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Old 03-10-2008, 09:41 AM   #13
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Ross_videosprint wrote View Post
It is unethical to eliminate 'weaker' human beings. The idea of Eugenics developed from Darwinism as a way of kind of helping evolution along. Originally it was a voluntary process, focusing on developing the more intelligent and sophisticated middle classes and breeding out undesirables in the lower classes. However it was adopted in the states as a forced practice. More than 60,000 people over the country were sterilised after some clever scientists noticed that degenerate fathers tended to produce degenerate sons. It was employed famously by the Nazi regime. After that I think they gave up on the idea (though sterilization was still going on in scandinavia as late as the 70s.) I guess you could say that eugenics is a way of 'playing nature' (as opposed to playing God).

I personally think that eugenics is highly unethical, even the more passive type. It is also a dangerous concept to throw around, if Hitler and some German scientists managed to fuel mass genocide we shouldn't be considering it today.

Aspects of the weaker form of eugenics do make sense though. For example, it was first presented as a socialist theory that encouraged the lower classes to limit the size of their families. This is what the article you posted seems to be talking about, not eugenics as such but population control. Earth is way past the point where it can sustain humans and population control has to be considered. Obviously the main problem is in the third world where people raise particularly large families (lack of contraception + the more kids you got the more labour and money you've got I guess). But I think the reason for limiting reproduction here wouldn't be to 'breed out' undesirables as in eugenics but to slow the rate of population growth, placing less strain on nature and economies.

I don't think this article is talking about eugenics as such but 'Pablo' does make a good point about an educated child being an asset to a problem such as climate change. I hope that's helpful, just some stuff I've studied at Uni...

Another question though... is disease, famine etc nature's way of limiting population growth? Think of the population problem Africa would face without the extreme poverty, disease, AIDs crisis etc.
The case in the US is intersting because, excluding the immigration, the population is decreasing. It looks like prosperity and education automatically decreases the population without having to select and kill of a segment of the population.

I agree that (voluntary) population control is necessary. Malthus got it right, but he didn't factor in to his estimate of the available food, our ability to convert energy into food thus supporting a much higher population limit. But the energy will run out soon and then not only the food production, but its transportation will drop and we will see the worldwide starvation that he predicted.

The solution must be both making the world prosperous and well educated, and finding or creating a source of energy for all well in excess of the amount we presently use here in the greatest energy consuming country.

The first could enable a stable population level and the second would make it sustainable.

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"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
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