By Christoper Reilly
American Life League
If you have ever heard the word “eugenics,” you probably know that it is a heinous act. And in the 21st century, we’re supposed to be more sophisticated and better behaved than the Nazis or the 18th and 19th century Americans who plotted massive exterminations of the “undesirable” population. In today’s world, where individuals have a host of legal “rights,” it might seem safe to revisit such goals as purifying the human race of genetic defects, preventing births in locations designated by scientists as overpopulated, and using abortion and contraception (often the same thing) to remove “unwanted” preborn persons before they undergo a life of illness or disability—or simply because they are the less preferred sex.
Why is eugenics—the attempt to perfect the human race by controlling reproduction—wrong? After all, hardly anyone believes that it is wrong for an individual to try to improve himself. And few people believe it is wrong to try to improve society. If today’s eugenicists (who rarely call themselves by this name) are merely trying to create better individuals and a better society, and to rid our world of disabilities and disease, what’s so bad about that?
One moral issue with eugenics is the striving for control over individuals. Numerous scientists, medical professionals, and policymakers already feel they know what is best for society. Patterns of thinking like progressivism—a political ideology that promotes a scientific, supposedly objective, and morally neutral perspective in creating public policy—find a home among classes of educated and largely non-religious persons who share similar experiences and social networks. Transhumanism also appeals to persons enamored with both the imagined capabilities of the biological sciences and the idea of enhancing the biology of humans to develop superhuman abilities, health, and intelligence.
Individuals are too diverse and unpredictable, however, to expect them to independently make choices that will comply with the eugenicists’ preferences. To get individuals to make decisions about their reproduction and children in a way that will supposedly eliminate disease, poverty, disability, and maybe even perceived immorality from the world, eugenicists have a number of options. They can use laws or executive authorities to force or encourage people to abort “unfit” babies, undergo surgical sterilization to prevent pregnancy, and take contraceptives or abortion-inducing drugs or devices.
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Listen to Chris discuss the rising tide of modern day eugenics on the Thundering Legion podcast with Christine Ross in the YouTube video below.