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The Ethics of Population Engineering


VenusPrincess
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Is a greater percentage of the population today unable to make economically useful contributions to society, since the menial labor which they would have been capable of has been automated?  

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  1. 1. Is a greater percentage of the population today unable to make economically useful contributions to society, since the menial labor which they would have been capable of has been automated?

    • Yes
      0
    • No
      1
  2. 2. Is population engineering ethical provided that it can be done without excessive coercion?

    • Yes
      1
    • No
      0


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The industrial revolution resulted in a massive increase of automation, and when combined with the exponential growth of technological progress which has taken place since then it has resulted in many forms of menial labor being made obsolete.

Consider the following premise - relative to the past, a greater percentage of the population today is unable to make economically useful contributions to society, since the menial labor which they would have been capable of has been automated.

Assuming that the premise is true, then this problem will only get worse. Automation and technological progress will only continue to grow, and that rate of growth is also likely to accelerate. In due time with sufficient scientific progress one possible solution could be some sort of population engineering strategy along these rough guidelines:

1) Fertility reduction - the following have been observed to suppress fertility rates:

  • Education
  • Feminism
  • Contraception
  • Abortion

2) Understanding the relationship between the morphology of the neurological system and behavior

3) Understanding the relationship between genetics and the morphology of the neurological system

4) Genetic engineering - developing techniques to alter the germline of humans in order to:

  • Enhance cognitive function
  • Remove the sexual drive / make humans asexual

4) Artificial gestation / artificial wombs - gestating all humans artificially would have the desirable effects of:

  • Minimizing unnecessary sexual dimorphism
  • Preventing sexual selection for unnecessary "peacock" traits

 

Assuming that this strategy could be achieved without violence or excessive coercion, would it be an ethical approach? Education, feminism, contraception, abortion, studies of genetics and the brain, and artificial wombs are all wanted by various groups of people for completely legitimate reasons unrelated to population engineering already. By simply combining these concepts we can solve our problem.

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11 hours ago, VenusPrincess said:

Education, feminism, contraception, abortion, studies of genetics and the brain, and artificial wombs

I have no issues with increasing the availability to any of these. In fact I would say that we've been doing that for years without even considering that it would be useful for population engineering. It probably is also useful for technological advancement and reducing disease.

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Its not clear that your original premise is true.  While menial jobs in many industries have become automated, many service-oriented jobs have been created.  Service jobs also contribute to society and are part of the gross national product.

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