Eugenics could be used as a force for good

May 18, 2015, 1:20 pm

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The debate "Eugenics could be used as a force for good" was started by jonatron5 on May 18, 2015, 1:20 pm. 2 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 6 people are on the disagree side. There needs to be more votes to see what the common perception is. It looks like most people are against to this statement.

jonatron5 posted 2 arguments to the agreers part.
PsychDave posted 3 arguments, Sosocratese posted 2 arguments to the disagreers part.

jonatron5 and 1 visitor agree.
PsychDave, Sosocratese, evamara, soullesschicken, ReadyToBegin and 1 visitor disagree.

@jonatron
You're making a huge mistake if you only breed based on phenotype. You are ignoring so many genetic factors. Immunology for example is based entirely on genetic diversity. The more diverse your genome is, the better your immune system, and the more diverse your Ig can be. Since Ig is based on the H, L, and V chains there is a exponentially larger Ig variability that you can produce with more genetic variability.

You also increase the amount genetic disease if you decrease the genetic diversity. And limited breeding pairs.

Research also shows a link between intelligence and genetics (twin studies). How would you determine this through phenotype alone? How do you know that recessive genes can't be passed down to offspring producing genetically desirable children?

How do you keep desirable and undesirable people from breeding with each other? How would you actually implement a program that would produce the effects you desire without forcefully sterilizing those that you deem undesirable?

All eugenics philosophers/thinkers have required a form of forceful sterilization for their theories to work. How would you get around the problem of undesired breeding. Simply stating you would increase the ratio of desirable breeding vs undesirable is not an answer. You have to show a plausible social program for this to be a viable.

You would also be producing a kind of genetic bottleneck which produces an increase in recessive gene disorders, in a sense accomplishing the exact opposite of the program. How would you solve this problem?

4 years, 6 months ago

And how do you intend to maintain such a ratio?

There are two ways to do it. One is to breed more "desirable" people, which is difficult without violating their human rights. The other is to prevent or discourage "undesirable" breeding, which is impossible without violating their human rights.

4 years, 6 months ago

selective breeding based on phenotype actually is fine. you don't have to understand how the gents works to understand you generate taller or smarter children when taller or smarter people breed.

also psychdave your claim about preventing the unfit from breeding isn't true at all. all you have to do is have a ratio. if the natural breeding rate of undesirables is 5 children per couple then you need desirable to produce on average 10 children.

4 years, 6 months ago

Eugenics has to include a way of preventing people with non desirable genes from reproducing, otherwise it accomplishes nothing. Whether that is by execution or sterilization, the aim is to purge undesirable genes from the population. Incentivised breeding would be ineffectual since most people do not want someone else controlling who they reproduce with. There are no incentives permitted in society powerful enough to motivate people to allow themselves to let another choose who they mate with.

4 years, 6 months ago

Eugenics is traditionally defined as selective breeding and sterilization based on the believe that certain attributes are desirable and based on genetics.

The problem is that we have a severe lack of understanding in how the genome actually affects such traits. So we can't use genotype to selectively breed. This leaves us only with phenotype. This means we select based on displayed traits rather than genetic traits.

If we ever come to understand traits as complex as intellect, it would probably be much easier to simply manipulate the genes rather than screen for them and selectively sterilize those that don't posses these traits.

You also have to take into account recessive genes which may not be displayed in the parent, but could still be passed off to the offspring.

In short it's a silly idea that would cause people to be forcefully sterilized based on a very limited knowledge base of genetics and biased.

4 years, 6 months ago

who said anything about purges? why not incentivised breeding

4 years, 6 months ago

It could conceivably be used to improve the species, but there is no context in which genetic purges could be considered good.

4 years, 6 months ago
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