hate these ads?, log in or register to hide them
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 100

Thread: Eugenics

  1. #21

    Join Date
    July 22, 2011
    Posts
    351
    Quote Originally Posted by untilted View Post
    or the other way around - with possibility comes responsibility. if parents can't/won't afford the best of the best, will they be able to appease their children for not being "responsible" enough?
    A Eugenics program has to be implemented on the basis that it benefits society. A Capitalistic endeavor would alienate precisely the people you are trying to help. (In other words, I would think Eugenics isn't to create something that isn't there, but to bring everyone up to a standard.) In that respect, any implementation of a Eugenics program without opening it up to the masses (basically a government funded project) will ultimately fail. You can't maintain a population from the elite few going downwards, but you can level the playing field. Once you start down the road of having, effectively, 2 separate species, you've just created the groundwork necessary to treat humans as domesticated animals.

    while the idea of a better world through technology sounds often desirable and is often portrayed as the present, just better, it is often forgotten that this better world of tomorrow likely won't resemble anything we experience today. but one thing will be certain, the better life everyone wishes for, won't come by technology (atleast not alone) - it never did. because discrimination, oppression and exclusion won't be solved by technology.
    I disagree with... hell, the majority of this. Class is in session:

    A Technological innovation called the plough, enabled mass tracts of land to be farmed for agricultural purposes... most likely in the Nile region. This enabled the hunter-gatherer mentality to set down roots in a single, fertile locale and use the sustenance of a smaller area to accomodate a larger population.

    Another technological innovation - the water wheel, harnessed the power of nature, and turned it to performing tasks that would take workmen/women much more time. It also lowered the danger, increased food capacity, and basically set the stage for the idle time necessary for:

    The Calendar - Once day to day survival was out of the way, mankind started trying to measure the days. Not necessarily because they were budding solar scientists, but because being able to accurately predict the annual floods enabled them to maximise the growing season for an even larger yield. Calendars were tricky stuff, and figuring out when/where the floods would hit at a particular time required the use of some method of timing. Which leads us to:

    Pottery - Pottery was used for a whole lot of stuff, but the prevalence of it in society did two things: It enabled mankind to create/develop specialized tools for instrumentation, and it allowed us to store things. Now, storing things is great, but in a society where trade is done on a barter system, it was important to know that you had your own goods, how many you had, and how old the stuff inside it was. That leads to:

    Letters, and Numbers - Once you have those two things, and aren't in day-to-day survival mode, you get to start doing silly shit like debating with those words, on websites. But in order to get to that point, you pass by two very important things:

    Mathematics, and Literature - Mathematics enhances the calendar, and literature enhances pretty much everything. At the time, math could be done with a stick in the sand, and writing was done primarily on clay tablets... but; it wasn't long before you get to a consistent material with which you can put your pen to...

    Papyrus - Paper at the time, it allowed humanity with record keeping; which in turn enabled (in time) selective breeding, or herd culling based on statistics. Paper plus math allows for engineering, and long term projects to take effect (HELLO PYRAMIDS) It also enables long term establishment of specific rules that successive generations don't have to re-invent. Bring on a legal system, the scientific method, etc... (all in their own time, of course).

    Now, I can keep going. I've watched "Connections with Ed Burke" recently. But suffice it to say that technology is the forerunner of a better life. And while it's quite easy to say "Technology alone didn't do these things"... It, more than anything else (I can be courageous, or brave, or loving all I want, but that doesn't make me more efficient at planting crops... I can't simply knock out another acre of wheat because I've got a great sense of humor, but if I got my hands on a plough... hells yeah...) See what I'm getting at?

    Good.

  2. #22
    Joshua Foiritain's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 10, 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    3,816
    Quote Originally Posted by untilted View Post
    but will you consider your descendants still as "your (grand-)children"?

    or rather as some commodity you ordered at a lab, that should fulfill your desire for (genetic-)perfection to 100%?
    People consider adopted children their children and grand children so yes, why not a test tube baby?

    Quote Originally Posted by untilted View Post
    if the child doesn't turn out as promised (as the genes aren't as deterministic as many hope) will you file a complaint at the company about "bad quality" of their offered service? or will you still shrug it off as "fate"?
    Its impossible for the child to turn out as promised because nothing is promised. You get a baby which is genetically superior to a regular child which for the most part gives it reduced chances at various illnesses and possibly improved chances at other things. If it ends up doing crack at 16 then that's down to bad parenting, bad environment or just bad luck.

    In nurture vs nature nurture is always the biggest factor. Intelligence for example is part nature, some people are born exceptionally smart or stupid, most people are born around average intelligence, the deciding factor in whether someone is smart or not is education which is relies on a child's desire to learn. A child that grows up in an environment that stimulates this is likely to be smarter then someone who grows up in an environment that stimulates other things. Genetic engineering might be able to shift the odds here a little bit but at the end of the day all the genetic engineering in the world isn't going to compensate for studying and taking an interest in the world around you.

    Quote Originally Posted by untilted View Post
    while the idea of a better world through technology sounds often desirable and is often portrayed as the present, just better, it is often forgotten that this better world of tomorrow likely won't resemble anything we experience today. but one thing will be certain, the better life everyone wishes for, won't come by technology (atleast not alone) - it never did. because discrimination, oppression and exclusion won't be solved by technology.
    While it wont come from technology alone it is most definitely driven by technology. New technology is required to make change, as Nartek above me points out, without the invention of papyrus/math/language we would have been unable to advance.

    As for discrimination, oppression and exclusion, those will always be around as they are tools for achieving power and there will always be people wanting more power.



  3. #23
    Donor
    Join Date
    April 14, 2011
    Posts
    1,671
    There are lots of reasons why it makes sense, my real concern is that it would potentially be an evolutionary dead end..

    I suppose inversely it might trigger a post evolutionary state where people deliberately chose attributes but given the choices people make in partners it frightens me to think what they would want in kids.

    Honestly if people were asked do they want their child of middle, high or very high intelligence people would hesitate to pick very high.
    statistically 9 out of 10 people enjoy gang repping

  4. #24
    untilted's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Location
    WoT: eyebot; W:EE: untilted
    Posts
    1,742
    Quote Originally Posted by Nartek View Post
    Now, I can keep going. I've watched "Connections with Ed Burke" recently. But suffice it to say that technology is the forerunner of a better life. And while it's quite easy to say "Technology alone didn't do these things"... It, more than anything else (I can be courageous, or brave, or loving all I want, but that doesn't make me more efficient at planting crops... I can't simply knock out another acre of wheat because I've got a great sense of humor, but if I got my hands on a plough... hells yeah...) See what I'm getting at?
    you missed the point.

    it's not about the individual and its disposition, but society - or more specific: social practices and their changes.

    e.g. the plough. while it certainly increased productivity, the shift from hunter-gatherer nomades to localized agriculture happened far earlier. while it certainly increased the efficiency of agriculture to a great degree, it didn't establish agriculture. the change in social practice happened before the technology "arrived".

    technology is in this sense a pretty specific answer to a posed social problem: e.g. how can we support an increasing population? a possible answer would be limiting population growth, e.g. making bearing children a privilege, casting individuals/families out to create a new village. another possible answer would be increased productivity, either through technology (e.g. the plough or advanced irrigation) or through new social practices like slavery.

    or all those techniques of written communication: these didn't develop by themselves but in the context of societies that grew larger and larger where the administration and excertion of power based on the spoken word grew difficult if not impossible. actually i wouldn't put all sorts of communication in the category of technology (in the sense of "material culture" like pots and ploughs) but cultural practices.

    or science (in it's earlieast incarnation in connection with religious practices) became only possible as there 1.) was a surplus to support unproductive members (not everyone had to be a farmer) and 2.) there was a social structure to support this unproductive behavior (instead of everyone working less, a few stopped working and the rest worked the same as before). if you want, you can call it the economic and political foundations. while the economic foundatios certainly relied on technology, the political ones hardly did .. they relied on power.

    ------------------------

    edit: to get back on track ... one of the questions i'm asking myself in regards to eugenics is the following: will we live in a better society through this? and what would a better society look like? is freedom from physical defficiencies enough? or will the technology that leads to this freedom from "nature", actually lead to new - and subtler - forms of limitations and opressions that wouldn't be in place without it?

    if you want you can use Foucaults concepts of "biopower" and "biopolitics" - power/policy not aimed at the individual but at the population. but at the same time the subjectification ("Subjektivierung") of the individual is quite closely intertwined with this form of power. so while the effect of these practices of genetic engineering likely won't be too noticeable for the individual body, the effect on the individual as subject likely will be.

    People consider adopted children their children and grand children so yes, why not a test tube baby?
    there's a subtle but important difference - the child exists already. while the notion of biological parenthood isn't fulfilled, the concept of parenthood itself stays pretty much untouched - the parents have no "say" in the initial physical constitution of the childs body. they take responsibility for the qualities of rearing, not for the quality of bearing. with the option of genetic engineering (how advanced they may or may not be) this changes fundamentally.
    Last edited by untilted; July 25 2012 at 05:20:20 PM.

  5. #25
    NoirAvlaa's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 12, 2011
    Location
    Liverpool, laaaa
    Posts
    4,066
    The only way I could possibly consider it to exist is for not allowing parents procreate with diseases that will definitely affect the child, ie. HIV, sickle cell. Otherwise I don't think it should even be considered to "breed the most intelligent only" etc as in my opinion a lot of that is more to do with society that genes.

    We will also always need someone to sweep the streets and take our bins etc.

  6. #26
    DevilDude's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Posts
    3,612
    I tend to file Eugenics into my "good ideas humanity isn't ready for" section. As has been stated humans being humans, at this time we'd almost certainly fuck it up. We're more likely to hit the singularity and establish ourselves as a post scarcity society before we sort out all the illogical stupidity tied up in our own procration. In fact hitting the singularity and becoming something more than we are now is probably a prerequisite for being mature enough as a species to start actively controlling our own evolution.

  7. #27
    Donor Aramendel's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 12, 2011
    Posts
    1,934
    Quote Originally Posted by NoirAvlaa View Post
    We will also always need someone to sweep the streets and take our bins etc.
    Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all if that would be done by robots in 50 years.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    August 18, 2011
    Posts
    2,899
    Quote Originally Posted by NoirAvlaa View Post
    The only way I could possibly consider it to exist is for not allowing parents procreate with diseases that will definitely affect the child, ie. HIV,
    You know that nowadays babies born to HIV-positive mothers only get infected ~1% of the time assuming proper medical care, right?

    If you want an example of the sort of thing that it's really hard to argue against deliberately selclecting against, look at something like Huntingtons (simple test, close to 100% diagnostic accuracy, no beneficial side-effects like with sickle cell).

  9. #29

    Join Date
    August 18, 2011
    Posts
    2,899
    Quote Originally Posted by Aramendel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NoirAvlaa View Post
    We will also always need someone to sweep the streets and take our bins etc.
    Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all if that would be done by robots in 50 years.
    Would you be surprised if it wasn't?

  10. #30
    Donor Aramendel's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 12, 2011
    Posts
    1,934
    Quote Originally Posted by definatelynotKKassandra View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aramendel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NoirAvlaa View Post
    We will also always need someone to sweep the streets and take our bins etc.
    Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all if that would be done by robots in 50 years.
    Would you be surprised if it wasn't?
    Of course not. We cannot really reliably predict the future in such time periods. Too much stuff can happen.

    They are however a very realistic possibility. Just look at the room cleaning robots we have today.

    The point being is - "shit jobs" get eventually phased out with technological progress. How many people (in the developed world) actually *manually* plant seeds for a living? Or manually cure hides with piss? There will always be some sort of "lowest tier" for jobs, but the worst (and that usually means: most simple) jobs keep vanishing because machines can do them better.

  11. #31
    Smuggo's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Location
    Behind you
    Posts
    26,669
    Quote Originally Posted by sarabando View Post
    i fully support eugenics to eliminated things like downs and MS ect but i think we should draw the line at things like designer babies ect.
    Why? If you asked someone who had Downs Syndrome or MS if they would rather have never lived at all than lived with a disability, I'm doubtful many would say yes.

    Living with disability might be hard, but hardship is part of life and being 100% healthy is certainly no recipe for happiness either so who are you to pass judgement on the worth of someone's life before they are even born?

  12. #32
    Donor Rudolf Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,223
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sarabando View Post
    i fully support eugenics to eliminated things like downs and MS ect but i think we should draw the line at things like designer babies ect.
    Why? If you asked someone who had Downs Syndrome or MS if they would rather have never lived at all than lived with a disability, I'm doubtful many would say yes.

    Living with disability might be hard, but hardship is part of life and being 100% healthy is certainly no recipe for happiness either so who are you to pass judgement on the worth of someone's life before they are even born?
    Ask the same question to the parents. I bet their answers may be a bit more muddled.

  13. #33
    Donor Aea's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 13, 2011
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    12,901
    I'm surprised somebody with a Biology background hasn't chimed in on the genetic and evolutionary problems of Eugenics and Designer Humans.

    Genetic variation and mutation are extremely important to any species's success and are the driving forces behind evolution. Unfortunately the large majority of mutations are detrimental to the survival of the organism, and from a human perspective dramatically lower the quality of life. It can be assumed that screening both parents and fetuses for severely debilitating mutations (e.g. Trisomy 21) or hereditary conditions (e.g. Huntington's disease) is going to have an immediate and lasting positive effect.

    There will of course be those that argue that disrupting the "nature of things" and/or recommending against procreation or abortion is morally wrong. There will also likely be a far larger group who believe that eliminating diseases that greatly reduce quality of life of the individual, place a burden on caretakers and carry an enormous social and economic cost is an overall net-positive.

    Designer babies on the other hand are a wholly different ballgame that I think are an very bad idea. So bad I don't think it should even be suggested as a possibility without an extreme leap in our understanding of human genetics and cultural evolution. Two main reasons for this: 1) We simply don't have a good understanding of the human genome, and gene interactions, 2) Designer Babies will lead to selection of socially preferred genes and reduce genetic diversity.

    The first will be solved with time, the second is a more fundamental problem. There are basically three main categories that I think we would want to select for: Physical Fitness, Intellectual and Psychological Faculties and Sexiness. I'm not sure the latter is even a real word, but you should be able to get the point. In most parents minds having a cute baby and an attractive adult will probably be number one priority. We'd likely be creating a world where most people would opt for combinations considered sexy and go down a path of uniformity. This reduction of genetic diversity would not be a good thing. But this becomes a more significant problem when we consider intelligence.

    There are hundreds of different personality types, and there are many, many (much less documented) differences in the way that people think. The Autism Spectrum is seen quite popularly as something thats extremely bad, yet many of the sub-types within actually grant significant benefits. Somebody might be an extreme introvert yet absolutely brilliant at mathematics. Another person may be seen as intellectually un-gifted yet extroverted and able to bridge and communicate effectively. Somebody can be extremely rigidly logical, yet another person may think in unusual and creative ways. All types of people come together to form effective and productive societies. Objectively not one of these combinations is necessarily worse or better. But given the opportunity to choose I don't think humans are capable of being objective. As with appearance, we would be tempted to choose what we see as being the most immediately valuable or socially attractive.

    Then there's also the huge and unconsidered human aspect of designer babies. We have an fairly prolific problem in society of being unhappy with our bodies, our minds, our attractiveness. Yet there is some solace in that what we turned out to be is an random combination of our parental genes. But what if your parents choose for you? What cost would this have on psychological decisions when we have humans become created that grow up with the knowledge that they could have been what they see as the perfect combination?

    Of course many of these problems are perhaps answered if we had a single entity in control of these decisions. But the future doesn't seem likely to have such a large, and arguably very socialist power structure coming into being.

  14. #34
    Super Moderator Global Moderator Evelgrivion's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Posts
    11,687
    Eugenics is, frankly, a non-starter from an ethics standpoint. In spite of the good intentions of eugenics, any program aimed at improving human breeding stock would require giving a substantial quantity of personal liberty to a central authority. This central authority would wield a tremendous amount of power over people's lives for the sake of fulfilling an ambition that would take many generations. Eugenics is the kind of thing that looks attractive to two groups; far sighted planners with the best intentions, and politicians who like the prospect of more power. Neither group offers the promise of a better life to anyone living, sans the people who want and can afford to engineer their children to fit the zeitgeist, while opening the door to new kinds of abuse.

    There are much better problems that could be solved by the central planning needed to enact an ideal eugenics program, such as energy and food supplies. Eugenics is a hopeless cause; there is no way to improve mankind without denying liberty, and it's comically easy to imagine how eugenics could be abused for personal gain or for flaunting power.

  15. #35
    XenosisReaper
    Guest
    The issue I have with designer babies can be summed up as thus: when everyone is perfect, no one will be.

  16. #36
    Donor Aramendel's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 12, 2011
    Posts
    1,934
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Why? If you asked someone who had Downs Syndrome or MS if they would rather have never lived at all than lived with a disability, I'm doubtful many would say yes.

    Living with disability might be hard, but hardship is part of life and being 100% healthy is certainly no recipe for happiness either so who are you to pass judgement on the worth of someone's life before they are even born?
    Because they are not alive before this. And take, if born, the place of someone healthy.

    The argument is not "If you have disabilities you have no right to live". The argument is "You as parent should be able to decide if you rather want to have a child with birth defects or not instead having to rely on random chance." If a couple finds children with Downs Syndrome adorable they can happily have them.


    Also, "100% healthy is certainly no recipe for happiness"... that is a very bad argument. There exists no fail-safe which makes you to 100% happy. Arguing that "x does not matter because to has no sure chance of achieving y" would mean that nothing in existence does matter.

    The only thing what matters is how likely x does achieve y. Would you seriously argue that being healthy has not an higher chance to make you happy than being disabled?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evelgrivion View Post
    Eugenics is, frankly, a non-starter from an ethics standpoint. In spite of the good intentions of eugenics, any program aimed at improving human breeding stock would require giving a substantial quantity of personal liberty to a central authority.
    Eugenics does not has to be organized by a central authority. Parents being able to decide if they want to remove birth defects or genetic illnesses from their babys DNA would also be classified as Eugenics.
    Last edited by Aramendel; July 26 2012 at 07:31:50 AM.

  17. #37
    Smuggo's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Location
    Behind you
    Posts
    26,669
    Quote Originally Posted by Aramendel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Why? If you asked someone who had Downs Syndrome or MS if they would rather have never lived at all than lived with a disability, I'm doubtful many would say yes.

    Living with disability might be hard, but hardship is part of life and being 100% healthy is certainly no recipe for happiness either so who are you to pass judgement on the worth of someone's life before they are even born?
    Because they are not alive before this. And take, if born, the place of someone healthy.
    So healthy people have more right to life?

    While I support a woman's right to seek an abortion, I don't think this should extend beyond the simple right to choose to be a parent or not.

    At the end of the day, having children is full of ups and downs and is hard work but can also be rewarding. If people start trying to weed out what are viewed as "undesirable" traits (whatever they may be) then we end up becoming utterly homogeneous and will ultimately be worse off because of it.

  18. #38
    Donor Aramendel's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 12, 2011
    Posts
    1,934
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    So healthy people have more right to life?
    No, both have equal rights.

    Does the disabled person have more rights to live because it happened first? No? If both have equal rights to live it is up to their parents to decide what they rather would have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    At the end of the day, having children is full of ups and downs and is hard work but can also be rewarding.
    Same argumentation fallacy as in your previous post. *Everything* can have rewarding moments. You take something which applies universally and try to use it as argument for or against a certain thing.
    Last edited by Aramendel; July 26 2012 at 09:11:29 AM.

  19. #39
    Smuggo's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 9, 2011
    Location
    Behind you
    Posts
    26,669
    Quote Originally Posted by Aramendel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    So healthy people have more right to life?
    No, both have equal rights.

    Does the disabled person have more rights to live because it happened first? No? If both have equal rights to live it is up to their parents to decide what they rather would have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    At the end of the day, having children is full of ups and downs and is hard work but can also be rewarding.
    Same argumentation fallacy as in your previous post. *Everything* can have rewarding moments. You take something which applies universally and try to use it as argument for or against a certain thing.
    Then why try and be so selective about something where you cannot possibly know how things will turn out?

  20. #40
    Donor lt's Avatar
    Join Date
    April 10, 2011
    Posts
    3,049
    Quote Originally Posted by Rudolf Miller View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sarabando View Post
    i fully support eugenics to eliminated things like downs and MS ect but i think we should draw the line at things like designer babies ect.
    Why? If you asked someone who had Downs Syndrome or MS if they would rather have never lived at all than lived with a disability, I'm doubtful many would say yes.

    Living with disability might be hard, but hardship is part of life and being 100% healthy is certainly no recipe for happiness either so who are you to pass judgement on the worth of someone's life before they are even born?
    Ask the same question to the parents. I bet their answers may be a bit more muddled.
    I think you are wrong there. It's their kid, they love it regardless.
    Coming soon(tm).


    <3 Entrox.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •