engineering not only our world but also ourselves would “leave us with nothing to affirm or behold outside our own will.” This is a profound insight. But it’s not fatal to freedom. It’s fatal to perfection.

Source: NY Times.