Argument Against Unlimited Procreative Freedom

847 Words4 Pages
PHIL 164
The Argument Against Unlimited Procreative Freedom As scientific progress marches forward, the possibilities associated with process of procreation and childbearing have expanded significantly. The idea of procreative freedom follows generations of extending the right of bearing children, and supports the freedom to participate in non-coital procreative activities. Considering modern technological innovation, such as in vitro fertilization(IVF), the potential ethical and moral impacts of embryonic and genetic selection is reason to reconsider the concept of unlimited procreative freedom. I believe the strongest argument against unlimited procreative freedom is that the notion fails because it does not appropriately treat
…show more content…
Autonomy is the concept of an individual 's basic independence from the will of others, and is an essential element of ethical practice. It is fair to establish that the violation of actor autonomy to satisfy personal desire is unethical by general standards. By permitting parents to subject the foundational genetic makeup of their child, a future individual person, to their personal preferences and own desires, unlimited procreative freedom violate the child’s present and future autonomy. Deontological philosophers avoid the unethical violation of autonomy by treating actors as “ends” and never as “means to an end.” In cases of genetic selection, say sex selection, a “desirable” individual is the final goal of the entire process, which clearly treats the child as means to another’s end, not as an end itself. Children, who are individual people, become commodities which adhere to consumer demand, and this constitutes a clear ethical…show more content…
However, it does leave room for two significant counter arguments, 1) that children are, by nature, actors which have their autonomy violated in some sense by the parents the nurturing process and gene selection is not a radical departure from the exercising of preference present in rearing, and 2) the perpetuation of sexism is not an issue because less of the disadvantaged group would give them more power in the society. Although these are strong objections to the claims made in the argument, an sufficient response can be made to each. To the first counter, although children are inevitably the subjects of the parent’s will, by allowing the parent to shape the child so radically so early in the relationship, the relationship between parent and child is ultimately different. The influence and goals of the parent become the foundation of the “family,” and individual desire will be undermined. To the second argument, a historical response could be offered. In societies where infanticide is common and there were significantly more men than women, the dynamics of power did not shift and are often exacerbated. Take central African tribal society as an example, where lower female populations resulted in the horrific cultural practice of genital

More about Argument Against Unlimited Procreative Freedom

Open Document