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TheKNYHT's avatar

Making A Better Man-Origin of Eugenics: When Did It Start?

Asked by TheKNYHT (686points) July 11th, 2009

I’ve been reading some rather startling information about eugenics, its origins, its various manifestations throughout history, and even its presence in modern early 20th century America. What you have found out regarding this science?

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5 Answers

fireinthepriory's avatar

What have I found out about it? Nothing good. As soon as people get obsessed with making the gene pool “better,” bad things will follow. Who decides what is “better,” and who gets to determine how this “betterment” will come about? It’s all really terrifying stuff that takes away civil liberties at best and at worst can approach genocide.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

I think some good things can be done with eugenics certainly. genetic diseases may be preventable with much more research of coarse but it’s a very realistic goal. but as mentioned before there’s a very thin line between saving lives and altering human nature, if eugenics is to be developed it needs to be highly regulated.

whitenoise's avatar

I feel that eugenics so far has never offered a sensible, ethically sound alternative to natural selection. Being born and raised in the aftermath of World War II in Europe, I have seen too much of what evil can be brought on by eugenics as a doctrine, in line with what @fireinthepriory so eloquently expressed, above.

New developments may offer some scientific options for individuals, such as being able to select the gender of your child when you are known to carry a genetic illness that is gender-specific. These, however, are not eugenics from my perspective. I think it is a far cry away from parents aiming for the best possible chances for their children to people wanting to improve the race.

To improve or race through eugenics will always imply intolerable, unethical consequences, I fear. The doctrine of eugenics implies restriction of and meddling with reproductive rights of many individuals.

A free choice to (try to) reproduce or not and with a free choice of partner is a fundamental human right, as is the right to live for whoever has been born. These rights are so fundamental that giving these up to improve our race, is like giving up our humanity in order to become better humans.

It is interesting to note that in many aspects, mankind has halted natural selection. For instance: we have caesarians so that we can save mothers and children; we do all we can to save small, premature children; and we help people with fertility issues to procreate. These actions are aimed at improving the options of live to individuals.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@whitenoise we also save and help people with disabilities, rather than leaving them to die out in the elements, as was done centuries ago. If Eugenics could rid the world of bigots and racists, I’d be all for it, but it creates them more than reduces them.

whitenoise's avatar

I am happy we do take care of our people better nowadays…
But with reference to your remark on bigots and racists… even when eugenics could rid the world of bigots and racists I would feel that is not the way to do it. The reward seems tempting, indeed, but the price is too high to pay.

So far eugenics is not feared by racists and bigots, but quite often looked at with a yearning anticipation.

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