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.

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So humans are born with the original sin of being humans, are innately wicked, and the only way we can repent is to seek balance with the all powerful Nature. 

Yup, you've certainly left religion faaaaar behind. 

Soo... don't progress as a species?

Don't learn how to feed billions of people?

Don't learn how to live with each other in peace?

Don't learn how to alleviate and cure horrible diseases?

Next thing you'll be encouraging the government to institute mandatory suicide.

The problem with your skyward solution, is that resources on earth are limited. In order to be able to build like that, we would have to have some sort of material that we can cultivate, grow, and harvest quickly, and it would have to be stronger than our highest tinsel strength alloys today. Not impossible, but highly improbable.

We would have better luck colonizing other worlds. Perhaps a subterranean colony on the moon, first, to develop and test self sustaining environmental technology. Genetically modifying plants to increase oxygen production, zero emission power production, and an obscene conservationist method of living.

They'll be synthesizing anti-degradable indestructible plastics by that time. As evidenced by the numerous responses on the subject, there is a genuine concern over the problem of overpopulation. 

My belief is that overpopulation is a MYTH and it is only due to mismanagement, poor use of lack of technology and our civilization being at a relatively infantile stage that this myth prevails. It's selfish, in a way. 

"No. You can't be born. We're full. Yes, there 25 million square miles of uninhabited space, but we haven't figured out how to properly utilize it or dispose of waste yet. Or even make those areas habitable. Christ, we're still living in two dimensions. We haven't even utilized the multiple trillions of cubic feet of sky. Yes, the rich people will live on top where the sun is. The poor people will live in the shadows. Someone must have written a book about it already.

My supporting evidence is the success of New York. 28 million people. Living in lower manhattan forces one (in a series of waves) to confront human nature en masse. You see 10,000 people on your way to work. Of course you don't 'see' them. You might look at a dozen of them. An overwhelming variety of faces. The rent is high because everyone wants to move in. So you must be smart. Is human life worth less here? Slightly. It has a galactic dynamic. The sheer number of people, possible groups, friends, is preposterous. Therefore you learn quickly only to do what you're good at and go where you fit. People pay $3000 a month for a shoebox on Park Ave. Why? Because of the human contact. Because of the constant stimulation, interaction and presentation of ideas in a highly competitive marketplace. Are people rude? To tourists, yes. 

Does living in beautiful rural surroundings have advantages? of course. I would give anything to get the hell out of here to go fishing or hiking and see some nature. I hope they find a way to preserve that nature. 

But face it, the world is still, by and large, mostly uninhabited. Sure, you can keep it that way as long as you hold back the 7% growth law. 

Watch that angry math teacher's presentation on the coming energy crisis. (youtube). He's right, but his assumption is that there are no other forms of energy besides oil. 

The god damned point of everything, is we should be already planning out how to solve these problems. How do we preserve nature and continue to grow as a population. How do we undo the damage already done? The dead oceans, the rising water levels, the poisons that need to be filtered, the radiated junk. THIS is important. What is not important is figuring out who should be KILLED. Because you won't stop the procreation, you won't stop nature's crazy mutations and diseases. She'll crank out new puzzles as soon as you solve her outdated ones. PRESERVE THE GOD-DAMNED ECOSYSTEM WHILE BUILDING-OUT. Ever run a company? After twelve months you BUILD-OUT. Humanity is going to spread and it would be a damn stupid shame if 'arbitrary extermination' were chosen in favor of 'innovative engineering'. 

NB... not sure why there's always a huge blank space after your posts... are you clicking 'return' several times maybe?

Anyway, the study of population is a scientific field. If as you believe, there is no such thing as overpopulation, then you are missing a huge chunk of scientific understanding. Carrying capacity (K) is a fundamental aspect of field of biology. Whether speaking of plants, animals, fungi, microorganisms, carrying capacity and exceeding that carrying capacity through overpopulation is the basis for all our governments wildlife management programmes (in combination with letting humans get all the space for our own activities of choice).

It boggles the mind to think that you have no understanding of past mass extinctions and the one that has been occurring the Holocene (the first genealogical age defined by the impact of a living species instead of geological effects). It is not a small thing.

You really want to live on a planet with no wildlife and no direct livability (no intermediary for essential life functions such as breathing, drinking, eating)?????

People who see only people I simply cannot understand. As a biologist who specialised in zoology, toxicology, endocrinology, I see all species, I understand our interactions with nature.

You're coming at the entire subject from an anthropocentric direction. If human intelligence has any usefulness at all, it would be able to find ways to live on earth without destroying it.

You do realise, other than bacteria and microorganisms, we are not on top of the food chain. In a balanced/sustainable ecosystem, the top predator is pictured at the top of the pyramid, in the smallest numbers, whereas the smallest grazers are at the bottom of the pyramid, the widest part. Any balanced ecosystem is characterised by the top predator being the smallest population, otherwise it is not sustainable.

Since I won't be procreating, I'm not trying to "save the world for the children", I would simply like to see the second half of my time on Earth (If my parents' age of death is any indicator) is not a horror story of environmental nastiness.

You keep bringing up how people are absent from vast swaths of Earth, but you fail to take into account, that we have long ago gone beyond the swaths of Earth that were biologically appropriate for Homo sapiens. We have been modifying local environments by stealing from people living in poorer locales, in order to sustain our lifestyle and consumer habits (think of N.American mining companies ruining Africa). That is African blood spilt by N.American money/technology... the new colonialism. And the reason both our governments systematically cut funding if aid agencies mention family planning is that our two governments depend on Africa's (and other 3rd world places) poverty and overpopulation to feed our northern greed and growth.

Africans did not always breed so much, only sense missionaries and medicine has their breeding gotten out of hand. Also before technological maize and wheat were dumped in Africa (results again of northern greed) Africans used to eat their own foods, grown and managed by their own agency.

Overpopulation of humans has not only impacts on nature but also creates global loss of quality of life in poorer places.
To desire more of this... that's beyond my understanding.

Whenever I read your comments, I have this playing in the background:

"No. You can't be born. We're full. Yes, there 25 million square miles of uninhabited space, but we haven't figured out how to properly utilize it or dispose of waste yet. Or even make those areas habitable. Christ, we're still living in two dimensions. We haven't even utilized the multiple trillions of cubic feet of sky. Yes, the rich people will live on top where the sun is. The poor people will live in the shadows. Someone must have written a book about it already.

So, you see inhabiting even more of the planet as part of a solution? Umm...what is good about taking even more habitat away from wild animals? Skyscrapers kill birds who fly into the reflection of the sky they see in window glass. That happened from time to time in a two-story house I lived in with a large window. Imagine how many birds skyscrapers kill. I think we can include those large horrific windmills that are sprouting up all over the place, too.

I think we need to reduce our numbers, not grab more habitat.

"The utter and total point of everything is that human race does not destroy itself." 

I stand by this statement, and am not even the one who said it. It was said by Carl Sagan - and I agree with it. To destroy ourselves would be an epic tragedy, at least from our point of view. And especially since the goal is to eventually move beyond our planet. 

If it is not obvious by now, space is the final frontier. Thousands of years away technologically, but the human race must change its orientation and trajectory. The name of the game is not "Trash the Earth and Move On to the Next"

The name of the game is "Master the Earth and End the Human War" 

"The utter and total point of everything is that human race does not destroy itself." 

I stand by this statement, and am not even the one who said it. It was said by Carl Sagan - and I agree with it. To destroy ourselves would be an epic tragedy, at least from our point of view. And especially since the goal is to eventually move beyond our planet. 

In the overall cosmic scheme of things, I'm not sure why keeping the human race from destroying itself is such a priority. Do we deserve go on indefinitely for some reason you haven't revealed yet?

It not whether or not we deserve to. It is the whole point. What we deserve is irrelevant. The point of any civilization anywhere in the universe at any given time is to NOT DIE. Most of them surely do. Therefore squandering a chance to survive is pitiful and unbecoming of the human civilization which has demonstrated extraordinary feats of perseverance, works of art, engineering, literature and is a promising candidate for exploration of the great frontier. 
The buildup of intelligence, knowledge and wisdom raises the stakes with each passing century, particularly the last and coming, like a game of Jenga. 

To sit here and say humans are worthless and down with humanity is a side effect of living in the United States, where we are constantly brainwashed to shoot ourselves in the foot, eat poison and vote against our interests and believe we're all dead so what's the point. That's is pure programming. Not reality.

There's no such a thing as "a point" in that absolute sense. We are coincidence, the Earth is coincidence, the cosmos and beyond is a coincidence.

There is no more a reason to exist than to not exist. Only religious brainwashing convinces people that there must be "a point" to things... let it go, you're brain will find a new freedom.

There's open mindedness, and then there's depressing cynicism. We give ourselves a reason to exist, because we evolved to have a consciousness.

Honestly, reading your posts in this thread, you sound borderline suicidal.

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