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Eugenics, Abortion and Morals

Cyrano
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3/10/2013 10:36:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, the human population has been reduced to a few hundred thousand in scattered colonies around the planet. Life is extremely difficult, what with a wasted environment and a severe lack of resources. Merely existing is in itself a minor victory.

Communication between colonies is non-existent. Therefore, without up-to-date knowledge of the survival or health of any other colony, as far as each colony is concerned, they bear sole responsibility for ensuring the continuation of the human species, and the re-development of human society. Without a strict adherence to that responsibility, for all they know humans could become extinct within a few generations.

In one such colony, the leaders have settled on the best method of ensuring the strongest possible chance for humanity - eugenics.

Medical, psychological, and intelligence tests are administered to each and ever member of the colony. The results are translated into categorical scores for each person: Physical health, psychological health and intelligence. Breeding programs are introduced and enforced. Specific strains are bred in - the strong, the smart, the leaders, the servile. Other strains are bred out, unless they conflict with an otherwise desirable trait - the weak, the stupid, the rebellious, and the lazy.

All breeding is managed and controlled by the colony leaders. Any breeding which does not conform to the rules is forcibly prevented; any that slips through is managed and removed post-conception, pre-natal in order to preserve resources for those members of the colony that have been conceived in accordance with the eugenics program rules. Any breeding candidates who do not comply with the dictates of the program are manually milked/inseminated and then the mothers-to-be are detained and overseen for the duration of the pregnancy.

Scientists in the colony predict that the eugenics program will create a healthier overall population which is psychologically more aligned to the wellbeing of the colony as a whole, which includes obedient workers and soldiers 1.5 times stronger and faster than otherwise would be the norm, leaders and academics 1.3 times smarter. The scientists maintain that the population will overall be 3 times more likely to succeed in ensuring the continuation and improvement of the human race than if no eugenics program had been implemented.

Is this eugenics program moral or not?
Are the abortions moral or not?
Both are done for the greater good.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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3/10/2013 10:52:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:36:43 PM, Cyrano wrote:
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, the human population has been reduced to a few hundred thousand in scattered colonies around the planet. Life is extremely difficult, what with a wasted environment and a severe lack of resources. Merely existing is in itself a minor victory.

Communication between colonies is non-existent. Therefore, without up-to-date knowledge of the survival or health of any other colony, as far as each colony is concerned, they bear sole responsibility for ensuring the continuation of the human species, and the re-development of human society. Without a strict adherence to that responsibility, for all they know humans could become extinct within a few generations.

In one such colony, the leaders have settled on the best method of ensuring the strongest possible chance for humanity - eugenics.

Medical, psychological, and intelligence tests are administered to each and ever member of the colony. The results are translated into categorical scores for each person: Physical health, psychological health and intelligence. Breeding programs are introduced and enforced. Specific strains are bred in - the strong, the smart, the leaders, the servile. Other strains are bred out, unless they conflict with an otherwise desirable trait - the weak, the stupid, the rebellious, and the lazy.

All breeding is managed and controlled by the colony leaders. Any breeding which does not conform to the rules is forcibly prevented; any that slips through is managed and removed post-conception, pre-natal in order to preserve resources for those members of the colony that have been conceived in accordance with the eugenics program rules. Any breeding candidates who do not comply with the dictates of the program are manually milked/inseminated and then the mothers-to-be are detained and overseen for the duration of the pregnancy.

Scientists in the colony predict that the eugenics program will create a healthier overall population which is psychologically more aligned to the wellbeing of the colony as a whole, which includes obedient workers and soldiers 1.5 times stronger and faster than otherwise would be the norm, leaders and academics 1.3 times smarter. The scientists maintain that the population will overall be 3 times more likely to succeed in ensuring the continuation and improvement of the human race than if no eugenics program had been implemented.

Is this eugenics program moral or not?
Are the abortions moral or not?
Both are done for the greater good.

What is the greater good? There's no such thing as the greater good. It's just a meaningless phrase that denotes what the elite think is good.

People are not tools on chessboards; they are autonomous moral agents who have the obligation to make choices for themselves. "For the greater good" does not negate this. In fact, the idea of a "greater good" is contradictory if humans have no worth and what's good for them doesn't have to be taken into account.
royalpaladin
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3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.
bossyburrito
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3/10/2013 10:54:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.
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thett3
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3/10/2013 10:58:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't think human survival is an end in itself. If alien races existed we could ensure humanities survival by becoming farm animals, but what kind of a shittty existence is that? Better humanity to die free than to love under such intolerable circumstances
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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3/10/2013 11:00:05 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
*live
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Cyrano
Posts: 33
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3/10/2013 11:06:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:52:23 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
What is the greater good? There's no such thing as the greater good. It's just a meaningless phrase that denotes what the elite think is good.

People are not tools on chessboards; they are autonomous moral agents who have the obligation to make choices for themselves. "For the greater good" does not negate this. In fact, the idea of a "greater good" is contradictory if humans have no worth and what's good for them doesn't have to be taken into account.

By this logic, the entire justice system is immoral and murderers and rapists should be free to walk the streets.
bladerunner060
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3/10/2013 11:07:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 11:06:22 PM, Cyrano wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:52:23 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
What is the greater good? There's no such thing as the greater good. It's just a meaningless phrase that denotes what the elite think is good.

People are not tools on chessboards; they are autonomous moral agents who have the obligation to make choices for themselves. "For the greater good" does not negate this. In fact, the idea of a "greater good" is contradictory if humans have no worth and what's good for them doesn't have to be taken into account.

By this logic, the entire justice system is immoral and murderers and rapists should be free to walk the streets.

That doesn't follow. There are multiple systems that do not appeal to a "greater good" but that still call for the punishment/prevention of crime.
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royalpaladin
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3/10/2013 11:18:53 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 11:06:22 PM, Cyrano wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:52:23 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
What is the greater good? There's no such thing as the greater good. It's just a meaningless phrase that denotes what the elite think is good.

People are not tools on chessboards; they are autonomous moral agents who have the obligation to make choices for themselves. "For the greater good" does not negate this. In fact, the idea of a "greater good" is contradictory if humans have no worth and what's good for them doesn't have to be taken into account.

By this logic, the entire justice system is immoral and murderers and rapists should be free to walk the streets.

I agree that government is immoral. I disagree that murderers and rapists should be free to walk the streets. You are treating them as moral agents by punishing them and respecting their rational worth, so there is nothing wrong with the punishment. Punishment exists in deontological worlds. In fact, a utilitarian system would be the one to permit these people to roam free in the name of the greater good.
thett3
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3/10/2013 11:24:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 11:18:53 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/10/2013 11:06:22 PM, Cyrano wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:52:23 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
What is the greater good? There's no such thing as the greater good. It's just a meaningless phrase that denotes what the elite think is good.

People are not tools on chessboards; they are autonomous moral agents who have the obligation to make choices for themselves. "For the greater good" does not negate this. In fact, the idea of a "greater good" is contradictory if humans have no worth and what's good for them doesn't have to be taken into account.

By this logic, the entire justice system is immoral and murderers and rapists should be free to walk the streets.

I agree that government is immoral. I disagree that murderers and rapists should be free to walk the streets. You are treating them as moral agents by punishing them and respecting their rational worth, so there is nothing wrong with the punishment. Punishment exists in deontological worlds. In fact, a utilitarian system would be the one to permit these people to roam free in the name of the greater good.

Very very true. Nice
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"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
Cyrano
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3/11/2013 4:52:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

From the story, we should assume the leaders are sincerely trying to do what is right for their colony. They are trying to bring about the greater good which you so disdain, not trying to turn anyone into slaves per se.

If the eugenics program is followed, everyone will be perfectly adapted to, and attuned to, their lot in life. They may not be disgruntled or resentful but may in fact be quite content. So "slavery" is an unnecessarily emotive word to use...though admittedly, force is an option to the leaders if anyone baulks at their role.

Think of it in terms of specialisation. Just like workers in organisations are trained or educated to perform specialised tasks, so the population of the colony would be specialised.

And keep in mind that if such specialisation was not done, the human race is at serious risk of going extinct. Specialisation could be seen as a moral obligation. Those who don't toe the line are immoral.

If you were trained in medicine but ended up hating practicing it, and you came across someone who was injured and in great pain, would it be morally okay for you to not help them? Would it be morally justifiable for you to say "Well thats not what I want to do, so I shouldn't feel obligated to do it"?
royalpaladin
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3/11/2013 7:16:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 4:52:37 AM, Cyrano wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

From the story, we should assume the leaders are sincerely trying to do what is right for their colony. They are trying to bring about the greater good which you so disdain, not trying to turn anyone into slaves per se.

If the eugenics program is followed, everyone will be perfectly adapted to, and attuned to, their lot in life. They may not be disgruntled or resentful but may in fact be quite content. So "slavery" is an unnecessarily emotive word to use...though admittedly, force is an option to the leaders if anyone baulks at their role.

Think of it in terms of specialisation. Just like workers in organisations are trained or educated to perform specialised tasks, so the population of the colony would be specialised.

And keep in mind that if such specialisation was not done, the human race is at serious risk of going extinct. Specialisation could be seen as a moral obligation. Those who don't toe the line are immoral.

If you were trained in medicine but ended up hating practicing it, and you came across someone who was injured and in great pain, would it be morally okay for you to not help them? Would it be morally justifiable for you to say "Well thats not what I want to do, so I shouldn't feel obligated to do it"?

Absolutely. You have no obligations to help other people. Rights are positive, and not negative.
AlbinoBunny
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3/11/2013 9:14:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:36:43 PM, Cyrano wrote:
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, the human population has been reduced to a few hundred thousand in scattered colonies around the planet. Life is extremely difficult, what with a wasted environment and a severe lack of resources. Merely existing is in itself a minor victory.

Communication between colonies is non-existent. Therefore, without up-to-date knowledge of the survival or health of any other colony, as far as each colony is concerned, they bear sole responsibility for ensuring the continuation of the human species, and the re-development of human society. Without a strict adherence to that responsibility, for all they know humans could become extinct within a few generations.

In one such colony, the leaders have settled on the best method of ensuring the strongest possible chance for humanity - eugenics.

Medical, psychological, and intelligence tests are administered to each and ever member of the colony. The results are translated into categorical scores for each person: Physical health, psychological health and intelligence. Breeding programs are introduced and enforced. Specific strains are bred in - the strong, the smart, the leaders, the servile. Other strains are bred out, unless they conflict with an otherwise desirable trait - the weak, the stupid, the rebellious, and the lazy.

All breeding is managed and controlled by the colony leaders. Any breeding which does not conform to the rules is forcibly prevented; any that slips through is managed and removed post-conception, pre-natal in order to preserve resources for those members of the colony that have been conceived in accordance with the eugenics program rules. Any breeding candidates who do not comply with the dictates of the program are manually milked/inseminated and then the mothers-to-be are detained and overseen for the duration of the pregnancy.

Scientists in the colony predict that the eugenics program will create a healthier overall population which is psychologically more aligned to the wellbeing of the colony as a whole, which includes obedient workers and soldiers 1.5 times stronger and faster than otherwise would be the norm, leaders and academics 1.3 times smarter. The scientists maintain that the population will overall be 3 times more likely to succeed in ensuring the continuation and improvement of the human race than if no eugenics program had been implemented.

Is this eugenics program moral or not?
Are the abortions moral or not?
Both are done for the greater good.

1. Nope.

2. Nope.

3. Are they? How would they know whether this would actually benefit them or not?
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AlbinoBunny
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3/11/2013 9:17:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 11:52:02 PM, Bull_Diesel wrote:
Government is immoral?

Not necessarily.
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OMGJustinBieber
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3/11/2013 1:14:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:36:43 PM, Cyrano wrote:
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, the human population has been reduced to a few hundred thousand in scattered colonies around the planet. Life is extremely difficult, what with a wasted environment and a severe lack of resources. Merely existing is in itself a minor victory.

Communication between colonies is non-existent. Therefore, without up-to-date knowledge of the survival or health of any other colony, as far as each colony is concerned, they bear sole responsibility for ensuring the continuation of the human species, and the re-development of human society. Without a strict adherence to that responsibility, for all they know humans could become extinct within a few generations.

In one such colony, the leaders have settled on the best method of ensuring the strongest possible chance for humanity - eugenics.

Medical, psychological, and intelligence tests are administered to each and ever member of the colony. The results are translated into categorical scores for each person: Physical health, psychological health and intelligence. Breeding programs are introduced and enforced. Specific strains are bred in - the strong, the smart, the leaders, the servile. Other strains are bred out, unless they conflict with an otherwise desirable trait - the weak, the stupid, the rebellious, and the lazy.

All breeding is managed and controlled by the colony leaders. Any breeding which does not conform to the rules is forcibly prevented; any that slips through is managed and removed post-conception, pre-natal in order to preserve resources for those members of the colony that have been conceived in accordance with the eugenics program rules. Any breeding candidates who do not comply with the dictates of the program are manually milked/inseminated and then the mothers-to-be are detained and overseen for the duration of the pregnancy.

Scientists in the colony predict that the eugenics program will create a healthier overall population which is psychologically more aligned to the wellbeing of the colony as a whole, which includes obedient workers and soldiers 1.5 times stronger and faster than otherwise would be the norm, leaders and academics 1.3 times smarter. The scientists maintain that the population will overall be 3 times more likely to succeed in ensuring the continuation and improvement of the human race than if no eugenics program had been implemented.

Is this eugenics program moral or not?
Are the abortions moral or not?
Both are done for the greater good.

We don't have to envision some far off scenario where these things apply. The idea that eugenics and abortion should be done for the greater good can be argued for fairly strongly even today. It was really only until the Nazis that eugenics seriously fell out of favor. I would just have to reject the idea that "the greater good" (the mean happiness) is what morality ought at aim at. I don't totally discount this type of thinking, I'm just saying that there are other concerns.
Eitan_Zohar
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3/11/2013 1:44:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:52:23 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:36:43 PM, Cyrano wrote:
On a post-apocalyptic Earth, the human population has been reduced to a few hundred thousand in scattered colonies around the planet. Life is extremely difficult, what with a wasted environment and a severe lack of resources. Merely existing is in itself a minor victory.

Communication between colonies is non-existent. Therefore, without up-to-date knowledge of the survival or health of any other colony, as far as each colony is concerned, they bear sole responsibility for ensuring the continuation of the human species, and the re-development of human society. Without a strict adherence to that responsibility, for all they know humans could become extinct within a few generations.

In one such colony, the leaders have settled on the best method of ensuring the strongest possible chance for humanity - eugenics.

Medical, psychological, and intelligence tests are administered to each and ever member of the colony. The results are translated into categorical scores for each person: Physical health, psychological health and intelligence. Breeding programs are introduced and enforced. Specific strains are bred in - the strong, the smart, the leaders, the servile. Other strains are bred out, unless they conflict with an otherwise desirable trait - the weak, the stupid, the rebellious, and the lazy.

All breeding is managed and controlled by the colony leaders. Any breeding which does not conform to the rules is forcibly prevented; any that slips through is managed and removed post-conception, pre-natal in order to preserve resources for those members of the colony that have been conceived in accordance with the eugenics program rules. Any breeding candidates who do not comply with the dictates of the program are manually milked/inseminated and then the mothers-to-be are detained and overseen for the duration of the pregnancy.

Scientists in the colony predict that the eugenics program will create a healthier overall population which is psychologically more aligned to the wellbeing of the colony as a whole, which includes obedient workers and soldiers 1.5 times stronger and faster than otherwise would be the norm, leaders and academics 1.3 times smarter. The scientists maintain that the population will overall be 3 times more likely to succeed in ensuring the continuation and improvement of the human race than if no eugenics program had been implemented.

Is this eugenics program moral or not?
Are the abortions moral or not?
Both are done for the greater good.

What is the greater good? There's no such thing as the greater good. It's just a meaningless phrase that denotes what the elite think is good.

People are not tools on chessboards; they are autonomous moral agents who have the obligation to make choices for themselves. "For the greater good" does not negate this. In fact, the idea of a "greater good" is contradictory if humans have no worth and what's good for them doesn't have to be taken into account.

Two humans are worth more than one.

The idea of "good" is silly, anyway. Everything we do is pragmatic.
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Eitan_Zohar
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3/11/2013 1:57:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

It's easy to adhere to some emotion-based pseudomorality when you talk, but I'd think you'd be the first one to capitulate.

The human race is an agent in itself. We are a collective species and our intelligence and knowledge is collective. You don't think that has a teleological purpose? In fact, it could be argued that our purpose as individuals is to further the human species.
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Skepsikyma
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3/11/2013 4:04:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 1:57:14 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

It's easy to adhere to some emotion-based pseudomorality when you talk, but I'd think you'd be the first one to capitulate.

The human race is an agent in itself. We are a collective species and our intelligence and knowledge is collective. You don't think that has a teleological purpose? In fact, it could be argued that our purpose as individuals is to further the human species.

You might be able to make this point for ants, but it makes no sense when applied to people. We are not completely atomized in that our minds can influence one another (this is where things like culture some from) but we are nowhere near the level of ants, where the structure of a colony somewhat mirrors that of a brain and the species is selected for at the colony, not individual, level. We aren't heading in that direction either; it anything the opposite is true.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
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Cyrano
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3/11/2013 4:51:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 1:57:14 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
The human race is an agent in itself. We are a collective species and our intelligence and knowledge is collective. You don't think that has a teleological purpose? In fact, it could be argued that our purpose as individuals is to further the human species.

At 3/11/2013 4:04:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
we are nowhere near the level of ants, where the structure of a colony somewhat mirrors that of a brain and the species is selected for at the colony, not individual, level. We aren't heading in that direction either; it anything the opposite is true.

These two posts both kind of talk to the point of the post. There is an argument to be had for an obligation on our part to further the human species, and at the moment our evolution may be stagnant, if not devolution.

If we have the scientific knowledge to not only guarantee our continued existence, but to improve the gene pool to boot, is there not a moral obligation to do it?

Imagine a different scenario - we are contacted by aliens who are vastly superior to us. They say "it became apparent to our species that once we had mastered the environment, the laws of natural selection became less effective. Population adaptability and health degraded while population growth accelerated exponentially. Disease, war, lack of resources, and an intolerable oversupply of morons was the order of the day. It was a fairly obvious and necessary decision that in order to continue to evolve for the betterment of our entire species, we had to take direct control over our own evolution. And here we are: jet packs, lasers, faster-than-light travel, and tight-fitting uniforms. How has the same conclusion not dawned on your species yet??"
Eitan_Zohar
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3/11/2013 6:19:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 4:04:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 3/11/2013 1:57:14 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

It's easy to adhere to some emotion-based pseudomorality when you talk, but I'd think you'd be the first one to capitulate.

The human race is an agent in itself. We are a collective species and our intelligence and knowledge is collective. You don't think that has a teleological purpose? In fact, it could be argued that our purpose as individuals is to further the human species.

You might be able to make this point for ants, but it makes no sense when applied to people. We are not completely atomized in that our minds can influence one another (this is where things like culture some from) but we are nowhere near the level of ants, where the structure of a colony somewhat mirrors that of a brain and the species is selected for at the colony, not individual, level. We aren't heading in that direction either; it anything the opposite is true.

No, you could make it for humans quite easily. How do you think civilization exists?
"It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book."
Eitan_Zohar
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3/11/2013 6:20:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 4:51:02 PM, Cyrano wrote:
At 3/11/2013 1:57:14 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
The human race is an agent in itself. We are a collective species and our intelligence and knowledge is collective. You don't think that has a teleological purpose? In fact, it could be argued that our purpose as individuals is to further the human species.


At 3/11/2013 4:04:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
we are nowhere near the level of ants, where the structure of a colony somewhat mirrors that of a brain and the species is selected for at the colony, not individual, level. We aren't heading in that direction either; it anything the opposite is true.

These two posts both kind of talk to the point of the post. There is an argument to be had for an obligation on our part to further the human species, and at the moment our evolution may be stagnant, if not devolution.

If we have the scientific knowledge to not only guarantee our continued existence, but to improve the gene pool to boot, is there not a moral obligation to do it?

Imagine a different scenario - we are contacted by aliens who are vastly superior to us. They say "it became apparent to our species that once we had mastered the environment, the laws of natural selection became less effective. Population adaptability and health degraded while population growth accelerated exponentially. Disease, war, lack of resources, and an intolerable oversupply of morons was the order of the day. It was a fairly obvious and necessary decision that in order to continue to evolve for the betterment of our entire species, we had to take direct control over our own evolution. And here we are: jet packs, lasers, faster-than-light travel, and tight-fitting uniforms. How has the same conclusion not dawned on your species yet??"

Because it would take thousands of generations and because gene altering is much more efficient.
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Skepsikyma
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3/11/2013 6:39:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 4:51:02 PM, Cyrano wrote:
At 3/11/2013 1:57:14 PM, Eitan_Zohar wrote:
The human race is an agent in itself. We are a collective species and our intelligence and knowledge is collective. You don't think that has a teleological purpose? In fact, it could be argued that our purpose as individuals is to further the human species.


At 3/11/2013 4:04:19 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
we are nowhere near the level of ants, where the structure of a colony somewhat mirrors that of a brain and the species is selected for at the colony, not individual, level. We aren't heading in that direction either; it anything the opposite is true.

These two posts both kind of talk to the point of the post. There is an argument to be had for an obligation on our part to further the human species, and at the moment our evolution may be stagnant, if not devolution.

If we have the scientific knowledge to not only guarantee our continued existence, but to improve the gene pool to boot, is there not a moral obligation to do it?

Imagine a different scenario - we are contacted by aliens who are vastly superior to us. They say "it became apparent to our species that once we had mastered the environment, the laws of natural selection became less effective. Population adaptability and health degraded while population growth accelerated exponentially. Disease, war, lack of resources, and an intolerable oversupply of morons was the order of the day. It was a fairly obvious and necessary decision that in order to continue to evolve for the betterment of our entire species, we had to take direct control over our own evolution. And here we are: jet packs, lasers, faster-than-light travel, and tight-fitting uniforms. How has the same conclusion not dawned on your species yet??"

This is the central flaw, and fatal conceit, of all eugenic theories. There is no way to stop natural selection without stopping the cycle of life and death. It is happening to us right now. It always has happened. It always will happen. It is an inevitable fact of life. When eugenicists disagree with the outcome of natural selection they declare that it has stopped, and that they are the ones to start it up again: to decide which people ought to go and which people ought to stay. But if the standard is to be survival, the final verdict rests not with the self-appointed arbiters of our species's destiny but with nature. The population expansion which you were referencing, for example, and the subsequent struggle for resources is actually one of the driving forces behind natural selection, not a symptom that it is somehow failing. Evolution and hardship go hand in hand, and the proposed management of our gene pool by bureaucratic and imperfectly informed overseers in times of plenty sounds like a perfect way to undermine the process while causing countless other societal problems.

I take it from your post that we ought to be headed in the direction of ants, because they are so succesful. (I don't know where else you would get 'devolving' from) This displays a certain misunderstanding about evolutionary science. Species are succesful within their niche, and the nature of each species is tailored to said ecological niche. Wood sorrel is succesful beyond belief, but does that mean that orchids ought to evolve towards that model? No, because each orchid is specialized to a specific condition, and becoming more like wood sorrel would mean abandoning their respective niches and coming into competition with an already specialized and prolific species. The second that they started to move in that direct they would be out-competed and crushed, which is what keeps a species in its niche to begin with. A species cannot devolve. There is no forwards or backwards, there is only adaption to conditions in the pursuit of resources and mates.

The individual members of a species have no collective interest in the continuation of the species, and natural selection only acts upon ants in a strictly collective way due to a colony structure which restricts reproduction to a single member. Humans have succeeded spectacularly using a model which has been progressively drifting away from such collective systems, so anyone who says that we need to move towards them in order to 'evolve' is misusing the term entirely to support some other ideology.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Buddamoose
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3/11/2013 7:17:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

I would ummm, run away, or at least try to. Killing oneself over such a thing seems like a rather silly idea to me. And if I found another place with people I'd try to get those people to, idk, go stop it. Killing oneself would honestly be a waste in my honest opinion.

To seriously answer the OP now, The idea of eugenics is not something I agree with in any circumstance. To force someone to "breed" if you will, is rather despicable to me. If the population is at that low a level to me the smartest idea would be to let nature run its course.

People are gonna procreate, humanity wouldnt go extinct cause well, sex is awesome is it not? And cause its awesome, babies will be made. The only thing I would even think would be justified in forcing someone to do in this situation, is forcing a woman to actually give birth to a child if said woman becomes pregant. Yeah, thats right, in these circumstances brought up, abortion most certainly would have to be illegal, by necessity of specie continuance.

I understand that ultimately, it may be viewed as wrong. But sometimes bad things, if you will, have to be done, depending on the circumstances, to ensure something worse doesnt happen. Like:

Killing a person who is in the process of a killing spree
Demolishing houses down surrounding a large fire, to prevent the fire from spreading.

etc.

So banning abortion to ensure the human species survives seems perfectly reasonable to me. Eugenics however, sure as hell isnt. People should always be free to procreate with whomever they dam well please, if both partners are consenting.
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
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bossyburrito
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3/11/2013 7:25:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 7:17:36 PM, Buddamoose wrote:
At 3/10/2013 10:53:14 PM, royalpaladin wrote:
If I lived in that society, I would commit suicide and encourage everyone else to do it as well. Let the elite kill each other while trying to turn one another into slaves.

I would ummm, run away, or at least try to. Killing oneself over such a thing seems like a rather silly idea to me. And if I found another place with people I'd try to get those people to, idk, go stop it. Killing oneself would honestly be a waste in my honest opinion.

To seriously answer the OP now, The idea of eugenics is not something I agree with in any circumstance. To force someone to "breed" if you will, is rather despicable to me. If the population is at that low a level to me the smartest idea would be to let nature run its course.

People are gonna procreate, humanity wouldnt go extinct cause well, sex is awesome is it not? And cause its awesome, babies will be made. The only thing I would even think would be justified in forcing someone to do in this situation, is forcing a woman to actually give birth to a child if said woman becomes pregant. Yeah, thats right, in these circumstances brought up, abortion most certainly would have to be illegal, by necessity of specie continuance.

I understand that ultimately, it may be viewed as wrong. But sometimes bad things, if you will, have to be done, depending on the circumstances, to ensure something worse doesnt happen.
No obligation to.
Like:

Killing a person who is in the process of a killing spree
That person violated other's right to not be killed. While he is in the act of killing, if no other option is available then it is justifiable. Abortion isn't violating other's rights.
Demolishing houses down surrounding a large fire, to prevent the fire from spreading.
If the owners of the property do not agree to it it is not justifiable.

etc.

So banning abortion to ensure the human species survives seems perfectly reasonable to me. Eugenics however, sure as hell isnt. People should always be free to procreate with whomever they dam well please, if both partners are consenting.

The right to your body can never be overwritten.
#UnbanTheMadman

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Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
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Buddamoose
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3/11/2013 8:02:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 7:25:42 PM, bossyburrito wrote:
At who gives a shat what time Buddamoose wrote:
Demolishing houses down surrounding a large fire, to prevent the fire from spreading.
If the owners of the property do not agree to it it is not justifiable.

I 100% agree, those people are more then welcome to let their house burn down:) Gonna likely be damaged and unliveable either way. And hey, at least the second way you dont have to compensate em for demolishing their house. They let it get destroyed themselves :D

etc.

So banning abortion to ensure the human species survives seems perfectly reasonable to me. Eugenics however, sure as hell isnt. People should always be free to procreate with whomever they dam well please, if both partners are consenting.

The right to your body can never be overwritten.

meh, you're free to hold that opinion. I hold the survival of the specie above a persons right to abort in this circumstance. After all, what are rights if there is no-one around to argue over what they actually are and how they should be treated ;)
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
Buddamoose
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3/11/2013 8:07:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 8:02:04 PM, Buddamoose wrote:

After all, what good are rights if there is no-one around to argue over them and enjoy them?
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
Buddamoose
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3/11/2013 8:07:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
^^fix'd
"Reality is an illusion created due to a lack of alcohol"
-Airmax1227

"You were the moon all this time, and he was always there to make you shine."

"Was he the sun?"

"No honey, he was the darkness"

-Kazekirion
Cyrano
Posts: 33
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3/11/2013 8:41:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 6:39:59 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
This is the central flaw, and fatal conceit, of all eugenic theories. There is no way to stop natural selection without stopping the cycle of life and death.

I beg to differ. Now that we are not solely driven by survival instinct, because we have dominated our environment and thus do not need to select a partner who is best able to reproduce and provide for the offspring, and because we have laws which protect the weak (from violence/discrimination) and policies which help those who are unable to help themselves such as social services and benefit payments, natural selection can be stopped, at least at the individual level.

It is happening to us right now. It always has happened. It always will happen. It is an inevitable fact of life. When eugenicists disagree with the outcome of natural selection they declare that it has stopped, and that they are the ones to start it up again: to decide which people ought to go and which people ought to stay. But if the standard is to be survival, the final verdict rests not with the self-appointed arbiters of our species's destiny but with nature. The population expansion which you were referencing, for example, and the subsequent struggle for resources is actually one of the driving forces behind natural selection, not a symptom that it is somehow failing.

I did not mean to imply that population explosion was a symptom of NS' failing, but I would certainly disagree that it is a driving force. I doubt anyone would look at the world population of over 7 billion and think "Wow, now that I see THAT I realise that I must make sure I select a fertile, well-educated mate who can ensure my genes are protected and continued." I would say it is fairly obvious that NS and human evolution is the cause of rampant overpopulation. As they say in the sci-fi movies: humans are a plague on this planet.

Evolution and hardship go hand in hand, and the proposed management of our gene pool by bureaucratic and imperfectly informed overseers in times of plenty sounds like a perfect way to undermine the process while causing countless other societal problems.

I take it from your post that we ought to be headed in the direction of ants, because they are so succesful. (I don't know where else you would get 'devolving' from)

I used the word devolving off the cuff. No real scientific evidence behind it. But if individuals who are ill-equipped to compete and survive are permitted to breed unchecked and do so without a moments hesitation, while those who are very well equipped choose not to, or to have fewer offspring, then the overall quality of the gene pool could indeed be regressing.

This displays a certain misunderstanding about evolutionary science. Species are succesful within their niche, and the nature of each species is tailored to said ecological niche. Wood sorrel is succesful beyond belief, but does that mean that orchids ought to evolve towards that model? No, because each orchid is specialized to a specific condition, and becoming more like wood sorrel would mean abandoning their respective niches and coming into competition with an already specialized and prolific species. The second that they started to move in that direct they would be out-competed and crushed, which is what keeps a species in its niche to begin with. A species cannot devolve. There is no forwards or backwards, there is only adaption to conditions in the pursuit of resources and mates.

Human evolution, including the evolution of laws and social policies mentioned above, means there is no more competition between individual required for survival. The least-equipped may still breed like rabbits and their progeny may do the same. Therefore NS, which encourages those adaptations and mutations which best equip the individual to out-compete the next individual, is no long a driving evolutionary force.

The individual members of a species have no collective interest in the continuation of the species, and natural selection only acts upon ants in a strictly collective way due to a colony structure which restricts reproduction to a single member. Humans have succeeded spectacularly using a model which has been progressively drifting away from such collective systems, so anyone who says that we need to move towards them in order to 'evolve' is misusing the term entirely to support some other ideology.

I did not mean any kind of hive mentality. Just an overriding, supervised "correction" to human evolution since our current state of affairs means NS is less effective.
Cyrano
Posts: 33
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3/11/2013 8:50:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 3/11/2013 7:17:36 PM, Buddamoose wrote:
People are gonna procreate, humanity wouldnt go extinct cause well, sex is awesome is it not? And cause its awesome, babies will be made. The only thing I would even think would be justified in forcing someone to do in this situation, is forcing a woman to actually give birth to a child if said woman becomes pregant. Yeah, thats right, in these circumstances brought up, abortion most certainly would have to be illegal, by necessity of specie continuance.

The purpose of the hypothetical eugenics program is not simply to increase the population, but to breed those individuals who give the colony as a whole the best chance to survive in a suddenly extremely hostile environment.

And if they did not do this, then humanity may well go extinct (in the supposed situation) because they are not equipped (mentally or physically) to deal with the challenges they now face.


I understand that ultimately, it may be viewed as wrong. But sometimes bad things, if you will, have to be done, depending on the circumstances, to ensure something worse doesnt happen

Yup!