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Eugenics?


lrokwild
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here, check out these threads if you haven't already; they discuss eugenics and genetics in some detail and may give you some feedback to your question that has already been briefed upon:

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=16702&highlight=eugenics

 

http://www.scienceforums.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17220&highlight=eugenics

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To answer your question: No. The German Socialist Party (better known as the Nazi Party) used in the '40's with unspeakable results. The whole premise is that some humans are better than others and therefore should be the only ones who reproduce. That's completely unethical. If I weren't tired I'd say more. But I am. Nap time.

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Should we find a way to make Eugenics work?

 

Ask yourself this: If eugenics was practised at the time of your conception, what makes you think you would not have been weeded out?

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From the first thread:

 

Originally Posted by Arthur W. Haupt

 

Elimination of Defectives - By defectives is meant not only the feeble-minded and insane, but criminals, paupers, tramps, beggars and all persons who are a burden to prisons, asylums, almshouses and similar institutions, a great many defectives are at large, free to propagate their kind. For example, it has been estimated that there are between 300,000 and 500,000 feeble-minded persons in the United States of which perhaps only one-tenth are confined in institutions. Although these individulas are not a direct menace to society themsleves, as a class they are reprouding at a higher rate then normal persons.

...at least 60% of them [cases of feeblemindedness] are due to an inherited tendancy, and cannot be corrected... For the most part, it seems to be inherited as a simple Mendelian recessive. There is also ample evidence that many forms of insanity are recessive.

 

The preceeding statement goes to extremes and is over generalized especially in not accounting for the fact that "normal people" go through some rough shit in their lives and as such may be in one of these "feeble-minded" states or institutions. That said, I think it hits on the "week genes being passed on" issue Im quite adamant about. Anyone who fails to recognize the fact that since the larger part of humanity has subverted the most crucial part of evolution, natural selection, and that week genes are being propegated amoung our species, is failing to see truth and reality(as brutal as it may be, thats life). People of inferior physical(health, immunity etc.) and intellectual (rational/critical thinking skills and social skills..mabey even sanity) strength, who, in the natural world would never survive long enough to reproduce ARE surviving due to both technological advances and a society that bends over backwards to ensure their survival. Surely Im not pointing the finger at anyone, after all, how could I, It just kinda turned out this way. It is human nature to act collectively for the survival of, first: the individual, then the offspring and then the species. But by god, we are in a state of obvious imballance and if we cant correct it ourselves, guess what, nature will. I believe cancer is an indication of this. Its linked to a fundamental weekness in the genes. At any rate, Im personally sick of being an intelligent, independent, self-reliant, self-sufficient individual who works for and earns all that he has, only to have a large part of that taken away from me so that the miserable people who think that life and society OWE them something and wait around for help and handouts all the time, can survive and breed when they shouldnt. Harsh as hell I know! Ive spent enough time in the real world to validate these OPINIONS for myself.

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If eugenics was practised at the time of your conception, what makes you think you would not have been weeded out?
Maybe because he's genetically healthy?

 

 

Anyway, widespread genetic engineering will probably be available before the sort of social changes that would allow a system of eugenics to be implemented could ever come about, so I doubt it would be necessary.

 

That said, I don't think it need necessarily be a bad idea. The Nazis have made it a taboo subject, but practiced scientifically and humanely I don't see what would be wrong with it. It's only necessary to look at the sort of families which on average have the most children to see the value a system of eugenics could have. As I understand it, it's already practiced to a very limited extent in the form of genetic counselling, given to couples whose offspring are especially likely to have a serious genetic condition. I see no problem with extending this sort of thing (to include family intellectual history, and the like), especially since the eventual, eugenics-regulated society would likely be populated for the most part with happier people than the society of today.

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Ask yourself this: If eugenics was practised at the time of your conception, what makes you think you would not have been weeded out?

 

I realize this is fairly irrelevant, but that statement represents a fairly annoying and persistent fallacy, in my opinion. It's an appeal to emotion that can be applied to practically anything, and is not particularly useful, since changing practically any event in the past would result in "you" not being here. For example, I saw a t-shirt the other day that read, "Thanks for not aborting me, Mom!" Ok, fine, we all cling to existence. But by that logic, he should be equally emphatic in thanking his parents for having sex on that particular day, at that particular time, in that particular position, such that the particular sperm cell carrying half his genetic information was the one that made it to the ovum first.

 

Anyway, I guess my point is that once you take away the strict sense of "I," as you must in any hypothetical of this nature, then you could just as easily say "Boy, I wish they'd perfected eugenics by now, because if they had I'd be genetically perfect!"

 

...incidentally, I'm not in favor of eugenics, I just had this rant knocking around in side me trying to get out for a while.

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I realize this is fairly irrelevant, but that statement represents a fairly annoying and persistent fallacy, in my opinion.

....... etc.

 

Having read that, I felt a PCS type moment coming on. I took a couple of tablets, had a rest, and recovered. Had the moment not passed, I might have said:

 

1. If it is not relevant, don't say it

 

2. It was a question and not a statement so it couild not have been a fallacy.

 

3. Any implied fallacy was of your own imagining.

 

4. Why is it wrong to take the "I" out of a hypothetical? A valid test of such a hypothetical as this is to imagine how it applies to oneself.

 

The original question:

"Should we find a way to make Eugenics work?"

Makes two statements on which to base a question,

1. We already have eugenics,

2. It does not work.

 

The first statement is arguably untrue, ( but read on) thus the second statement is meaningless.

 

In this thread we are assuming that eugenics is already with us, and that being so, how can it be improved?

 

Well let us see who, to public knowledge, has already explored the possibilities.

 

Going backwards we have, as usual, Hitler, who got the idea from Nietsche,

who got the idea from...well there are gaps in its history, but we can follow the idea of it all the way back to Genesis. Is that or is that not the real McCoy of eugenics? If we mess around with that then we are all doomed, I tell ye, doomed!

 

But as I did not have a PCS moment, I must have dreamed I wrote that. Very satisfying dream, though.

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see.. eugenics is a good concept.. had there not been a huge emphasis for humans on the NURTURE part of nature vs. nurture.

 

I'm sorry but I'd like you to back up that 'eugenics is a good concept.' How is eugenics, at any level, a good idea? The essence of eugenics is that ‘we’ (‘we’ being those in charge) can decide who is worthy to live and reproduce. I, for one, view this as a horrible idea. How can humans hold such power? I honestly cannot fathom how anyone can justify this, that certain individuals are actually worthless and should not be allowed to 1. live or 2. reproduce. No human life is worthless; it just isn’t. From both a moral and evolutionary point of view, people are valuable. We all have a birthright to be able to live and reproduce, thus leaving our mark on the Earth. No government, no institution no amount of rhetoric can void this.

 

From time to time people have been convinced that the ‘feeble-minded’ and ‘weak’ do not deserve to live. Infamously, the Nazis undertook a harsh program of ‘cleansing’ that left 6 million humans dead and ‘sterilized’. The United States, so-called bastion of freedom, even allowed eugenics to invade the shores of America, neutering those deemed to be ‘worthless.’ Carrie Buck was, in the ‘20’s, deemed “feeble-minded” and after her case went before the Supreme Court, the view was upheld that she should be sterilized and thus, she was. After that, until the 1970’s, 60,000 American citizens were sterilized. How is that a good idea?

 

Quelling the spirit of those who, arbitrarily, are seen to be ‘unfit’ is a direct blow to human freedom. Maybe I misinterpreted your statement, and I hope I did, but in any case, eugenics is, and will always be, a tool of evil to further the idea of purity in whatever form that takes: racial, mental or otherwise.

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I think if we as humans want to better our future, increase lifespan, and essentially help to evolve our race into a stronger, smarter, healthier, faster, and evolutionarily better species, we need to stop wasting countless man hours, money, resources and time taking care of babies that have severe disabilities or genetic predispositions to disease or illness.

 

Look how far we have come through evolution; survival of the fittest has propelled us into amazing creatures, capable of very complicated cognitive intelligence. We have used our superior intelligences to battle evolution for years now. We live longer, we are able to survive infections, injuries and so on, but yet we have more and more disease, more and more genetically inherited flaws, disabilities, illnesses, ext. When these people are born we take care of them, we do our absolute best to keep these people living... when nature obviously had other plans for them.

 

Ok, so killing babies with MS or AIDS or what ever is probably not a very nice thing to do. Hitler tried... had the right idea... but didn’t have the technology to make it morally acceptable...and also... he was crazy... and manipulated people into killing perfectly healthy people. So ok... Hitler’s’ version of eugenics was totally ass backwards.

 

My proposal is this, we have the technology to target specific areas of DNA and alter them to our likings. Why don’t we prevent illness, disability and "flaws" before they even start? If we put all our money, time and resources into changing DNA in an embryo to prevent predispositions to illness and disease as we did into our drug companies that only mask the problems... or treat the problems, we would make astronomical advancements.

 

Prevention... not Treatment... we have this idea of medicine totally ass backwards.

 

Why can’t we start using our intelligences to prevent genetic flaws and weaknesses? Instead we are so hell bent on treating them... and I would argue it’s all for the money... and our world is falling apart... contrary to what the media and governments will have you believe. Anyways that’s another topic. All I’m saying is Eugenics should be our number 1 priority.

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I think if we as humans want to better our future, increase lifespan, and essentially help to evolve our race into a stronger, smarter, healthier, faster, and evolutionarily better species, we need to stop wasting countless man hours, money, resources and time taking care of babies that have severe disabilities or genetic predispositions to disease or illness.
we shouldn't necesarily try to make ourselves stronger as such, but it is a good idea to keep us from getting weaker. we shouldn't let people with genetic disorders reproduce. if they want children, there are plenty of children to adopt.

 

 

Ok, so killing babies with MS or AIDS or what ever is probably not a very nice thing to do. Hitler tried... had the right idea... but didn’t have the technology to make it morally acceptable...and also... he was crazy... and manipulated people into killing perfectly healthy people. So ok... Hitler’s’ version of eugenics was totally ass backwards.
there are other ways to do it besides killing. we can even still treat them. we just need to keep them from reproducing. it could be something like manditory sterilization after puberty for people with certain genetic disorders.

 

Prevention... not Treatment... we have this idea of medicine totally ass backwards.
both
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it isn't illegal. unless they object. at the time of sterilization, however, they would be minors. it is the closest to immunization against genetic disorders that we could do in the forseable future and it is far more humane than killing millions of people.

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Right, but I think forced sterilization is still horrible. It strikes me as an inhuman thing to do. And humans survived for thousands of years without eugenics, so is it really necessary? If you haven't read about the trial of Carrie Buck, I think you should:

 

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gould_eugenics.html

 

The very chilling thing to me was the lack of defense she received. It seemed as if everyone thought she was useless. And, as a question to the proponents of this, isn't that what eugenics is about, who is inferior and thus shouldn't 'pollute' the gene pool?

 

To me, it sounds like the Darwin Awards meets the Nazis.

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I'm sorry but I'd like you to back up that 'eugenics is a good concept.' How is eugenics, at any level, a good idea? The essence of eugenics is that ‘we’ (‘we’ being those in charge) can decide who is worthy to live and reproduce. I, for one, view this as a horrible idea. How can humans hold such power? I honestly cannot fathom how anyone can justify this, that certain individuals are actually worthless and should not be allowed to 1. live or 2. reproduce. No human life is worthless; it just isn’t. From both a moral and evolutionary point of view, people are valuable. We all have a birthright to be able to live and reproduce, thus leaving our mark on the Earth. No government, no institution no amount of rhetoric can void this.

 

From time to time people have been convinced that the ‘feeble-minded’ and ‘weak’ do not deserve to live. Infamously, the Nazis undertook a harsh program of ‘cleansing’ that left 6 million humans dead and ‘sterilized’. The United States, so-called bastion of freedom, even allowed eugenics to invade the shores of America, neutering those deemed to be ‘worthless.’ Carrie Buck was, in the ‘20’s, deemed “feeble-minded” and after her case went before the Supreme Court, the view was upheld that she should be sterilized and thus, she was. After that, until the 1970’s, 60,000 American citizens were sterilized. How is that a good idea?

 

Quelling the spirit of those who, arbitrarily, are seen to be ‘unfit’ is a direct blow to human freedom. Maybe I misinterpreted your statement, and I hope I did, but in any case, eugenics is, and will always be, a tool of evil to further the idea of purity in whatever form that takes: racial, mental or otherwise.[/Quote]

 

Don't forget that humans are animals, what you are saying is totally contradicting natural selection. Natural selection OPERATES on the weak and the strong. As cruel as this may sound, but there are lives that natural selection deems as worthless, those are the lives with a fitness of zero. The Nazis were stupid eugeneticists because they had no idea how genes worked. They basically based it on three factors: hair color, eye color, and how fast you can run. Natural selection operates on much more than three factors. I'm saying if WE happened to know what all those factors were, only THEN might it be conceivable. I did not mean that WE should have the power to control who lives and who dies, but rather that natural selection should be able to freely decide who lives and who dies. But as a race, there are often times when WE humans are contradicting the orthodox ways of natural selection.

 

Also, of course the strong should be able to dictate who should reproduce and who shouldn't. That's just how natural selection works. The top male seal gets 80% of all the females to reproduce with, therefore this strong male is essentially dictating who gets to reproduce and who doesn't. This is just how it works in the state of nature. Of course we could then go into a big philosophical argument as to whether humans have transcended and no under follow the rules of the game. But we'd be the first species in the history of the planet to do so if that were the case.

 

Anyways the first point was I trying to make is that, even if we did know what genes might affect fitness, we still have no control as to how nurturing can affect their fitness. As it is ultimately the PHENOTYPE that determines fitness.

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Don't forget that humans are animals, what you are saying is totally contradicting natural selection. Natural selection OPERATES on the weak and the strong. As cruel as this may sound, but there are lives that natural selection deems as worthless, those are the lives with a fitness of zero. The Nazis were stupid eugeneticists because they had no idea how genes worked. They basically based it on three factors: hair color, eye color, and how fast you can run. Natural selection operates on much more than three factors. I'm saying if WE happened to know what all those factors were, only THEN might it be conceivable. I did not mean that WE should have the power to control who lives and who dies, but rather that natural selection should be able to freely decide who lives and who dies. But as a race, there are often times when WE humans are contradicting the orthodox ways of natural selection.

whoever you quoted said "How is eugenics, at any level, a good idea? The essence of eugenics is that ‘we’ (‘we’ being those in charge) can decide who is worthy to live and reproduce. I, for one, view this as a horrible idea. How can humans hold such power?"

 

by helping them survive, you are doing just that.

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in those thousands of years' date=' we haven't been keeping the week around until recently.

 

is forced sterilization really that bad? they can still adopt.[/quote']

 

The main reason we are living longer now (I take it that's what you meant?) is because of sanitation and medicine - not eugenics. Eugenics hasn't even been used that much, except for a brief but horrible stint in the US. So, no I really don't think it's helpful.

 

And, I really do think it is that bad. The acid test would be: would you allow a court order to mandate you get sterilized if it's discovered tomorrow you have some rare genetic disease? I wouldn't. And I think it's a grave encroachment on human rights to force people to be sterilized. Why do you think it's such a good idea if our life-span has been increasing without the help of eugenics? Keep in mind, like I said, that even though we are becoming healthier only recently, that doesn't mean it's because of eugenics.

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The main reason we are living longer now (I take it that's what you meant?) is because of sanitation and medicine - not eugenics. Eugenics hasn't even been used that much, except for a brief but horrible stint in the US. So, no I really don't think it's helpful.
what i meant was previously, we let the genetically weak die. thus letting evolution do it's thing and strengthening our species.

 

now, we keep those with genetic diseases around and let them spread their genes which weakens our species.

 

And, I really do think it is that bad. The acid test would be: would you allow a court order to mandate you get sterilized if it's discovered tomorrow you have some rare genetic disease? I wouldn't.
why is that so bad? it's not like they wouldn't be able to have children. they can still have sex. only difference is their genes won't be spread.

 

And I think it's a grave encroachment on human rights to force people to be sterilized. Why do you think it's such a good idea if our life-span has been increasing without the help of eugenics? Keep in mind, like I said, that even though we are becoming healthier only recently, that doesn't mean it's because of eugenics.
and genetic diseases are on the rise....hmmm, lets see why...
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I always considered it irresponsible to alow the human race to go on the way it has been. Not for the race itself exactly, though that is certainly a factor, but for the individual victims harmed by this ease of survival.

 

If people who shouldn't have children aren't allowed to (for the sake of their potential offspring), think about how many of the children that are born but for some reason lose their parents can find homes in the arms of people who otherwise couldn't have their own. The benefits are incalculable. The negative aspects come down to a negligable question of a single branch of ethics while ignoring more important issues.

 

I'd never propose the extermination of the weak, whether that be mental or physical, indeed, such people should tended with the utmost care, be allowed to enjoy life how they choose. But why should we work to create a world where ever more and more people are prone to such things?

 

---edit---

 

that is exactly what i was saying.
Sorry, tired, must've missed it when I skimmed.
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I always considered it irresponsible to alow the human race to go on the way it has been. Not for the race itself exactly' date=' though that is certainly a factor, but for the individual victims harmed by this ease of survival.

 

If people who shouldn't have children aren't allowed to, think about how many of the children that are born but for some reason lose their parents can find homes in the arms of people who otherwise couldn't have their own. The benefits are incalculable. The negative aspects come down to a negligable question of a single branch of ethics while ignoring more important issues.

 

I'd never propose the extermination of the weak, whether that be mental or physicalindeed, such people should tended with the utmost care, be allowed to enjoy life how they choose. But why should we work to create a world where ever more and more people are prone to such things?[/quote']that is exactly what i was saying.

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