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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@Awdur Ffuglen;

Do you have a regular psychologist?

If not, perhaps you should consider it.

Just a layman's observation.

Ad Hominem, Gregg, Ad Hominem. 

Friendly advice AF, friendly advice.

I got my vasectomy after my third child, best decision I ever made, I highly recommend the procedure. 

I dont care what nobody says,

I aint naming my kid, or my clone or my goldfish Eugene!

I like records.

Peace!

@Ward Cressin

@Arcus "This is such a ridiculous statement that it falls on its own unreasonableness."

While natural selection still affects humans, his statement (while a bit over the top) is not ridiculous. Modern medicine does save al lot of people - who would otherwise have died - allowing them to reproduce and pass on undesirable traits.

Yes, even in a world where we can save someone with a congenital defect, that defect is an undesirable trait as it costs time, money, and resources in addition to endangering the person's life.

So we need to start eliminating such traits from the gene pool whether by the old fashioned and barbaric method of letting the people die, or by doing some careful genetic engineering. I vote for using our intelligence and knowledge to engineer out the harmful traits.

But this is how it starts. What traits need to be eliminated? Ones we don't like. This is because a lot of it will ultimately come down to people's opinions and attitudes. What skin color is more prone to skin cancer? White folks. Let's make people darker! Then someone else can come up with a seemingly reasonable excuse for making people lighter-skinned.

And so it goes.

Which is why I said to only use logic and biology removing actual genetic diseases/deformities. You're touching upon the areas I said we should leave alone until we have much, much better info. In many decades we begin to maybe consider some small changes beyond eliminating diseases/deformities.

@Unseen;

"But this is how it starts. What traits need to be eliminated? Ones we don't like. This is because a lot of it will ultimately come down to people's opinions and attitudes. What skin color is more prone to skin cancer? White folks. Let's make people darker! Then someone else can come up with a seemingly reasonable excuse for making people lighter-skinned."

Ah...The Dark Side of the Force.

The negative choices people sometimes make are sadly always possible.

I like the positive Light Side myself.

Take Angelina Jolie's recent decision to remove her breasts because of a genetic marker.  What if her mother had been able to remove the marker before conception, wouldn't that have been a better choice?

Genetic Manipulation is upon us, we cannot re-close the box, I suggest we embrace this reality, fund basic research and make the best decisions we can into the future.

Take Angelina Jolie's recent decision to remove her breasts because of a genetic marker.  What if her mother had been able to remove the marker before conception, wouldn't that have been a better choice?

Well, for one thing we might not have Angelina Jolie, or not the one we know. Changing anything in the past changes the future. For example, suppose her mother, in getting her own genetic marker, had ended up having sex on a different day. Perhaps, then, a different sperm ends up fertilizing her egg. We might have someone named Angelina Jolie but not the one we know or we might have an Angelo Jolie.

Also, you don't seem to take into account the other person in the sexual act. They have genes, too.

And not all pregnancies are planned. My own daughter (much as I love her) was not a planned child.

So, you don't know what the outcome would be. Don't pretend you do.

@Unseen;

It's not about changing Angelina Jolie, it is about the genetic trait that she carries.  The fear that caused her to make such a dramatic choice is something no woman should have to be faced with.

Gene therapy might allow women in future generations to not have to fear breast cancer, what a nice gift for our generation to give to those women yet born.

The Epoch of Unnatural Evolution is upon us, we have no choice but to face it.  I think it behooves us to take an active role in guiding it's direction before someone else takes us all in a direction we don't wish to go.

Well, I suppose giving up Angelina Jolie is a good trade off. You tacitly admit that point, I guess.

Well now, funding, that is the fundamental question here. How much of our public health care money do we want to deviate away from regular "casualty" health care, which is the original purpose of health care, to handle accidents, to instead focus on the extension of old age?

On the issue of cancer, though we may eventually be able to trace all cancers to pre-disposition genes, in the end, what I suspect we'll find is that EACH AND EVERYONE of us would be in need of genetic manipulation (on your terms) since most of our diseases are simply the process of ageing and various genotypes simply age in different ways.

As a tax payer, I'm not interested in funding more human longevity. This issue is experienced differently for males than females. In nature, very few individuals experience menopause... what we've come to consider "mid-life" for humans is actually "past the end" in nature. As it stands, medical breakthroughs extend the last years, but as of yet, there has been absolutely no advances in extending youth. Extending old age is not beneficial to any age group or society, we end up with a society where a huge percentage of individuals exist through governmental assisted living, and most youth today do not have the "savings" to assist our parents in their extended ageing.

If I were designing the ideal atheist society, my medical investments would not be focused more than necessary on life extension past 50. I would invest a majority of health care funds in improving the quality of life pre-menopause. Once a female is past menopause, we're dammed if we do, dammed if we don't, there are simply too few non-medical options to live past 50. And no matter what genetic manipulations we subject humans to, we'll still age, if not from one gene than another, there are thousands upon thousands of genes that will be found to pre-dispose to various forms of ageing, and emphasis fighting those I see as a waste of money.

In Canada, according to Statistics Canada, on average, Canadians will be retired for a total of 19 years, and on average, 10 of those will be in sickness. All medical advances do is increase the duration of this dying time. Let's focus on youth and creativity. (and just so I'm transparent on this... I'm 2 years from my "natural" end-point... how far past that I go... is of little concern to me... though many females in my lineage have gone to past 90, longevity is no objective of mine, my intent is to live a full life while I'm here.)

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