With rising health costs and the dramatic loss in public interest in the sciences it has become a concern whether or not our children are living up to their potential. The scary thing I propose is; what if they are? What if our crime rate is due to genetically inferior beings being born to genetically inferior parents? Are you a product of your make-up? Research has an answer to that and the newest details say yes. Yes it is. The solution to this and many other problems should and could be humanitarian Eugenics. By humanitarian Eugenics I mean that we should view this problem not by exterminating undesirables from the gene pool but instead weeding them out through successive generations of selective breeding programs.
Another way toward this goal would be the abortion of unwanted and genetically inferior fetuses inspected via genome sequencing in utero (Mattei 505). What if, to say, you and your significant other found out that you were having a baby? Mazel tov! After either celebrating or crying over your ruined life you find out that the baby, through non-invasive prenatal testing (Meehan, 87), your unborn bundle of joy, will come out with fully formed Down’s syndrome? Would you want to keep it knowing its quality of life would be hindered and even more important, your quality of life? Would you want to know this before going through with your pregnancy? Unless you are a religious zealot you’d probably opt for an abortion, thus saving your time and money and that of our American healthcare system.
The problem that comes up most often when the subject of eugenics is that we all supposedly have a right to reproduce and every unborn child deserves a chance. What if you knew your child would not have a fair advantage due to being severely retarded or perhaps is a carrier of a terminal virus? Would you really want that child to live that life?
My problem with our current society is that we still hold to the motto that every man (and woman) is created equal. If people would just open their eyes, they would realize that this is definitely not true. Take me for example. I’m short and heavy set. I have a predisposition to drugs and alcohol and I encompass a myriad of emotional and mental disorders. Thankfully, I have found the right treatments for my ailments but am I really equal to a taller, more athletic, genius level IQ man or woman with no mental disorders? No. In fact, my reproducing could be harmful for the population at large, seeing as I would be passing my ill-gotten genes onto a poor unknowing little person, dooming them to a life time of mental and physical anguish. Plus, a taller, sexier person is more fun to look at.
Should I be able to reproduce and burden society with my offspring? The answer is no. That would, in a perfect world, be a crime. However, there have been advancements in the fields of genetic engineering and cell surgery to produce the best our genomes have to offer (Fox 1). However, this is still years away from being a viable option for near do well prospective parents.
In a chat with a like-minded colleague (Erin Chamblee), we have devised a plan that would cut down on unwanted pregnancies and that of offspring with ill-gotten genetic traits. I propose that we institute a licensing program instituted by the government Board of Health. Just the way you’d get a license to drive, you should be tested and pass a survey of qualities and IQ tests in order to reproduce.
Far be it from me to ask that all of humanity submit to these sorts of tests, but this is in a perfect world; imagine no disease, cancer, mental illness, or violence. Who knows what the world would have been like if Osama Bin Laden’s mother had to have herself, and her mate, tested prior to producing him? It would have never come to term because we would of, first, denied them the right to make him and second, as a fetus, genetically screen him for aggressive and homicidal traits Based on said homicidal traits, he would be aborted.
I know that many people would love to become parents, but I should draw a distinction between want and need. People may want to reproduce but it’s almost never taken into consideration whether or not this would be good for humanity at large.
I bring upon the idea brought on by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in response to those who oppose abortion, who introduced me to the idea of the Beethoven fallacy (Dawkins, 298). The Beethoven fallacy states that if you abort your baby, you could of just aborted the next Beethoven or Einstein. My problem with this is that for one, what if it became the next Hitler? Another thing would be to reiterate the fact that if your genealogy has no spectacular academics or family with any certain positive trait, then you will most likely produce an average to below average child.
The idea that everyone is entitled to offspring is outdated in my opinion. Another nail in the pro-life coffin is the fact that we already have so many people on this Earth that there is already a shortage of food and medicinal care for everyone. Sooner or later a quarter of humanity will die out in a Darwinian fashion. We must think Darwinian if we are to progress in this life.
The majority of humanity may very well oppose the concept of eugenics, but I think the Nazis using it gave it in the way that they did gave it a bad rap. I am not talking about genocide, but instead implementing a licensing program with existing human beings. Those who qualify for reproduction will be able to breed legally and those unfit will not.
It is supposed that reproduction is a basic human right and obviously those who subscribe to pretty much any religion in existence will oppose the idea. But to them I ask, why let unfit and abusive beings reproduce and bring a child who may be overly aggressive by design into a violent and / or oppressively poor household (I say poor, both in the financial sense as well as emotionally and intellectually). A child may be doomed to repeat mistakes that his or her parents have previously done and would do so in the sense of nature and nurture.
The idea that a fetus must not be aborted does not actually appear anywhere in the standard King James Bible, in which most Christian religions take their teachings from. The hypocrisy of the situation is that it does however teach the concept of ‘an eye for an eye’, stating that those who commit certain crimes should not be subject to God’s punishment and mercy (he’s pretty big on that in the New Testament), but instead we as humans dole out his wrath.
Why must we draw the distinction here? We get rid of those who are undesirable and unfit for civilized society yet we do not give this same distinction toward those who have yet to be produced via the tried and true method of sperm and egg unitization. We have the capability not to do this and it will only gain acceptance as the newer generations accept the sciences as a rock solid fact of life.
Religion and fundamentalism are on the decline as society begins to think for themselves, but there is still a strong right in this country and it is very vocal despite its declining numbers. Hopeful successes have already come to fruition with a newly elected mostly liberal congress and forward thinking president.
Again, as I said, I am not stating that we euthanize those less desirable than the top percent, but it would be a good start to sterilize those with a family history of vagrancy and poor living skills. It has been said that your genetics do not determine the person you are. Happily this myth is being debunked little by little every day as science progresses.
You are your genes. Do you really want to pass them on?
Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion, Oxford Press, 2006
Fox, Dave, The Illiberality of ‘Liberal Eugenics’, Journal Compilation 2007, 1-25
Meehan, Mary, Eugenics Triumphant in Prenatal Testing, Human Life Review, Fall 2012, Vol. 35 Issue 4, p87-104
Mattei, Jean Francois, Humanity and Human DNA, European Journal of Medical Genetics, 2012, 503-509
Holland, Brian, Way Down The Line, Ixnay on the Hombre, 1996