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Should eugenics be used to improve the human race?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 months ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 268 times Debate No: 91972
Debate Rounds (5)
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I believe eugenics is a viable option for improving the overall quality or life for all humans. Eugenics (also called scientific selection, or artificial selection) has a bad reputation, obviously because it was a tactic used by the Nazis to create a master Aryan race. I am here to defend it.

By participating in this debate, you are hereby accepting the following:

- Eugenics is defined as: the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.

- I, corporealbeing, do not believe in killing people who are genetically inferior than average. I also don't believe that race is a factor when deciding whether or not someone is fit to produce offspring. You can not attack me and call me a racist, Nazi, or murderer.

- Statements that are made during the argument (that are not obvious, common knowledge, subjective, or morally debatable) must be cited. Credible sources are mandatory.

- We will both be respectful and will refrain from attacking each other personally. This means no ad hominems (which in my opinion, are a waste of time). Discussing the moral issues behind eugenics, however, is permitted. Frankly, it's most of the argument against it.

- No new arguments will be made in the final round. The final round is for our closing statements.

I hopefully await for a contender.


I will be accepting the challenge.
Debate Round No. 1


First, I would like to address that humanity as a race changes everyday, just like all animals do. Every new baby will effect the gene pool, and for wild animals who undergo the process of natural selection, this can easily be a good thing. For humans, however, change is left entirely up to chance, and we as a species today are not the striving evolutionary force some think we are, but a static, genetic lottery.

We are a product of evolution. [1] So if this is the case, and the age of human natural selection is over due to modern medication, wouldn't we need a replacement for natural selection in order to improve as a race? Of course we would, and that replacement would be called artificial selection (or selective breeding, when referring to animals), which is a process humans have been using on animals for thousands of years. [2] We've been getting better at it, and we can genetically improve cattle to fit our needs. [3] We can also genetically engineer plants and animals to posses more desirable traits [4], and even conceive a litter of puppies in vitro.

With all this technology in our hands, why aren't we using it to produce healthier, happier, smarter human babies? Well, it is an odd notion that when it comes to genetics, all humans are almost exactly the same (and undesirable traits that are genetically transmitted from parent to offspring have to be put up with instead of fixed, in order to protect someone's feelings), genetic makeup is a much less important factor than education and environment when it comes to determining a person's personality and intelligence, and you can say that children look and act like their parents, but the moment you say that dumb people are likely to have dumb children, you are immediately chastised for being pretentious and rude.

To those who don't call you pretentious, and to those who see the obvious genetic correlation between parent and offspring, I ask you this: "If you know artificial selection works, why do you condemn it?"

The answer being that most people are ignorant of the goals set by the modern eugenics movement, and ignorant of the wonders that scientific selection can do for humanity.

The following is an excerpt from Future Human Evolution: Eugenics in the Twenty-First Century:

"Positive eugenics refers to approaches intended to raise fertility among the genetically advantaged. These include financial and political stimuli, targeted demographic analyses, in vitro fertilization, egg transplants, and cloning. Pronatalist countries (that is, those that wish to stimulate their birth rates) already engage in moderate forms of positive eugenics. Negative eugenics, which is aimed at lowering fertility among the genetically disadvantaged, is largely encompassed under the rubric of family planning and genetic counseling. This includes abortions, sterilization, and other methods of family planning. To ensure that such services are available to all on a nondiscriminatory basis, it is advocated that, at a minimum, persons with low income receive such services on a free basis. Genetic engineering, which was unknown to early eugenicists, consists of active intervention in the germ line without necessarily encouraging or discouraging reproduction of advantaged or disadvantaged individuals. It will allow people to have their own biological children without passing on their most problematic genes." [6]

As you can see, the eugenics movement is not as bad as people may think it is. An example of a society that engages in eugenics would be one that encourages genetically fit males and females to donate eggs and sperm, one that penalizes people deemed genetically unfit for having babies without proper genetic engineering to protect the baby (possibly by fining them, just as China does when a married couple has more than two children [7]), and one that makes abortions free for those who cannot afford them.

Some may wonder why we even need eugenics, since it seems we are already doing so well. Well, eugenics can help us as a species produce generations were each individual has a higher overall genotypic intelligence, is healthy and is not a carrier of genetic diseases, and is fit to take on all of life's perils.

Intelligence is passed down from parents to children genetically. [8] If a child is born with inferior intelligence, he or she usually cannot be salvaged. Parents with high IQ scores tend to have children with high IQ scores, and while IQ is not necessarily a completely accurate measure of intelligence, it has been shown to be able to differentiate the intelligently superior with the intelligently inferior, even if at what some would call a basic level. It is a test worked on by many psychologists, and shouldn't be taken for a grain of salt.

Not only will artificial selection improve our intelligence, but our health too.

Here is another passage from Future Human Evolution: Eugenics in the Twenty-First Century, which is a book that can explain the positive side of negative eugenics better than I can:

"Ashkenazim, who until some forty years ago largely intermarried, carry a dozen recessive genetic diseases with relatively high frequency. The best known is an autosomal disorder christened Tay-Sachs after its description in 1881 by the British ophthalmologist Warren Tay. It is caused by the hereditary lack of a crucial enzyme that normally breaks down fatty waste products found in the brain. If both parents are carriers of the gene, the child has a 25% chance of suffering from the disease, and a 50% chance of being a carrier. One in 27 Jews in the United States carries the gene. A baby suffering from the disease at first appears normal, but becomes hypersensitive to sound after a few months. Eventually the child becomes deaf, blind, mentally retarded, and unresponsive to outside stimuli. Death results by age five.

In 1985, Rabbi Joseph Eckstein, citing the Bible and the Talmud, founded the international genetic testing program called Dor yeshorim ("generation of the righteous") with the goal of preventing further children from being born with the illness. In the program, Orthodox Jewish students are tested to determine if they carry the gene. If only one prospective parent is a carrier they are not advised against marriage, but if both test positive they are counseled to choose a different marriage partner." [6]

As you can see, eugenics improves the health of the populous.




I must say, I am genuinely impressed by the quality of your argument. I will concede defeat for this debate, because you have changed my mind on the topic of eugenics. I was under a false impression, and thus have nothing to rebut your argument with.
Debate Round No. 2


Very well. Thank you for participating. :)


RedAnarchist forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


RedAnarchist forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


Vote pro!


RedAnarchist forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by corporealbeing 4 months ago
@Meropenem777 I advocate for both, and I believe gene manipulation and artificial selection can work alongside each other. Maybe sometime in the distant future genetic engineering will be available to everyone and accepted by the majority of people, but that isn't the case right now.
Posted by Meropenem777 5 months ago
What kind of eugenics are you arguing for? Selecting favorable traits or gene manipulation?

I say gene manipulation as an option because that will very likely be an option in the future, like in the movie Gattaca. In the movie, geneticists manipulate the genes of unborn children.

So my position would be that we don't need to do sexual selection.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lord_megatron 4 months ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceded