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Thread: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

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    Deranged rock ape Member Quirinus's Avatar
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    Post Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Been reading a lot of books about evolution lately, and that incest thread elsewhere in the Backroom got me thinking: a part of natural selection is the demise of less advantaged individuals in favour of more well-adapted/tougher individuals. This fact is celebrated in numerous books and Discovery Channel specials. So why is there such stigma when the same principle is applied to human beings -- i.e. eugenics?
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    Iron Fist Senior Member Husar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Well, I think we had the topic here before and one more rational point was that those who are healthy now, may not be healthy anymore when the conditions on the planet change or a new disease comes up etc., having a broad base of different genes could help humanity survive then. Apart from that there's a belief of equality and that everyone should get the same chances to live and have fun, or in other words, if you were unfortunate enough to fall into the category of "not fit enough for life so we're gonna get rid of you", would you just happily agree? Which standards would have to be applied anyway? Whose standards are the best? Are black people better because their skin is more resistant to sunlight which might be important due to global warming? Are white people superior because some say so? Or are the Asians superior because they are many and coming up economically? Or do you think more along the lines of getting rid of uhm, sick people, but then again, who's sick enough to qualify, you got glasses? Sorry, but please follow the guy with the gun...
    Last edited by Husar; 04-17-2008 at 10:49.


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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    Been reading a lot of books about evolution lately, and that incest thread elsewhere in the Backroom got me thinking: a part of natural selection is the demise of less advantaged individuals in favour of more well-adapted/tougher individuals. This fact is celebrated in numerous books and Discovery Channel specials. So why is there such stigma when the same principle is applied to human beings -- i.e. eugenics?
    Humans have civil liberties - most would argue that animals don't. Further, I like to think we have evolved beyond the simple dog-eats-dog idea.

    Also, who would determine who can no longer breed? How would we know that their view was correct?
    Last edited by CountArach; 04-17-2008 at 10:50.
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    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Sounds like Husar is building up on his plan...
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Why wouldn't there be ? I can see plenty wrong in treating human beings like some kind of animal stock to be "improved" by selective breeding; nevermind now that you're going to have a kind of hard time defining the content and aim of that "improvement".

    Plus biological evolution stopped being important to humans long ago anyway. Too slow and uncertain. Cultural evolution does the job much better.

    And, of course, the Nazis. They did a very thorough job demonstrating what exactly is wrong with the very basis of that kind of thinking and where it leads to.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    Awaiting the Rapture Member rotorgun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Eugenics? When can I start building my clone army, to be led of course by the genetically superior Khan bred with superior genes to be stronger, smarter, and better looking? Human beings manufactured on an assembly line basis. Isn't that a little frightening?
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    Been reading a lot of books about evolution lately, and that incest thread elsewhere in the Backroom got me thinking: a part of natural selection is the demise of less advantaged individuals in favour of more well-adapted/tougher individuals. This fact is celebrated in numerous books and Discovery Channel specials. So why is there such stigma when the same principle is applied to human beings -- i.e. eugenics?
    There really should be no problem to a secular society. Fortunately for us all - a sizable portion of human beings still believe in a purpose and value to Human life given to us by God.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 04-17-2008 at 15:33.
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    Come to daddy Member Geoffrey S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    There are so many facets to human life and so many possible genetic combinations, that asserting the right to meddle in such matters implies precise knowledge of exactly how the environment, culture and the rest of human existence operate and what can be considered advantages and disadvantages beforehand - in other words, sheer arrogance bordering on claiming omnipotence. And if the latter isn't the case, then what improvement can man bring to an age-old process?

    Let alone the nature vs nurture questions. There are more than enough examples of people who in theory are genetically fine failing in life, whereas there are also plenty of examples of people who have overcome their physical issues and shone.

    Edit: TuffStuffMcGruff, I'd like to think that my post illustrates that your apparent lack of faith in your secular fellow man's morals is unfounded.
    Last edited by Geoffrey S; 04-17-2008 at 15:43.
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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffStuffMcGruff
    There really should be no problem to a secular society. Fortunately for us all - a sizable portion of human beings still believe in a purpose and value to Human life given to us by God.
    God has nothing to do with it, indeed a humanist secular society, I would think holds values of human rights and equality far beyond that of a God fearing society. But let us not divert the intention of the thread.

    As to the question it is pretty simple to answer - who decides. Who decides which nationality, creed, personality, physical attributes etc are worthy of continuation and those which are not. Evolution is different to wholesale destroy of a creed in the name of perfection or a 'superior' being, within the Human species. Evolution is already happening amongst humans, right now and scientists think the process is speeding up - though of course it still takes a relatively long time. Killing, letting others be killed or killing themselves - is something quite different and there is one question which makes the whole premise of one creed being better than others look laughable - who decides.

    It is quite impossible if looked at a serious, intellectual level.
    Last edited by JAG; 04-17-2008 at 16:26.
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    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Tuffy's claim also rather falls apart in the face of the actual historical reality of eugenistic and racial-hygienic policies; those were chiefly practiced (by just about all "Western" states too...) in the first half of the 20th century, back when the average Joe and society in general was considerably more devoutly religious than is the norm today.
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    Hǫr­ar Member Viking's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quirinus
    Been reading a lot of books about evolution lately, and that incest thread elsewhere in the Backroom got me thinking: a part of natural selection is the demise of less advantaged individuals in favour of more well-adapted/tougher individuals. This fact is celebrated in numerous books and Discovery Channel specials. So why is there such stigma when the same principle is applied to human beings -- i.e. eugenics?
    There are no such things as good or bad in terms of evolution. It all depends on the enviroment. As the enviroment is constantly changing, what that can be considered good will also do so. Something that is favourable in one enviroment might very well be disfavourable in another.


    Quote Originally Posted by Husar
    Well, I think we had the topic here before and one more rational point was that those who are healthy now, may not be healthy anymore when the conditions on the planet change or a new disease comes up etc., having a broad base of different genes could help humanity survive then. Apart from that there's a belief of equality and that everyone should get the same chances to live and have fun, or in other words, if you were unfortunate enough to fall into the category of "not fit enough for life so we're gonna get rid of you", would you just happily agree? Which standards would have to be applied anyway? Whose standards are the best? Are black people better because their skin is more resistant to sunlight which might be important due to global warming? Are white people superior because some say so? Or are the Asians superior because they are many and coming up economically? Or do you think more along the lines of getting rid of uhm, sick people, but then again, who's sick enough to qualify, you got glasses? Sorry, but please follow the guy with the gun...


    Quote Originally Posted by CountArach
    Humans have civil liberties - most would argue that animals don't. Further, I like to think we have evolved beyond the simple dog-eats-dog idea.
    While it probably wasn't literally ment, evolution could take us anywhere regarding the views on human rights.


    Quote Originally Posted by TuffStuffMcGruff
    There really should be no problem to a secular society. Fortunately for us all - a sizable portion of human beings still believe in a purpose and value to Human life given to us by God.
    I do not have to point to examples in history to say that that is not at all true. Religious people have been discriminating other humans since the dawn of mankind; just as much as non-religious. Gott mit uns!
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    Dyslexic agnostic insomniac Senior Member Goofball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffStuffMcGruff
    There really should be no problem to a secular society. Fortunately for us all - a sizable portion of human beings still believe in a purpose and value to Human life given to us by God.
    That was a pretty blatant troll...
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Thankfully, flame is one of the things that reliably kills Trolls. [/D&D nerd]
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAG
    As to the question it is pretty simple to answer - who decides. Who decides which nationality, creed, personality, physical attributes etc are worthy of continuation and those which are not.
    Mymy, I agree with JAG.

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    Standing Up For Rationality Senior Member Ronin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffStuffMcGruff
    There really should be no problem to a secular society. Fortunately for us all - a sizable portion of human beings still believe in a purpose and value to Human life given to us by God.
    what is this that I hear coming from under the bridge?

    anyway....even being 'godless' secular I don┤t think this kind of stuff is a good idea....who could you trust to do it responsibly?...answer...no one.
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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    The reality is that eugenics is NOT repulsive to modern sensibilities. Look eugenics up and tell me that it isn't being practiced today and opposed by those who believe that all life is sacred.

    The Nazi's were not a Christian party. Just because the history of Germany was predominantly Christian doesn't mean that eugenics is accepted by those with a Christian message. People are having rampant pre-marital sex, but you can't honestly say that their faith in God or the church has led them to it. The leading factor in those actions tends to be secular "ethics" - just as it was the leading factor in the Holocaust and the other abuses that we can remember regarding eugenics.

    People already abort their children with downs syndrome and other disabilities on a massive scale - many are now calling for that to extend beyond the womb into any deficient children that "should have been" aborted or the elderly and disabled.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    That's a wee bit different from the previous version which involved the forcible sterilisation of "unwanted" individuals - "medical violence" as it has been called - if not their outright physical extermination, as in the extreme case of the Nazis.

    The modern version is one way to answer the dilemma of "if you *know* your child is going to be born handicapped and have a difficult life, is it crueler to abort the fetus or let it be ?"

    Kind of a rock and a hard place issue that.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    The modern version is one way to answer the dilemma of "if you *know* your child is going to be born handicapped and have a difficult life, is it crueler to abort the fetus or let it be ?"
    Are you asking if the handicapped are better off dead?
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?


    Did you actually read the post before knee-jerking ?
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    If a baby is going to be born into terrible pain - the kindof pain we could only dream about in our worst nightmares - and then die after 48 hours of 'life'.

    Is it morally more just to give birth to the baby and let it go through that, or to abort it.

    That is what he is talking about, and you know it. That is not eugenics, that is sensible parenting and is a just question.
    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAG
    If a baby is going to be born into terrible pain - the kindof pain we could only dream about in our worst nightmares - and then die after 48 hours of 'life'.

    Is it morally more just to give birth to the baby and let it go through that, or to abort it.

    That is what he is talking about, and you know it. That is not eugenics, that is sensible parenting and is a just question.
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    Things Change Member JAG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    GARCIN: I "dreamt," you say. It was no dream. When I chose the hardest path, I made my choice deliberately. A man is what he wills himself to be.
    INEZ: Prove it. Prove it was no dream. It's what one does, and nothing else, that shows the stuff one's made of.
    GARCIN: I died too soon. I wasn't allowed time to - to do my deeds.
    INEZ: One always dies too soon - or too late. And yet one's whole life is complete at that moment, with a line drawn neatly under it, ready for the summing up. You are - your life, and nothing else.

    Jean Paul Sartre - No Exit 1944

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    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAG
    Standing water doesn't even breed reptiles.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Often helps feed the leeches, though.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    Darkside Medic Senior Member rory_20_uk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Although I agree that genetic diversity is a Good Thing I do not think that this goes against eugenics. There are many genetic mutations that are just bad, the most obvious is Down's, but there are of course many others. Downs are of course sterile but many others aren't.

    In the UK we have reached a point where the failures have more opportunity to breed than those at the top. If you are successful you have one or 2 if any children as you pay for their upkeep. If you are unemployed then you start having children up to 15 or more years early and keep banging them out. Any type of control on this would be in breach of civil liberties and is of course not something we can address...

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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    As it happens, trying "any type of control on this" would also de facto be a regression to the interwar ideas of "social hygiene" which also, surprise surprise, were really worried about the class birthrate disparities...
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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    master of the pwniverse Member Fragony's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman

    Did you actually read the post before knee-jerking ?
    Sounds like a straightforward question to me, so?

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    Philologist Senior Member ajaxfetish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAG
    God has nothing to do with it, indeed a humanist secular society, I would think holds values of human rights and equality far beyond that of a God fearing society. But let us not divert the intention of the thread.

    As to the question it is pretty simple to answer - who decides. Who decides which nationality, creed, personality, physical attributes etc are worthy of continuation and those which are not. Evolution is different to wholesale destroy of a creed in the name of perfection or a 'superior' being, within the Human species. Evolution is already happening amongst humans, right now and scientists think the process is speeding up - though of course it still takes a relatively long time. Killing, letting others be killed or killing themselves - is something quite different and there is one question which makes the whole premise of one creed being better than others look laughable - who decides.

    It is quite impossible if looked at a serious, intellectual level.
    As this is one of the fairly unusual cases where I find myself in complete agreement with JAG, I feel it is worth celebration! He hits the important points. Evolution is not a eugenics issue, as evolution happens regardless of human intervention. Eugenics is an attempt to manipulate evolution to certain human expectations, which may be profoundly ignorant, misguided, or discriminatory.

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffStuffMcGruff
    People are having rampant pre-marital sex, but you can't honestly say that their faith in God or the church has led them to it.
    Chances are, you'll find people have always been having 'rampant' pre-marital sex. Nothing shocking, there.

    Ajax

    "I do not yet know how chivalry will fare in these calamitous times of ours." --- Don Quixote
    "I have no words, my voice is in my sword." --- Shakespeare
    "I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it." --- Jack Handey

  29. #29
    Dyslexic agnostic insomniac Senior Member Goofball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Victoria, British Columbia
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    4,211

    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffStuffMcGruff
    The reality is that eugenics is NOT repulsive to modern sensibilities. Look eugenics up and tell me that it isn't being practiced today and opposed by those who believe that all life is sacred.
    What is flawed is your insistance that only those who believe in God can hold that all life is sacred. Belief in God is not a prerequisite for being a moral human being. That's just Christianity and Islam (mainly) trying to protect their oligopoly.
    "What, have Canadians run out of guns to steal from other Canadians and now need to piss all over our glee?"

    - TSM

  30. #30
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Helsinki, Finland
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    7,967

    Default Re: Why is eugenics repulsive to modern sensibilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fragony
    Sounds like a straightforward question to me, so?
    Go read the original post again. I'm not in the mood to explain the obvious to the deliberately misunderstanding.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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