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.
"there are a LOT of useless people procreating"
"They could very well be important contributors to society"
Your post are so CHOCK-FULL of contradictions, it's really difficult to know what you stand for.So you don't see any difference between, on the one hand, selecting a child, determining that he is the progeny of two "useless" (to use your word) parents and converting him to soilent green and, on the other hand, voluntarily preventing his conception in the first place? Perhaps we should spend our entire health budget in keeping the horribly deformed offspring of street bums artificially alive because, who knows, one of them could become a Hawking. (For your personal edification, Awdur, the previous sentence utilized something call 'sarcasm' - look it up.)
"I think it can be agreed that the Third Reich's solution was less than optimal."
May want to rephrase that in way that doesn't make you sound like a neo-nazi.
I I shudder to think about what a "more optimal" Nazi "solution" would have looked like.
If one is talking about a quasi-optimal "solution" to the problem of eugenics, one couldn't do worse than the Nazi solution. Many of the greatest minds in history lived in Germany prior to Hitler's emergence. Unfortunately for eugenics, a great number of these minds were of Jewish parentage.
And yet, we didn't more or less catch up to them technologically till toward the end of the war in Europe, and then in large part because Hitler had no clue how to conduct a war, which caught up with him that one winter in Russia.
Even a basic history class will tell you that if you're going to invade Russia, you do it late in the spring and you either succeed or get the hell out before the end of autumn. You do NOT want to experience a Russian winter.
So, what's the deal, are you a neo-nazi or what? Did you read what you just wrote?
"One couldn't do worse than the nazi solution" And you used the word 'solution'.
And "unfortunately for eugenics" as if it was just getting a good rap going, and got all inconvenienced by those brilliant jews? Am I interpreting this correctly?
"Am I interpreting this correctly?"
I'll second that.
"Hitler, Hirohito, and Pol Pot had the right idea, they were just underachievers."
You have stated exactly what I believe and done so very well. I have a couple of genetically caused conditions that have made my life miserable so I had a vasectomy the day I was legally old enough to do so. To me anyone who knows they risk passing their flaws onto their offspring but choose to take that risk, not that the risk is to them, are incredibly selfish, egotistical and blatantly disrespectful to their own progeny.
I believe a child who suffers from a known hereditary condition should be allowed to sue for emotional and/or physical hardship.