Morality of Eugenics?

Apr 2018
525
Upland, Sweden
#21
Good thread. Maybe "psychopathy" existsfor a reason?

I suspect that a lot of what we identify as empathy among people just serves to act justly toward people in our immediate environment and families, which means good social relationships with these people, and better odds of procreation (e.g. we aren't abandoned by social supports).

If even average people were truly empathetic and caring they'd dedicate their lives to the needy, but this type of thing is completely contrary to the imperative of evolution, which is oriented to survival/reproduction of the self.
I think you are creating a false dichotomy between self interest and altriusm. If the self did not care about it's own existence, how could it be in a position to care about others? Besides, I think there is case to be made that we have a sense of morals that is more deeply rooted and multi-faceted than you give us credit for. It's interesting that well adjusted humans do not usually, in times of normalcy, behave like dolphins or orcas for example.

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And so I don't think sociopathy/psychopathy should necessarily be looked at as a condition, per se, but rather an extreme along a spectrum of empathetic behaviour. In the same way someone could be an extreme introvert. And so over time, because the ability to acquire resources at the expense of others leads to more children, eventually we should see genetic recombination result in sociopathy/psychopathy.

So in other words, you can't cull psychopaths just like you can't cull extroverts. It's an intrinsic part of our genome.
Interesting points, and I completely buy the spectrum idea - I just doubt whether acquiring resources at the expense of others necessarily does lead to more children. Its a parasitic strategy, and will harm society's longterm chances of survival (at least if everyone does it) after all - if people figure out that's what you're doing, there might be very severe social consequences to such behaviour. But yes, perhaps parasitism among some members is useful for society at large, as a way of strengthening the metaphorical immune system if nothing else...

I like to think of human societies as similar to eco-systems. Just like an eco-system benefits from biological diversity there might be a broader point to things like psychopathy emerging, even though it isn't obvious at first glance.
 
Feb 2017
201
Canada
#22
Good thread. Maybe "psychopathy" existsfor a reason?

I think you are creating a false dichotomy between self interest and altriusm. If the self did not care about it's own existence, how could it be in a position to care about others? Besides, I think there is case to be made that we have a sense of morals that is more deeply rooted and multi-faceted than you give us credit for. It's interesting that well adjusted humans do not usually, in times of normalcy, behave like dolphins or orcas for example.
It's true, I can be a little more pessimistic about human nature.

At face value, in a structured and robust economy, most people appear well-behaved, with good moral sense. But I think it would be naive to believe that a lot of how we behave doesn't come down to simple cost/benefit calculations. If the benefit is greater than the cost, we do it. If the cost is greater than the benefit, we don't do it.

True moral sense is understanding and caring about the emotions and feelings of others, not just going through the motions and carrying out rituals like holding doors, or donating a few bucks to the needy. And I think this type of moral sense is extremely rare.

Interesting points, and I completely buy the spectrum idea - I just doubt whether acquiring resources at the expense of others necessarily does lead to more children. Its a parasitic strategy, and will harm society's long-term chances of survival (at least if everyone does it) after all - if people figure out that's what you're doing, there might be very severe social consequences to such behaviour. But yes, perhaps parasitism among some members is useful for society at large, as a way of strengthening the metaphorical immune system if nothing else...

I like to think of human societies as similar to eco-systems. Just like an eco-system benefits from biological diversity there might be a broader point to things like psychopathy emerging, even though it isn't obvious at first glance.
Gaining resources at the expense of others doesn't need to be parasitism, when it's done within the bounds of social nicety. Even obtaining a job over other candidates, keeping a job while others are laid off, making a needlessly high income that you don't try to distribute. This type of thing is so normalized within the bounds of 'fair' that we don't define it as selfishness. And in a way it's not because maybe life should work that way, but I don't think we should pretend that trying to make as much money as possible so you can have kids is somehow not completely oriented to the self.

This takes us back to the fact that evolution ultimately doesn't work for the good of the species.
 
Mar 2014
1,800
Lithuania
#23
I think, that punitive eugenics forbidding some people to have children is very bad idea. But there is another side of the coin, you can practice Eugenics by positive reinforcement for people to have children. Choose traits that are desirable and to some extend hereditary and provide money, tax brakes, extra vacation time etc for every child for couples that meet requirements.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#24
There was a film called' Gattaca' a few years ago where society had the ability to alter the DNA of a foetus in utero, literally designing offspring. There was a sub-class of people who could not afford this practice. They were called 'invalids' and did all the shitty manual work. I guess it was meant to be a cautionary tale about eugenics .I have no issue with eugenics as long as me and mine benefit or at least are not disadvantaged. I think I've mentioned before that I strongly suspect that human clones have already been produced. This would be by any number of powerful states. Eg US, China,Russia.;

Would I practice eugenics on a psychopaths? If they broke the law, probably. However, it must be understood that relatively few psychopaths become murderers or some other kind of criminal .Perhaps most are smart enough not to get caught or find other outlets for their psychopathy.. A surprising number can apparently be found in the corporate world. Gee, I'm tempted to make some comments about current US politics, but I won't ;)


Academics refer to psychopaths in the workplace individually variously as workplace psychopaths, executive psychopaths, corporate psychopaths, business psychopaths, successful psychopaths, office psychopaths, white-collar psychopaths, industrial psychopaths, organizational psychopaths or occupational psychopaths.[5] Criminal psychologist Robert D. Hare coined the term "snakes in suits" as a synonym for workplace psychopaths.[6]

Psychopathy in the workplace - Wikipedia

Gattaca - Wikipedia
 
Nov 2018
105
Idaho
#25
As long as the government isn't involved, I really don't care if people selectively breed and genetically engineer their kids. But when it comes to state interventions, I don't trust these people to deliver mail, much less manage reproduction. I don't really have much truck for 'morality' as I think it's somewhere between a cognitive error and a scam, but if you're asking what I approve/disapprove of that's it.
 

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