Pandoras Box Essay

2416 words - 10 pages

According to Greek mythology, the griefs of life came into existence as a result of the introduction of a woman into a purely man inhabited world. The gods were said to have only created men, until Zeus became angry with mankind and devised the most horrible punishment he could conceive, creating Woman. Zeus instructed the smith of the gods, Hephaestus, to create her from the materials of earth and make her irresistibly beautiful. Each of the Greek gods gave her a gift of skill, and aptly named her Pandora, meaning "all gifted." The messenger god, Hermes, with his winged sandals, took Zeus' ghastly creation down to earth, and with her a box given to her by the gods with instructions that it never be opened. One of the gifts that the gods had bestowed upon Pandora was a lively curiosity. After restraining her eagerness to view the contents of the box, Pandora finally lifted the lid and mistakenly released all nature of evil into the world: sickness, hatred, jealously, suffering, and greed. Just as each of the gods had endowed Pandora with a wonderful gift, so had they each stored in the box the greatest evil they could create. Pandora remorsefully tried to replace the lid on the box, but this awful creation had already instilled its evils forever into the life of man. Only one good thing resulted from Zeus' creation: the spirit of hope, which lay at the bottom of the box. (Geocities, "Pandoras Box") It is this hope for the possibility of extraordinary things in the future that motivates mans' curiosity and persistence in all walks of life. Such innate curiosity and hope is instilled in many by the prospect of eradicating all human suffering from debilitating genetic diseases. Through the discovery of the structure of DNA and the vast collection of knowledge of gene function, it is theoretically possible to change the human genome and eliminate the mistakes in the DNA code that cause disorders. Although this prevention of disease is theoretically possible, public fears and apprehensions have prevented this science from being applicable to humans thus far. With all is known about genes and DNA, the science of genetic engineering has few limitations except moral and ethical codes. The great effects that this new technology has to offer far outweighs the minute possibility that implications could arise. Under restrictions, the availability of genetic modification should be available to allow parents the choice for the prevention of suffering for their child.

One such apprehension against genetic modification is on the basis of "naturalistic fallacy," as Watson refers to it in his book DNA: The Secret of Life. This philosophical approach is taken by many when disputing the use of genetic modification. The common belief underpinning naturalistic fallacy is the assumption that the way nature intended is best. Society is intolerable to the idea of disturbing the so-called "natural order of things," yet so much of one's life is...

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