Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eugenics Could Result in the Lessening of Humanity

The following was taken from a bulletin board comment on Eugenics. My response has been updated since then, most of the differences were the correction of typos. The name of the poster has been deleted to protect their identity.

>For once i am the first to write something here. *sinister laugh*. i was wanting to put


>the question about Modern Eugenics. i am certainly not agreeing that what was done in

>the past with eugenics was the right thing to do or that it was in any way founded on

>scientific concrete, but i am very curious to know what other people think of making an

>improvement on the gene pool of humans. for instance, first thing that will have to be

>done is doing away with known genetic diseases that could be passed down to a non

>effected offspring but could still be prevalent in the next generation. this is a very

>realistic thing to accomplish and it would make a whole lot of people happier since they

>are not effected by the disease and that their guardians do not need to have special

>care for them. if we can thin out (humanely of course) the herd through selecting

>healthier attributes or traits of people then over time more and more people will have

>better healthier lives and not be burned with diseases that they have no control over.

>What does any one else think about the creating of a healthier society by naturally

>selecting healthier traits. i know everyone is going to say Hitler tried that, but we wont


>killing millions of people but rather have the best of their genome be expressed

I see several problems with utilizing eugenics, especially with the utilitarian way proposed

here. Disease is horrible. No doubt. But how do we avoid becoming the type of society

portrayed in the movie Gattaca? Following this path would lead to two different

classes of people: the genetically augmented/grown and the naturally born. I realize that

this is a slippery slope, but what would keep conflict between the two classes from

erupting in a sort of war?

Second, and this is going to probably going to start a few fires, but aren't there good

things that are gained from death, disease, and pain? Technologically, the amount we

have discovered today is due to research in the past. Solving once and for all those

problems would stifle innovation. Also, certain problem solving skills come

about from dealing with disease. One could say that we are utilizing those problem

solving skills through eugenics, but aren't we also in the end stifling their evolution?

Third, coping skills come through dealing with these problems. By taking a shortcut

through the use of eugenics, we will be eliminating an important stage in their


Fourth, random occurrences also help develop those coping mechanisms. If we eliminate

random occurrence from our development, we become nothing but a predictable machine,

albeit flesh and bone instead of wires. Somehow, this seems to degrade our humanity,

and in this case, the end of disease does not justify the means we use to get there.

That brings me to my final point:

Who are we to determine how humanity ends up? We can barely look past our noses.

Do you want to trust eugenics with our future?

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