Re: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?
From: D. den Otter (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Jul 01 2000 - 12:28:50 MDT
At 18:56 1-07-00 +1000, you wrote:
> OK, I know the Nazis were into it big
time, and they weren't cool dudes.
> But is wanting to improve the stock a bad thing? I have a
> "preaching to the choir" when I say on this list that it
seems like a good
> thing to want to make humans as perfect as possible. But it
> virtually everywhere else, the E word is as bad as the N word.
Just knee-jerk responses, basically. People have been subconsciously
programmed to link eugenics to Nazi stuff like forced euthanasia etc.
It's baaad. Why? It's baaaad. Why? Baaaaad. Ad infinitum.
I don't think it's really necessary from here
Yes, the big "S" makes eugenics something of a moot point, but
we can still
discuss its hypothetical merits, of course.
Besides the thorny
question of "Who
decides what perfect is",
I think that any remotely rational and honest person would agree that the
following list of characteristics is "good" and
The perfect human would be:
-well-hung (in the case of men, obviously).
-handsome (smooth, blemish-free skin, a highly symmetrical face and body,
proper distribution of body hair etc.).
-healthy (being free of any hereditary disease, and highly resistant to
infections, viruses etc. The body is tough and even severe injuries heal
fast and well, and the life span is very long).
-emotionally stable (not prone to hysteria, depression, aggressive fits
etc., but generally happy and feeling good about himself).
-intelligent (in a broad sense, i.e. rational, witty, inquisitive,
critical, good with language and numbers, having an excellent memory
-brave (though not reckless. Definitely no meek wuss).
-Individualistic (while fully understanding the need for
Well, this seems like a good start. If you stick to this list you can't
really go wrong. Would this be feasible? Yes, I think so. There
are no doubt at least a few people who meet all of the above
criteria, and many more who come fairly close. They could be the core of
the eugenics program. BTW, a nation of persons like this would be every
dictator's worst nightmare; they'd laugh him out of town, so to speak.
we've got tons of ways of supporting our
frailties, and many
more in the pipeline; the medical industry is geared to it.
Even today, many defects/diseases can't be cured (properly) yet, let
alone in previous centuries. Selective breeding could have prevented a
lot of misery and suffering. Rejecting eugenics means condemning
millions to a sometimes severely sub-optimal existence. Is this
"morally right"? I don't think so, not by any stretch of the
Many of those
be hidden strengths,
Often you hear stuff like "if there wasn't any suffering we wouldn't
have all those great works of art etc". True, maybe (but this is by
no means certain) art would be somewhat "blander" in a
eugenics (see selection criteria above) society, but that's a very
small price to pay for the significantly improved quality of life of
millions of people. To allow mental illness and physical shortcomings to
exist only so that you may enjoy some "great" poems, paintings
or whatever is selfish in the extreme, and hardly "transhuman".
IMHO, of course.
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: Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:33:47 MDT