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There is no need to fear here. J1234 writes:

How many people believe that cognitively disabled folks (with Down syndrome, for example) are some lower class of people who must be kept down because of their differences? And how many people think there should be more brain surgeons and airline pilots with Down syndrome?

Most people are willing to accept the biological realities of disabilities without degrading the value of human life in accordance with such disabilities. They see nothing inconsistent in that because there isn’t anything inconsistent about it.

Relatedly, a reminder that as the state-enforced eugenics movement of the Progressive Era was a predominantly leftist cause, so are the voluntary individualistic eugenics of today a primarily leftist cause.

The following graph shows the percentages of people, by political orientation, who would want (or want their partner) to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”:

Opinions will vary wildly on the morality and desirability of such an action. But it is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.

GSS variables used: GENEABRT, POLVIEWS

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Ideology, Science • Tags: Abortion, GSS, Hbd 
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  1. … to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”…

    … is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.

    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    A cursory search brings forth all forms of descriptions of eugenics, all saying the same thing, that it is concerned with improving the breed — NOT the individual life or the lives of the parents.

    From Britannica, for example:

    Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics to improve future generations…

    The choice to abort is not a eugenic one. It simply has a eugenic effect.

    • Replies: @Wyatt
    @Buzz Mohawk

    The thing people always forget in arguments like this is that the eugenics side has natural selection in its corner. If a baby animal is born retarded, physically defective or in some way disadvantaged, there's an overwhelming chance it's going to die before it gets to breed, thus preventing its genes from spreading. The only reason this doesn't happen among modern humans is because we have such a wide amount of resources available that can compensate for the inefficiency of the derps. Once the abundance is depleted, the dysgenically enabled die off in droves, just as Mother Nature intended.

    Humans are unparalleled in their ability to create moral and ethical standards to try and fight the unrelenting tide of hard sciences and still manage to think they're correct. You can't fix stupid, but leftists have made the case that there is no such thing as too late a late term abortion.

    , @Dumbo
    @Buzz Mohawk


    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.
     
    But this would be the same argument for abortion in general, i.e. 1. saving a child from poverty or non-adequate resources, or 2. saving the parents from having a child they don't want.

    The choice to abort babies with genetic problems is really more abut eugenics, consciously or not.
    , @Almost Missouri
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I just logged in to the comments to say the same thing a different way:


    Opinions will vary wildly on the morality and desirability of [abortion]. But it is inarguably eugenic in intent
     
    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I've seen.

    Of the abortions I am familiar enough with to discern the parent(s)'s motives, approximately zero were with any eugenic intent, and approximately all of them were with intent to serve the parent's convenience. In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing "for eugenics" might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything "eugenic" is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke "eugenics" in the eye.

    Nor, I think, can it be said that "abortion is unarguably eugenic in effect". Again looking at the above set of abortions, every one of those conceptions was from above-average germlines on both sides, so no "eugenic" purpose could be said to have been served by aborting them. (Except perhaps for the very narrow and marginal purpose that the mother may have believed that by aborting this pregnancy, she would make herself available for an even more above-average father in the future. The fact that as far as I know none of these women did go on to mate with better germlines in the future tends to negate even this limited exception.)

    Then there is the set of ill-advised pregnancies where even abortion-averse people such as myself start thinking, "you know, maybe abortion is the least bad option here". Again going on the instances with which I am familiar enough to discern backgrounds and motives, zero of these pregnancies got aborted. All of them carried to term.

    So whatever potential for eugenics abortion theoretically has, it ain't getting used in the real world. Rather the reverse, actually.

    Replies: @res, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    , @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics for non-fatal genetic disorders because someone is arbitrarily deciding (for example Down's syndrome) what is 'undesirable' without any evidence based on personal choice and taste - discrimination. Arguably we can only objectively determine fatal genetic disorders are undesirable because they result in death; I would exclude those from the definition of eugenics.

    Here's a definition of eugenics in a paper on Down syndrome:


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/keeping-backdoor-eugenics-ajar-disability-and-future-prenatal-screening/2016-04

    . A report from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register claims that in 2012 in England and Wales, 90 percent of 1,259 fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome were terminated [53]. Moreover, in England and Wales, the annual rates for termination after a Down syndrome diagnosis between 1989 and 2012 have ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent [5]. In addition, 10 out of 18 European countries are reported to have an average termination rate of 88 percent after a diagnosis of Down syndrome [54]. Finally, termination rates of 95 percent in certain areas of Australia [55] and 74 percent in select US states are reported [5, 56].

    Within this context, and drawing on our claims as outlined above, one may argue that prenatal screening represents a form of eugenics and that the “choice” promised by such techniques is not necessarily a (free) choice at all. Force is not involved in prenatal screening decision making (except in presumably rare but understudied familial circumstances) but, arguably, eugenics does not require force. One can claim that even making screening available for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions is already, by definition, suggesting that they are not valued reproductive outcomes [57-59].
     

    So there's a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down's isn't a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down's considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    When I've debated eugenicists in the past - they can't defend their position at all for aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders so dishonestly shift to focus only on fatal genetic disorders that virtually no one is debating. Unlike Down syndrome there's no controversy in the bioethics literature about aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders - search Google Scholar and 0 show up (unlike dozens of papers on Down's).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Alexander Turok, @silviosilver, @Audacious Epigone

  2. Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    I can understand if people with strong religious convictions might consider it the right thing to do. If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth, then I suppose it might seem to make sense to bring the baby to term. The question of why ‘God’ would implant a soul into a foetus destined to be born as a micro-cephalic idiot, incapable even of moral choice is rarely considered.

    I am not religious and therefore believe that mind and consciousness are emergent characteristics, I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Perhaps because they cannot bring themselves to terminate their own unborn child.

    I won't judge couples that wilt under the prospect of having to care, for the rest of their lives, for a child that will never grow up to become an independent, productive citizen. If one has not faced that choice, oneself, it is too easy to judge those that have faced it.

    But my wife and I could never bring ourselves to terminate our own.


    If a baby animal is born retarded, physically defective or in some way disadvantaged, there’s an overwhelming chance it’s going to die before it gets to breed....
     
    Yes, modern conditions are perverse. Man is maladapted to them. Trouble will come of the fact.

    Our ancestors grasped Macaulay better than we: “For every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.” The modern disruption of the normal, ordinary, sorrowful mechanism by which the unfit had, during ancestral times, been bred perforce out of the population is inhuman.

    However, the deliberate termination of one's own unborn child is inhuman, too. 'Tis a dilemma.

    It would be better that we were not presented with the choice.

    Replies: @Stealth

    , @res
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Once I expressed wonder about why someone would bring a baby like that into the world. The person I was talking to had tried and failed to have children. She seemed perfectly able to understand.

    It's worth noting that most Down's babies are born to older mothers and it may very well be their last chance. The biological drive is strong.

    Replies: @iffen

    , @Almost Missouri
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Who among us has perfect genetics? Perhaps others move in more Olympian circles than I do, but IMHO the short answer to this question is "no one". Everyone has some genetic defects. Even Achilles had his heel. So the only question is how much defect is "serious"? This is hazy and subjective.

    But it doesn't really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The "well being of the child" or "genetic defects" may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

    As I may have mentioned, I once worked at a facility for the congenitally handicapped. I never once heard any of those people lament their lot in life as genetic defectives, as you call them. And it's not that they didn't ever complain. They were not shy about complaining about other things, no second helping of ice cream for example, but they never complained about being born sub-par.

    Ironically, it was my fellow able-bodied staff members who were much more likely to complain about their genetic bequests: not being strong enough, beautiful enough, clever enough, energetic enough, etc. I'm not sure how anyone knows what amount of strength, beauty, brains, energy, etc. they are entitled to, but somehow people seem to have strong notions about this.

    I have to conclude, therefore, that the whole abortion-prevents-a-life-of-suffering meme is a projection of the upward-aspiring genetic middle class onto the genetic lower class. The genetic lower class are certainly not the ones complaining of "suffering" (other than from lack of ice cream).

    I might have put the question directly to some of the more cognitive among my charges: "would you have preferred not to have been born?", but besides that fact that I don't see how anyone can answer that question accurately, it would have added to my already excessive reputation for raising awkward questions.

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth
     
    I think this misstates the matter. It's not that there's a trickster God mischievously implanting souls "at some arbitrary point" into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It's that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.

    Note that this excludes conception from rape, since you didn't help to create it. This used to be too obvious to need stating, but the increasing befuddlement in our era causes obvious facts to become obscure while absurdities elevate to doctrine.

    I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.
     
    I think this conflates two different things. "Defective" was addressed above. "Damaged" is a different question. A fetus that is actually damaged by some outside intervention, e.g., Thalidomide, has already undergone a partial material coup against the divine-human collaboration. The very difficult question then facing the prospective parent is whether to accept—on behalf of one's self and one's future child—the consequences of this unwelcome outside intervention, or whether it is better to face the void and embrace oblivion in hopes of a better tomorrow? It is an understatement to say I envy no one such a choice.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Alexander Turok, @Dissident

  3. @Buzz Mohawk

    ... to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”...

    ... is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     
    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    A cursory search brings forth all forms of descriptions of eugenics, all saying the same thing, that it is concerned with improving the breed --- NOT the individual life or the lives of the parents.

    From Britannica, for example:

    Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics to improve future generations...
     
    The choice to abort is not a eugenic one. It simply has a eugenic effect.

    Replies: @Wyatt, @Dumbo, @Almost Missouri, @Oliver D. Smith

    The thing people always forget in arguments like this is that the eugenics side has natural selection in its corner. If a baby animal is born retarded, physically defective or in some way disadvantaged, there’s an overwhelming chance it’s going to die before it gets to breed, thus preventing its genes from spreading. The only reason this doesn’t happen among modern humans is because we have such a wide amount of resources available that can compensate for the inefficiency of the derps. Once the abundance is depleted, the dysgenically enabled die off in droves, just as Mother Nature intended.

    Humans are unparalleled in their ability to create moral and ethical standards to try and fight the unrelenting tide of hard sciences and still manage to think they’re correct. You can’t fix stupid, but leftists have made the case that there is no such thing as too late a late term abortion.

    • Troll: Corvinus
  4. @Buzz Mohawk

    ... to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”...

    ... is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     
    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    A cursory search brings forth all forms of descriptions of eugenics, all saying the same thing, that it is concerned with improving the breed --- NOT the individual life or the lives of the parents.

    From Britannica, for example:

    Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics to improve future generations...
     
    The choice to abort is not a eugenic one. It simply has a eugenic effect.

    Replies: @Wyatt, @Dumbo, @Almost Missouri, @Oliver D. Smith

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    But this would be the same argument for abortion in general, i.e. 1. saving a child from poverty or non-adequate resources, or 2. saving the parents from having a child they don’t want.

    The choice to abort babies with genetic problems is really more abut eugenics, consciously or not.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  5. Anti-abortion sentiment the single greatest threat to civil society and germline human genetic health.

    Remember, it’s not the people with down syndrome who threaten the population. Most of them won’t breed, and they’re pretty rare.

    It’s the diabetics, the obese, the alcoholic, the bald, the ugly, the babblers, the drug users, the color blind, the sub-100 IQs, etc, who threaten our society. These people can breed, and are the combined majority. Most of them would have been aborted if it weren’t for the disgusting influence of Christianity, which stigmatizes abortion, and tne restrictive red state laws and shitty healthcare access.

    Nothing delivers more bang for your buck than free, abundant abortion services. Nothing. Evolution speeds up rapidly when every bug-eyed, craggy 3D bitch with a jutting lower lip and pig tusks is able to abort their worthless fetuses for free. Christians want these people reproducing en masse, and are even willing to pay for it. Christians are the enemy.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @JohnPlywood

    I disagree, but you write well.

    , @Jay Fink
    @JohnPlywood

    I am trying to figure out if this is parody. Some of the groups you mention do threaten society, others such as the color blind do not.

    Replies: @Kratoklastes

    , @MattinLA
    @JohnPlywood

    What a larf. Yeah, since abortion was legalized 50 years ago, we've had a generation of geniuses being born. Clown.

    Replies: @JohnPlywood

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @JohnPlywood

    "pig tusks" is on the edge. The schoolmarm is issuing a warning rather than enacting a clandestine edit.

  6. @MarkU
    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    I can understand if people with strong religious convictions might consider it the right thing to do. If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth, then I suppose it might seem to make sense to bring the baby to term. The question of why 'God' would implant a soul into a foetus destined to be born as a micro-cephalic idiot, incapable even of moral choice is rarely considered.

    I am not religious and therefore believe that mind and consciousness are emergent characteristics, I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @res, @Almost Missouri

    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    Perhaps because they cannot bring themselves to terminate their own unborn child.

    I won’t judge couples that wilt under the prospect of having to care, for the rest of their lives, for a child that will never grow up to become an independent, productive citizen. If one has not faced that choice, oneself, it is too easy to judge those that have faced it.

    But my wife and I could never bring ourselves to terminate our own.

    If a baby animal is born retarded, physically defective or in some way disadvantaged, there’s an overwhelming chance it’s going to die before it gets to breed….

    Yes, modern conditions are perverse. Man is maladapted to them. Trouble will come of the fact.

    Our ancestors grasped Macaulay better than we: “For every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.” The modern disruption of the normal, ordinary, sorrowful mechanism by which the unfit had, during ancestral times, been bred perforce out of the population is inhuman.

    However, the deliberate termination of one’s own unborn child is inhuman, too. ‘Tis a dilemma.

    It would be better that we were not presented with the choice.

    • Agree: unit472
    • Replies: @Stealth
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Apparently those ancient selection pressures weren't doing their job well enough. Anatomically modern humans have been degenerating physically since our genesis.

  7. There is a problem with defining ‘serious genetic defect’ and can it be detected in the womb. Homosexuals better pray parents do not gain the ability to find out before junior is born because, for many, this condition might be more ‘offensive’ to them than a hare lip or club foot which can be medically treated.

    Intellectually I tend to favor ‘eugenics’. After all we practice it on barnyard animals but we also get turkeys and chickens with breasts so heavy they cannot stand. What we as people find desirable may not be what nature has in mind with survival of the fittest. Charles Murray might suggest high IQ is the most desirable trait for modern post industrial society but what if 1000 years from now technological civilization has collapsed and we are back in the stone age. A large, strong and ruthless human might have the evolutionary advantage over a small, sensitive but clever human. Men might prefer all women to resemble Playboy playmates but if it were to happen we might end up with a situation like non human mammals where one alpha male fathers all the children and the beta males father none.

    • Replies: @Realist
    @unit472


    Charles Murray might suggest high IQ is the most desirable trait for modern post industrial society but what if 1000 years from now technological civilization has collapsed and we are back in the stone age.
     
    Being intelligent is always an advantage.

    A large, strong and ruthless human might have the evolutionary advantage over a small, sensitive but clever human.
     
    Not for long the intelligent human would develop a weapon and kill the dumbass.
    , @Jay Fink
    @unit472

    One alpha male fathering all the children can not happen due to finances. Plus most alpha males wouldn't desire to have hundreds of kids. The only way that situation could happen is through welfare. The polygamy compounds in Utah depend on large amounts of welfare and food stamps. But if enough men are shut out of reproduction they would quit working or work just hard enough to survive. The tax base would rapidly deplete. They could print money to support all these children but printing has it's own set of problems as we are starting to see.

    Replies: @unit472

  8. @V. K. Ovelund
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Perhaps because they cannot bring themselves to terminate their own unborn child.

    I won't judge couples that wilt under the prospect of having to care, for the rest of their lives, for a child that will never grow up to become an independent, productive citizen. If one has not faced that choice, oneself, it is too easy to judge those that have faced it.

    But my wife and I could never bring ourselves to terminate our own.


    If a baby animal is born retarded, physically defective or in some way disadvantaged, there’s an overwhelming chance it’s going to die before it gets to breed....
     
    Yes, modern conditions are perverse. Man is maladapted to them. Trouble will come of the fact.

    Our ancestors grasped Macaulay better than we: “For every man upon this earth death cometh soon or late.” The modern disruption of the normal, ordinary, sorrowful mechanism by which the unfit had, during ancestral times, been bred perforce out of the population is inhuman.

    However, the deliberate termination of one's own unborn child is inhuman, too. 'Tis a dilemma.

    It would be better that we were not presented with the choice.

    Replies: @Stealth

    Apparently those ancient selection pressures weren’t doing their job well enough. Anatomically modern humans have been degenerating physically since our genesis.

  9. @JohnPlywood
    Anti-abortion sentiment the single greatest threat to civil society and germline human genetic health.

    Remember, it's not the people with down syndrome who threaten the population. Most of them won't breed, and they're pretty rare.

    It's the diabetics, the obese, the alcoholic, the bald, the ugly, the babblers, the drug users, the color blind, the sub-100 IQs, etc, who threaten our society. These people can breed, and are the combined majority. Most of them would have been aborted if it weren't for the disgusting influence of Christianity, which stigmatizes abortion, and tne restrictive red state laws and shitty healthcare access.

    Nothing delivers more bang for your buck than free, abundant abortion services. Nothing. Evolution speeds up rapidly when every bug-eyed, craggy 3D bitch with a jutting lower lip and pig tusks is able to abort their worthless fetuses for free. Christians want these people reproducing en masse, and are even willing to pay for it. Christians are the enemy.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @Jay Fink, @MattinLA, @Audacious Epigone

    I disagree, but you write well.

    • Thanks: JohnPlywood
  10. Relatedly, a reminder that as the state-enforced eugenics movement of the Progressive Era was a predominantly leftist cause, so are the voluntary individualistic eugenics of today a primarily leftist cause.

    A good thing to remember and point out to people.

    Oddly, “the voluntary individualistic eugenics of today” is something where I think parts of the alt-right (read the comments here) are more in agreement with leftists than much of the GOP. Though perhaps for different reasons.

  11. @MarkU
    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    I can understand if people with strong religious convictions might consider it the right thing to do. If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth, then I suppose it might seem to make sense to bring the baby to term. The question of why 'God' would implant a soul into a foetus destined to be born as a micro-cephalic idiot, incapable even of moral choice is rarely considered.

    I am not religious and therefore believe that mind and consciousness are emergent characteristics, I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @res, @Almost Missouri

    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    Once I expressed wonder about why someone would bring a baby like that into the world. The person I was talking to had tried and failed to have children. She seemed perfectly able to understand.

    It’s worth noting that most Down’s babies are born to older mothers and it may very well be their last chance. The biological drive is strong.

    • Replies: @iffen
    @res

    The biological drive is strong.

    All the time I see references to the "biological drive" to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the "drive" to have children?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Oliver D. Smith

  12. @Buzz Mohawk

    ... to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”...

    ... is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     
    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    A cursory search brings forth all forms of descriptions of eugenics, all saying the same thing, that it is concerned with improving the breed --- NOT the individual life or the lives of the parents.

    From Britannica, for example:

    Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics to improve future generations...
     
    The choice to abort is not a eugenic one. It simply has a eugenic effect.

    Replies: @Wyatt, @Dumbo, @Almost Missouri, @Oliver D. Smith

    I just logged in to the comments to say the same thing a different way:

    Opinions will vary wildly on the morality and desirability of [abortion]. But it is inarguably eugenic in intent

    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I’ve seen.

    Of the abortions I am familiar enough with to discern the parent(s)’s motives, approximately zero were with any eugenic intent, and approximately all of them were with intent to serve the parent’s convenience. In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing “for eugenics” might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything “eugenic” is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke “eugenics” in the eye.

    Nor, I think, can it be said that “abortion is unarguably eugenic in effect“. Again looking at the above set of abortions, every one of those conceptions was from above-average germlines on both sides, so no “eugenic” purpose could be said to have been served by aborting them. (Except perhaps for the very narrow and marginal purpose that the mother may have believed that by aborting this pregnancy, she would make herself available for an even more above-average father in the future. The fact that as far as I know none of these women did go on to mate with better germlines in the future tends to negate even this limited exception.)

    Then there is the set of ill-advised pregnancies where even abortion-averse people such as myself start thinking, “you know, maybe abortion is the least bad option here”. Again going on the instances with which I am familiar enough to discern backgrounds and motives, zero of these pregnancies got aborted. All of them carried to term.

    So whatever potential for eugenics abortion theoretically has, it ain’t getting used in the real world. Rather the reverse, actually.

    • Replies: @res
    @Almost Missouri


    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I’ve seen.
     
    Consider the possibility of selection bias. And then think about the difference in the number of abortions which happen among people you know vs. among people for whom abortion might be eugenic in nature (intentional or not).

    In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing “for eugenics” might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything “eugenic” is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke “eugenics” in the eye.
     
    An excellent observation which would be worth remembering by anyone inclined to try talking a family member or friend out of an abortion.

    P.S. Rereading your comment, I do agree with your primary intent point. Which makes my reply a bit off topic, but I think worthwhile.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Almost Missouri

    , @Alexander Turok
    @Almost Missouri

    Anecdote is not data, the data are clear on who is getting the abortions. Your perspective will be biased as you probably live in a more-intelligent-than-average bubble.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Almost Missouri

    The argument here isn't that abortion is 'eugenic' in total, only that the abortion of one with a "serious genetic defect" is.

    It also isn't that those making these hypothetical decisions are doing so for the explicit purpose of promoting eugenics. The term is taboo. Almost no one is going to promote it consciously. But the 'bad genes' are what will cause the prospective parents problems, and that must be a big reason why they favor aborting.

  13. The people getting most of the abortions are precisely those persons whom otherwise pro-life persons, notwithstanding their principles, might actually want to get abortions.

    Abortion in America started largely as an outgrowth of the eugenics movement, and from what I can tell, has not really strayed farm from those aims.

  14. Oliver D. Smith says:

    The following graph shows the percentages of people, by political orientation, who would want (or want their partner) to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”.

    Yes – that’s eugenics if those “serious genetic defects” are non-fatal like Down’s syndrome because it is a completely subjective argument why those with Down’s are considered ‘undesirable’. Why are they ‘undesirable’? It is not a fatal genetic disorder.

    What arguably isn’t eugenics is if those serious genetic defects are a fatal genetic disorder with very high infant mortality rate like trisomy 13 and 18 (most only live days) and the risk of fetal loss before birth is high. There is an objective argument and arguably universal agreement these are undesirable births because they result in death.

    If you asked the question: “who would want (or want their partner) to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect that is fatal” you would find virtually 100% agreement across all political groups. I’m sure someone could dig up some surveys.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Oliver D. Smith

    Right. Fatal genetic disorders for infants are hardly more than tragic extensions of miscarriages for the mothers. Whether they're aborted or die after birth makes no difference genetically.

  15. The progressivism of the “progressive era” was associated with causes such as the prohibition of alcohol, nature preservation, opposition to machine politics, assimilation of European immigrant groups, workplace regulation, eugenics, immigration restrictionism, and regulation of monopolies. Only some of that is still advocated by modern “progressives.” Just because the same term is used doesn’t mean it’s the same phenomenon.

    Is this gonna turn into another DemsRRealRacists rag?

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Alexander Turok

    It is going to be interesting to see if modern progressives do an about-face on genetics when the potential for genetic engineering to level the playing field comes online in a big way.

  16. @MarkU
    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    I can understand if people with strong religious convictions might consider it the right thing to do. If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth, then I suppose it might seem to make sense to bring the baby to term. The question of why 'God' would implant a soul into a foetus destined to be born as a micro-cephalic idiot, incapable even of moral choice is rarely considered.

    I am not religious and therefore believe that mind and consciousness are emergent characteristics, I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @res, @Almost Missouri

    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?

    Who among us has perfect genetics? Perhaps others move in more Olympian circles than I do, but IMHO the short answer to this question is “no one”. Everyone has some genetic defects. Even Achilles had his heel. So the only question is how much defect is “serious”? This is hazy and subjective.

    But it doesn’t really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The “well being of the child” or “genetic defects” may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

    As I may have mentioned, I once worked at a facility for the congenitally handicapped. I never once heard any of those people lament their lot in life as genetic defectives, as you call them. And it’s not that they didn’t ever complain. They were not shy about complaining about other things, no second helping of ice cream for example, but they never complained about being born sub-par.

    Ironically, it was my fellow able-bodied staff members who were much more likely to complain about their genetic bequests: not being strong enough, beautiful enough, clever enough, energetic enough, etc. I’m not sure how anyone knows what amount of strength, beauty, brains, energy, etc. they are entitled to, but somehow people seem to have strong notions about this.

    I have to conclude, therefore, that the whole abortion-prevents-a-life-of-suffering meme is a projection of the upward-aspiring genetic middle class onto the genetic lower class. The genetic lower class are certainly not the ones complaining of “suffering” (other than from lack of ice cream).

    I might have put the question directly to some of the more cognitive among my charges: “would you have preferred not to have been born?”, but besides that fact that I don’t see how anyone can answer that question accurately, it would have added to my already excessive reputation for raising awkward questions.

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth

    I think this misstates the matter. It’s not that there’s a trickster God mischievously implanting souls “at some arbitrary point” into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It’s that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.

    Note that this excludes conception from rape, since you didn’t help to create it. This used to be too obvious to need stating, but the increasing befuddlement in our era causes obvious facts to become obscure while absurdities elevate to doctrine.

    I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.

    I think this conflates two different things. “Defective” was addressed above. “Damaged” is a different question. A fetus that is actually damaged by some outside intervention, e.g., Thalidomide, has already undergone a partial material coup against the divine-human collaboration. The very difficult question then facing the prospective parent is whether to accept—on behalf of one’s self and one’s future child—the consequences of this unwelcome outside intervention, or whether it is better to face the void and embrace oblivion in hopes of a better tomorrow? It is an understatement to say I envy no one such a choice.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Almost Missouri


    @MarkU

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth....
     

     
    @MarkU has inadvertently stumbled into the quite common misapprehension that God were supposed to implant souls.

    For information, orthodox Christians including Catholics have never supposed such a thing, any more than you or I or @MarkU supposes that there were an architect which implanted construction plans into buildings recently started at some arbitrary period between groundbreaking and completion of construction.

    Mormons believe something akin to @MarkU's suggestion as I understand, but orthodox Christians do not and have never.

    It takes some thought to grasp the distinction, but once you grasp it, a host of misconceptions regarding Christian beliefs begins to unravel. (@MarkU not be interested, of course, but he should at least be aware that his audience on the other side believes that he is addressing some other position than their own.)

    Replies: @Talha

    , @Alexander Turok
    @Almost Missouri


    But it doesn’t really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The “well being of the child” or “genetic defects” may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

     

    This is true, according to the polling data, it's rare for women to claim they are motivated by rape or fear of birth defects. But "behavior X is motivated by selfishness, therefore behavior X is harmful to society," does not follow. Likewise, "behavior Y is a form of self-sacrifice, therefore behavior Y is beneficial to society" doesn't follow. You've probably heard the saying "get down from that cross, we need the wood." When I was a kid I had a friend who had to be raised by his great-grandparents. His parents and grandparents were both too screwed up to raise him. I have no idea in what circumstances he was conceived, but I could easily imagine his parents were influenced by the anti-abortion messaging, though obviously, they weren't fundamentalist Christians or anything. The great-grandparents were nice people, it's too bad they couldn't enjoy their retirement. I live in what you could call a vibrant and multicultural neighborhood and recently someone put up a bunch of billboards with anti-abortion messages. The target audience will see the message that they should self-sacrifice to do the "right" thing, but the "right" thing is gonna be more inconvenient for them and for the rest of society. From a total utilitarian perspective, you could justify it by saying that the utils gained by the kids exceed the utils lost by the parents, the taxpayer, and the extended family. But there seem to be much more fruitful paths to go down if creating more utils via more births is the goal that result in happy children without those downsides. How about putting up billboards in middle-class neighborhoods encouraging married couples to have more children? How about encouraging middle-class people to marry younger?

    There are two worldviews, one of which says "having children is an undesirable, low-skilled job that ought to be down by low-class people, who should be looked down on, while the upper-classes focus on their careers." The other says "having children is great, but only the low-class seems to be interested, so we should applaud them no matter who they are and look down on the sterile upper-class." Those shouldn't be our only options. Another world is possible.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    , @Dissident
    @Almost Missouri


    It’s not that there’s a trickster God mischievously implanting souls “at some arbitrary point” into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It’s that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.
     
    I must commend you for your comments in this thread. I must ask, though, is there not a contradiction between the views you have expressed here concerning the sanctity of the unborn, and certain past comments you have made at Steve Sailer's blog concerning the elderly? Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations? This is what I am thinking of, from just over a year ago. If I have misconstrued and misrepresented your views, kindly forgive me.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

  17. Oliver D. Smith says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    ... to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”...

    ... is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     
    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    A cursory search brings forth all forms of descriptions of eugenics, all saying the same thing, that it is concerned with improving the breed --- NOT the individual life or the lives of the parents.

    From Britannica, for example:

    Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics to improve future generations...
     
    The choice to abort is not a eugenic one. It simply has a eugenic effect.

    Replies: @Wyatt, @Dumbo, @Almost Missouri, @Oliver D. Smith

    It is eugenics for non-fatal genetic disorders because someone is arbitrarily deciding (for example Down’s syndrome) what is ‘undesirable’ without any evidence based on personal choice and taste – discrimination. Arguably we can only objectively determine fatal genetic disorders are undesirable because they result in death; I would exclude those from the definition of eugenics.

    Here’s a definition of eugenics in a paper on Down syndrome:

    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).

    https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/keeping-backdoor-eugenics-ajar-disability-and-future-prenatal-screening/2016-04

    . A report from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register claims that in 2012 in England and Wales, 90 percent of 1,259 fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome were terminated [53]. Moreover, in England and Wales, the annual rates for termination after a Down syndrome diagnosis between 1989 and 2012 have ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent [5]. In addition, 10 out of 18 European countries are reported to have an average termination rate of 88 percent after a diagnosis of Down syndrome [54]. Finally, termination rates of 95 percent in certain areas of Australia [55] and 74 percent in select US states are reported [5, 56].

    Within this context, and drawing on our claims as outlined above, one may argue that prenatal screening represents a form of eugenics and that the “choice” promised by such techniques is not necessarily a (free) choice at all. Force is not involved in prenatal screening decision making (except in presumably rare but understudied familial circumstances) but, arguably, eugenics does not require force. One can claim that even making screening available for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions is already, by definition, suggesting that they are not valued reproductive outcomes [57-59].

    So there’s a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down’s isn’t a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down’s considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    When I’ve debated eugenicists in the past – they can’t defend their position at all for aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders so dishonestly shift to focus only on fatal genetic disorders that virtually no one is debating. Unlike Down syndrome there’s no controversy in the bioethics literature about aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders – search Google Scholar and 0 show up (unlike dozens of papers on Down’s).

    • LOL: mikemikev
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Oliver D. Smith

    Intent, intent, intent!

    You have missed the whole point of my comment!

    AE stated that the decision to have such an abortion "… is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so."

    My point is simply that it is not! People thinking about having an abortion are NOT thinking about improving the breed or the species or the race. Far from it, they are simply thinking about their immediate situation and perhaps the future of the child itself. It is often a VERY humane decision when it involves the future of the potential child.

    This is my point, and you have provided yet another proof: People get this wrong. When AE used the word "intent," he threw away all pretense of whatever point he was making. He is flat out wrong about the intent, and so are you!

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @acementhead, @Audacious Epigone

    , @Alexander Turok
    @Oliver D. Smith

    It's very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don't want them, just like I don't want peppermint ice cream, just like you probably "discriminate" against fat women in your romantic life.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith

    , @silviosilver
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Why is Down’s considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.
     
    Leftie abortion ethics:


    I don't want to bring another child into this world - paragon.

    I don't want to bring another child with Down's into this world - pariah.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Oliver D. Smith

    So there’s a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down’s isn’t a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down’s considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    These are formidable questions. Replace "Down syndrome screening" with "low intelligence screening" or "below average height screening" and a lot of people who assume the answer is obvious even though they can't provide an actual valid answer suddenly agree there is no valid answer.

  18. @Almost Missouri
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Who among us has perfect genetics? Perhaps others move in more Olympian circles than I do, but IMHO the short answer to this question is "no one". Everyone has some genetic defects. Even Achilles had his heel. So the only question is how much defect is "serious"? This is hazy and subjective.

    But it doesn't really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The "well being of the child" or "genetic defects" may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

    As I may have mentioned, I once worked at a facility for the congenitally handicapped. I never once heard any of those people lament their lot in life as genetic defectives, as you call them. And it's not that they didn't ever complain. They were not shy about complaining about other things, no second helping of ice cream for example, but they never complained about being born sub-par.

    Ironically, it was my fellow able-bodied staff members who were much more likely to complain about their genetic bequests: not being strong enough, beautiful enough, clever enough, energetic enough, etc. I'm not sure how anyone knows what amount of strength, beauty, brains, energy, etc. they are entitled to, but somehow people seem to have strong notions about this.

    I have to conclude, therefore, that the whole abortion-prevents-a-life-of-suffering meme is a projection of the upward-aspiring genetic middle class onto the genetic lower class. The genetic lower class are certainly not the ones complaining of "suffering" (other than from lack of ice cream).

    I might have put the question directly to some of the more cognitive among my charges: "would you have preferred not to have been born?", but besides that fact that I don't see how anyone can answer that question accurately, it would have added to my already excessive reputation for raising awkward questions.

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth
     
    I think this misstates the matter. It's not that there's a trickster God mischievously implanting souls "at some arbitrary point" into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It's that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.

    Note that this excludes conception from rape, since you didn't help to create it. This used to be too obvious to need stating, but the increasing befuddlement in our era causes obvious facts to become obscure while absurdities elevate to doctrine.

    I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.
     
    I think this conflates two different things. "Defective" was addressed above. "Damaged" is a different question. A fetus that is actually damaged by some outside intervention, e.g., Thalidomide, has already undergone a partial material coup against the divine-human collaboration. The very difficult question then facing the prospective parent is whether to accept—on behalf of one's self and one's future child—the consequences of this unwelcome outside intervention, or whether it is better to face the void and embrace oblivion in hopes of a better tomorrow? It is an understatement to say I envy no one such a choice.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Alexander Turok, @Dissident

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth….

    has inadvertently stumbled into the quite common misapprehension that God were supposed to implant souls.

    For information, orthodox Christians including Catholics have never supposed such a thing, any more than you or I or supposes that there were an architect which implanted construction plans into buildings recently started at some arbitrary period between groundbreaking and completion of construction.

    Mormons believe something akin to ’s suggestion as I understand, but orthodox Christians do not and have never.

    It takes some thought to grasp the distinction, but once you grasp it, a host of misconceptions regarding Christian beliefs begins to unravel. ( not be interested, of course, but he should at least be aware that his audience on the other side believes that he is addressing some other position than their own.)

    • Replies: @Talha
    @V. K. Ovelund


    @MarkU has inadvertently stumbled into the quite common misapprehension that God were supposed to implant souls.
     
    This would be the Islamic position; that a ruH (spirit) is “breathed” into the baby at a specific time - there being a difference of opinion when that happens , but the majority opinion is after 120 days from conception (based on a very strong hadith). Once this occurs, the child is no longer considered a clump of cells with the potential to become a person, but an individual with rights.

    This actually happened to my very good friend and my brother. Their wives were carrying babies with severe problems (I think Trisomy 13). The child would basically live a very difficult and short life. They consulted the scholars and, since it was past 120 days when they found out, there was no alternative (since the mother’s life was not at stake) but to deliver and care for the child.

    Very difficult position to be in. My brothers child eventually died in the womb close to delivery date but my friend’s child lived for a few weeks. It was very difficult to see the child and the parents suffering.

    Peace.
  19. @unit472
    There is a problem with defining 'serious genetic defect' and can it be detected in the womb. Homosexuals better pray parents do not gain the ability to find out before junior is born because, for many, this condition might be more 'offensive' to them than a hare lip or club foot which can be medically treated.

    Intellectually I tend to favor 'eugenics'. After all we practice it on barnyard animals but we also get turkeys and chickens with breasts so heavy they cannot stand. What we as people find desirable may not be what nature has in mind with survival of the fittest. Charles Murray might suggest high IQ is the most desirable trait for modern post industrial society but what if 1000 years from now technological civilization has collapsed and we are back in the stone age. A large, strong and ruthless human might have the evolutionary advantage over a small, sensitive but clever human. Men might prefer all women to resemble Playboy playmates but if it were to happen we might end up with a situation like non human mammals where one alpha male fathers all the children and the beta males father none.

    Replies: @Realist, @Jay Fink

    Charles Murray might suggest high IQ is the most desirable trait for modern post industrial society but what if 1000 years from now technological civilization has collapsed and we are back in the stone age.

    Being intelligent is always an advantage.

    A large, strong and ruthless human might have the evolutionary advantage over a small, sensitive but clever human.

    Not for long the intelligent human would develop a weapon and kill the dumbass.

  20. @Almost Missouri
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I just logged in to the comments to say the same thing a different way:


    Opinions will vary wildly on the morality and desirability of [abortion]. But it is inarguably eugenic in intent
     
    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I've seen.

    Of the abortions I am familiar enough with to discern the parent(s)'s motives, approximately zero were with any eugenic intent, and approximately all of them were with intent to serve the parent's convenience. In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing "for eugenics" might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything "eugenic" is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke "eugenics" in the eye.

    Nor, I think, can it be said that "abortion is unarguably eugenic in effect". Again looking at the above set of abortions, every one of those conceptions was from above-average germlines on both sides, so no "eugenic" purpose could be said to have been served by aborting them. (Except perhaps for the very narrow and marginal purpose that the mother may have believed that by aborting this pregnancy, she would make herself available for an even more above-average father in the future. The fact that as far as I know none of these women did go on to mate with better germlines in the future tends to negate even this limited exception.)

    Then there is the set of ill-advised pregnancies where even abortion-averse people such as myself start thinking, "you know, maybe abortion is the least bad option here". Again going on the instances with which I am familiar enough to discern backgrounds and motives, zero of these pregnancies got aborted. All of them carried to term.

    So whatever potential for eugenics abortion theoretically has, it ain't getting used in the real world. Rather the reverse, actually.

    Replies: @res, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I’ve seen.

    Consider the possibility of selection bias. And then think about the difference in the number of abortions which happen among people you know vs. among people for whom abortion might be eugenic in nature (intentional or not).

    In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing “for eugenics” might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything “eugenic” is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke “eugenics” in the eye.

    An excellent observation which would be worth remembering by anyone inclined to try talking a family member or friend out of an abortion.

    P.S. Rereading your comment, I do agree with your primary intent point. Which makes my reply a bit off topic, but I think worthwhile.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @res

    My dear Res ☆

    The whole point of this argument, which I started, is whether or not the decision to have an abortion is eugenic or not.

    Our esteemed host, who truly deserves our respect and admiration -- and who has mine -- stated that the decision "is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so."

    My point it that it is not! I have been there! Let me tell you:

    In college, one girlfriend's menstrual period was late. We discussed this, and she informed me that she would have an abortion. I thanked my lucky stars! We agreed that we would each pay half of the cost of the abortion. (We were poor college students, and this was an important factor.)

    Well, her late period eventually arrived, and we both breathed a proverbial sigh of relief. Abortion was not necessary in our case - but it would have happened, and our mutual decision would NOT have been eugenic.

    I posit here that almost NOBODY decides to have an abortion for eugenic reasons.

    I also posit that the RESULTS of abortions ARE indeed eugenic.

    I just can't believe that people here are stupid enough not to be able to understand the difference.

    Remember: AE used the word "intent." My argument is simply that there is no eugenic intent in the decision to have an abortion -- even though there might be a eugenic result.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    , @Almost Missouri
    @res


    Consider the possibility of selection bias.
     
    I have. But

    1) Though I'm talking about a number of cases only on the very low end of statistical validity, they all go 100% one way. In order for the cases I know of to go 100% the opposite of the "inarguable" trend would have to mean that the cases I know of must be extreme outliers, which seems very unlikely inasmuch as nothing else about this group is any kind of outlier. So the simpler explanation is that the "inarguable" is mistaken.

    2) The cases consist not just people who happen to have been born in similar socio-economic-geographic circumstances to my own, but include cases across states, countries, classes and races.

    3) Accounts from others I have heard from have never been at odds with the cases I have had closer knowledge of.

    4) Have you ever heard of anyone aborting their child for "the good of the race" or the "good of the breed"? Even in cases of Tay-Sachs pregnancies, parents who abort don't say, "we have to do this to protect the race". They say, "we have to do this to prevent our child (and ourselves) suffering."

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  21. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics for non-fatal genetic disorders because someone is arbitrarily deciding (for example Down's syndrome) what is 'undesirable' without any evidence based on personal choice and taste - discrimination. Arguably we can only objectively determine fatal genetic disorders are undesirable because they result in death; I would exclude those from the definition of eugenics.

    Here's a definition of eugenics in a paper on Down syndrome:


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/keeping-backdoor-eugenics-ajar-disability-and-future-prenatal-screening/2016-04

    . A report from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register claims that in 2012 in England and Wales, 90 percent of 1,259 fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome were terminated [53]. Moreover, in England and Wales, the annual rates for termination after a Down syndrome diagnosis between 1989 and 2012 have ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent [5]. In addition, 10 out of 18 European countries are reported to have an average termination rate of 88 percent after a diagnosis of Down syndrome [54]. Finally, termination rates of 95 percent in certain areas of Australia [55] and 74 percent in select US states are reported [5, 56].

    Within this context, and drawing on our claims as outlined above, one may argue that prenatal screening represents a form of eugenics and that the “choice” promised by such techniques is not necessarily a (free) choice at all. Force is not involved in prenatal screening decision making (except in presumably rare but understudied familial circumstances) but, arguably, eugenics does not require force. One can claim that even making screening available for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions is already, by definition, suggesting that they are not valued reproductive outcomes [57-59].
     

    So there's a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down's isn't a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down's considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    When I've debated eugenicists in the past - they can't defend their position at all for aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders so dishonestly shift to focus only on fatal genetic disorders that virtually no one is debating. Unlike Down syndrome there's no controversy in the bioethics literature about aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders - search Google Scholar and 0 show up (unlike dozens of papers on Down's).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Alexander Turok, @silviosilver, @Audacious Epigone

    Intent, intent, intent!

    You have missed the whole point of my comment!

    AE stated that the decision to have such an abortion “… is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.”

    My point is simply that it is not! People thinking about having an abortion are NOT thinking about improving the breed or the species or the race. Far from it, they are simply thinking about their immediate situation and perhaps the future of the child itself. It is often a VERY humane decision when it involves the future of the potential child.

    This is my point, and you have provided yet another proof: People get this wrong. When AE used the word “intent,” he threw away all pretense of whatever point he was making. He is flat out wrong about the intent, and so are you!

    • Replies: @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics per the definition-


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    Someone for example who decides to abort a Down's syndrome foetus is doing so because they subjectively think Down's syndrome as a genetic disorder is undesirable. You've not provided any argument that says otherwise.

    I would only exclude aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders that result in high % of infant mortalities from the definition of eugenics for the reasons I outlined.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Buzz Mohawk

    , @acementhead
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz there's no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.


    … is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     

    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.
     
    I was going to say exactly the same. Imagine living with the Huntington's allele.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as "Downs"?

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Adam Smith

    , @Audacious Epigone
    @Buzz Mohawk

    In the survey question, to put it crassly, they are aborting 'bad genes' for no other reason than the fetus has those 'bad genes'. The intent is to avoid bringing 'bad genes' into independent existence. No, the vast majority won't think it's some heroic action to better the species on their part, but the consequences of their decision are obvious, aren't they?

  22. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Almost Missouri


    @MarkU

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth....
     

     
    @MarkU has inadvertently stumbled into the quite common misapprehension that God were supposed to implant souls.

    For information, orthodox Christians including Catholics have never supposed such a thing, any more than you or I or @MarkU supposes that there were an architect which implanted construction plans into buildings recently started at some arbitrary period between groundbreaking and completion of construction.

    Mormons believe something akin to @MarkU's suggestion as I understand, but orthodox Christians do not and have never.

    It takes some thought to grasp the distinction, but once you grasp it, a host of misconceptions regarding Christian beliefs begins to unravel. (@MarkU not be interested, of course, but he should at least be aware that his audience on the other side believes that he is addressing some other position than their own.)

    Replies: @Talha

    has inadvertently stumbled into the quite common misapprehension that God were supposed to implant souls.

    This would be the Islamic position; that a ruH (spirit) is “breathed” into the baby at a specific time – there being a difference of opinion when that happens , but the majority opinion is after 120 days from conception (based on a very strong hadith). Once this occurs, the child is no longer considered a clump of cells with the potential to become a person, but an individual with rights.

    This actually happened to my very good friend and my brother. Their wives were carrying babies with severe problems (I think Trisomy 13). The child would basically live a very difficult and short life. They consulted the scholars and, since it was past 120 days when they found out, there was no alternative (since the mother’s life was not at stake) but to deliver and care for the child.

    Very difficult position to be in. My brothers child eventually died in the womb close to delivery date but my friend’s child lived for a few weeks. It was very difficult to see the child and the parents suffering.

    Peace.

    • Thanks: V. K. Ovelund
  23. @res
    @Almost Missouri


    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I’ve seen.
     
    Consider the possibility of selection bias. And then think about the difference in the number of abortions which happen among people you know vs. among people for whom abortion might be eugenic in nature (intentional or not).

    In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing “for eugenics” might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything “eugenic” is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke “eugenics” in the eye.
     
    An excellent observation which would be worth remembering by anyone inclined to try talking a family member or friend out of an abortion.

    P.S. Rereading your comment, I do agree with your primary intent point. Which makes my reply a bit off topic, but I think worthwhile.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Almost Missouri

    My dear Res ☆

    The whole point of this argument, which I started, is whether or not the decision to have an abortion is eugenic or not.

    Our esteemed host, who truly deserves our respect and admiration — and who has mine — stated that the decision “is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.”

    My point it that it is not! I have been there! Let me tell you:

    In college, one girlfriend’s menstrual period was late. We discussed this, and she informed me that she would have an abortion. I thanked my lucky stars! We agreed that we would each pay half of the cost of the abortion. (We were poor college students, and this was an important factor.)

    Well, her late period eventually arrived, and we both breathed a proverbial sigh of relief. Abortion was not necessary in our case – but it would have happened, and our mutual decision would NOT have been eugenic.

    I posit here that almost NOBODY decides to have an abortion for eugenic reasons.

    I also posit that the RESULTS of abortions ARE indeed eugenic.

    I just can’t believe that people here are stupid enough not to be able to understand the difference.

    Remember: AE used the word “intent.” My argument is simply that there is no eugenic intent in the decision to have an abortion — even though there might be a eugenic result.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Buzz Mohawk

    This question isn't about abortions in general--or for a host of other reasons, like being two college kids woefully unprepared to bring a child into the world--it's about having an abortion as a direct response to obtaining information that the fetus has a "serious genetic defect". It feels like we're talking past each other.

  24. Oliver D. Smith says:
    @Buzz Mohawk
    @Oliver D. Smith

    Intent, intent, intent!

    You have missed the whole point of my comment!

    AE stated that the decision to have such an abortion "… is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so."

    My point is simply that it is not! People thinking about having an abortion are NOT thinking about improving the breed or the species or the race. Far from it, they are simply thinking about their immediate situation and perhaps the future of the child itself. It is often a VERY humane decision when it involves the future of the potential child.

    This is my point, and you have provided yet another proof: People get this wrong. When AE used the word "intent," he threw away all pretense of whatever point he was making. He is flat out wrong about the intent, and so are you!

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @acementhead, @Audacious Epigone

    It is eugenics per the definition-

    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).

    Someone for example who decides to abort a Down’s syndrome foetus is doing so because they subjectively think Down’s syndrome as a genetic disorder is undesirable. You’ve not provided any argument that says otherwise.

    I would only exclude aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders that result in high % of infant mortalities from the definition of eugenics for the reasons I outlined.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    @Oliver D. Smith

    Again, you are missing the whole meaning of the language. What does "intent" mean? You know damn well what it means. The decision to have an abortion is based on the "intent" of the mother, at least. She does not make the decision to have some effect on future generations. She makes it for whatever reasons are relevant to her life or the future life of that child she would bear.

    Yes, abortions have eugenic effects. That is obvious. What amazes me is that you cannot even see the very distinction between intent and effect in the very references you are using.

    We really are not arguing, except like skewed lines that do not cross. We agree on the eugenic effects of abortion, but not on the intent of the people who choose to have them.

    Surely, you can see the difference.

    , @Buzz Mohawk
    @Oliver D. Smith


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies DESIGNED to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes
     
    My God, man, can't you even READ what I wrote? Nothing I have ever written here indicates or describes decisions that are DESIGNED to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes!

    DESIGNED, in other words, INTENT as mentioned by AE. The decision to have an abortion is seldom DESIGNED or INTENDED to "promote the reproduction of people with desired attibutes." THAT exists in your own HEAD.

    My God, the stupidity!

  25. @Almost Missouri
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I just logged in to the comments to say the same thing a different way:


    Opinions will vary wildly on the morality and desirability of [abortion]. But it is inarguably eugenic in intent
     
    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I've seen.

    Of the abortions I am familiar enough with to discern the parent(s)'s motives, approximately zero were with any eugenic intent, and approximately all of them were with intent to serve the parent's convenience. In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing "for eugenics" might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything "eugenic" is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke "eugenics" in the eye.

    Nor, I think, can it be said that "abortion is unarguably eugenic in effect". Again looking at the above set of abortions, every one of those conceptions was from above-average germlines on both sides, so no "eugenic" purpose could be said to have been served by aborting them. (Except perhaps for the very narrow and marginal purpose that the mother may have believed that by aborting this pregnancy, she would make herself available for an even more above-average father in the future. The fact that as far as I know none of these women did go on to mate with better germlines in the future tends to negate even this limited exception.)

    Then there is the set of ill-advised pregnancies where even abortion-averse people such as myself start thinking, "you know, maybe abortion is the least bad option here". Again going on the instances with which I am familiar enough to discern backgrounds and motives, zero of these pregnancies got aborted. All of them carried to term.

    So whatever potential for eugenics abortion theoretically has, it ain't getting used in the real world. Rather the reverse, actually.

    Replies: @res, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    Anecdote is not data, the data are clear on who is getting the abortions. Your perspective will be biased as you probably live in a more-intelligent-than-average bubble.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Alexander Turok


    Anecdote is not data
     
    Contra the meme, the plural of anecdote is indeed data.

    the data are clear on who is getting the abortions.
     
    The data are also clear that in the mass abortion era more rather than fewer unintended pregnancies are carrying to term, so the extra abortions are not in fact "culling the undesirables".

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/05/statistics-on-unwanted-pregnancies.html

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/04/levitt-on-waste-caused-by-legalizing.html


    Your perspective will be biased as you probably live in a more-intelligent-than-average bubble.
     
    Please see my previous response to res.
  26. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics per the definition-


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    Someone for example who decides to abort a Down's syndrome foetus is doing so because they subjectively think Down's syndrome as a genetic disorder is undesirable. You've not provided any argument that says otherwise.

    I would only exclude aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders that result in high % of infant mortalities from the definition of eugenics for the reasons I outlined.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Buzz Mohawk

    Again, you are missing the whole meaning of the language. What does “intent” mean? You know damn well what it means. The decision to have an abortion is based on the “intent” of the mother, at least. She does not make the decision to have some effect on future generations. She makes it for whatever reasons are relevant to her life or the future life of that child she would bear.

    Yes, abortions have eugenic effects. That is obvious. What amazes me is that you cannot even see the very distinction between intent and effect in the very references you are using.

    We really are not arguing, except like skewed lines that do not cross. We agree on the eugenic effects of abortion, but not on the intent of the people who choose to have them.

    Surely, you can see the difference.

  27. @JohnPlywood
    Anti-abortion sentiment the single greatest threat to civil society and germline human genetic health.

    Remember, it's not the people with down syndrome who threaten the population. Most of them won't breed, and they're pretty rare.

    It's the diabetics, the obese, the alcoholic, the bald, the ugly, the babblers, the drug users, the color blind, the sub-100 IQs, etc, who threaten our society. These people can breed, and are the combined majority. Most of them would have been aborted if it weren't for the disgusting influence of Christianity, which stigmatizes abortion, and tne restrictive red state laws and shitty healthcare access.

    Nothing delivers more bang for your buck than free, abundant abortion services. Nothing. Evolution speeds up rapidly when every bug-eyed, craggy 3D bitch with a jutting lower lip and pig tusks is able to abort their worthless fetuses for free. Christians want these people reproducing en masse, and are even willing to pay for it. Christians are the enemy.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @Jay Fink, @MattinLA, @Audacious Epigone

    I am trying to figure out if this is parody. Some of the groups you mention do threaten society, others such as the color blind do not.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    @Jay Fink

    My guess was that 'color blind' was maybe a dog-whistle for 'jungle fever'; it's not clear that normal (e.g., red-green) color-blindness is sufficiently maladaptive to generate reduced reproductive success.

  28. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics for non-fatal genetic disorders because someone is arbitrarily deciding (for example Down's syndrome) what is 'undesirable' without any evidence based on personal choice and taste - discrimination. Arguably we can only objectively determine fatal genetic disorders are undesirable because they result in death; I would exclude those from the definition of eugenics.

    Here's a definition of eugenics in a paper on Down syndrome:


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/keeping-backdoor-eugenics-ajar-disability-and-future-prenatal-screening/2016-04

    . A report from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register claims that in 2012 in England and Wales, 90 percent of 1,259 fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome were terminated [53]. Moreover, in England and Wales, the annual rates for termination after a Down syndrome diagnosis between 1989 and 2012 have ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent [5]. In addition, 10 out of 18 European countries are reported to have an average termination rate of 88 percent after a diagnosis of Down syndrome [54]. Finally, termination rates of 95 percent in certain areas of Australia [55] and 74 percent in select US states are reported [5, 56].

    Within this context, and drawing on our claims as outlined above, one may argue that prenatal screening represents a form of eugenics and that the “choice” promised by such techniques is not necessarily a (free) choice at all. Force is not involved in prenatal screening decision making (except in presumably rare but understudied familial circumstances) but, arguably, eugenics does not require force. One can claim that even making screening available for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions is already, by definition, suggesting that they are not valued reproductive outcomes [57-59].
     

    So there's a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down's isn't a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down's considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    When I've debated eugenicists in the past - they can't defend their position at all for aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders so dishonestly shift to focus only on fatal genetic disorders that virtually no one is debating. Unlike Down syndrome there's no controversy in the bioethics literature about aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders - search Google Scholar and 0 show up (unlike dozens of papers on Down's).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Alexander Turok, @silviosilver, @Audacious Epigone

    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them, just like I don’t want peppermint ice cream, just like you probably “discriminate” against fat women in your romantic life.

    • Replies: @Oliver D. Smith
    @Alexander Turok


    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them
     
    And yet a sizable minority of people do want them - abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. Why is a non-fatal genetic disorder undesirable? Unless you're talking about a fatal genetic disorder that everyone will agree is undesirable because it results in death - it's subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as 'undesirable'; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable. And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics - how subjective it is - eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence. This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on non-fatal genetic disorders.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @Alexander Turok, @dfordoom, @YetAnotherAnon

  29. @unit472
    There is a problem with defining 'serious genetic defect' and can it be detected in the womb. Homosexuals better pray parents do not gain the ability to find out before junior is born because, for many, this condition might be more 'offensive' to them than a hare lip or club foot which can be medically treated.

    Intellectually I tend to favor 'eugenics'. After all we practice it on barnyard animals but we also get turkeys and chickens with breasts so heavy they cannot stand. What we as people find desirable may not be what nature has in mind with survival of the fittest. Charles Murray might suggest high IQ is the most desirable trait for modern post industrial society but what if 1000 years from now technological civilization has collapsed and we are back in the stone age. A large, strong and ruthless human might have the evolutionary advantage over a small, sensitive but clever human. Men might prefer all women to resemble Playboy playmates but if it were to happen we might end up with a situation like non human mammals where one alpha male fathers all the children and the beta males father none.

    Replies: @Realist, @Jay Fink

    One alpha male fathering all the children can not happen due to finances. Plus most alpha males wouldn’t desire to have hundreds of kids. The only way that situation could happen is through welfare. The polygamy compounds in Utah depend on large amounts of welfare and food stamps. But if enough men are shut out of reproduction they would quit working or work just hard enough to survive. The tax base would rapidly deplete. They could print money to support all these children but printing has it’s own set of problems as we are starting to see.

    • Replies: @unit472
    @Jay Fink

    Sure it could. A male lion or polar bear will kill a females children so as to make her ready to mate again. She has to feed them not he. A deer buck might get lucky and find a doe but if the alpha buck finds him mating with her he's going to be eating antler and might even be killed if he doesn't flee.

    In an organized human society there is no reason that, in lieu of taxes, the ruler could not assign one of his children to a man, who in return for providing for it, would be allowed to have a worn out female from his harem. He would probably readily agree to the deal too.

  30. Oliver D. Smith says:
    @Alexander Turok
    @Oliver D. Smith

    It's very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don't want them, just like I don't want peppermint ice cream, just like you probably "discriminate" against fat women in your romantic life.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith

    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them

    And yet a sizable minority of people do want them – abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. Why is a non-fatal genetic disorder undesirable? Unless you’re talking about a fatal genetic disorder that everyone will agree is undesirable because it results in death – it’s subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as ‘undesirable’; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable. And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics – how subjective it is – eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence. This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on non-fatal genetic disorders.

    • Replies: @Oliver D. Smith
    @Oliver D. Smith

    *This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on fatal genetic disorders.

    , @Alexander Turok
    @Oliver D. Smith


    it’s subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as ‘undesirable’; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable
     
    And if some parents, perhaps light-skinned Blacks who don't want their kid looking like the 'white devil, wanted to select against it, I wouldn't have a problem with it. There are some things, such as sex-selective abortions, which have a clear negative externality, but absent that I think it should be the parents' decision.

    And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics – how subjective it is – eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence
     
    Suppose you had an ice cream parlor where people got randomly assigned a given flavor of ice cream. Then, someone got the idea of letting people choose what flavor they want. You could point out that my dislike of peppermint ice cream is wholly subjective.
    , @dfordoom
    @Oliver D. Smith


    And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics – how subjective it is
     
    Good point. It's very very subjective.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @Oliver D. Smith

    "And yet a sizable minority of people do want them – abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. "

    We decided not to ask for the amniocentesis tests - partly because of the small risk to the baby of a misapplied needle in the womb, partly because of we wouldn't want to abort anyway.

    We were lucky in that they were all OK. Downs kids are sweet kids, but you'll always have the "what happens to them when we get old" feeling hanging over y0u.

  31. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Alexander Turok


    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them
     
    And yet a sizable minority of people do want them - abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. Why is a non-fatal genetic disorder undesirable? Unless you're talking about a fatal genetic disorder that everyone will agree is undesirable because it results in death - it's subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as 'undesirable'; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable. And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics - how subjective it is - eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence. This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on non-fatal genetic disorders.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @Alexander Turok, @dfordoom, @YetAnotherAnon

    *This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on fatal genetic disorders.

  32. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics per the definition-


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    Someone for example who decides to abort a Down's syndrome foetus is doing so because they subjectively think Down's syndrome as a genetic disorder is undesirable. You've not provided any argument that says otherwise.

    I would only exclude aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders that result in high % of infant mortalities from the definition of eugenics for the reasons I outlined.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Buzz Mohawk

    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies DESIGNED to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes

    My God, man, can’t you even READ what I wrote? Nothing I have ever written here indicates or describes decisions that are DESIGNED to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes!

    DESIGNED, in other words, INTENT as mentioned by AE. The decision to have an abortion is seldom DESIGNED or INTENDED to “promote the reproduction of people with desired attibutes.” THAT exists in your own HEAD.

    My God, the stupidity!

  33. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Alexander Turok


    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them
     
    And yet a sizable minority of people do want them - abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. Why is a non-fatal genetic disorder undesirable? Unless you're talking about a fatal genetic disorder that everyone will agree is undesirable because it results in death - it's subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as 'undesirable'; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable. And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics - how subjective it is - eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence. This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on non-fatal genetic disorders.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @Alexander Turok, @dfordoom, @YetAnotherAnon

    it’s subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as ‘undesirable’; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable

    And if some parents, perhaps light-skinned Blacks who don’t want their kid looking like the ‘white devil, wanted to select against it, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. There are some things, such as sex-selective abortions, which have a clear negative externality, but absent that I think it should be the parents’ decision.

    And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics – how subjective it is – eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence

    Suppose you had an ice cream parlor where people got randomly assigned a given flavor of ice cream. Then, someone got the idea of letting people choose what flavor they want. You could point out that my dislike of peppermint ice cream is wholly subjective.

  34. @res
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Once I expressed wonder about why someone would bring a baby like that into the world. The person I was talking to had tried and failed to have children. She seemed perfectly able to understand.

    It's worth noting that most Down's babies are born to older mothers and it may very well be their last chance. The biological drive is strong.

    Replies: @iffen

    The biological drive is strong.

    All the time I see references to the “biological drive” to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the “drive” to have children?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @iffen


    All the time I see references to the “biological drive” to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the “drive” to have children?
     
    If you look at the modern West, or modern East Asian societies such as Japan, there has never in human history been a more favourable environment for child-rearing. These are very stable societies. People enjoy a very high degree of security compared to other societies and other historical periods. Material standards of living are very high. A pregnant woman can feel fairly certain of getting excellent pre-natal and post-natal care. The chances of dying in childbirth are very very low. Infant mortality rates are very very low.

    The fact that birth rates are so low in such societies does tend to suggest that the “biological drive” to have children is very weak, if it exists at all.

    It's possible that the “biological drive” to have children was always a myth. It's possible that in societies with high birth rates there's a very high "cultural drive" to have children.
    , @dfordoom
    @iffen


    All the time I see references to the “biological drive” to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the “drive” to have children?
     
    How much do we really know about human reproductive behaviour? Have birth rates fallen because women want fewer kids, or because men want fewer kids? Or is it both sexes wanting fewer children?

    Is it the wife or the husband who gets the final say on the question of how many children they'll have?

    And do we have actual hard data on the reasons people are having fewer kids?
    , @Oliver D. Smith
    @iffen

    Yes - there is no 'biological drive' to reproduce or motherhood instinct - it's because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood


    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.
     
    https://sk.sagepub.com/reference/motherhood/n616.xml

    Replies: @dfordoom, @V. K. Ovelund

  35. @Almost Missouri
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Who among us has perfect genetics? Perhaps others move in more Olympian circles than I do, but IMHO the short answer to this question is "no one". Everyone has some genetic defects. Even Achilles had his heel. So the only question is how much defect is "serious"? This is hazy and subjective.

    But it doesn't really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The "well being of the child" or "genetic defects" may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

    As I may have mentioned, I once worked at a facility for the congenitally handicapped. I never once heard any of those people lament their lot in life as genetic defectives, as you call them. And it's not that they didn't ever complain. They were not shy about complaining about other things, no second helping of ice cream for example, but they never complained about being born sub-par.

    Ironically, it was my fellow able-bodied staff members who were much more likely to complain about their genetic bequests: not being strong enough, beautiful enough, clever enough, energetic enough, etc. I'm not sure how anyone knows what amount of strength, beauty, brains, energy, etc. they are entitled to, but somehow people seem to have strong notions about this.

    I have to conclude, therefore, that the whole abortion-prevents-a-life-of-suffering meme is a projection of the upward-aspiring genetic middle class onto the genetic lower class. The genetic lower class are certainly not the ones complaining of "suffering" (other than from lack of ice cream).

    I might have put the question directly to some of the more cognitive among my charges: "would you have preferred not to have been born?", but besides that fact that I don't see how anyone can answer that question accurately, it would have added to my already excessive reputation for raising awkward questions.

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth
     
    I think this misstates the matter. It's not that there's a trickster God mischievously implanting souls "at some arbitrary point" into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It's that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.

    Note that this excludes conception from rape, since you didn't help to create it. This used to be too obvious to need stating, but the increasing befuddlement in our era causes obvious facts to become obscure while absurdities elevate to doctrine.

    I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.
     
    I think this conflates two different things. "Defective" was addressed above. "Damaged" is a different question. A fetus that is actually damaged by some outside intervention, e.g., Thalidomide, has already undergone a partial material coup against the divine-human collaboration. The very difficult question then facing the prospective parent is whether to accept—on behalf of one's self and one's future child—the consequences of this unwelcome outside intervention, or whether it is better to face the void and embrace oblivion in hopes of a better tomorrow? It is an understatement to say I envy no one such a choice.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Alexander Turok, @Dissident

    But it doesn’t really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The “well being of the child” or “genetic defects” may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

    This is true, according to the polling data, it’s rare for women to claim they are motivated by rape or fear of birth defects. But “behavior X is motivated by selfishness, therefore behavior X is harmful to society,” does not follow. Likewise, “behavior Y is a form of self-sacrifice, therefore behavior Y is beneficial to society” doesn’t follow. You’ve probably heard the saying “get down from that cross, we need the wood.” When I was a kid I had a friend who had to be raised by his great-grandparents. His parents and grandparents were both too screwed up to raise him. I have no idea in what circumstances he was conceived, but I could easily imagine his parents were influenced by the anti-abortion messaging, though obviously, they weren’t fundamentalist Christians or anything. The great-grandparents were nice people, it’s too bad they couldn’t enjoy their retirement. I live in what you could call a vibrant and multicultural neighborhood and recently someone put up a bunch of billboards with anti-abortion messages. The target audience will see the message that they should self-sacrifice to do the “right” thing, but the “right” thing is gonna be more inconvenient for them and for the rest of society. From a total utilitarian perspective, you could justify it by saying that the utils gained by the kids exceed the utils lost by the parents, the taxpayer, and the extended family. But there seem to be much more fruitful paths to go down if creating more utils via more births is the goal that result in happy children without those downsides. How about putting up billboards in middle-class neighborhoods encouraging married couples to have more children? How about encouraging middle-class people to marry younger?

    There are two worldviews, one of which says “having children is an undesirable, low-skilled job that ought to be down by low-class people, who should be looked down on, while the upper-classes focus on their careers.” The other says “having children is great, but only the low-class seems to be interested, so we should applaud them no matter who they are and look down on the sterile upper-class.” Those shouldn’t be our only options. Another world is possible.

    • Agree: silviosilver
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Alexander Turok


    But “behavior X is motivated by selfishness, therefore behavior X is harmful to society,” does not follow.
     
    That's true, but that's not what I argued. I argue that the empirical evidence is against eugenic abortion, whether in intent or effect. I did not argue against a eugenic abortion effect because of the absence of a eugenic abortion intent.

    You’ve probably heard the saying “get down from that cross, we need the wood.”
     
    I hadn't, but that's a good one.

    When I was a kid I had a friend who had to be raised by his great-grandparents. His parents and grandparents were both too screwed up to raise him. I have no idea in what circumstances he was conceived, but I could easily imagine his parents were influenced by the anti-abortion messaging
     
    Didn't somebody just tell me "anecdote is not data"?

    How about putting up billboards in middle-class neighborhoods encouraging married couples to have more children? How about encouraging middle-class people to marry younger?
     
    Agree. But the holders of the cultural heights are dead-set against this. And they've got way more power, money and influence.

    There are two worldviews, one of which says “having children is an undesirable, low-skilled job that ought to be down by low-class people, who should be looked down on, while the upper-classes focus on their careers.” The other says “having children is great, but only the low-class seems to be interested, so we should applaud them no matter who they are and look down on the sterile upper-class.” Those shouldn’t be our only options.
     
    I don't think those are the only worldviews. There still seems to be young middle class people interested in families and children, but as mentioned, the cultural, legal and political forces are all currently arrayed against them.
  36. @Jay Fink
    @unit472

    One alpha male fathering all the children can not happen due to finances. Plus most alpha males wouldn't desire to have hundreds of kids. The only way that situation could happen is through welfare. The polygamy compounds in Utah depend on large amounts of welfare and food stamps. But if enough men are shut out of reproduction they would quit working or work just hard enough to survive. The tax base would rapidly deplete. They could print money to support all these children but printing has it's own set of problems as we are starting to see.

    Replies: @unit472

    Sure it could. A male lion or polar bear will kill a females children so as to make her ready to mate again. She has to feed them not he. A deer buck might get lucky and find a doe but if the alpha buck finds him mating with her he’s going to be eating antler and might even be killed if he doesn’t flee.

    In an organized human society there is no reason that, in lieu of taxes, the ruler could not assign one of his children to a man, who in return for providing for it, would be allowed to have a worn out female from his harem. He would probably readily agree to the deal too.

  37. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Alexander Turok


    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them
     
    And yet a sizable minority of people do want them - abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. Why is a non-fatal genetic disorder undesirable? Unless you're talking about a fatal genetic disorder that everyone will agree is undesirable because it results in death - it's subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as 'undesirable'; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable. And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics - how subjective it is - eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence. This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on non-fatal genetic disorders.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @Alexander Turok, @dfordoom, @YetAnotherAnon

    And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics – how subjective it is

    Good point. It’s very very subjective.

  38. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Oliver D. Smith

    Intent, intent, intent!

    You have missed the whole point of my comment!

    AE stated that the decision to have such an abortion "… is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so."

    My point is simply that it is not! People thinking about having an abortion are NOT thinking about improving the breed or the species or the race. Far from it, they are simply thinking about their immediate situation and perhaps the future of the child itself. It is often a VERY humane decision when it involves the future of the potential child.

    This is my point, and you have provided yet another proof: People get this wrong. When AE used the word "intent," he threw away all pretense of whatever point he was making. He is flat out wrong about the intent, and so are you!

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @acementhead, @Audacious Epigone

    Buzz there’s no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.

    … is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.

    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.

    I was going to say exactly the same. Imagine living with the Huntington’s allele.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as “Downs”?

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @acementhead

    If this is what you wish to believe, I won't try to interfere:


    ... religionists ... are incapable of rational thought.
     
    It makes you look vain and ill-educated, though.

    You really ought to acquaint yourself with Plato and Aristotle, as educated men down the centuries have done, before venturing asininity like this.

    Replies: @acementhead

    , @Adam Smith
    @acementhead


    there’s no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.
     
    I mostly agree.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as “Downs”?
     
    About 95% of people with Down syndrome have Trisomy 21. With this type of Down syndrome, each cell in the body has 3 separate copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual 2 copies.

    People could just as easily refer to Trisomy 13 as Patau syndrome or Trisomy 18 as Edwards syndrome.

    Replies: @acementhead

  39. @iffen
    @res

    The biological drive is strong.

    All the time I see references to the "biological drive" to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the "drive" to have children?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Oliver D. Smith

    All the time I see references to the “biological drive” to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the “drive” to have children?

    If you look at the modern West, or modern East Asian societies such as Japan, there has never in human history been a more favourable environment for child-rearing. These are very stable societies. People enjoy a very high degree of security compared to other societies and other historical periods. Material standards of living are very high. A pregnant woman can feel fairly certain of getting excellent pre-natal and post-natal care. The chances of dying in childbirth are very very low. Infant mortality rates are very very low.

    The fact that birth rates are so low in such societies does tend to suggest that the “biological drive” to have children is very weak, if it exists at all.

    It’s possible that the “biological drive” to have children was always a myth. It’s possible that in societies with high birth rates there’s a very high “cultural drive” to have children.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  40. @iffen
    @res

    The biological drive is strong.

    All the time I see references to the "biological drive" to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the "drive" to have children?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Oliver D. Smith

    All the time I see references to the “biological drive” to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the “drive” to have children?

    How much do we really know about human reproductive behaviour? Have birth rates fallen because women want fewer kids, or because men want fewer kids? Or is it both sexes wanting fewer children?

    Is it the wife or the husband who gets the final say on the question of how many children they’ll have?

    And do we have actual hard data on the reasons people are having fewer kids?

  41. Oliver D. Smith says:
    @iffen
    @res

    The biological drive is strong.

    All the time I see references to the "biological drive" to have children. Where is the information that supports this? There is a drive to have sex and frequently the consequences are children. But the "drive" to have children?

    Replies: @dfordoom, @dfordoom, @Oliver D. Smith

    Yes – there is no ‘biological drive’ to reproduce or motherhood instinct – it’s because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood

    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.

    https://sk.sagepub.com/reference/motherhood/n616.xml

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Yes – there is no ‘biological drive’ to reproduce or motherhood instinct – it’s because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood
     
    I hate to say this but it is quite plausible that the desire to have children really is mostly a social construct. The evidence of plummeting birth rates in rich stable societies that provide ideal environments for child-rearing certainly points in that direction.

    Replies: @iffen, @Patrick McNally, @nebulafox

    , @V. K. Ovelund
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Social Construction of Motherhood

    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.

     

    What a typically nasty thing for the quoted author to write. Her name is Dr. Karin Sardadvar.

    (Having been chided for excessive anti-Semitism, to be fair, I will observe that I have checked to see whether Sardadvar were Jewish. She appears to be a Gentile. Score one for @dfordoom.)

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith

  42. @Oliver D. Smith
    @iffen

    Yes - there is no 'biological drive' to reproduce or motherhood instinct - it's because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood


    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.
     
    https://sk.sagepub.com/reference/motherhood/n616.xml

    Replies: @dfordoom, @V. K. Ovelund

    Yes – there is no ‘biological drive’ to reproduce or motherhood instinct – it’s because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood

    I hate to say this but it is quite plausible that the desire to have children really is mostly a social construct. The evidence of plummeting birth rates in rich stable societies that provide ideal environments for child-rearing certainly points in that direction.

    • Replies: @iffen
    @dfordoom

    The "drive to have children" and a nurturing instinct in women are two different things.

    I have seen no evidence of a "drive to have children."

    On the other hand, the physiological and behavioral changes in women who become pregnant and give birth are well documented. The maternal instinct to nurture is real.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    , @Patrick McNally
    @dfordoom

    The pattern which we see in animals is that s female cat who has given birth to a litter of kittens will have a biological drive to care for her kittens. However when the female cat goes into heat and starts putting out the calls for a fertile male cat to come fertilize her, she is only aware of sex-drives. Hence 2 different instincts, the sex-drive which occurs before pregnancy and the maternal-drive which kicks in after birth, are alternating in operation. The idea of viewing the whole long process from the moment of first sexual intercourse up to the point of children being grown up and leaving the parents as 1 singular event is a human intellectual abstraction. On an instinctual level our brains don't recognize it as one process. Hence there really is no such thing as a reproductive instinct.

    , @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    I don't think it is entirely a social construct. All the reliable numbers show that the overwhelming majority of women who are childless aren't so because they want to be, and in the modern age where childrearing is such a hassle, it's impossible to explain that without taking into account biological drives. It's just getting harder and taking longer for many people to get to the point where they can, especially in East Asian societies where the startup costs can be particularly high.

    I do get the point, though: imagine you live in a medieval village. Having a family was not just economically profitable, but was probably a welcome break from the tedium of your life. Yelling at people to "do their duty" isn't going to change the reality that becoming a full-time parent often either means a life of constant chauffeuring and social isolation, or you pay out the nose with two jobs and cannot spend time with the kids as much as you'd like.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  43. @JohnPlywood
    Anti-abortion sentiment the single greatest threat to civil society and germline human genetic health.

    Remember, it's not the people with down syndrome who threaten the population. Most of them won't breed, and they're pretty rare.

    It's the diabetics, the obese, the alcoholic, the bald, the ugly, the babblers, the drug users, the color blind, the sub-100 IQs, etc, who threaten our society. These people can breed, and are the combined majority. Most of them would have been aborted if it weren't for the disgusting influence of Christianity, which stigmatizes abortion, and tne restrictive red state laws and shitty healthcare access.

    Nothing delivers more bang for your buck than free, abundant abortion services. Nothing. Evolution speeds up rapidly when every bug-eyed, craggy 3D bitch with a jutting lower lip and pig tusks is able to abort their worthless fetuses for free. Christians want these people reproducing en masse, and are even willing to pay for it. Christians are the enemy.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @Jay Fink, @MattinLA, @Audacious Epigone

    What a larf. Yeah, since abortion was legalized 50 years ago, we’ve had a generation of geniuses being born. Clown.

    • Replies: @JohnPlywood
    @MattinLA

    I never said abortion was going to make America in to Singapore. I said it would keep us from going to hell. Christians seem determined to put our country on that trajectory.

    You are incapable of understanding what this country would look like if the hundreds of millions of underclass offspring had not been terminated since 1973. Go watch Night of the Living Dead or 28 Weeks Later if you want a good idea.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVnz6hlC3pQ


    God damn devil worshipping Christian MFers. No wonder every corner of the Earth is trying to exterminate, disenfranchise, demoralize, and humiliate you. You are the most aggravating, dysgenic, retarded, insensitive, destructive, and malicious human beings on this planet.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

  44. @dfordoom
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Yes – there is no ‘biological drive’ to reproduce or motherhood instinct – it’s because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood
     
    I hate to say this but it is quite plausible that the desire to have children really is mostly a social construct. The evidence of plummeting birth rates in rich stable societies that provide ideal environments for child-rearing certainly points in that direction.

    Replies: @iffen, @Patrick McNally, @nebulafox

    The “drive to have children” and a nurturing instinct in women are two different things.

    I have seen no evidence of a “drive to have children.”

    On the other hand, the physiological and behavioral changes in women who become pregnant and give birth are well documented. The maternal instinct to nurture is real.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @iffen


    The “drive to have children” and a nurturing instinct in women are two different things.

    I have seen no evidence of a “drive to have children.”

    On the other hand, the physiological and behavioral changes in women who become pregnant and give birth are well documented. The maternal instinct to nurture is real.
     
    I agree.

    It's even possible that the paternal instinct to nurture is real, to some extent. I've seen men change pretty dramatically once they actually have children. But I could only offer anecdotal evidence for that one.

    One problem is that the nurturing instinct can be redirected into other things besides child-rearing (and besides rearing their own children). Think of all those nuns in nursing orders - they had a powerful outlet for their nurturing instincts. Lots of women redirect their nurturing instinct onto their dogs. Or rescuing wildlife. Or saving the planet.

    I don't think pregnancy is necessary to trigger the female nurturing instinct although obviously it kicks it into overdrive.

    It's possible that birth rates have plummeted because women now have lots of outlets for their nurturing instincts, outlets that don't require them to have children. And for some reason many women prefer to satisfy their nurturing instincts in these other ways.

    It's possible that this is something that has been culturally conditioned. It's also possible that it's just an inevitable result of women having more choices.
  45. @dfordoom
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Yes – there is no ‘biological drive’ to reproduce or motherhood instinct – it’s because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood
     
    I hate to say this but it is quite plausible that the desire to have children really is mostly a social construct. The evidence of plummeting birth rates in rich stable societies that provide ideal environments for child-rearing certainly points in that direction.

    Replies: @iffen, @Patrick McNally, @nebulafox

    The pattern which we see in animals is that s female cat who has given birth to a litter of kittens will have a biological drive to care for her kittens. However when the female cat goes into heat and starts putting out the calls for a fertile male cat to come fertilize her, she is only aware of sex-drives. Hence 2 different instincts, the sex-drive which occurs before pregnancy and the maternal-drive which kicks in after birth, are alternating in operation. The idea of viewing the whole long process from the moment of first sexual intercourse up to the point of children being grown up and leaving the parents as 1 singular event is a human intellectual abstraction. On an instinctual level our brains don’t recognize it as one process. Hence there really is no such thing as a reproductive instinct.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  46. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Alexander Turok


    It’s very easy to defend aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders: people don’t want them
     
    And yet a sizable minority of people do want them - abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. Why is a non-fatal genetic disorder undesirable? Unless you're talking about a fatal genetic disorder that everyone will agree is undesirable because it results in death - it's subjective to consider a Down syndrome person as 'undesirable'; by the same reasoning you could argue people with blue eyes are undesirable. And this is one of the moral arguments against eugenics - how subjective it is - eugenicists loose every debate since they have no subjectivity defence. This is why they usually shift the debate to only focus on non-fatal genetic disorders.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @Alexander Turok, @dfordoom, @YetAnotherAnon

    “And yet a sizable minority of people do want them – abortions for down syndrome foetuses are 70-95% depending on country not 99-100%. “

    We decided not to ask for the amniocentesis tests – partly because of the small risk to the baby of a misapplied needle in the womb, partly because of we wouldn’t want to abort anyway.

    We were lucky in that they were all OK. Downs kids are sweet kids, but you’ll always have the “what happens to them when we get old” feeling hanging over y0u.

  47. @MattinLA
    @JohnPlywood

    What a larf. Yeah, since abortion was legalized 50 years ago, we've had a generation of geniuses being born. Clown.

    Replies: @JohnPlywood

    I never said abortion was going to make America in to Singapore. I said it would keep us from going to hell. Christians seem determined to put our country on that trajectory.

    You are incapable of understanding what this country would look like if the hundreds of millions of underclass offspring had not been terminated since 1973. Go watch Night of the Living Dead or 28 Weeks Later if you want a good idea.

    God damn devil worshipping Christian MFers. No wonder every corner of the Earth is trying to exterminate, disenfranchise, demoralize, and humiliate you. You are the most aggravating, dysgenic, retarded, insensitive, destructive, and malicious human beings on this planet.

    • Troll: Corvinus
    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @JohnPlywood

    Throwing around the word "hate" is something I'm hesitant to do for reasons that are probably but obvious, but this sounds a lot like hate to me.

  48. @acementhead
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz there's no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.


    … is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     

    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.
     
    I was going to say exactly the same. Imagine living with the Huntington's allele.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as "Downs"?

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Adam Smith

    If this is what you wish to believe, I won’t try to interfere:

    … religionists … are incapable of rational thought.

    It makes you look vain and ill-educated, though.

    You really ought to acquaint yourself with Plato and Aristotle, as educated men down the centuries have done, before venturing asininity like this.

    • Replies: @acementhead
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Thank you for your reply.

    Would that be the same Aristotle who held that not only are women inferior to men, but that they also have fewer teeth? If so I have nothing to learn from him. No person who has any understanding of science could possibly decide that women have fewer teeth than men. The starting point for all science is precise observation. Precise observation shows that women have the same number of teeth as men.

    Maybe the "Flynn Effect" is real after all.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

  49. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics for non-fatal genetic disorders because someone is arbitrarily deciding (for example Down's syndrome) what is 'undesirable' without any evidence based on personal choice and taste - discrimination. Arguably we can only objectively determine fatal genetic disorders are undesirable because they result in death; I would exclude those from the definition of eugenics.

    Here's a definition of eugenics in a paper on Down syndrome:


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/keeping-backdoor-eugenics-ajar-disability-and-future-prenatal-screening/2016-04

    . A report from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register claims that in 2012 in England and Wales, 90 percent of 1,259 fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome were terminated [53]. Moreover, in England and Wales, the annual rates for termination after a Down syndrome diagnosis between 1989 and 2012 have ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent [5]. In addition, 10 out of 18 European countries are reported to have an average termination rate of 88 percent after a diagnosis of Down syndrome [54]. Finally, termination rates of 95 percent in certain areas of Australia [55] and 74 percent in select US states are reported [5, 56].

    Within this context, and drawing on our claims as outlined above, one may argue that prenatal screening represents a form of eugenics and that the “choice” promised by such techniques is not necessarily a (free) choice at all. Force is not involved in prenatal screening decision making (except in presumably rare but understudied familial circumstances) but, arguably, eugenics does not require force. One can claim that even making screening available for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions is already, by definition, suggesting that they are not valued reproductive outcomes [57-59].
     

    So there's a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down's isn't a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down's considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    When I've debated eugenicists in the past - they can't defend their position at all for aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders so dishonestly shift to focus only on fatal genetic disorders that virtually no one is debating. Unlike Down syndrome there's no controversy in the bioethics literature about aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders - search Google Scholar and 0 show up (unlike dozens of papers on Down's).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Alexander Turok, @silviosilver, @Audacious Epigone

    Why is Down’s considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    Leftie abortion ethics:

    I don’t want to bring another child into this world – paragon.

    I don’t want to bring another child with Down’s into this world – pariah.

    • Replies: @Oliver D. Smith
    @silviosilver

    Here's what I find to be the only logical view in terms of negative utilitarianism-

    1. Abstain from human procreation to prevent or minimise the death, suffering and pain humans inflict on non-human animals (but also other humans) as well as environmental degradation. As noted by Benatar: "If that level of [human] destruction were caused by another species we would rapidly recommend that new members of that species not be brought into existence."
    2. While recognising human procreation is immoral and humans should not come into existence, oppose human abortion (excluding exceptional cases where a fetus has a fatal genetic disorder that will likely end up in stillbirth or a pregnancy threatens the life of a mother) on the grounds it causes death, suffering and pain (although 'can foetuses feel pain?' is a disputed question).

  50. @Oliver D. Smith
    @iffen

    Yes - there is no 'biological drive' to reproduce or motherhood instinct - it's because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood


    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.
     
    https://sk.sagepub.com/reference/motherhood/n616.xml

    Replies: @dfordoom, @V. K. Ovelund

    Social Construction of Motherhood

    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.

    What a typically nasty thing for the quoted author to write. Her name is Dr. Karin Sardadvar.

    (Having been chided for excessive anti-Semitism, to be fair, I will observe that I have checked to see whether Sardadvar were Jewish. She appears to be a Gentile. Score one for .)

    • Replies: @Oliver D. Smith
    @V. K. Ovelund

    That quote is factual -

    Imagine there is a community where parents raise their children with no pro-natalist bias (e.g. they don't give female children baby dolls and so on nor promote the nuclear family as normal) there would be no (erroneous) idea of a 'motherhood instinct' at all.

    The only reason people believe in motherhood instinct or biological drive to reproduce is by society 'norms' and indoctrination

    Replies: @Patrick McNally

  51. Oliver D. Smith says:
    @V. K. Ovelund
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Social Construction of Motherhood

    The approach that motherhood is a social construction rejects the assumption that practices of mothering, traits of mothers, and meanings of motherhood are in any way natural, biological, essential or inevitable. Rather, it implies that the ways of perceiving and experiencing motherhood in society are the result of processes of social construction. In other words, motherhood is thought of as something that is constantly being made by members of society. This happens, for example, through everyday interactions, discourses, and social practice.

     

    What a typically nasty thing for the quoted author to write. Her name is Dr. Karin Sardadvar.

    (Having been chided for excessive anti-Semitism, to be fair, I will observe that I have checked to see whether Sardadvar were Jewish. She appears to be a Gentile. Score one for @dfordoom.)

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith

    That quote is factual –

    Imagine there is a community where parents raise their children with no pro-natalist bias (e.g. they don’t give female children baby dolls and so on nor promote the nuclear family as normal) there would be no (erroneous) idea of a ‘motherhood instinct’ at all.

    The only reason people believe in motherhood instinct or biological drive to reproduce is by society ‘norms’ and indoctrination

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
    @Oliver D. Smith

    The "motherhood instinct" is very real. The "biological drive to reproduce" is a fallacy. There exists a "biological drive to engage in sex" where we happen to know (unlike cats, for example) that sex leads to reproduction. Animals in the wild will simply go unknowingly from pursuing a sex-drive at one stage to feeling the maternal instinct at a later stage and never recognizing the connection. But maternal instinct only enters the picture after birth. There is no maternal instinct in effect prior to copulation. Only after birth has occurred does maternal instinct come into existence.

    What confuses people is that human cultures have for millennia taught people to plan ahead for reproduction instead of just randomly having sex and then noticing accidentally that a woman's stomach is getting bigger. That notion of a planned pregnancy has no precedent in nature and is not instinctive. But this is very different from saying that motherhood instinct is non-existent.

  52. @acementhead
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz there's no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.


    … is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so.
     

    Wrong.

    If is most often the choice for at least one of two reasons: 1) To save a potential human being from suffering a life of disability, or 2) to save the parents from having such a child.
     
    I was going to say exactly the same. Imagine living with the Huntington's allele.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as "Downs"?

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Adam Smith

    there’s no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.

    I mostly agree.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as “Downs”?

    About 95% of people with Down syndrome have Trisomy 21. With this type of Down syndrome, each cell in the body has 3 separate copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual 2 copies.

    People could just as easily refer to Trisomy 13 as Patau syndrome or Trisomy 18 as Edwards syndrome.

    • Replies: @acementhead
    @Adam Smith

    Thanks.

    I'd thought, obviously erroneously, that Down's syndrome was considered 'insensitive' or some such and that Trisomy 21 was nicer.

    Mongoloid --->Down's syndrome ---> Trisomy 21

    Replies: @Adam Smith

  53. The Leftists are schizoid on eugenics.
    They oppose it in principle, but they have no real principles.

    The Right is too damn soft when it comes to the defectives.
    Like most blacks for instance. That cannot even function here.

    This “Christian” values is a double edged sword.
    I can see why the Alt-Right wants to dispose of this religion.

    The being nice to enemies and helping the otherkins is just bad advice.
    There has to be a reworking of this Zionist interpretation.

    It has to be useful and effective for the Real World.
    Otherkins must be kept out and permanently offloaded.

    Eugenics is sound science. So is Psychometry.
    There has to be 15% of society in the 120IQ and above for Western Civilization.
    There is no doubt about this. The case of Africa shows this to be true.

  54. Oliver D. Smith says:
    @silviosilver
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Why is Down’s considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.
     
    Leftie abortion ethics:


    I don't want to bring another child into this world - paragon.

    I don't want to bring another child with Down's into this world - pariah.

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith

    Here’s what I find to be the only logical view in terms of negative utilitarianism-

    1. Abstain from human procreation to prevent or minimise the death, suffering and pain humans inflict on non-human animals (but also other humans) as well as environmental degradation. As noted by Benatar: “If that level of [human] destruction were caused by another species we would rapidly recommend that new members of that species not be brought into existence.”
    2. While recognising human procreation is immoral and humans should not come into existence, oppose human abortion (excluding exceptional cases where a fetus has a fatal genetic disorder that will likely end up in stillbirth or a pregnancy threatens the life of a mother) on the grounds it causes death, suffering and pain (although ‘can foetuses feel pain?’ is a disputed question).

  55. @res
    @Almost Missouri


    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I’ve seen.
     
    Consider the possibility of selection bias. And then think about the difference in the number of abortions which happen among people you know vs. among people for whom abortion might be eugenic in nature (intentional or not).

    In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing “for eugenics” might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything “eugenic” is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke “eugenics” in the eye.
     
    An excellent observation which would be worth remembering by anyone inclined to try talking a family member or friend out of an abortion.

    P.S. Rereading your comment, I do agree with your primary intent point. Which makes my reply a bit off topic, but I think worthwhile.

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Almost Missouri

    Consider the possibility of selection bias.

    I have. But

    1) Though I’m talking about a number of cases only on the very low end of statistical validity, they all go 100% one way. In order for the cases I know of to go 100% the opposite of the “inarguable” trend would have to mean that the cases I know of must be extreme outliers, which seems very unlikely inasmuch as nothing else about this group is any kind of outlier. So the simpler explanation is that the “inarguable” is mistaken.

    2) The cases consist not just people who happen to have been born in similar socio-economic-geographic circumstances to my own, but include cases across states, countries, classes and races.

    3) Accounts from others I have heard from have never been at odds with the cases I have had closer knowledge of.

    4) Have you ever heard of anyone aborting their child for “the good of the race” or the “good of the breed”? Even in cases of Tay-Sachs pregnancies, parents who abort don’t say, “we have to do this to protect the race”. They say, “we have to do this to prevent our child (and ourselves) suffering.”

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    @Almost Missouri

    The term "inarguable" is ill-advised, admittedly.

  56. @Alexander Turok
    @Almost Missouri

    Anecdote is not data, the data are clear on who is getting the abortions. Your perspective will be biased as you probably live in a more-intelligent-than-average bubble.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    Anecdote is not data

    Contra the meme, the plural of anecdote is indeed data.

    the data are clear on who is getting the abortions.

    The data are also clear that in the mass abortion era more rather than fewer unintended pregnancies are carrying to term, so the extra abortions are not in fact “culling the undesirables”.

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/05/statistics-on-unwanted-pregnancies.html

    https://isteve.blogspot.com/2005/04/levitt-on-waste-caused-by-legalizing.html

    Your perspective will be biased as you probably live in a more-intelligent-than-average bubble.

    Please see my previous response to res.

  57. @Alexander Turok
    @Almost Missouri


    But it doesn’t really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The “well being of the child” or “genetic defects” may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

     

    This is true, according to the polling data, it's rare for women to claim they are motivated by rape or fear of birth defects. But "behavior X is motivated by selfishness, therefore behavior X is harmful to society," does not follow. Likewise, "behavior Y is a form of self-sacrifice, therefore behavior Y is beneficial to society" doesn't follow. You've probably heard the saying "get down from that cross, we need the wood." When I was a kid I had a friend who had to be raised by his great-grandparents. His parents and grandparents were both too screwed up to raise him. I have no idea in what circumstances he was conceived, but I could easily imagine his parents were influenced by the anti-abortion messaging, though obviously, they weren't fundamentalist Christians or anything. The great-grandparents were nice people, it's too bad they couldn't enjoy their retirement. I live in what you could call a vibrant and multicultural neighborhood and recently someone put up a bunch of billboards with anti-abortion messages. The target audience will see the message that they should self-sacrifice to do the "right" thing, but the "right" thing is gonna be more inconvenient for them and for the rest of society. From a total utilitarian perspective, you could justify it by saying that the utils gained by the kids exceed the utils lost by the parents, the taxpayer, and the extended family. But there seem to be much more fruitful paths to go down if creating more utils via more births is the goal that result in happy children without those downsides. How about putting up billboards in middle-class neighborhoods encouraging married couples to have more children? How about encouraging middle-class people to marry younger?

    There are two worldviews, one of which says "having children is an undesirable, low-skilled job that ought to be down by low-class people, who should be looked down on, while the upper-classes focus on their careers." The other says "having children is great, but only the low-class seems to be interested, so we should applaud them no matter who they are and look down on the sterile upper-class." Those shouldn't be our only options. Another world is possible.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    But “behavior X is motivated by selfishness, therefore behavior X is harmful to society,” does not follow.

    That’s true, but that’s not what I argued. I argue that the empirical evidence is against eugenic abortion, whether in intent or effect. I did not argue against a eugenic abortion effect because of the absence of a eugenic abortion intent.

    You’ve probably heard the saying “get down from that cross, we need the wood.”

    I hadn’t, but that’s a good one.

    When I was a kid I had a friend who had to be raised by his great-grandparents. His parents and grandparents were both too screwed up to raise him. I have no idea in what circumstances he was conceived, but I could easily imagine his parents were influenced by the anti-abortion messaging

    Didn’t somebody just tell me “anecdote is not data”?

    How about putting up billboards in middle-class neighborhoods encouraging married couples to have more children? How about encouraging middle-class people to marry younger?

    Agree. But the holders of the cultural heights are dead-set against this. And they’ve got way more power, money and influence.

    There are two worldviews, one of which says “having children is an undesirable, low-skilled job that ought to be down by low-class people, who should be looked down on, while the upper-classes focus on their careers.” The other says “having children is great, but only the low-class seems to be interested, so we should applaud them no matter who they are and look down on the sterile upper-class.” Those shouldn’t be our only options.

    I don’t think those are the only worldviews. There still seems to be young middle class people interested in families and children, but as mentioned, the cultural, legal and political forces are all currently arrayed against them.

  58. @Adam Smith
    @acementhead


    there’s no point in debating with religionists as they are incapable of rational thought.
     
    I mostly agree.

    And why is everybody referring to Trisomy 21 as “Downs”?
     
    About 95% of people with Down syndrome have Trisomy 21. With this type of Down syndrome, each cell in the body has 3 separate copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual 2 copies.

    People could just as easily refer to Trisomy 13 as Patau syndrome or Trisomy 18 as Edwards syndrome.

    Replies: @acementhead

    Thanks.

    I’d thought, obviously erroneously, that Down’s syndrome was considered ‘insensitive’ or some such and that Trisomy 21 was nicer.

    Mongoloid —>Down’s syndrome —> Trisomy 21

    • Replies: @Adam Smith
    @acementhead

    I don't know that your thoughts are erroneous at all. You're probably right. Downs syndrome may indeed be considered insensitive in some circles much like mongoloid or retard. (I'm glad I don't travel in those circles.) In some places it may be safer to say Trisomy 21.(?)

    Fortunately, I found this handy terminology guide...

  59. @dfordoom
    @Oliver D. Smith


    Yes – there is no ‘biological drive’ to reproduce or motherhood instinct – it’s because of a pro-natalist bias in society why people mistakenly think these exist.

    Social Construction of Motherhood
     
    I hate to say this but it is quite plausible that the desire to have children really is mostly a social construct. The evidence of plummeting birth rates in rich stable societies that provide ideal environments for child-rearing certainly points in that direction.

    Replies: @iffen, @Patrick McNally, @nebulafox

    I don’t think it is entirely a social construct. All the reliable numbers show that the overwhelming majority of women who are childless aren’t so because they want to be, and in the modern age where childrearing is such a hassle, it’s impossible to explain that without taking into account biological drives. It’s just getting harder and taking longer for many people to get to the point where they can, especially in East Asian societies where the startup costs can be particularly high.

    I do get the point, though: imagine you live in a medieval village. Having a family was not just economically profitable, but was probably a welcome break from the tedium of your life. Yelling at people to “do their duty” isn’t going to change the reality that becoming a full-time parent often either means a life of constant chauffeuring and social isolation, or you pay out the nose with two jobs and cannot spend time with the kids as much as you’d like.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @nebulafox


    I don’t think it is entirely a social construct. All the reliable numbers show that the overwhelming majority of women who are childless aren’t so because they want to be, and in the modern age where childrearing is such a hassle, it’s impossible to explain that without taking into account biological drives.
     
    The problem is not really women (or couples) who decide not to have children. The decline in the birth rate seems to be mainly due to the fact that the women (or couples) who do decide to have children are increasingly likely to choose to have only one child.

    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.

    Replies: @Talha

  60. @Jay Fink
    @JohnPlywood

    I am trying to figure out if this is parody. Some of the groups you mention do threaten society, others such as the color blind do not.

    Replies: @Kratoklastes

    My guess was that ‘color blind’ was maybe a dog-whistle for ‘jungle fever’; it’s not clear that normal (e.g., red-green) color-blindness is sufficiently maladaptive to generate reduced reproductive success.

  61. Are one or two commenters actually trying to deconstruct the concept of motherhood?

    Just because the whole world around you is going mad, doesn’t mean that you have to go mad, too. On the very face of it, you’re on the wrong track. This matter does not require analysis. Just stop.

    • Replies: @anon
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Are one or two commenters trolls actually trying to deconstruct the concept of motherhood?

    FIFY.

    Just because the whole world around you is going mad, doesn’t mean that you have to go mad, too.

    Dude, this is the Unz review. There are odd people around here.

    , @iffen
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I still love apple pie.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  62. @V. K. Ovelund
    Are one or two commenters actually trying to deconstruct the concept of motherhood?

    Just because the whole world around you is going mad, doesn't mean that you have to go mad, too. On the very face of it, you're on the wrong track. This matter does not require analysis. Just stop.

    Replies: @anon, @iffen

    Are one or two commenters trolls actually trying to deconstruct the concept of motherhood?

    FIFY.

    Just because the whole world around you is going mad, doesn’t mean that you have to go mad, too.

    Dude, this is the Unz review. There are odd people around here.

  63. @V. K. Ovelund
    @acementhead

    If this is what you wish to believe, I won't try to interfere:


    ... religionists ... are incapable of rational thought.
     
    It makes you look vain and ill-educated, though.

    You really ought to acquaint yourself with Plato and Aristotle, as educated men down the centuries have done, before venturing asininity like this.

    Replies: @acementhead

    Thank you for your reply.

    Would that be the same Aristotle who held that not only are women inferior to men, but that they also have fewer teeth? If so I have nothing to learn from him. No person who has any understanding of science could possibly decide that women have fewer teeth than men. The starting point for all science is precise observation. Precise observation shows that women have the same number of teeth as men.

    Maybe the “Flynn Effect” is real after all.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @acementhead


    Would that be the same Aristotle who held that not only are women inferior to men,...
     
    Your reply was courteous so I would not be discourteous in answer, but this is an unserious objection.

    ... but that they also have fewer teeth?
     
    And this is mere carping.

    As far as I know, Aristotle was a gentleman and a philosopher, not a dentist. Haven't you ever made a mistake?

  64. @iffen
    @dfordoom

    The "drive to have children" and a nurturing instinct in women are two different things.

    I have seen no evidence of a "drive to have children."

    On the other hand, the physiological and behavioral changes in women who become pregnant and give birth are well documented. The maternal instinct to nurture is real.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    The “drive to have children” and a nurturing instinct in women are two different things.

    I have seen no evidence of a “drive to have children.”

    On the other hand, the physiological and behavioral changes in women who become pregnant and give birth are well documented. The maternal instinct to nurture is real.

    I agree.

    It’s even possible that the paternal instinct to nurture is real, to some extent. I’ve seen men change pretty dramatically once they actually have children. But I could only offer anecdotal evidence for that one.

    One problem is that the nurturing instinct can be redirected into other things besides child-rearing (and besides rearing their own children). Think of all those nuns in nursing orders – they had a powerful outlet for their nurturing instincts. Lots of women redirect their nurturing instinct onto their dogs. Or rescuing wildlife. Or saving the planet.

    I don’t think pregnancy is necessary to trigger the female nurturing instinct although obviously it kicks it into overdrive.

    It’s possible that birth rates have plummeted because women now have lots of outlets for their nurturing instincts, outlets that don’t require them to have children. And for some reason many women prefer to satisfy their nurturing instincts in these other ways.

    It’s possible that this is something that has been culturally conditioned. It’s also possible that it’s just an inevitable result of women having more choices.

  65. @nebulafox
    @dfordoom

    I don't think it is entirely a social construct. All the reliable numbers show that the overwhelming majority of women who are childless aren't so because they want to be, and in the modern age where childrearing is such a hassle, it's impossible to explain that without taking into account biological drives. It's just getting harder and taking longer for many people to get to the point where they can, especially in East Asian societies where the startup costs can be particularly high.

    I do get the point, though: imagine you live in a medieval village. Having a family was not just economically profitable, but was probably a welcome break from the tedium of your life. Yelling at people to "do their duty" isn't going to change the reality that becoming a full-time parent often either means a life of constant chauffeuring and social isolation, or you pay out the nose with two jobs and cannot spend time with the kids as much as you'd like.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    I don’t think it is entirely a social construct. All the reliable numbers show that the overwhelming majority of women who are childless aren’t so because they want to be, and in the modern age where childrearing is such a hassle, it’s impossible to explain that without taking into account biological drives.

    The problem is not really women (or couples) who decide not to have children. The decline in the birth rate seems to be mainly due to the fact that the women (or couples) who do decide to have children are increasingly likely to choose to have only one child.

    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @dfordoom


    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.
     
    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.

    If genetic propagation is better accomplished in the modern environment by putting all your eggs in one basket (so to speak) and making the one child have the necessary resources to succeed than splitting them up, well that must be taken into account.

    If one wants to cross the sea to the other side; one strategy is to have three boats with a single sail while another strategy is to have a single multi-decked ship with three sails using the same resources.

    Peace.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  66. @acementhead
    @V. K. Ovelund

    Thank you for your reply.

    Would that be the same Aristotle who held that not only are women inferior to men, but that they also have fewer teeth? If so I have nothing to learn from him. No person who has any understanding of science could possibly decide that women have fewer teeth than men. The starting point for all science is precise observation. Precise observation shows that women have the same number of teeth as men.

    Maybe the "Flynn Effect" is real after all.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund

    Would that be the same Aristotle who held that not only are women inferior to men,…

    Your reply was courteous so I would not be discourteous in answer, but this is an unserious objection.

    … but that they also have fewer teeth?

    And this is mere carping.

    As far as I know, Aristotle was a gentleman and a philosopher, not a dentist. Haven’t you ever made a mistake?

  67. @acementhead
    @Adam Smith

    Thanks.

    I'd thought, obviously erroneously, that Down's syndrome was considered 'insensitive' or some such and that Trisomy 21 was nicer.

    Mongoloid --->Down's syndrome ---> Trisomy 21

    Replies: @Adam Smith

    I don’t know that your thoughts are erroneous at all. You’re probably right. Downs syndrome may indeed be considered insensitive in some circles much like mongoloid or retard. (I’m glad I don’t travel in those circles.) In some places it may be safer to say Trisomy 21.(?)

    Fortunately, I found this handy terminology guide…

  68. @dfordoom
    @nebulafox


    I don’t think it is entirely a social construct. All the reliable numbers show that the overwhelming majority of women who are childless aren’t so because they want to be, and in the modern age where childrearing is such a hassle, it’s impossible to explain that without taking into account biological drives.
     
    The problem is not really women (or couples) who decide not to have children. The decline in the birth rate seems to be mainly due to the fact that the women (or couples) who do decide to have children are increasingly likely to choose to have only one child.

    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.

    Replies: @Talha

    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.

    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.

    If genetic propagation is better accomplished in the modern environment by putting all your eggs in one basket (so to speak) and making the one child have the necessary resources to succeed than splitting them up, well that must be taken into account.

    If one wants to cross the sea to the other side; one strategy is to have three boats with a single sail while another strategy is to have a single multi-decked ship with three sails using the same resources.

    Peace.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @Talha



    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.
     
    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.
     
    And from the point of view of an individual, or an individual family, concentrating all efforts and resources on one child is much more effective and efficient.

    And since that one child will have the best of everything and you'll probably be able to send that child to a good school and a good college and the odds are very high that the child will succeed in life then the emotional rewards may be just as great as the emotional rewards from raising multiple children.

    So the "biological drive" (if it exists) is satisfied, the nurturing instinct is satisfied, the emotional needs are satisfied.

    Replies: @Talha, @jamesc

  69. @V. K. Ovelund
    Are one or two commenters actually trying to deconstruct the concept of motherhood?

    Just because the whole world around you is going mad, doesn't mean that you have to go mad, too. On the very face of it, you're on the wrong track. This matter does not require analysis. Just stop.

    Replies: @anon, @iffen

    I still love apple pie.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @iffen


    I still love apple pie.
     
    You've just been culturally conditioned to think that. There is overwhelming evidence that our neolithic ancestors did not love apple pie. The idea that there is some kind of "biological drive" to eat apple pie is nonsense.
  70. @iffen
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I still love apple pie.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    I still love apple pie.

    You’ve just been culturally conditioned to think that. There is overwhelming evidence that our neolithic ancestors did not love apple pie. The idea that there is some kind of “biological drive” to eat apple pie is nonsense.

  71. @Talha
    @dfordoom


    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.
     
    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.

    If genetic propagation is better accomplished in the modern environment by putting all your eggs in one basket (so to speak) and making the one child have the necessary resources to succeed than splitting them up, well that must be taken into account.

    If one wants to cross the sea to the other side; one strategy is to have three boats with a single sail while another strategy is to have a single multi-decked ship with three sails using the same resources.

    Peace.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.

    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.

    And from the point of view of an individual, or an individual family, concentrating all efforts and resources on one child is much more effective and efficient.

    And since that one child will have the best of everything and you’ll probably be able to send that child to a good school and a good college and the odds are very high that the child will succeed in life then the emotional rewards may be just as great as the emotional rewards from raising multiple children.

    So the “biological drive” (if it exists) is satisfied, the nurturing instinct is satisfied, the emotional needs are satisfied.

    • Replies: @Talha
    @dfordoom

    These are good points, but I personally couldn’t fathom having to choose only one from my four kids. They each bring their special twist to life.

    But then again, had we only had one, we wouldn’t really know that we were missing out in the first place.

    Peace.

    , @jamesc
    @dfordoom

    I don't think so - having 2 or more children gives much better odds of having a good one.

    Replies: @dfordoom

  72. @dfordoom
    @Talha



    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.
     
    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.
     
    And from the point of view of an individual, or an individual family, concentrating all efforts and resources on one child is much more effective and efficient.

    And since that one child will have the best of everything and you'll probably be able to send that child to a good school and a good college and the odds are very high that the child will succeed in life then the emotional rewards may be just as great as the emotional rewards from raising multiple children.

    So the "biological drive" (if it exists) is satisfied, the nurturing instinct is satisfied, the emotional needs are satisfied.

    Replies: @Talha, @jamesc

    These are good points, but I personally couldn’t fathom having to choose only one from my four kids. They each bring their special twist to life.

    But then again, had we only had one, we wouldn’t really know that we were missing out in the first place.

    Peace.

  73. @dfordoom
    @Talha



    So even if there is a biological drive to have children it seems that it can be satisfied by having just one child.
     
    This is a very good point. One that I hadn’t really considered. Basically it’s concentrating all efforts and resources on one child instead of spreading them thin along multiple children.
     
    And from the point of view of an individual, or an individual family, concentrating all efforts and resources on one child is much more effective and efficient.

    And since that one child will have the best of everything and you'll probably be able to send that child to a good school and a good college and the odds are very high that the child will succeed in life then the emotional rewards may be just as great as the emotional rewards from raising multiple children.

    So the "biological drive" (if it exists) is satisfied, the nurturing instinct is satisfied, the emotional needs are satisfied.

    Replies: @Talha, @jamesc

    I don’t think so – having 2 or more children gives much better odds of having a good one.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    @jamesc


    I don’t think so – having 2 or more children gives much better odds of having a good one.
     
    It's possible that many people think that having two or more children gives much better odds of having a bad one. That they think that with just one child they can be fairly certain that child will turn out the way they want it to. They figure that if they have just one they can make sure of having the perfect child.

    They also believe that with just one child they can completely protect that child from danger and from evil influences.
  74. @Oliver D. Smith
    @V. K. Ovelund

    That quote is factual -

    Imagine there is a community where parents raise their children with no pro-natalist bias (e.g. they don't give female children baby dolls and so on nor promote the nuclear family as normal) there would be no (erroneous) idea of a 'motherhood instinct' at all.

    The only reason people believe in motherhood instinct or biological drive to reproduce is by society 'norms' and indoctrination

    Replies: @Patrick McNally

    The “motherhood instinct” is very real. The “biological drive to reproduce” is a fallacy. There exists a “biological drive to engage in sex” where we happen to know (unlike cats, for example) that sex leads to reproduction. Animals in the wild will simply go unknowingly from pursuing a sex-drive at one stage to feeling the maternal instinct at a later stage and never recognizing the connection. But maternal instinct only enters the picture after birth. There is no maternal instinct in effect prior to copulation. Only after birth has occurred does maternal instinct come into existence.

    What confuses people is that human cultures have for millennia taught people to plan ahead for reproduction instead of just randomly having sex and then noticing accidentally that a woman’s stomach is getting bigger. That notion of a planned pregnancy has no precedent in nature and is not instinctive. But this is very different from saying that motherhood instinct is non-existent.

  75. @Almost Missouri
    @MarkU


    Why would anyone want to bring a baby with a serious genetic defect into the world?
     
    Who among us has perfect genetics? Perhaps others move in more Olympian circles than I do, but IMHO the short answer to this question is "no one". Everyone has some genetic defects. Even Achilles had his heel. So the only question is how much defect is "serious"? This is hazy and subjective.

    But it doesn't really matter, since as mentioned in my previous comment, AFAIK ~all abortions are done for the convenience of the parents. The "well being of the child" or "genetic defects" may be proffered for public consumption as a more palatable reason, but it is really parental convenience that drives the matter >99% of the time.

    As I may have mentioned, I once worked at a facility for the congenitally handicapped. I never once heard any of those people lament their lot in life as genetic defectives, as you call them. And it's not that they didn't ever complain. They were not shy about complaining about other things, no second helping of ice cream for example, but they never complained about being born sub-par.

    Ironically, it was my fellow able-bodied staff members who were much more likely to complain about their genetic bequests: not being strong enough, beautiful enough, clever enough, energetic enough, etc. I'm not sure how anyone knows what amount of strength, beauty, brains, energy, etc. they are entitled to, but somehow people seem to have strong notions about this.

    I have to conclude, therefore, that the whole abortion-prevents-a-life-of-suffering meme is a projection of the upward-aspiring genetic middle class onto the genetic lower class. The genetic lower class are certainly not the ones complaining of "suffering" (other than from lack of ice cream).

    I might have put the question directly to some of the more cognitive among my charges: "would you have preferred not to have been born?", but besides that fact that I don't see how anyone can answer that question accurately, it would have added to my already excessive reputation for raising awkward questions.

    If one believes that there is a God which implants souls into the recently conceived at some arbitrary period between conception and birth
     
    I think this misstates the matter. It's not that there's a trickster God mischievously implanting souls "at some arbitrary point" into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It's that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.

    Note that this excludes conception from rape, since you didn't help to create it. This used to be too obvious to need stating, but the increasing befuddlement in our era causes obvious facts to become obscure while absurdities elevate to doctrine.

    I see no reason to bring a severely damaged/defective foetus to term.
     
    I think this conflates two different things. "Defective" was addressed above. "Damaged" is a different question. A fetus that is actually damaged by some outside intervention, e.g., Thalidomide, has already undergone a partial material coup against the divine-human collaboration. The very difficult question then facing the prospective parent is whether to accept—on behalf of one's self and one's future child—the consequences of this unwelcome outside intervention, or whether it is better to face the void and embrace oblivion in hopes of a better tomorrow? It is an understatement to say I envy no one such a choice.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Alexander Turok, @Dissident

    It’s not that there’s a trickster God mischievously implanting souls “at some arbitrary point” into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It’s that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.

    I must commend you for your comments in this thread. I must ask, though, is there not a contradiction between the views you have expressed here concerning the sanctity of the unborn, and certain past comments you have made at Steve Sailer’s blog concerning the elderly? Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations? This is what I am thinking of, from just over a year ago. If I have misconstrued and misrepresented your views, kindly forgive me.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @Dissident

    I occasionally think back on that thread as one of the iSteve "classics", for both its early hash-out of Coronavirus consequences and for the sudden onset of inter-generational sniping it engendered (started by two anonymous comments that were probably both just trolls, tragically).


    Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations?
     
    No, I can't see that I did then, nor do I now. I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate, along with some NABALT qualification.

    Perhaps the word that is troubling you—and which I should perhaps have been clearer in using—is "honing". I did not mean the word as in "intensifying", but as "sharpening" i.e., reducing the area of contact to where criticism is actually warranted. In other words, I thought the earlier anti-boomer comments were too blanket and too geriacidal. There are legitimate points of resentment of younger generations for the older, which I spelled out as best I could, both to try reduce the blanket bombasticism of earlier comments and as friendly heads-up to those who will still be alive when the resentments take more manifest forms. I realize, of course, that the bearer of bad tidings is rarely welcome and is often treated as the cause of the bad tidings himself.

    I must commend you for your comments in this thread.
     
    Thanks for that, BTW. These more metaphysical comment threads are really my main interest, yet I find I get the least engagement from others with them. I guess most English speakers just don't take much interest in these questions. So I'm glad to know someone is reading them and I'm not just calling into the void.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Dissident

  76. @Dissident
    @Almost Missouri


    It’s not that there’s a trickster God mischievously implanting souls “at some arbitrary point” into the germlines of wholly material people who are minding their own business boinking. It’s that all of life, including meeting the other parent of your child and conceiving that child, are divinely-imbued, in collaboration with you, and that if you suddenly turnabout and execute a violent material coup against the divinely-imbued life you helped to create, at the very least it should raise some questions.
     
    I must commend you for your comments in this thread. I must ask, though, is there not a contradiction between the views you have expressed here concerning the sanctity of the unborn, and certain past comments you have made at Steve Sailer's blog concerning the elderly? Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations? This is what I am thinking of, from just over a year ago. If I have misconstrued and misrepresented your views, kindly forgive me.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    I occasionally think back on that thread as one of the iSteve “classics”, for both its early hash-out of Coronavirus consequences and for the sudden onset of inter-generational sniping it engendered (started by two anonymous comments that were probably both just trolls, tragically).

    Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations?

    No, I can’t see that I did then, nor do I now. I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate, along with some NABALT qualification.

    Perhaps the word that is troubling you—and which I should perhaps have been clearer in using—is “honing”. I did not mean the word as in “intensifying”, but as “sharpening” i.e., reducing the area of contact to where criticism is actually warranted. In other words, I thought the earlier anti-boomer comments were too blanket and too geriacidal. There are legitimate points of resentment of younger generations for the older, which I spelled out as best I could, both to try reduce the blanket bombasticism of earlier comments and as friendly heads-up to those who will still be alive when the resentments take more manifest forms. I realize, of course, that the bearer of bad tidings is rarely welcome and is often treated as the cause of the bad tidings himself.

    I must commend you for your comments in this thread.

    Thanks for that, BTW. These more metaphysical comment threads are really my main interest, yet I find I get the least engagement from others with them. I guess most English speakers just don’t take much interest in these questions. So I’m glad to know someone is reading them and I’m not just calling into the void.

    • Replies: @V. K. Ovelund
    @Almost Missouri


    I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate....
     
    I missed that one the first time. A year later, it's still a good read. The NABALT one is good, too.

    Have you found that the American Boomers who went to Vietnam turned out to be more or less normal? The Vietnam vets aren't all saints, but as a group they don't seem to me to diverge so sharply from the Silents and X that bracket them.

    But maybe I'm imagining things.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    , @Dissident
    @Almost Missouri

    Thank you for clarifying, and my apologies for apparently having gotten you confused with one or more others.

    It was indeed quite interesting to revisit that iSteve thread, in view of all that has transpired in the now full year that has passed since then.


    So I’m glad to know someone is reading them and I’m not just calling into the void.
     
    It seems regrettable that the only way for one who has posted a comment to know if it was even read, much less appreciated, is if it receives replies or use of the "reaction" buttons. The latter can only be used extremely sparingly. The former is also often impractical as a means of acknowledging appreciation for all of the comments that one would wish to do so for.

    Another curiosity I am surely far from alone in often having is how many replies to a given comment of mine may have been submitted but never cleared moderation.

    Replies: @Dissident

  77. @Almost Missouri
    @Dissident

    I occasionally think back on that thread as one of the iSteve "classics", for both its early hash-out of Coronavirus consequences and for the sudden onset of inter-generational sniping it engendered (started by two anonymous comments that were probably both just trolls, tragically).


    Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations?
     
    No, I can't see that I did then, nor do I now. I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate, along with some NABALT qualification.

    Perhaps the word that is troubling you—and which I should perhaps have been clearer in using—is "honing". I did not mean the word as in "intensifying", but as "sharpening" i.e., reducing the area of contact to where criticism is actually warranted. In other words, I thought the earlier anti-boomer comments were too blanket and too geriacidal. There are legitimate points of resentment of younger generations for the older, which I spelled out as best I could, both to try reduce the blanket bombasticism of earlier comments and as friendly heads-up to those who will still be alive when the resentments take more manifest forms. I realize, of course, that the bearer of bad tidings is rarely welcome and is often treated as the cause of the bad tidings himself.

    I must commend you for your comments in this thread.
     
    Thanks for that, BTW. These more metaphysical comment threads are really my main interest, yet I find I get the least engagement from others with them. I guess most English speakers just don't take much interest in these questions. So I'm glad to know someone is reading them and I'm not just calling into the void.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Dissident

    I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate….

    I missed that one the first time. A year later, it’s still a good read. The NABALT one is good, too.

    Have you found that the American Boomers who went to Vietnam turned out to be more or less normal? The Vietnam vets aren’t all saints, but as a group they don’t seem to me to diverge so sharply from the Silents and X that bracket them.

    But maybe I’m imagining things.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    @V. K. Ovelund

    I've only known a few Vietnam vets, and of the ones I've known in any depth, only one was the kind of classic jungle-fatigued grunt that everyone thinks of under the caption "Vietnam vet". That said, all of them were pretty solid guys, even—or especially—the chest-deep-in-mud infantryman. So yes, I agree that they were better than average men, which is all the more noteworthy as according to the media industry they're all supposed to be flashback-ridden psych cases.

    It seems to me there was some kind of sociological study in the 1990s or so that showed this. That contra the media narrative, Vietnam vets were healthier, happier and more accomplished than average citizens of that generation.

    I happened to have gotten to know a draft dodger from that era too. He had his virtues, but if I had to share a foxhole with someone, well ... let's just say maybe the Army was better off without him. Ironically, the draft dodger was sort of like what the media falsely painted the vets as: a guy who could be a little unstable and fly off the handle without warning. (The infantryman was the opposite: always cool and collected, even under extreme adversity.)

  78. @V. K. Ovelund
    @Almost Missouri


    I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate....
     
    I missed that one the first time. A year later, it's still a good read. The NABALT one is good, too.

    Have you found that the American Boomers who went to Vietnam turned out to be more or less normal? The Vietnam vets aren't all saints, but as a group they don't seem to me to diverge so sharply from the Silents and X that bracket them.

    But maybe I'm imagining things.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri

    I’ve only known a few Vietnam vets, and of the ones I’ve known in any depth, only one was the kind of classic jungle-fatigued grunt that everyone thinks of under the caption “Vietnam vet”. That said, all of them were pretty solid guys, even—or especially—the chest-deep-in-mud infantryman. So yes, I agree that they were better than average men, which is all the more noteworthy as according to the media industry they’re all supposed to be flashback-ridden psych cases.

    It seems to me there was some kind of sociological study in the 1990s or so that showed this. That contra the media narrative, Vietnam vets were healthier, happier and more accomplished than average citizens of that generation.

    I happened to have gotten to know a draft dodger from that era too. He had his virtues, but if I had to share a foxhole with someone, well … let’s just say maybe the Army was better off without him. Ironically, the draft dodger was sort of like what the media falsely painted the vets as: a guy who could be a little unstable and fly off the handle without warning. (The infantryman was the opposite: always cool and collected, even under extreme adversity.)

  79. @jamesc
    @dfordoom

    I don't think so - having 2 or more children gives much better odds of having a good one.

    Replies: @dfordoom

    I don’t think so – having 2 or more children gives much better odds of having a good one.

    It’s possible that many people think that having two or more children gives much better odds of having a bad one. That they think that with just one child they can be fairly certain that child will turn out the way they want it to. They figure that if they have just one they can make sure of having the perfect child.

    They also believe that with just one child they can completely protect that child from danger and from evil influences.

  80. @JohnPlywood
    Anti-abortion sentiment the single greatest threat to civil society and germline human genetic health.

    Remember, it's not the people with down syndrome who threaten the population. Most of them won't breed, and they're pretty rare.

    It's the diabetics, the obese, the alcoholic, the bald, the ugly, the babblers, the drug users, the color blind, the sub-100 IQs, etc, who threaten our society. These people can breed, and are the combined majority. Most of them would have been aborted if it weren't for the disgusting influence of Christianity, which stigmatizes abortion, and tne restrictive red state laws and shitty healthcare access.

    Nothing delivers more bang for your buck than free, abundant abortion services. Nothing. Evolution speeds up rapidly when every bug-eyed, craggy 3D bitch with a jutting lower lip and pig tusks is able to abort their worthless fetuses for free. Christians want these people reproducing en masse, and are even willing to pay for it. Christians are the enemy.

    Replies: @Almost Missouri, @Jay Fink, @MattinLA, @Audacious Epigone

    “pig tusks” is on the edge. The schoolmarm is issuing a warning rather than enacting a clandestine edit.

  81. @Almost Missouri
    @Buzz Mohawk

    I just logged in to the comments to say the same thing a different way:


    Opinions will vary wildly on the morality and desirability of [abortion]. But it is inarguably eugenic in intent
     
    Sorry to argue with the inarguable, but this flies in the face of everything I've seen.

    Of the abortions I am familiar enough with to discern the parent(s)'s motives, approximately zero were with any eugenic intent, and approximately all of them were with intent to serve the parent's convenience. In fact, had anyone been of a mind to discourage any of these mothers-to-be from abortion, suggesting to her that she was doing the right thing "for eugenics" might have been the quickest way to change her mind, since these women tend have the kneejerk reaction that anything "eugenic" is automatically bad and so must be opposed, and may have gone as far as carrying their pregnancies to term to just to poke "eugenics" in the eye.

    Nor, I think, can it be said that "abortion is unarguably eugenic in effect". Again looking at the above set of abortions, every one of those conceptions was from above-average germlines on both sides, so no "eugenic" purpose could be said to have been served by aborting them. (Except perhaps for the very narrow and marginal purpose that the mother may have believed that by aborting this pregnancy, she would make herself available for an even more above-average father in the future. The fact that as far as I know none of these women did go on to mate with better germlines in the future tends to negate even this limited exception.)

    Then there is the set of ill-advised pregnancies where even abortion-averse people such as myself start thinking, "you know, maybe abortion is the least bad option here". Again going on the instances with which I am familiar enough to discern backgrounds and motives, zero of these pregnancies got aborted. All of them carried to term.

    So whatever potential for eugenics abortion theoretically has, it ain't getting used in the real world. Rather the reverse, actually.

    Replies: @res, @Alexander Turok, @Audacious Epigone

    The argument here isn’t that abortion is ‘eugenic’ in total, only that the abortion of one with a “serious genetic defect” is.

    It also isn’t that those making these hypothetical decisions are doing so for the explicit purpose of promoting eugenics. The term is taboo. Almost no one is going to promote it consciously. But the ‘bad genes’ are what will cause the prospective parents problems, and that must be a big reason why they favor aborting.

  82. @Oliver D. Smith

    The following graph shows the percentages of people, by political orientation, who would want (or want their partner) to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect”.
     
    Yes - that's eugenics if those "serious genetic defects" are non-fatal like Down's syndrome because it is a completely subjective argument why those with Down's are considered 'undesirable'. Why are they 'undesirable'? It is not a fatal genetic disorder.

    What arguably isn't eugenics is if those serious genetic defects are a fatal genetic disorder with very high infant mortality rate like trisomy 13 and 18 (most only live days) and the risk of fetal loss before birth is high. There is an objective argument and arguably universal agreement these are undesirable births because they result in death.

    If you asked the question: "who would want (or want their partner) to have an abortion if “a test shows the baby has a serious genetic defect that is fatal” you would find virtually 100% agreement across all political groups. I'm sure someone could dig up some surveys.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    Right. Fatal genetic disorders for infants are hardly more than tragic extensions of miscarriages for the mothers. Whether they’re aborted or die after birth makes no difference genetically.

  83. @Alexander Turok
    The progressivism of the "progressive era" was associated with causes such as the prohibition of alcohol, nature preservation, opposition to machine politics, assimilation of European immigrant groups, workplace regulation, eugenics, immigration restrictionism, and regulation of monopolies. Only some of that is still advocated by modern "progressives." Just because the same term is used doesn't mean it's the same phenomenon.

    Is this gonna turn into another DemsRRealRacists rag?

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    It is going to be interesting to see if modern progressives do an about-face on genetics when the potential for genetic engineering to level the playing field comes online in a big way.

    • Agree: V. K. Ovelund
  84. @Oliver D. Smith
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It is eugenics for non-fatal genetic disorders because someone is arbitrarily deciding (for example Down's syndrome) what is 'undesirable' without any evidence based on personal choice and taste - discrimination. Arguably we can only objectively determine fatal genetic disorders are undesirable because they result in death; I would exclude those from the definition of eugenics.

    Here's a definition of eugenics in a paper on Down syndrome:


    eugenics, defined here as practices and policies designed to promote the reproduction of people with desired attributes—and, thus, avert the reproduction of people with undesired attributes (e.g., people with disabilities).
     
    https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/keeping-backdoor-eugenics-ajar-disability-and-future-prenatal-screening/2016-04

    . A report from the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register claims that in 2012 in England and Wales, 90 percent of 1,259 fetuses diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome were terminated [53]. Moreover, in England and Wales, the annual rates for termination after a Down syndrome diagnosis between 1989 and 2012 have ranged from 88 percent to 94 percent [5]. In addition, 10 out of 18 European countries are reported to have an average termination rate of 88 percent after a diagnosis of Down syndrome [54]. Finally, termination rates of 95 percent in certain areas of Australia [55] and 74 percent in select US states are reported [5, 56].

    Within this context, and drawing on our claims as outlined above, one may argue that prenatal screening represents a form of eugenics and that the “choice” promised by such techniques is not necessarily a (free) choice at all. Force is not involved in prenatal screening decision making (except in presumably rare but understudied familial circumstances) but, arguably, eugenics does not require force. One can claim that even making screening available for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions is already, by definition, suggesting that they are not valued reproductive outcomes [57-59].
     

    So there's a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down's isn't a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down's considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    When I've debated eugenicists in the past - they can't defend their position at all for aborting foetuses with non-fatal genetic disorders so dishonestly shift to focus only on fatal genetic disorders that virtually no one is debating. Unlike Down syndrome there's no controversy in the bioethics literature about aborting foetuses with fatal genetic disorders - search Google Scholar and 0 show up (unlike dozens of papers on Down's).

    Replies: @Buzz Mohawk, @Alexander Turok, @silviosilver, @Audacious Epigone

    So there’s a strong moral argument against prenatal Down syndrome screening. Why do them in the first place when Down’s isn’t a non-fatal genetic disorder? Why is Down’s considered a non-valuable reproductive outcome? No valid answer to that ever.

    These are formidable questions. Replace “Down syndrome screening” with “low intelligence screening” or “below average height screening” and a lot of people who assume the answer is obvious even though they can’t provide an actual valid answer suddenly agree there is no valid answer.

  85. @Buzz Mohawk
    @Oliver D. Smith

    Intent, intent, intent!

    You have missed the whole point of my comment!

    AE stated that the decision to have such an abortion "… is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so."

    My point is simply that it is not! People thinking about having an abortion are NOT thinking about improving the breed or the species or the race. Far from it, they are simply thinking about their immediate situation and perhaps the future of the child itself. It is often a VERY humane decision when it involves the future of the potential child.

    This is my point, and you have provided yet another proof: People get this wrong. When AE used the word "intent," he threw away all pretense of whatever point he was making. He is flat out wrong about the intent, and so are you!

    Replies: @Oliver D. Smith, @acementhead, @Audacious Epigone

    In the survey question, to put it crassly, they are aborting ‘bad genes’ for no other reason than the fetus has those ‘bad genes’. The intent is to avoid bringing ‘bad genes’ into independent existence. No, the vast majority won’t think it’s some heroic action to better the species on their part, but the consequences of their decision are obvious, aren’t they?

  86. @Buzz Mohawk
    @res

    My dear Res ☆

    The whole point of this argument, which I started, is whether or not the decision to have an abortion is eugenic or not.

    Our esteemed host, who truly deserves our respect and admiration -- and who has mine -- stated that the decision "is inarguably eugenic in intent, quite literally so."

    My point it that it is not! I have been there! Let me tell you:

    In college, one girlfriend's menstrual period was late. We discussed this, and she informed me that she would have an abortion. I thanked my lucky stars! We agreed that we would each pay half of the cost of the abortion. (We were poor college students, and this was an important factor.)

    Well, her late period eventually arrived, and we both breathed a proverbial sigh of relief. Abortion was not necessary in our case - but it would have happened, and our mutual decision would NOT have been eugenic.

    I posit here that almost NOBODY decides to have an abortion for eugenic reasons.

    I also posit that the RESULTS of abortions ARE indeed eugenic.

    I just can't believe that people here are stupid enough not to be able to understand the difference.

    Remember: AE used the word "intent." My argument is simply that there is no eugenic intent in the decision to have an abortion -- even though there might be a eugenic result.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    This question isn’t about abortions in general–or for a host of other reasons, like being two college kids woefully unprepared to bring a child into the world–it’s about having an abortion as a direct response to obtaining information that the fetus has a “serious genetic defect”. It feels like we’re talking past each other.

  87. @JohnPlywood
    @MattinLA

    I never said abortion was going to make America in to Singapore. I said it would keep us from going to hell. Christians seem determined to put our country on that trajectory.

    You are incapable of understanding what this country would look like if the hundreds of millions of underclass offspring had not been terminated since 1973. Go watch Night of the Living Dead or 28 Weeks Later if you want a good idea.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVnz6hlC3pQ


    God damn devil worshipping Christian MFers. No wonder every corner of the Earth is trying to exterminate, disenfranchise, demoralize, and humiliate you. You are the most aggravating, dysgenic, retarded, insensitive, destructive, and malicious human beings on this planet.

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    Throwing around the word “hate” is something I’m hesitant to do for reasons that are probably but obvious, but this sounds a lot like hate to me.

    • Agree: Dissident
  88. @Almost Missouri
    @res


    Consider the possibility of selection bias.
     
    I have. But

    1) Though I'm talking about a number of cases only on the very low end of statistical validity, they all go 100% one way. In order for the cases I know of to go 100% the opposite of the "inarguable" trend would have to mean that the cases I know of must be extreme outliers, which seems very unlikely inasmuch as nothing else about this group is any kind of outlier. So the simpler explanation is that the "inarguable" is mistaken.

    2) The cases consist not just people who happen to have been born in similar socio-economic-geographic circumstances to my own, but include cases across states, countries, classes and races.

    3) Accounts from others I have heard from have never been at odds with the cases I have had closer knowledge of.

    4) Have you ever heard of anyone aborting their child for "the good of the race" or the "good of the breed"? Even in cases of Tay-Sachs pregnancies, parents who abort don't say, "we have to do this to protect the race". They say, "we have to do this to prevent our child (and ourselves) suffering."

    Replies: @Audacious Epigone

    The term “inarguable” is ill-advised, admittedly.

  89. @Almost Missouri
    @Dissident

    I occasionally think back on that thread as one of the iSteve "classics", for both its early hash-out of Coronavirus consequences and for the sudden onset of inter-generational sniping it engendered (started by two anonymous comments that were probably both just trolls, tragically).


    Specifically, did you not at some point endorse the position of euthanizing the elderly or allowing them to die at some stage if keeping them alive were to be deemed too onerous a burden on the younger generations?
     
    No, I can't see that I did then, nor do I now. I did give vent to some frustrations with the boomer generation, which rereading now, still look pretty accurate, along with some NABALT qualification.

    Perhaps the word that is troubling you—and which I should perhaps have been clearer in using—is "honing". I did not mean the word as in "intensifying", but as "sharpening" i.e., reducing the area of contact to where criticism is actually warranted. In other words, I thought the earlier anti-boomer comments were too blanket and too geriacidal. There are legitimate points of resentment of younger generations for the older, which I spelled out as best I could, both to try reduce the blanket bombasticism of earlier comments and as friendly heads-up to those who will still be alive when the resentments take more manifest forms. I realize, of course, that the bearer of bad tidings is rarely welcome and is often treated as the cause of the bad tidings himself.

    I must commend you for your comments in this thread.
     
    Thanks for that, BTW. These more metaphysical comment threads are really my main interest, yet I find I get the least engagement from others with them. I guess most English speakers just don't take much interest in these questions. So I'm glad to know someone is reading them and I'm not just calling into the void.

    Replies: @V. K. Ovelund, @Dissident

    Thank you for clarifying, and my apologies for apparently having gotten you confused with one or more others.

    It was indeed quite interesting to revisit that iSteve thread, in view of all that has transpired in the now full year that has passed since then.

    So I’m glad to know someone is reading them and I’m not just calling into the void.

    It seems regrettable that the only way for one who has posted a comment to know if it was even read, much less appreciated, is if it receives replies or use of the “reaction” buttons. The latter can only be used extremely sparingly. The former is also often impractical as a means of acknowledging appreciation for all of the comments that one would wish to do so for.

    Another curiosity I am surely far from alone in often having is how many replies to a given comment of mine may have been submitted but never cleared moderation.

    • Replies: @Dissident
    @Dissident

    I wish to report an odd propagation issue that appears disturbingly like shadow-banning.

    The comment of mine to which I am replying appeared immediately for me in the browser in which I submitted it. Yet now, 45 minutes later, it still does not appear when loading this page in any other browser. And even in the browser where it does appear for me (with the cookies containing my posting ID info), the comment count at both the top of the page for the thread itself, as well as
    at
    https://www.unz.com/author/audacious-epigone/
    and
    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/
    has not been updated to reflect my new comment.

  90. @Dissident
    @Almost Missouri

    Thank you for clarifying, and my apologies for apparently having gotten you confused with one or more others.

    It was indeed quite interesting to revisit that iSteve thread, in view of all that has transpired in the now full year that has passed since then.


    So I’m glad to know someone is reading them and I’m not just calling into the void.
     
    It seems regrettable that the only way for one who has posted a comment to know if it was even read, much less appreciated, is if it receives replies or use of the "reaction" buttons. The latter can only be used extremely sparingly. The former is also often impractical as a means of acknowledging appreciation for all of the comments that one would wish to do so for.

    Another curiosity I am surely far from alone in often having is how many replies to a given comment of mine may have been submitted but never cleared moderation.

    Replies: @Dissident

    I wish to report an odd propagation issue that appears disturbingly like shadow-banning.

    The comment of mine to which I am replying appeared immediately for me in the browser in which I submitted it. Yet now, 45 minutes later, it still does not appear when loading this page in any other browser. And even in the browser where it does appear for me (with the cookies containing my posting ID info), the comment count at both the top of the page for the thread itself, as well as
    at
    https://www.unz.com/author/audacious-epigone/
    and
    https://www.unz.com/anepigone/
    has not been updated to reflect my new comment.

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