Ethical Perspectives

March 2012

Are New Genetic Technologies Unlucky for Luck Egalitarianism

David Hunter


New genetic technologies can not only be used to ‘cure’ many significant healthcare conditions, but at least potentially they can be used in ways that either change the user’s identity significantly and/or cause a different person to come into existence. It might be argued that these technologies present a challenge for Luck Egalitarians – the essence of this challenge being the claim that, given a commitment towards luck neutralisation, a Luck Egalitarian ought to be committed to equalisation of talent using this technology, which appears repugnant. In the present contribution I will argue that this challenge is not as powerful as it appears, and that Luck Egalitarianism has sufficient resources to resist a commitment to equalisation of talent of a repugnant kind. Furthermore it provides us a useful framework to consider the introduction of technologies of this nature.

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To  Ethical Perspectives 1/2012