Emory University School of Law
The year 2000 provides an opportunity to reflect and speculate on human life in the year 3000. We cannot know what human life will be like a thousand years from now, but we can and should think seriously about what we would like it to be. What is unique about human beings and about being human? What makes humans human? What qualities of the human species must we preserve to preserve humanity itself? What would a "better human" be like? If genetic engineering techniques work, are there human qualities we should try to temper, and ones we should try to enhance? And if human rights and human dignity depend on our human nature, can we change our "humanness" without undermining our dignity and our rights? We can begin our exploration of these questions by looking back on some of the major events of the past one thousand years in Western civilization and the human proclivities they illuminate.
George J. Annas,
The Man on the Moon, Immortality, and Other Millennial Myths: The Prospects and Perils of Human Genetic Engineering,
Emory Law Journal
Available at: https://scholarship.law.bu.edu/faculty_scholarship/1232