Fritz Allhoff, “Germ-Line Genetic Enhancement and Rawlsian Primary Goods”, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15.1 (2005): 39-56. Reprinted in Journal of Evolution and Technology 18.1 (2008): 10-26. Direct reply in Colin Farrelly, “Justice in the Genetically Transformed Society”, Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15.1 (2005): 91-99.
Abstract: Genetic interventions raise a host of moral issues and, of its various species, germ-line genetic enhancement is the most morally contentious. This paper surveys various arguments against germ-line enhancement and attempts to demonstrate their inadequacies. A positive argument is advanced in favor of certain forms of germ- line enhancements, which holds that they are morally permissible if and only if they augment Rawlsian primary goods, either directly or by facilitating their acquisition.