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Time for some eugenics?!?

Time for some eugenics?!?

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This is a post for winterene. Winter: I just learned some facts about a particular genetic quirk that raises some interesting ethical questions.

Compared with the rest of the population, people with this quirk are about seven times more likely to commit aggravated assault, ten times more likely to commit homicide, thirteen times more likely to engage in armed robbery, and over forty times more likely to commit a sexual assault. Very very few experts would deny a strong genetic component underlying these antisocial behaviors.

1. What should be done with these people?

2. If this genetic quirk can be detected before birth--and it can--what should the parents do? What should the government do?

Specifics, please.

Others are welcome to comment.
  • Just a guess... males?
  • *Like
  • Reminds me of one of my favorite websites ever:

    • This is quite a beautiful reminder to be careful when interpreting media!

      And it is funny.
  • http://snltranscripts.jt.org/86/86nobstetrician.phtml

    "No, they weren't boys. They were little girls... trapped in little boys' bodies. You see, boys are... bad. They have bad thoughts! Sometimes they disobey their mothers! They have to be punished!"
  • Cute, but everybody misses the point.

    All of these odds of crime can be mitigated through transparency. If everybody is chipped, with the data available to all, the feasibility of all these crimes goes way down because of the ease with which the perpetrators would be caught.

    Yes, it is often said that criminals are not rational, but that's too simplistic. Most criminals are not completely, insanely, irrational either. Few rob a bank and give the teller their driver licenses. Few stare right up at the the surveillance camera to make themselves easier to identify.

    You'd have to be willfully ignorant of human behaviour to think that total transparency would not act as a deterrent to much crime.
    • Oh, but being male is now, and has always been, very transparent! And being male is the "quirk", if you didn't see in the comments.

      HOW CAN WE BE STOPPED!? Just as you target the stupid, the irresponsible, the ill-equipped, shouldn't there be women targeting the male and hoping to limit the creation of them using totally logical curbs on reproduction? Will you side with those women?
      • ...with those women and logical men, I might add. Are you logical? Will you stand on the side of the reduction of crime?
  • what about the nature vs. nurture debate? do you identify the genetic trait early and then "breed it out"?? Or take the children and raise them in a special way designed to prevent them from developing those kinds of behaviors?

    the answer isn't cut and dried for me.
    • What *is* cut and dried is that some people will not even *consider* the issue.

      They will tune out any suggestion no matter how much evidence you present about the social benefit.

      That is sad, the refusal of some people to *think*.
    • I asked a question. A loaded one, sure, but a truly logical person would *consider* my question, no? Why do you assert that we must at least consider limits on reproduction on (say) poor people without considering my proposal? Must I list, "and they don't even listen to proposals on how to reduce their numbers or negative impact" to the Crimes of Men?

      I've identified what's quite arguably a real problem with the world, and you haven't even considered that this is a problem worthy of your time. You are just accepting the status quo.

      So: how is this different from everyone else's responses (or lack thereof) when you make your suggestions? Isn't a world that's 80% women and 20% men something we should consider? In fact, perhaps I should assert that that's what MUST be done, but if you ask me for specifics, I'll say: dude, I'm not an expert on the subject.
      • > So: how is this different from everyone else's
        > responses (or lack thereof) when you make
        > your suggestions?

        The difference is that I think your original post was a joke, I think you've been joking this whole time, I think you are still joking now.

        Hey, jokes are fine. Most of my posts are jokes. I'm all for joking.

        But I don't have to participate in every one of your jokes, just like you don't have to participate in any one of mine.
        • I think it's a legitimate question. Will you, in fact, consider the possibility that to make the world a better place, we should give incentives to people to have more daughters than sons?

          This is not, by the way, something I would consider unless somebody explained to me how it would work... pretty much precisely. Likewise, I don't consider some of your ideas because nobody can tell me how they would work... pretty much precisely. However, not only do you consider your own ideas, you repeat them early and you repeat it often. Will you consider my idea? If I posted, repeatedly, "we must free the world from the overabundance of men, and it's a DAMN SHAME that closed-minded people won't even consider it!"--but never gave you details about how I'd do it--well, what would you think of that?

          Yes, I thought of my idea in jest originally, to parallel your musings... but now that it's out there, why is my idea worse than yours? How would we decide? If you ask me for details on my plan, by the way, I'm just going to tell you that I'm not an expert. That said, we need to free the world from the current overabundance of men.
          • Let me be absolutely clear on this. There is NOTHING that a fully rational person will not consider, and there is nothing that I won't consider.

            I'll consider killing everybody on the planet. I'll consider blowing up planet earth itself. So of course I'll consider whatever you can propose here.

            But that doesn't mean I'll give equal time. I don't spend much time thinking about blowing up the world--I don't think that's going to happen. I DO think that in my lifetime greater and greater restrictions on childbirth will come to pass, and I'd like to encourage people to get behind rational restrictions, not ones motivated by politics and prejudice, which is what will happen if the smart people stay out of it.

            Put simply, I would never dismiss a reduction of men as a possible solution to world problems, but I choose to use my mental energy to think about possibilities that I consider more realistic.
      • I choose to use my mental energy to think about possibilities that I consider more realistic.

        That is a fair statement, and it's precisely the sort of thing that folks say about the possibilities you suggest. I don't think you're close-minded, and I hope that from now on, you'll extend the same courtesy to your listeners.
        • > I don't think you're close-minded, and I hope that from now on, you'll extend
          > the same courtesy to your listeners.

          Courtesy is great, and I favor it. But you are confusing courtesy with simply humouring other people's willful ignorance.

          If I bring up regulating procreation and somebody says "it will never work", I will surely point out that that is a blind and narrow-minded position, as I should.

          If the person says, on the other hand, "I prefer to discuss increasing funds for education", then I would not disrespect that person's right to focus on that topic if she wishes.
      • Why isn't it realistic to consider reduction of men as a possible solution?

        Seth's letting you off too easily -- so far I don't see where you've actually answered his question.

        If you present X as a serious proposal, and someone asks "Y looks similar, do you support Y?" Saying "Y is a joke" doesn't constitute an answer. Saying "Y isn't realistic/is silly/etc." without explaining why doesn't answer the question either.

        (Note: I don't actually care about the discussion, so feel free not to reply :-) It just bugged me that you were avoiding the question and getting away with it.)
        • You made a logical error. I didn't say "Y is a joke". I said that I thought *Seth* was joking, not serious. Based on Seth's previous posts and comments, based on my experience with how people talk and write, I made a judgement, which could be mistaken, that Seth did not really mean to start a serious discussion about how the male population could be reduced.

          If Seth wants to discuss this, I can accept that. Let Seth go over to FB, post the proposition "we should try to reduce the percentage of males in the population as a way of reducing crime. This is a serious proposal. Please respond seriously."

          I'll give my opinion, sure. I'll consider anything.

          But I'm justified in thinking that this thread was meant as a joke.
          • You made a logical error. I didn't say "Y is a joke". I said that I thought *Seth* was joking, not serious.

            OK, you're right. And I agree I don't think Seth is seriously advocating a planned proportional reduction in the fraction of males in the population as a means of reducing crime.

            However regardless of whether Seth seriously contemplates this proposal, I do think that to be consistent you would need explain why you would or would not advocate said reduction, given the statistics that Seth presented.

            Do you agree? (Note, I'm not asking you to present such an explanation now, just curious :-) )
            • No I don't agree. I don't have to give an opinion I'm every topic. I only have 24 hours in a day.
              • OK, so you're back to being evasive.

                It would seem to me that if someone presented a proposal to me (whether they themselves seriously believed in the proposal or not is immaterial) that had the same structure/logical underpinnings as something I advocate for, as a matter of intellectual rigor, I need to consider whether the proposal is consistent with my beliefs or causes me to re-examine the thing I believe in or be able to explain why it's not in fact parallel.

                If you want to stipulate that your advocacy of eugenics or whatever does not have intellectual rigor that's fine with me too.
                • Dude, can you write more simply?

                  I'm not going to oppose the idea of reducing the male population outright. Is that clear?

                  But I'm not obliged to give it equal time with all the other things I'm thinking about. Is that also clear?
                  • Sure, you're not obligated to do anything, but you'll understand if people give less weight to your statements until you do.
                    • Another logical error.

                      You implied that people give any weight at all to my statements.


                      When you're at zero, you can't really get any lower!
                      • Heh :-)

                        Although maybe negative weight could mean someone who you think is so wrong you generally assume the opposite of whatever they say :-)
    • You have never presented evidence about the social benefit of eugenics. You have even admitted that eugenics has never worked in the past. You have presented speculation.

      And by 'refusing to think', I think you mean 'refusing to think like me.' Plenty of thinking people have disagreed with you and given you reasons why they disagree with you.
      • You're presenting a straw man Frank. If you want evidence, you can just get on the google and find evidence. You can find benefit, and you can find harm, if you are willing to be honest with yourself about it.

        Here's a hint. Look up studies on what happened to the crime rate after abortion was legalized in the U.S. It's a controversial topic, so you'll find plenty of conflicting analysis. One place to start is "Freakonomics"--I think the book covered this topic.

        And please, for the love of all that's sensible, don't think to mention that eugenics and abortion are not the same thing. I expect you to be able to make the conceptual link between the two phenomena.
        • And please, for the love of all that's sensible, don't think to mention that eugenics and abortion are not the same thing. I expect you to be able to make the conceptual link between the two phenomena.

          I shall THINK to mention whatever I please.
          • > I shall THINK to mention whatever I please.

            Oh, that's mature.
            • Well, what's the point in having a mature discussion with someone who tells me right off the bat what points I am and am not allowed to bring up? This is just another example of you wanting to control the discussion.

              The fact is, abortion and eugenics are not only NOT the same thing, they are not even the same KIND of thing. Abortion is a tool that could be used in eugenics, but abortion as it is practiced in this country has absolutely nothing to do with the kind of eugenics you envision. Abortion as practiced today is an option, a personal choice -- which leaves the choice to have the baby equally available. Eugenics is a system that would direct the future of the human species by limiting or removing those personal options.

              I know you don't like to make fine distinctions (for example, you seem to think 'privacy' is the same as 'secrecy.') I could live with that if you weren't so dismissive of everybody who doesn't agree with your small handful of points.

              Yes, there are people who disagree with you because they don't think. But there are also people who think and STILL don't agree with you. And the more you dismiss them out-of-hand as 'dogmatic' or 'non-thinking' rather than deal rationally with the points they bring up, the more YOU look like the person who refuses to think.

              • I already pointed out that there is a conceptual link between abortion and eugenics, and you've had plenty of time to sort that out, yet you go ahead and point out:

                > The fact is, abortion and eugenics are not only NOT the same thing

                You should have taken the time to figure out the conceptual link before even bothering to respond; otherwise what's the point in even having a discussion, if you are not willing to put in the effort.
  • I skipped over a lot of teh comments, even though I find them interesting, it's just too much material.

    HOWEVER I think I have one point to add to the discussion- a significant reason that this type of overhaul plan for humanity would be quite farfetched, at least in the forseeable future:

    People want FREEDOM! If you ask any individual person, they would probably object to any such plan, because it would take away their freedom of choice- to have a son, to have the government stay out of their "personal business", etc. Only when talking *theoretically* would pretty much anybody actually condone such a change. I think all of these ideas are moving toward a world with much less freedom to make personal choices in life. That seems like a very significant tradeoff for whatever is to be gained (less crime, violence, whatever).
    • These are, of course, all very sensible points, and they're all points that have been leveled at Winter's own calls for limits on reproduction. For my own part, I don't support either limit on reproduction (in case you're coming in late and don't know the context).
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