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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 17, Issue 1, Spring 2017

Joseph Tham
Pages 51-62
DOI: 10.5840/ncbq20171716

Resisting the Temptation of Perfection

With the advance of CRISPR technology, parents will be tempted to create superior offspring who are healthier, smarter, and stronger. In addition to the fact that many of these procedures are considered immoral for Catholics, they could change human nature in radical and possibly disastrous ways. This article focuses on the question of human perfectionism. First, by considering the relationship between human nature and technology, it analyzes whether such advances can improve human nature in addition to curing diseases. Next, it looks at the moral and spiritual dimensions of perfection by analyzing the cardinal virtues. It argues that seeking perfection in the physical sense alone may not be prudent or wise and may produce greater injustices and weaken the human spirit in the long run. Understanding our true calling to perfection can help us resist the temptation of hubris to enhance the human race through technology.