Sports Quotes (3 quotes)
It might be argued that a genetically enhanced athlete, like a drug-enhanced one, would have an unfair advantage over his unenhanced competitors. But the fairness argument against enhancement has a fatal flaw: it has always been the case that some athletes are better endowed genetically than others, and yet we do not consider this to undermine the fairness of competitive sports. From the standpoint of fairness, enhanced genetic differences would be no worse than natural ones, assuming they were safe and made available to all. If genetic enhancement in sports is morally objectionable, it must be for reasons other than fairness.
Looking back now, however, I can see certain threads in what I did that were fully as important in leading me to aviation as being mechanical perhaps was. There is the thread of my father’s being a railroad man and the many trips we had together—by which I discovered the fascination of new people and new places. There is the thread of liking all kinds of sports and games and of not being afraid to try those that some of my elders in those days looked upon as being only for boys. There is the thread of liking to experiment—perhaps this thread is the same as the one I have just mentioned—and of the something inside me that has always liked to try new things. There they all are, weaving in and out and here and there through the years before aviation and I got together.
Some see a clear line between genetic enhancement and other ways that people seek improvement in their children and themselves. Genetic manipulation seems somehow worse—more intrusive, more sinister—than other ways of enhancing performance and seeking success. But, morally speaking, the difference is less significant than it seems. Bioengineering gives us reason to question the low-tech, high-pressure child-rearing practices we commonly accept. The hyperparenting familiar in our time represents an anxious excess of mastery and dominion that misses the sense of life as a gift. This draws it disturbingly close to eugenics... Was the old eugenics objectionable only insofar as it was coercive? Or is there something inherently wrong with the resolve to deliberately design our progeny’s traits... But removing coercion does not vindicate eugenics. The problem with eugenics and genetic engineering is that they represent a one-sided triumph of willfulness over giftedness, of dominion over reverence, of molding over beholding.