How Eugenics is just misunderstood.
There’s been a lot of talk about atheist’s books recently selling so well. Famous Atheist Richard Dawkins seems to be all over the news with his atheistic screed, “The God Delusion,” which dismisses all religious faith as “insanity.”
He claims to be a liberator. But what is the other option? Without God, we have the law of the jungle. Without God, each life is not inherently valuable so the worth of each person can only be judged by others. This inevitably leads to eugenics. You think I’m jumping the gun, don’t you?
Dawkins, for instance, has been quoted saying he believes eugenics is a wildly wonderful idea which was ruined, for a time, by Hitler, who spoiled everyone’s fun.
This from the aforementioned Dawkins:
In the 1920s and 1930s, scientists from both the political left and right would not have found the idea of designer babies particularly dangerous – though of course they would not have used that phrase. Today, I suspect that the idea is too dangerous for comfortable discussion, and my conjecture is that Adolf Hitler is responsible for the change.
Nobody wants to be caught agreeing with that monster, even in a single particular. The spectre of Hitler has led some scientists to stray from “ought” to “is” and deny that breeding for human qualities is even possible. But if you can breed cattle for milk yield, horses for running speed, and dogs for herding skill, why on Earth should it be impossible to breed humans for mathematical, musical or athletic ability? Objections such as “these are not one-dimensional abilities” apply equally to cows, horses and dogs and never stopped anybody in practice.
I wonder whether, some 60 years after Hitler’s death, we might at least venture to ask what the moral difference is between breeding for musical ability and forcing a child to take music lessons.
The logical end of atheism by 1945 was Europe in smoking ruins, millions dead, families torn apart, an atom bomb detonated in Hirsohima and Nagasaki, millions “missing” in Stalin’s Russia, and Mao massacring millions more.
Even here in America, we saw a Supreme Court decision in Buck v. Bell, which upheld Virginia’s involuntary sterilization laws. In his majority opinion, Oliver Wendell Holmes said: “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind . . . Three generations of imbeciles is enough.”
Because of this decision, states authorized more than 60,000 forcible sterilizations and segregated, institutionalized, and denied marriage and parental rights to those deemed “genetically unfit.” Compare Holmes’ quote to Adolf Hitler who wrote in Mein Kampf, “The demand that defective people be prevented from propagating equally defective offspring. . . represents the most humane act of mankind.”
In the 21st century, the ending could be bloodier, the graveyards more crowded because we have better weapons. We’re quite simply better at killing. To shrug off religion is not to embrace freedom, it is to invite anarchy and totalitarianism. It is Darwinism or God, choose your side.
In recent years, Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, has said, “It does not seem quite wise to increase any further draining of limited resources by increasing the number of children with impairments.”
And impairments can mean anything folks.
In January, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urged all women regardless of age to undergo prenatal screening for Down syndrome, aware of statistics that greater than 85 percent of pregnancies diagnosed with Down syndrome end in abortion.
Eugenics are typically embraced by the powerful, the wealthy and the educated simply because it’s easy for those who see themselves as winners to look at the “losers” as something apart from themselves.
We’ve seen this before. And unless we prevent it we’re all going to lose.
May 24, 2007 at 7:33 pm
“The logical end of atheism by 1945 was Europe in smoking ruins, millions dead, families torn apart, an atom bomb detonated in Hirsohima and Nagasaki, millions “missing” in Stalin’s Russia, and Mao massacring millions more.”
This is just so broad, fatuous, prejudiced, and knee-jerk it deserves no comment. Is you tactic just to broadly equate atheism with everything you think is bad without evidence?
“Its Darwinism or God”
Do you believe in Creationism. Seeing as how Darwinism is supported by over a century and a half of accumulated evidenceand in 2,000 years no one has ever come up with a good argument for the existence of a god, I’ll face reality, choose Darwin, and try to find an ethical life with it. We don’t need fairy tales to support ethics.
Oh and by the way, Hitler was a Catholic and if anyone is responsible for the promotion of anti-semitism in Europe it is the Catholic Church.
May 24, 2007 at 8:16 pm
Try to follow. Darwin was mentioned as a reference to the Survival of the fittest not to the origin of species.
May 24, 2007 at 8:44 pm
But Darwinism is applicable only to the origin of our species. It mechanism of natural selection has no necessary relevance to ethics.
May 24, 2007 at 9:07 pm
Once again, Darwinism in this instance was used as a reference to the concept of the survival of the fittest (A foundational concept of darwinian evolution) in the context of society any civilization. When applied to man, surival of the fittest devalues the worth of anyone deemed to have ‘impairments’. This is Eugenics. Weed out the less fit. Hence, the ethical issues.
P.S. We here at CMR are happy to engage in dialogue on a variety of issues but we will not allow personal attacks or nastiness of any kind. Please keep that in mind when posting comments.