[. . . weekend resolution: catch up on correspondence . . .]
In a message dated 1/28/01 5:59:45 PM Central Standard Time,
> > > some have speculated, "free basics" might come with some strings
> Exactly. Free basics in exchange for non-reproduction. The
> free food would contain birth control medications. Everyone
> wins: society could offer educational benefits, shelter, food, you
> name it, and even the conservative element would gain some
> enthusiasm. The medications would be non-permanent, so that
> if the recipients get with it and row their own boat, then they
> can after a few months bear litters of pups. What we still need
> is a medication that makes the men temporarily sterile. Ive heard
> such a thing exists, dont know the details.
Last point first: I think male contraceptives are in clinical trials now.
The bigger point: Spike, I think the idea you propose would be perceived as
very "inhuman" and, even in a relatively free world, would be unworkable.
Most people perceive procreational rights as fairly fundamental to human
dignity. Trading survival for giving up those rights would be understood by
many as a "devil's bargain". Beyond this, given the ethnic concentrations of
hunger in the world, it would likely also be characterized as "genocidal".
However, if there was even a little benefit accruing to the distributors of
"free" food (which was the point of my comment), then I think those who
DIDN'T include contraceptives would quickly become the preferred providers.
I think the wiser course would be to include a little education with the food
packages. This is why I so consistently oppose the idea that proselytizing
for Enlightenment values is somehow an "imperialist" act.
> Actually, when you think it over, we could remake prison colonies
> this way, for those who are serving life terms. Delete the death
> penalty, create a prison colony where men and women can live
> together in a roach-motel kinda city, difference being everyone
> there is sterile. Im sure the prisoners would opt for it in a second.
> The main hitch is that there are probably at least 20 to 1 men to women
> doing life. That colony would be worse than the Silicon Valley.
As others have pointed out, the inherent gender-inequality of criminal
behavior defeats this idea. At least in "natural" humans, there will always
be far more young male offenders than female ones, no matter how you define
crime. That said, I personally think reform of contemporary criminal law and
penal systems ought to be a top priority of anyone with even a shred of
empathy for the suffering of others. In the US at least, the criminal law
and penal systems are horribly broken and counterproductive.
Greg Burch <GBurch1@aol.com>----<email@example.com>
Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide
http://users.aol.com/gburch1 -or- http://members.aol.com/gburch1
ICQ # 61112550
"We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
-- Desmond Morris
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