I have some pretty strong feelings about eugenics (it's a good and necessary practice), but I find it very, VERY difficult to talk about it with anyone since I'm instantly labeled a Nazi for supporting it. I'm hoping the folks on Think Atheist will be more inclined to intellectual discussion than name-calling and dismissal.
The start off, some disclaimers: genocide is wrong; taking human rights away from people of a race/religion/hairstyle you don't like is wrong; concentration camps are wrong; violence in wrong.
There. Now to the actual discussion.
When I talk about eugenics, I'm talking about the practice of systematically removing debilitating genetic traits and defects from a population by means of regulating the reproduction of its citizens. Do you have Schizophrenia? Did you know that this ailment is genetic and very easy to pass on to you children? Please, do not punish an innocent child with this problem. Are you genetically healthy, intelligent, and talented? Do you have special immunities that make you less likely to get sick? By all means, spread these traits to future generations, either by having children yourself or donating to a sperm or egg bank. Do you want children but should not carry your genetic problems onto them? Adopt. Adoption will always be available no matter what the society (just because someone has good genetic material does NOT mean they would make a good parent). Do you say that adoption is not the same? Then I suppose you care more about satisfying your selfish desires than the well being of a child.
Eugenics is, at its base, very simple - think about the future first.
I'm leaving this post now for what I'm hoping will be thoughtful and anti-inflammatory discussion.
I read through the site and saw nothing about murder and genocide - the opposite in fact. They point out that with death comes reproduction by the survivors and results in a population increase in the long run. So they do not want murder and genocide.
I don't agree with VHEMT but they are not insane, nor is the idea. If we only had the two choices of (1) voluntarily choosing not to reproduce to eliminate humanity or (2) simply wait until we kill off all life on the planet due to our overpopulation, pollution, greed and stupidity in large numbers then I'd prefer we go the VHEMT route. Then life could continue on Earth.
Fortunately, it is not just those two choices so I reject those extremes. But we could stand to have a lot less people so voluntary reduction in breeding is basically a good thing.
The earth is indifferent. It will kill 80% of the terrestrial species. It's not interested in a museum. It's interested in a slow process of refinement and increased adaptability of organisms. By killing them in huge waves. The point is to advance technologically and colonize another part of space BEFORE that happens.
For the 106 billion humans that have lived and died, busted their asses, seems like a lousy trick after all the lousy agony to just see all that work blown to pieces.
So when are you going to stop throwing personal insults around. Really makes you seem like a ... Ta ta darlin' you're below this level of conversation.
I called you a bullshitter because your argument is bullshit, and here is why:
Calling for people to voluntarily kill themselves without actually following up your own damn call is nothing but pure and unadulterated bullshit. You are exactly like the Christians who say "I put my fate in God's hands", and then proceed to look both ways before crossing the street.
Words are cheap, as you continually prove, while action is worth its weight in gold. As long as you don't follow up on your words with the behavior it predicates and/or the action it demands, you are nothing but a bullshitter. And bullshitters deserve to be called on their bullshit every minute of every day, and if that makes me an ass then I'll gladly be an ass and wear it as a badge of honor. If nothing else it distinguishes me from the bulls and their shit.
Self-suicide for the planet's sake is just suicide. The planet will barely break a stride during our 3 million year rise to techno-glory.
You are forgetting the magic number 7, as in 7%. growth. Humanity, whether you view it as a virus, a bacteria, a parasitic infestation, or simply a another group of mammals, either grows or dies. It is like a bank. It cannot stay one size. It grows and grows. If it stops growing or tries to 'stabilize' nature abhors a vacuum. Humanity dies. Just like stars, just every single solitary thing in the universe. It grows, goes through a main sequence, and then depending on its mass, when it collapses, it either collapses into a black-hole or explodes like a supernova.
Leave an orange outside and small spots of Listeria appear. Eventually the orange is covered in white. This is the basic function of life to encompass and thrive on the host resources, and if possible, form a symbiotic relationship thus eliminating the need to locate another host. Especially if the bacteria (like us) is immobile and cannot possibly find another orange.
You're downplaying the accomplishments of humanity (which came at great sacrifice by forty-thousand generations) and downplaying the nearness of the humanity to causing its own extinction by its own technology.
Your perspective is one indicative of apathy, depression, and, as I mentioned, victims of U.S. programming: work against the self, poison the self, vote against own interests, accept less, take prescription drugs to compensate. Or ignorance is bliss, war is peace and freedom is slavery, George Orwell hit the nail on the head.
And as long as technology can keep up, (not destroying the ecosystem) the population size WILL increase. You can reference both Sagan and Hawking's models of Earth in 'Egg Shell' stage where we've built clear out of the atmosphere, into space, and the earth remains, central, the small origin of the technologically advanced civilization who eventually surmised the method of interstellar space travel. It's not all doom as gloom as you think. Unless the Yellowstone Caldera erupts or nuclear war breaks out.
Apart from that, the discoveries made regarding particle physics in this century are going to blow everyone's minds.
ALL human "accomplishments" have been negative, we are smaller, weaker, sicker, overpopulated, and the ecosystem is worse off than in the past oh say 65 million years.
The "good" ... sitting on our collective asses at home playing on a computer? Donated organs which require a lifetime of drugs? Senior people living in old age homes for 20 year out of a total life of 80? (on average) Sitting on our collective asses driving around in motor vehicles?
Me thinks you're obsessed with momentary human achievements, not long term ones. You insist on distinguishing between "good" and "bad", whereas the reality is not "good" or "bad", only that Homo sapiens is an extremely destructive civilisation. Is that "good"? Is it "bad"? It's entirely irrelevant.
Your dream of your future years may be to live completely isolated from nature with no care in the world for anything else around you but your own perceived success... who am I to say you can't nourish that dream.
My dream of the future is to not have to daily wear face masks out of fear of disease or protection from environmental toxins. To be able to drink water from a stream while on a hike. To not have half the youth in schools with various allergies, either because they were premies, and/or their parents were incompetent at food choices, and/or because of the amount of toxins in our environment.
Anyone who argues that humanity is "good" is not "wrong", only terribly short-sighted.
I feel the human race has at best a couple or a few hundred more years as a civilization because we're destroying our environment. "It's a sad bird that beshits its own nest."
Perhaps some other critters will succeed us and do pretty much the same thing, Most species, given the ability to do so, will lay waste to their environment.
This is a common misconception. We possess the technology to make the correct decisions to prevent our self-destruction. Sterilization and population control are not at all what was intended. Proliferation, diversification, innovation and cooperation are intended. Earth makes the Eugenics decisions. And has done so with dramatic effect on the geologic timescale.
It is a common misconception that simply because the means are at hand to improve the situation, the will will come along with it. People think short-term not long-term. This because there is no immediate and palpable gain to thinking long-term.
True, but I think the events of this century will force people to start thinking long-term, as in beyond their own life-spans. If not, human progress will be a series of extinctions (caused by technology) and not necessarily yielding a surviving group that is 'most responsive to change'.
But you are apt to reduce it to a short-term/long-term human nature paradigm. Such as "Who cares, I'll be dead." This prevailing sentiment has resulted in the current state of the economy. It also has resulted in millions of tons of buried toxic waste.
I can find nothing to disagree with in your reply.
"Earth makes the Eugenics decisions."
I'm not sure you understand the meaning of the word "Eugenics". The Earth doesn't make decisions, that requires a brain, Eugenics is a human concept.